Email content is part science, part art. Coming up with regular campaigns shouldn’t be left to whims, but be based on real data, insights about your target audience, and leveraging what you already know about your audience. As an eCommerce marketing agency that manages the email content strategy for more than 100 stores, we understand how important it is to have a content strategy that talks directly to your brand’s audience. To achieve this, we go through a deep research process every single month to come up with relevant campaign ideas that will make people engage with our emails to increase brand awareness, nurture relationships, boost revenue, and create brand advocacy among the audience.
So you are in the perfect place to figure out how to plan your email marketing content strategy using insights about your audience. There are plenty of tools that can help you get those insights, today we’ll take a look at Klaviyo, Google Trends, Google Analytics, Social Media, Competitor Watch. Hang on tight, we’re going on a crazy but essential ride for all marketers and eCommerce store owners.
1. Email performance and data from your email marketing platform (Klaviyo)
What better way to find out what your audience likes, and what they don’t, than by checking your past email performance. Here at Hustler Marketing, we work predominantly on Klaviyo – a marketing automation platform that automates SMS and email marketing and has amazing features related to analytics and segmentation.
Here’s how to use Klaviyo’s feature to gauge insights on your audience:
a. Past campaigns performance
Go to the Analytics tab and create your own custom dashboard to check for best and worst-performing campaigns based on click rates, unsubscribe, and spam rates.
This will help you identify the campaigns that were most engaging to your list (the ones with higher click rates) and the ones that were not relevant (the ones with atypical high unsubscribe and spam rates). Keep these insights in mind when preparing your email content strategy.
b. Link activity
What’s great is that you can even go into the analytics of each of these campaigns and check what was it that made your audience click the most! Let’s see an example of a campaign in this account.
As you can see, 58% of clickers clicked on the main banner, this is good because we see the first thing they saw was engaging enough to click it. However, 42% needed a little more convincing and checked the rest of the email before clicking.
Now, it’s normal that the last block in the email has fewer click rates because people probably clicked on one of the first blocks instead. What is interesting about this data is, if you can check this out regularly, you will start to see patterns. For example, maybe people aren’t clicking on the main banner of your campaigns, and that’s an issue because that’s the first thing they see and what defines if they will go through the rest of the email, so you need to consider improving the copy and/or design. Or maybe there’s a category block that always gets a lot of clicks, then you could prepare a campaign focusing on that category only.
c. A/B testing
You can also find valuable and specific insights for your email content strategy, by performing different A/B tests and letting the results speak for themselves. You can try out different subject lines, test long vs. short copy, lifestyle pictures vs. flat product pictures, offers, etc. Remember, test just one thing at a time, so you can be sure of the results. Also, you’ll have to A/B test the same variable a couple of times before getting conclusive results.
2. Ask your audience
Who better to give you insights about your target audience, than your own customers. There are a couple of ways to gather info from them through Klaviyo, which is ideal so you can use that info to improve your segmentation.
a. Use flyouts
Use this kind of sign-up form to ask questions to your audience like their birthday, if they’re vegan, if they are looking to buy for newborns or toddlers, etc. Whatever is relevant for you and your brand. When they answer, a new profile property will be created, so you can then segment people based on their answers and send them super personalized and relevant content.
b. Send surveys/questions
You can do something similar to the flyouts, but with short and fun surveys at the end of your email campaigns. Or you can send one campaign with a couple of questions and offer an incentive for those who answer. Using profile property tags you can add people to segments according to their answers! And send each segment more tailored content.
3. Get insights from Google Trends
Google Trends is a platform that pulls the data from Google searches in order to give insights into the frequency of the search of certain terms. You can even filter based on country, time frame, categories, and languages. It also shows topics and queries related to the keyword entered in the search, that’s what is useful for our email content strategies.
If you search a term related to your business, you can find topics your users are searching for that can be relevant to your content strategy. Let’s say you are a women’s apparel brand based in the United States, a relevant term for your business could be: spring clothing (since we’re just beginning this new season).
We can see the search frequency for that term has been rising since December 2021. This can hint you for next year about when you could start to make spring-related content according to your own launches and business goals.
Let’s take a look at the related topics and queries. As we can see, people searching for “spring clothing” are also searching for:
- Jumpsuits & Rompers
- Spring dresses
- Spring tops for women
What can you do with this information? Push these items on your email campaigns with product showcases and sales for those specific items. You already know there’s a good chance your list is searching for that on Google, so why don’t you make it easier for them and suggest products you know they’ll love from your store.
Search the trends for other relevant terms for your brand, plan some interesting campaigns with those angles, and put them to the test!
4. Use Google Analytics as a starting point
Google Analytics is a platform that enables data collection, analysis, visualization from website traffic as well as reporting and integration with other apps. This web analytics service can help your brand identify the trends and behaviors of your customers and leads, by giving you a starting point from where to start more in-depth research.
This platform has many useful features, but in this article, we’ll focus on: demographics, interests, and content drilldown.
To which conventions should your copy conform? Knowing where your audience is located will help you answer that question. In this example, more than 30% of the audience is from the United States, so national holidays like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day should have a place on your calendar.
Get to know your audience by doing some research about the culture of the countries where most of your audience is located in, that way you will know what tone you should use in your copy and what things you should and shouldn’t mention.
Who is your main audience? Gen Z, millennials, gen X, or baby boomers? Marketing something for Gen Z is completely different than marketing for baby boomers. What’s the difference? The way they see the world, and therefore brands, changes from one generation to the other.
Once you know what age your customers are, dive deep into the studies available about that generation. This can help you have useful insights about what kind of content they consume, what are their favorite social media, what do they think about before buying from a brand, etc.
For example, Gen Z is more likely to look for information about green and sustainable brands before purchasing. While baby boomers may focus more on the relation price-quality.
Although the world is every day less black and white (or pink and blue), knowing if your audience is mainly conformed of women or men is essential too. If you sell apparel, and your audiences are equally male and female like the example above, then you could push campaigns where you talk about all your unisex styles!
Google Analytics does a great job in helping you identify your audience’s interests based on their searches and behavior online. Use this to your advantage.
Let’s take a look at this baby brand. Their leads and customers are 30-minute chefs, value shoppers & family-focused people. Although these terms can be self-explanatory, it never hurts to look into Google’s actual definition for each of these groups.
Believe us, once you read those out, you will be filled with great content ideas for your email content strategy.
In a previous post, we talked about 7 Types of Email Campaigns You Can Add to Your Content Strategy. One of those email ideas was the repurpose of successful blog posts into emails to boost engagement. The content drilldown feature helps you identify the best performing posts, which gives you even more insights about what your audience is interested in hearing from you.
In this example, the most popular blog posts are the ones in which headlines contain words like “should” or instructional language:
This suggests that the audience perceives some authority in the brand.
This feature can also give you insights on the most viewed products in a certain timeframe, as well as the ones receiving less traffic or purchases. This could be a good opportunity to create a BOGO sale: buy 3 of the least selling products, and get a best seller for free! Or the other way around, it all depends on your product, your margins, and your audience.
5. Social Media & Competitor Watch
Most, if not all, of your social media audience, is also likely to be on your email list. That’s why social media can provide a lot of insights into your existing audience and is a good barometer of what they like. If you see a particular post did well on social media, turn that into an email and vice versa. You can also check your competitor’s profiles to see what are the topics they are talking about that are engaging people, and consider preparing a campaign around them, but adding your own twist to it.
A great way to know what your competitors are up to is the Facebook Ads Library. Search based on location, brand or keywords, ads that have been published on Facebook. Take a look at the kind of angles they are using for their ads, what kind of pictures, or the tone.
Don’t forget to be aware of trending topics and formats on each social media platform that can be relevant to your brands, so you can adapt those into an email marketing campaign. Interactive social media formats are especially interesting, check some examples here.
To get even more specific emails about your competitors’ email strategy, sign up for their newsletters with a personal/generic email address. Once you start getting emails from them, think about what time they are sending campaigns, are the emails coming from automations or campaigns, what are the most engaging subject lines, are emails using plain text blocks, what major themes they are tapping into, or do they have a branded design, etc.
Once you have all this information, analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your competitors’ email strategy. After this, decide if there’s something they are doing you’re missing, or if there’s an opportunity to differentiate from the competition.
This is a process that all the Account Managers here at Hustler Marketing go through each month and quarter. This research allows us to gain a deep understanding of the audience of our clients. This is the starting point to create a campaign calendar and then work on the copy and design of each campaign to get the final results. Let’s take a look at one example from a baby apparel store,
In our research, we noticed this brand’s audience are 30-minute chefs (and really busy parents), so the team created an Easter-themed campaign with a couple of quick recipes using carrots (which kids may not be fans of, but parents definitely are). The click rate for this campaign speaks for itself!
This is just one example of all the campaigns we send daily. As you can see in the following graph, this quarter we’ve sent 117,764,417 emails and brought $4,385,735 for our clients.
If you are ready to plan your email content strategy, remember that you need to invest your time in doing research to understand the audience you are talking to. If you need some help, book a free call with us.