Email marketing is alive and kicking but in order to make it work, you have to be strategic in terms of content selection. People will be willing to get your newsletters and read through those if you have something unique to offer.
So, what does it take to ensure that originality? How can you keep the subscription and the open rates high? The answer may be simpler than what you’ve conceived so far. This answer comes in the form of user-generated content (UGC).
Why User-Generated Content Works
Should you pay professional writers for the creation of your email content or should you rely on user-generated texts? You should definitely do both. The professional touch will pay off in the form of impeccable content. User engagement is also beneficial because it will affect the audience in a completely different way.
Many see user-generated content as a personal recommendation. Thus, such content is considered trustworthy by the audience. Three out of five millennials, or about 59%, rely on user-generated content to make purchasing decisions. An eConsultancy study suggests that 70% of people see user generated-content as more trustworthy than the texts created by a brand itself.
In essence, user-generated content is perceived in a completely different way by the audience. Such content is relatable and thus, it’s seen as highly trustworthy. Chances are that based on these statistics, you’re already coming up with ideas about using such content in your email campaigns. If you need a bit of additional inspiration, you may want to try the following approaches.
Inspire People to Produce Campaign-Worthy Content
While the benefits of user-generated content are easy to understand, one important question remains unanswered. What does it take to stimulate people to produce UGC? How can you ensure the high quality of such content?
Businesses can rely on various simple stimuli to enhance UGC production. Contests and small awards rank among the best stimuli.
A contest suggests that you’re willing to provide something in return for the audience’s participation. In addition, it appeals to the competitive spirit of people and makes them try harder.
There are many types of content you can get through the organization of a simple game or a giveaway. You can get beautiful branded photographs from your prospects and loyal customers. You can ask about short stories that describe their experience with a product or a service. It’s even possible to request video clips in which actual customers speak about an aspect of the interaction with your brand or they present creative ways of using a product.
You can announce such a contest via a newsletter and you can present the results in an email, as well. The exclusivity adds value to the medium, making more people eager to get your newsletters and go through those.
Include Customer Testimonials in Your Emails
This strategy sounds like a no-brainer but many businesses get it wrong. A few tips have to be followed in order to make the most of customer testimonials.
The first and the most important rule to follow is to keep it authentic. If you promise to deliver customer testimonials in your emails, you better do just that. Don’t write the reviews yourself and call it a day. Today’s buyer is quite informed and a fake review will be very easy to spot.
Next, you should pick comprehensive reviews to include in your email campaigns. It’s also a good idea to highlight testimonials that focus on both the good and the bad aspects of interacting with a brand.
There’s actually some evidence that bad reviews can boost sales. For a start, negative reviews still shed a light on a product or a service that people wouldn’t be aware of otherwise. In addition, such reviews are believable. A company that’s willing to highlight both the positive and the negative experiences of its buyers is perceived as genuine. In addition, addressing those negative reviews and giving the buyers some form of compensation can turn into the best type of advertising for your business.
Start Creating a Community
Social media platforms aren’t the only channels you can use to build a community. The same goal can be achieved through email marketing, especially if you manage to integrate user-generated content effectively.
Relying on user generated content shows that you’re committed to interacting with your buyers and highlighting their assistance. This way, you can build a community of advocates. Such people are usually passionate about the brand and they’re not afraid to show it. Long-lasting relationships with such individuals can take a lot of the effort out of content creation.
You can highlight a contributor in every single email you send out. Such a series puts the spotlight on your biggest supporters and gives them a chance to express themselves. People love to read such content. In addition, contributors will get stimuli to interact with you and generate high-quality content in order to get featured.
The inclusion of UGC in marketing emails brings a traditional marketing approach and a more innovative technique together. The good news is that the integration can be seamless. All that you have to do is figure out what type of UGC will deliver the best results in terms of audience engagement. Once you make up your mind, it will simply be a matter of providing the right stimuli for content creation and building relationships with your most loyal supporters.