10 fresh email marketing ideas for client campaigns

Smell the possibilities

You feel like you’ve written the same emails again and again. You’ve pushed out the same messages. You’ve told the same stories. As you develop a client’s email marketing editorial calendar, you might find yourself wondering if you have anything different to say — or even just a different way to say the same things.

Remember: Not every email has to be a full-blown newsletter with thoughtful stories and sidebars. Marketing emails can take on different formats.

Here are 10 ideas for emails to help you nail your next brainstorming session:

1. Sneak peek. Is your client launching an exciting new product or service? Give those loyal email subscribers a first look. If it’s an attractive product and you have great art, make your life easy and make it an image-heavy email with minimal (but awesome, of course) text.

2. Top sellers. Share this month’s three hottest products, complete with pictures and pricing. Or if there’s a product that’s selling fast, let subscribers know they have a limited time to purchase.

3. Thank you. Thank customers for their patience (say, if you had a recent website outage). Thank them for their loyalty. Thank them for a recent purchase — and even request a review.

4. Survey. People love to give their opinion. Even if it’s just one question (which makes it easier for readers anyway), here’s an opportunity to collect a little bit of psychographic data and engage your client’s target audience at the same time.

5. New video (or other content). If your client has taken the time to shoot a video, get it out there! One of my favorite fitness gurus recently started producing short weight-lifting demo videos. While they live on YouTube, they aren’t searchable there. And he doesn’t share the link on Facebook, either. They are exclusive to his email list. For those who want this exclusive content, it’s a compelling reason to open (and subscribe to) his emails.

6. Breaking news. Those individuals who care enough about your client’s brand to want to hear from them deserve the inside track on company news. Think about executive introductions, an IPO, new products or services, a new blog.

7. Industry commentary. Brands can do more than sell. They can inform. And one of the best ways to inform is to provide commentary on industry news. Such commentary also helps position your client as a thought leader. For example, an IT security company can use a string of big data breaches as an opportunity to share their expertise on preventing future breaches. A nutrition expert can share the latest research along with her take on the implications.

8. Coupon. I don’t eat a lot of sandwiches, but when my favorite sandwich shop sends me a coupon, I rarely resist. And if my neighborhood baby supply store sends me a 20-percent off coupon, I always print it and wander into the store … just to see if I might need something. (Like yet another damn Elmo toy.) I might not redeem them all, but I open every single coupon email.

9. Birthdays and anniversaries. Collect this data from customers, and it becomes a great excuse to send a marketing email. I appreciate when my favorite brands send me a birthday message. Of course, I really appreciate them when they come with a gift. Like, when my favorite steakhouse wishes me happy birthday and I get a free steak dinner. It helps their business when I bring other (paying) customers with me, and I feel valued as a loyal customer.

10. Seasonal. Take advantage of seasons and holidays to touch base with email subscribers. Tap into the themes of “love” messaging at Valentine’s Day and gratitude at Thanksgiving. You can even use those made-up “holidays.” For example, as a writer, I might want to wish my readers Happy National Grammar Day! (Because it’s totally a thing.)

There you go. Ten ideas for emails to mix up your clients’ email markeing editorial calendar. Now it’s your turn: What have been some of your most successful emails?

Image by: Dennis Wong via Compfight cc

Stephanie Conner
Stephanie Conner is an award-winning writer and editor who helps organizations create content that gets read. She has taught writing at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, her alma mater. When she’s not chasing after or wiping food off of her soon-to-be-toddling son, she enjoys yoga, cooking and wine (not necessarily in that order). Find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.