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Marketing Content that People Will “Pay” For

11.13.2017 / Posted in Articles, Content Marketing

In the era of digital marketing, increasing your number of e-mail subscribers—your e-mail list—is the key to success many levels. E-mail marketing and marketing automation? Both need sizeable, quality lists to perform.

And lest you think that e-mail doesn’t work as a marketing tool, let us assure you that it does. In fact, e-mail is the highest performing marketing tactic available today:

We could go on, but… enough said.

Get ‘em on the E-mail List

People on your contact list are in your marketing funnel—which is exactly where you want them. In fact, they’ve opted into your marketing funnel, which is even more powerful than many other marketing assets you have available to you.

With a solid e-mail list, you can stay in front of these engaged key contacts, encourage them to act, and track their behavior as it relates to what you send them, watching for buying signs and delivering ever more focused, quality content that matches their interests.

You can increase your subscribers in several ways, from widgets you can add to your website that encourage people to enroll, to social media requests and buttons, to “asks” in your marketing content, to fishbowls at conferences and events capturing business cards. (Our CEO, Leslie Farnsworth, even asks for business cards at the close of every speaking engagement from people who want to get marketing tips and tricks from FrogDog.)

Yet if you don’t send great e-mail, people won’t stay signed up for long.

Great E-mail Content Matters

People sign up to receive e-mail from you when you provide compelling content. Even as much as people say they hate getting “spam”—and remember, if they’ve signed up, it isn’t spam—people will sign up if you give them valuable and worthwhile information pushed straight to their inboxes.

What counts as compelling depends on the nature of your business, to some extent: New offerings, deals and promotions, and specials matter for products companies more than services businesses, but not always. And everyone, if they value what you do, will sign up to receive great perks and deals for being your customer.

Products and services businesses—but services businesses slightly more often—benefit from sending e-mail messages with helpful or interesting content targeted to their audiences. This type of content can include charts, graphs, white papers, articles, case studies, videos, and more.

E-mail Content: Bite-sized and High-impact

All content you deliver via e-mail or any other channel needs to provide value to your target audience. Yet the level of value provided can vary—and we believe that it should vary.

You need content that encourages people to stay in your e-mail marketing funnel, and you need content that gets people to sign up. In many ways, good content does both—but experience shows that people are more likely to give you their e-mail addresses for one type of content over another.

Some content—which we call “bite-sized” or “nugget” content—provides quality information with value or interest, but it won’t encourage someone to give you his or her contact information to receive it. This type of content should be developed and sent to your already-engaged e-mail list and provided free to the public.

For people to “pay” you for your content with their contact information, the content on offer needs to have a high level of impact and be something that they cannot easily receive somewhere else for free and cannot easily replicate on their own.

Sound good? Absolutely. And we’re willing to bet you’ve paid for something similar with your own contact information—and felt it well worth the cost.

Yet it’s important to realize that the content people pay for isn’t as easily created as the nugget-sized content that keeps you in front of them in a quality way. High-impact content requires more resources to produce.

High-impact Marketing Content

High-impact content that produces a high volume of e-mail list entrants includes the following forms:

  • Subscriber-only offers and peeks: Give occasional deals, offer sales from time to time, and show subscribers new offerings and applications before anyone else sees them.
  • Case studies: In depth, quality case studies that walk readers through problems, solution hypotheses, work plans, outcomes, and learnings have a lot of value and impact for certain target audiences. (And lest you think this angle is only for businesses selling to other businesses, keep in mind that boutiques featuring outfit ideas for different occasions are providing visual case studies!)
  • Tools: Create tools or widgets that help your target audience get something done, speed up something complex, solve a tricky problem, or quickly compute a metric.
  • White papers: Present research, analyses, how-to guidance, or positions in an in-depth format. A quality white paper is a significant, weighty document. Positions on complex topics and how-to guides can run thousands of words with multiple citations. Original research may be shorter text-wise, but it will have significant graphs, charts, and representations of data, findings, and analysis.
  • Research reports: Like white papers, research reports provide the results of original studies performed by your company or aggregate analysis of studies others have performed that deliver actionable insights.

Content for which people will pay with their contact information isn’t easily dashed off in an afternoon. It takes time. Yet it also pays dividends: Cache among your target audience and quality, long-term e-mail list growth.

Need help planning your content strategy? FrogDog can help. Call us today for a free consultation.

 

Image Courtesy of Unsplash.com

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