If there’s one piece of advice I could share with email marketers who want to get better at their craft and grow their company’s email marketing ROI, it’s this:
I’m sure that raised an eyebrow or two. Here’s why. Email marketing is about great content. If your content is helpful, fun, or engaging, your emails will be opened, shared, and responded to. If your content is lackluster, your email marketing program’s performance will decline. That great content has to come from somewhere, and there’s no better place than for it to come from you and your company.
The catch is, a lot of people’s workflow puts the creation of the email content at the bottom of the priority list right up until about an hour before a newsletter or campaign is set to go out. You end up rushing through the process and create mediocre content that gets email marketing off your to-do list but fails to win over anyone. As a result, your email marketing never improves, and neither do you.
Blogging daily can help create that content. Will you create a winning, amazing blog post every day? No. In fact, most of what you write daily will be okay, with a few stinkers and a few winners. That relatively small collection of winners will bring content into your email marketing program that’s winning. Want to know what will make your email marketing program popular? Look at your blog’s analytics and you’ll know what to put or not put in your newsletter.
There’s also a secret backdoor mind trick to blogging daily. In order for you to have enough content to write unique, interesting, and/or helpful blog posts daily, you need to become an expert in your industry. By necessity, you’ll need to read, research, and increase your knowledge about your industry just so that you can blog about something every day and not run out of blog ideas after a week.
This will make all of your marketing – including email marketing – blossom. Instead of the marketing department just creating flyers made from product release notes or being just a smiling face at a trade show booth while the one sales engineer answers all the actual questions, you’ll be able to provide expertise and value at every turn. You’ll know what campaigns will work or not work based on your interactions and knowledge about how your industry works as a content creator in it.
I had this experience when I worked in the student loan industry a few years ago. I created a blog (and associated podcast) that was daily content, and after just a couple of years, I had gone from someone who didn’t know what form was what in the world of financial aid to someone speaking authoritatively and correctly about financial aid at industry conferences – all through the process of creating content daily.
Try it for 30 days. Try blogging once a day, every working day, for a month and see how it impacts your email marketing program. I guarantee you’ll have plenty of content to choose from in your newsletter and by the time the 30 days runs out, you’ll be much more knowledgeable about your industry – and that will have a wonderful effect on all of your marketing.
Christopher S. Penn
Director of Inbound Marketing, WhatCounts