Adding value to your emails means creating personalized content for a targeted group of contacts and sending it to them at the right time. Creating and sending valuable emails will not only help you stand out in a crowded inbox but can also increase your engagement rates and positively impact both your sender health and domain reputation.
In this article, you'll learn best practices for creating and sending emails that provide value to your contacts.
Send emails at the right time
Let’s start with timing. Timing is when you send emails to your contacts. When you send emails greatly depends on the type of email you’re sending because it will have a large impact on the value it provides. For example, a series of onboarding emails will be impactful and valuable if they're sent shortly after a customer signs up for your services. If it's sent a month later, then they may have forgotten about you or moved on. Or let’s say you have a series of abandoned cart emails in your automation—you’d want to send those to each customer who abandons their cart at their own habitual open time to make the message meaningful and have them follow through on their purchase.
ActiveCampaign makes it easy to send your messages at the right time to your contacts with automation. Contacts can enter an automated series once they meet specific conditions to do so. Once a contact is in an automated workflow, you can send emails after a specific period of time (timed wait), until further conditions are met (conditional wait), or reach customers at the perfect moment with predictive sending (Marketing Professional and Enterprise plans). These options allow you to engage with contacts at the right time so you can provide the most value to your messaging.
Learn how to send perfectly timed messages.
What types of content will you send to contacts?
Take a step back and really think through the types of content you will be emailing to your subscribers.
For example, are you going to onboard new clients? If so, you'll probably want a Welcome email series with tips to get started. Will you be notifying contacts of a new product, feature, or whitepaper? If so, you may want to have a dedicated email message type that tells them about your new release and tell them how it can help them solve a problem or do their jobs better. Will you send emails to contacts if they abandon their cart in your ecommerce store? If so, you'll want an Abandoned Cart email series and remind contacts to complete their purchase.
Knowing what types of messages you'll be sending will help you with your email marketing strategy and determine what information you should collect and store about your contacts. This information can be used to create segments, personalized content, and help you determine when to send these emails.
Gather data about your contacts
With ActiveCampaign, you can gather and store different types of data about your contacts. Gathering information about your contacts helps you better understand them, what they need, how you can meet their needs, and how they can be segmented.
One way to collect information from contacts is to ask them for it by having them submit a form. With this form, you offer a discount or a free resource for subscribing. Contact information can be collected on your form using custom fields and stored in contact records. You can also set up site tracking and track which web pages contacts visit on your site.
You can also gather and store contact data from:
- 3rd party integrations
- Event tracking information
- Items or services they purchased or abandoned from a Deep Data Integration
- Email link clicks
- And much more
Segment your contacts
A segment is a subgroup of contacts that you can send highly targeted email campaigns to. Creating segments lets you send the right message to the right contacts based on information available to you in your account. You can create segments based on tags, standard and custom field information, website visits, actions a contact took, contact or deal score, and more.
Sending targeted email campaigns to a segment is a quick win for creating and sending value-added emails. When contacts receive messages that are relevant to them, they're more likely to pay attention to your campaigns. This will create a positive feedback loop where your campaigns are opened more and receive more clicks.
Using personalization and conditional content is another great way to add value to your emails. With ActiveCampaign, we make it easy to create content tailored to individual contacts. When a contact sees that you took the time to thoughtfully address them and their needs with an email specific to them, they're more likely to engage with you.
We automatically generate personalization tags for every custom contact field you create. In addition, your account comes with a list of standard personalization tags. Each of these tags can be inserted into your communications.
When a personalization tag is used in either the subject line or body of a campaign or automation email, the value of that tag will automatically be inserted once the communication is sent to a contact. When the contact opens the communication, they will see the value for that tag and not the tag itself.
Learn more about Personalization Tags.
Learn how to insert personalization tags into emails.
Learn how to personalize a subject line.
Conditional Content (Marketing Plus, Professional, and Enterprise plans)
Conditional Content allows you to send different content to different contacts using a single campaign. For instance, you could:
- Display a different product image depending on what a contact is interested in.
- Insert a different offer depending on what stage of the customer lifecycle your contact is in.
- Send a different informative article based on what problem a contact is trying to solve with your product.
This type of personalization is a way to increase the relevance of your messages for each individual contact. This type of personalization will improve your relationship with your contacts, increase your open rates, improve your conversion rate, and improve deliverability.
Learn how to use conditional content in your emails.
Focus on the needs of your contacts
Focusing on the needs of your contacts and staying away from language that is "salesy" is a sure way to add value to your emails. Tailoring content to meet your contacts' needs will help you nurture a meaningful relationship with them and build trust with your brand. When creating content, you'll want to make sure you're sending content that the contact is expecting to receive and consider the following questions:
- What is important to my contacts?
- How can this email help meet their needs?
- How will my content benefit my contacts/solve a problem?
Share stories and resources
Sharing success stories from customers can go a long way in continuing to provide value with your marketing emails; it is proof that your product or service benefits others and doesn't ask for anything in return. Success stories demonstrate why and how a customer used your product or service to solve a problem and may inspire others with similar issues or questions to purchase.
Offering resources for free also demonstrates value and can differentiate your brand. Resources you can offer via email include guides, PDFs, or e-books that are relevant to your audience.
Learn how to share files with your contacts.