How Content and Email Marketing Work Together

Before we dig into how content marketing and email marketing work together, let’s start at the very beginning. What exactly are content marketing and email marketing?

Content marketing – is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. Its purpose is to help companies create sustainable brand loyalty through building trust and rapport with the audience through sharing valuable, and often free, content instead of directly selling.

Email marketing – is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. Its purpose can vary, but it is frequently used to enhance a business or brand’s relationship with current or previous customers and to encourage loyalty, repeat business, and acquire new customers.

You’ll notice they have goals in common: building loyalty and repeat business through sending and sharing content.

Sending the same emails to your network of past, current, and potential clients does not equal having an email marketing strategy. The emails you send need to have quality, relevant, and interesting content. They need to be visually appealing. And furthermore, they need to have a purpose. So how what kind of content does an email need?

Let’s break down a marketing email into four very basic parts.

  • Subject line
  • Body copy
  • Call to action (CTA)
  • Sign off

Within each of these parts is an opportunity and need to weave content marketing and email marketing together. Content completes an email, but when you take the time to thoughtfully write to your audience, that email becomes a powerful part of your marketing strategy.

1. Subject line

There is endless research on most and least effective subject lines. Not everyone is the research type, and if that’s you, there is an easy place to start. Your own inbox. Look at what you’ve been emailed over the last few days. You’ve probably got a whole bunch of examples at your fingertips. What emails are still sitting unopened? What did you immediately click on? And on the opposite end, what went straight to trash?

This probably had a lot to do with the subject line. A subject line is your first impression, and you don’t have much time to make it. One study found you may have only 3 seconds to capture a reader’s attention. 3 seconds! Make them count. Keep your subject line interesting, snappy, and something you’d like to open.

Always keep in mind the content marketing approach to email: you’re trying to help the reader, not close a deal. Make sure your subject line reflects that.

2. Body copy

If the subject line and calls to action are the bread of your email sandwich, this section is the meat.

First of all, your email copy needs to reinforce your subject line. If your subject line reads “10 Best Ways to Save Money Today,” then your email better list ten ways your audience can save money, not be a highlight reel of the success you’ve had this year or a plug to follow you on Facebook. You should absolutely highlight your successes and let people know where to find you on social media, but at an appropriate time, and not when you are setting expectations for something else.

Once you have their attention with your must click subject line, use your body copy to share quality, especially relevant, and industry adjacent content. The more relevant it is, the more it will be shared, and the more your name and brand get in front of potential customers.

3. Call to action (CTA)

If you’re sharing a blog post, then you want people to go to your website and read it. In this case, you want a call to action to read something like “read more.” If you’re taking a poll, then you want people to answer the questions. That CTA could read “I’ll help!” to encourage visitors to help you gather data by taking your poll. If you want people to download specific content you’ve created, then you want them to know how to get it. Here’s an example:

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You get the picture. Make it clear what you want people to do and then make it easy for them to do it.

Pro tip: Calls to action are excellent for testing. For example, try “Go to blog” vs “Read more” and see which one gets clicked more.

4. Sign off

Like dessert after a lovely dinner, the way you end an email can leave a lingering impression. Sign off your email with a personal touch, and be sure to include your contact info. Even if you don’t see an immediate monetary impact after an email campaign, know that these efforts go toward building trust within your network and positioning yourself as an expert in your field.

In conclusion, emails do not exist without content. And writing effective emails is hard! Let OutboundEngine take this important but time-consuming task off your plate. We can make content marketing and email marketing work for you.


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Taylor Wright

Taylor is the Content Marketing Manager at OutboundEngine. She's passionate about helping businesses succeed through finding the right words and creating positive client experiences.