When surveyed, marketers invariably call out email marketing as the most effective digital marketing tactic. The strengths of this approach are easy to see: it is direct, it is relatively low-cost, and it is the method by which consumers prefer to receive communications from businesses.

There are, however, a few inherent challenges involved with launching a successful email marketing campaign. The first is building a list of people that want to receive your messages. We served up some tips for collecting opt-in email addresses last month. The second is determining what kind of content you want to send out.

If you’re filling inboxes with nothing but promotions and self-serving communications, you’re probably going to end up with a lot of unsubscribes and spam complaints. The absolute No. 1 imperative for your email marketing strategy is that you must provide content that is valuable to the reader. If they’re giving you their contact information and their attention, don’t take it for granted. If you can reach a point where list members actually looking forward to opening your emails, you’ve built a meaningful and valuable relationship.

Here are five forms of email marketing communications that can delight your recipients.

1. Newsletter

The most common and well known form of email marketing, newsletters offer a wide array of possibilities. Create content that is stylistically entertaining and engaging, and that is relevant to your audience. Try to strike an 80/20 or even 90/10 balance between informational and promotional material. Don’t be afraid to take a minimalist approach, with sparse design elements and small chunks of copy for easy scanning. Above all, make sure to have an overarching direction and angle that unifies the entire package.

2. Daily/Weekly News Recap

Keeping up with all the news, especially in niche industries, can be difficult for professionals who are busy throughout the day. Make it easier on them by rounding up all the key stories and developments, and compiling them into a condensed, summarized digest. If you get it right, your email will be one that your subscribers can’t miss. That’s gold.

3. Customized Recommendations

The standard practice with email marketing is to create a single version of a message and send it out a large list. Sure, you might add personalization tokens and “smart content,” so that the recipient’s name appears in the copy or certain sections appear only to certain segments of your audience, but by and large the cookie-cutter approach reigns supreme. What if you actually took the time to create customized messaging, with advice and business recommendations acutely aimed at specific individuals or companies? Obviously, this involves a lot more time and thought, but the pay-off could be big, with great opportunities for promotion and upsells that don’t come off as impersonal plugs.

4. Contests and Coupons

Everybody loves a good deal! Including exclusive coupons in your emails is a great way to make subscribers feel special, and also an effective method of getting them to click “Open.” The same goes for contests with desirable prizes. You certainly don’t want to overdo it with these kinds of promos, as they can start to feel very gimmicky, but it’s a proven tactic for capturing attention.

5. Co-Marketing

Why go it alone? Co-marketing refers to a partnership between two or more companies where both sides jointly market one another’s products or services. This allows you to potentially tap into new audiences while also collaborating with another business that may add its own experiences and insights to the mix. Find clever and fun ways to tie your offerings together and bring value to your customers.

Get Started Now!

Get your email marketing kicked into gear! We can help you plan and execute a campaign that connects with readers. Tell us about your company and we’ll help pinpoint an approach that makes sense for you.