skip to main content
Got 2 minutes? I'd love your advice. Take the 2018 SlopeFillers Survey→

Email Marketing
Where content strategy and email marketing can (and should) meet.

divider image for this post
GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

One of the most useful exercises I find myself doing as a marketer is reviewing my own behavior.

So when I go back through those thousands of personal and work and marketing and whatever emails, you know which ones I find myself opening again and again? It’s honestly not the ones with the clever subject line or the snowflake emoji.

Instead, it’s the emails from the folks who deliver value more often than they ask for it in return. It’s the Open Snow Daily Snow, it’s a startup newsletter that’s not just a collection of offers.

A Lesson from Social
This concept – more value, less sales – is something we’re familiar with. Books have been written about it. Heck, it’s a tactic virtually every resort already uses.

But if they don’t use it on email, where do they use it?

Social media.

Gary Vaynerchuck said it very well in one of those aforementioned books, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook:

“Jabs are the value you provide your customers with: the content you put out, the good things you do to convey your appreciation. And the right hook is the ask: it’s when you go in for the sale, ask for a subscribe, ask for a donation.

You gotta throw some jabs before you throw your right hook.”

As marketers we are more than used to hitting people with repeated value and isolated offers in a lot of places,

Just not email.

Just not that medium that’s crazy good at getting people’s attention. The medium that’s significantly cheaper than almost all paid clicks or reach (including social). The medium that has shown more staying power, more maturity, more ROI than any digital marketing medium ever.

As such, let me suggest a simple progression to wade into these waters.

Step 1: A New Progression
You know how some brands will use less-effective social networks to share lots of content (usually the ones where many daily posts are the norm) so they can find a winner and share it on their main, more effective accounts (where 1-2 daily posts are the norm)?

Take that one step further. Look back over the best photos from the last week and try an email campaign where that’s the only thing you send. Maybe that’s the subject line:

“This photo of new snow at the mountain is amazing.”

Don’t mix in an offer at the end, just let that image work its magic like we do on other channels.

Step 2: Blog Post as an Email
Now repeat with that popular blog post you wrote about your new restaurant or last week’s powder day or whatever.

But don’t link to the blog post, try putting it right in the body of the email and see what happens.

Listen, you know those newsletters you send with 20 blocks of content and how you can see clicks all the way to the bottom? Yeah, people are scrolling. So if the content is doing good on the website, put it in an email and send it along. Not requiringa click will increase consumption 5-10x.

Step 3: Content Built for Email
Once you’ve repurposed other content as an email campaign on a simple level (a good photo) and a deeper level (a full blog post), try making a piece of content strictly for email.

You already do this on other channels, right? Maybe it’s a Snapchat story or photo you think only fits on Facebook or a square video for Instagram, but as marketers we are more than used to creating content specifically for certain outlets, we just haven’t done the same for email because we haven’t put “content” and “email” in the same sentence until now.

And to be fair, maybe it is just another piece of content repurposed for the constraints of email. For example, if your webcams caught an amazing sunrise, send a GIF of the timelapse. Or if it’s snowing outside your window, snag a slow-mo of those fat flakes falling and send a looping GIF of that.

Content-Based Email Marketing
If I had to come up with a clever name for this, I’d call it content-based email marketing.

The idea that great content does great things for great brands on other, okay channels. So maybe we should use even greater channels to let great content do even more good for your efforts things going forward.

Think about it.



  • sthrendyle

    Brother, you are so speaking my language. I’m on the board of the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and our e-mail list is GOLD. It’s the key driver to the website, for ticket sales, and creating buzz about the event. We do social, but it takes a back seat. E-mail is the secret sauce with a crazy high open rate, especially in the weeks before the festival. I actually started an e-mail newsletter (weekly) for Big White and Silver Star back in 2004!!! And it’s still going strong (though it was pretty much straight text when we started. Only added image and links and built a template later. I tried to get as much ‘culture’ as I could in there.

  • Longarm

    nicely said – When an email is only a regurgated summary of brand’s efforts for other channels it feels very disgenuine. I want content in an email that I can’t get from the brand’s other mirrored channels.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.

Take the 2018 ski resort social media marketing survey→