Take a look at this screenshot below. We all recognize this right? It's a really nice, well formatted and key component of a great organization's Content Marketing Strategy. You can see the whole Off The Beaten Path email here.
I'm picking on my friends above because they are a prime example of what happens all the time. Email marketing lives in a different silo than those who manage the Corporate Blogging software. Painful because this is great content...and it's completely unindexed! People go to great lengths to create fantastic and compelling content for their email newsletters. This specific newsletter has at least 4 stories and offers, as well as several customer testimonials.
Do this test with any newsletter. Highlight a paragraph with your cursor, right click and hit that "search Google for..." (Alternatively you can copy & paste into a search bar). If you don't find that content, that means it's dead, wasted...what we call Single Use Content.
This is why we are so passionate about using your blog as Content Marketing Hub (see graphic to left). If your email folks are creating content, make sure it gets pushed into your blog as well.
With this strategy, you now build a massive content foundation that will have the potential to live forever. Great content will attract search traffic & get shared. Heck, I can come across a story about traveling in Yellowstone in winter two years from now...it's still going to be great content that can convert & now you (the business) have given yourself a chance to have this content both shared and linked to...forever.
Here is a radical thought. Legacy Email Import....
How many email newsletters have you produced over the years? Hundreds?
Do you think that maybe stored in what I call "The box in the attic" there might be tons of great content just begging to be part of your internal Content Curation Strategy? Of course there is!
Take your intern this summer and put them to work on this project. Log into your Email Service Provider and dig out every relevant unit of content and repurpose it your blog. Lots of this is going to not only be blog-worthy, but also used for Social Media purposes as well.
Now let's go the other way
How many of you are responsible for writing your monthly email newsletter? (or paper newsletter?) What a pain. You stare at a blank template and try to come up with content that will be worthwhile, interesting and hopefully people will actually care about.
How about this? Create a Corporate Blogging Strategy that includes content from everywhere...employees, customers etc... Get that content into your blog, promote it through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter...then watch it spread accross the web.
Now when the second Thursday of the month comes around (or whenever you send a newsletter) you have a huge library of content to choose from! Look through this library and see what content was engaged with, clicked on and mattered. That's the content you can easily repurpose for your email newsletter.
I wrote Email Marketing By The Numbers in 2006 based on thoughts developed during the previous 5 years in the industry. This entire books preaches one theme over and over again....Relevance.
But here we are and email still isn't that Relevant. Most marketers are still not using Dynamic Content to personalize the right content to the right recipient.
Well it's not a data problem. Even my drycleaner has a better database than the worlds largest companies did a decade ago. Everyone has plenty of data at their fingertips to be more relevant.
So maybe the problem is the email software is too hard to use? Nope. There are email tools at all price points that enable dynamic content...so that's no excuse.
This only leaves one thing....Content. Relevant email marketing is a three legged stool. Data, Technology & Content. The strategy outlined above and in coming weeks will solve your content problem. You can read more about using email to solve your content crisis in my last post.