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Content Marketing (All)
Thinking outside the email newsletter box.

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As of late I’ve been reflecting on a very simple strategy I’ve had great success with in side projects but one that I haven’t yet applied fully between 9-5.

The idea being to take those pieces and rebrand them. Wrap them in a new, less boring package.

For example, I don’t have a “newsletter” for SlopeFillers, because I’ve broken up the two pieces that would go in a traditional newsletter – industry social stats and my recent posts – and turned them into two different email campaigns (weekly social stats and weekly new post digest) that go out to thousands of people and get double or triple the open rates of a traditional newsletter.

There are two reason I do this.

The first, if I’m honest, is automation. Both of these emails go out completely on their own each week without me raising a finger, so sending them out as unique pieces is easier and lets me spend time on more important things.

Strong CTA
But the second and much more important reason, is that it gives me a stronger call to action. Instead of “get a newsletter full of info” it’s “get a weekly report of your social stats sent to your inbox” or , as you see in the sidebar, it’s “get a digest of each week’s posts delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.”

The sign up rates for that list are many, many times that of a newsletter even though a newsletter would surely contain my recent posts.

See what I’m getting at?

Which brings me back to skiing.

As I thought about what a resort could do to follow this pattern and break out of the box of the typical snow report or newsletter, I saw a collection of Prism Cam photos on their blog:

And the idea came: “What if your email newsletter wasn’t delivering headlines to subscribers’ inboxes…what if it was delivering sunrises?”

It’d work like this

  1. Hire someone to write a script that uses sunrise timetables for your area to cache the cam image at a calculated time each morning.
  2. Then integrate this image as the hero image into an email template.
  3. if you have a calendar feed or lift ticket pricing feed, dynamically insert that below the image (or just link to it)
  4. Set up a recurring email to scrape and send this email every morning.

Next to your web cam (one of the most popular pages on your site), you could have this call to action:

“Get this view in your inbox every morning. Sign up for our ‘Daily Sunrise’ email.”

A stronger call to action than your newsletter? Absolutely.

But the content – recent hero image, news, tickets, deals, etc. – are all there just like a newsletter but fully automated. Notice that in just one image, it will tell much of what your snow report might.

Not every day will be a stunner, but that uncertainty will keep folks opening on a year-round story about the views at your resort.

Keep Thinking…
Does your cam point the wrong way? “Daily Sunset” instead.

But I hope you see the idea behind the idea and keep those wheels turning to see where they take you.

Even in it’s dry state, newsletters work. A little creativity within the concepts and content that make them work could give that buried content new life and take your newsletters to the next level.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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