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How to generate ideas for your email marketing campaigns

Guide
by Iain Thomson Head of Projects

If coming up with great ideas was easy, everyone would be doing it. There’s no formula for a successful campaign. But counterintuitively, this is a good thing. After all, imagine you and all your competitors doing exactly the same things, and having the same results. Successful email marketing isn’t about treading water – it’s about making a splash.

That said, there are some tried and tested ways to make the ground fertile enough or seeds of inspiration to germinate. Here are a few of them.

Subscribe to rivals’ email lists

The marketplace that you occupy will inevitably have its own “rules” that have been developed over time. Customers expect those rules to be obeyed – and that’s where your ideas can spring from. Make sure you’re on the lists of all your rivals (especially the more successful ones) so you can see what they are doing.

One thing you can do is see which ideas look impressive and, let’s say, re-interpret them to suit your own business. But you can also use the tone of voice and content to see what isn’t being done. Standing out is just as important as fitting in, so if you find your marketplace is boring and predictable, you can shake it up a bit by doing things no one else dares to do (within reason …) .

Bring in diverse expertise

Two heads are better than one, but three or four heads are perfect. Bring a selection of people into marketing meetings, and try and mix it up a bit. Don’t just have the same people coming up with ideas in every meeting. Bring in people from other departments, sales staff, technical experts, customer support employees and managers. They are often the people who deal directly with customers and respond to their queries and problems, and they often have a much more instinctive feel for what customers want.

Keep an eye on the news

The news is a fantastic source of inspiration. Stories that emerge can be used in two ways.

First, if it’s a serious story that is connected to your industry, you can simply send out an email offering your expertise or even reassurance to your subscribers. We’ve seen this a lot during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Some businesses were quick to react, showing they were monitoring the situation and explaining how their service might be affected. The trick is to make it quick and relevant – get some key facts together and get them out there. Make sure you get the tone right, though. Joking about tragic events is never a good look.

Other stories aren’t so serious, of course. Celebrity gossip, TV water cooler moments and sporting exploits can all inspire amusing and witty content that endears you to customers and shows you’re on the ball. Just try and keep it relevant to your business – don’t crow-bar content in. This kind of content really has to be fast, too. EVen a day too late and you’ll look sluggish and indecisive.

Analyse your customers’ behaviour

Finally, email marketing is always a work in progress, never a finished project. You can get detailed behavioural data back from every email that tracks where people have clicked and tapped, and which parts have led to conversions. Don’t waste that data. Not only is it useful to show where to focus future campaigns, it can also be used to inspire creative ideas. When you know what things are popular with customers, it makes creative thinking a whole lot easier.

At Gooey, we have the tools and expertise to draw up effective HTML email templates for you, complete with tracking. All you need to do is bring the creativity and think outside the inbox.