Email marketing is a tool that enables your business to reach out to current customers that have yet to explore some of the products and services you offer. To be effective, email content needs to generate clicks, create conversions, and keep your audience interested. Sharing interesting, helpful, informational, original content should be the backbone of your email program. But small companies typically have time and/or budgetary constraints, which can make developing original content on a regular basis a challenge. That doesn't mean you have to settle for infrequent emails, or emails that feature the same message over and over. The solution is to incorporate curated content into your program.
What Is Content Curation?
Content curation is sharing existing content that’s relevant to your company’s industry or mission. You can use content from a supplier, a non-competing company, publications, or a research group from your industry. It’s important to make sure that all curated content is something that will interest your target audience.
Why Should Your Company Use It?
One reason businesses rely on content curation is because it takes the pressure off of having to continually create new articles, blog posts, infographics, and videos. After a while, many companies run out of ideas and stories to share. That's when many email programs come to a screeching halt. Sharing curated content can be considered equally valuable. It may also help the email marketer keep the ideas flowing.
Another reason content curation is key is because it’s important not to oversell yourself. Current clients (and potential ones) want information that’s useful. While they do want to hear about your new product, an upcoming event, or important announcements about new services you’ll be providing, people will begin to lose interest if every email is exclusively focused on your company. By carefully selecting relevant curated content, you’ll be able to provide your audience with information that educates vs. material that is designed strictly to sell.
How Much Outside Content Should I Share?
Once your company has begun exploring the idea of content curation, the next natural question is: how much? How often should you promote your company versus sharing interesting outside articles or resources?
The magic number is 25 percent. Content curation powerhouse Curata suggests that one-quarter of your email content should be from outside sources, while the rest can be directly related to your business. This will allow a steady flow of updates on news and product-related information while keeping your audience in the loop about other things going on in your industry.
How Does Content Curation Work?
When working to create that perfect mix of original and external content, think of your marketing as a television channel or radio station. Your company’s goal is to keep your audience tuned in for more. This is why a 100 percent focus on your business will soon fall flat; potential customers will begin to lose interest if the “channel” is nothing except self-promotion.
Seek out news, articles, and graphics that will help give your company and its mission credibility in the eyes of customers. If your company provides cybersecurity services, for example, you might share infographics and studies from leading cybersecurity watch dogs.
Here are some ideas to help in crafting these types of marketing emails:
Use news aggregators and content discovery tools to get ideas.
Very few companies have time to comb the internet to seek out large amounts of news and content to share with their audience. Content curation tools like Feedly will sift through large amounts of content to find what’s most relevant to you and your customers.
Create an original subject line.
Don’t simply reuse the title from the article or infographic you’re sharing. Think of something unique and compelling that will grab your audience’s attention.
Avoid sharing the content (or quotes from it) without putting your company's spin on it. Offer up your perspective. Also, summarize key points from the post so customers will know what to expect when they dig in.
Don’t forget a call-to-action.
The most important tip is to include a call-to-action at the end of the message. Even though you’re sharing someone else’s content, your goal is still to drive inquiries leading to new business. Make sure readers know how they can reach you or find out more.