Content And Context In Email Marketing

At a recent conference on email marketing in Florida, Amazon’s Donald Parsons spoke about the importance of conversation in email marketing, as in talk about something the recipient wants to discuss. He gave an example of how he and his friends would spend hours talking about their hometown Boston Red Sox, but the conversation would be much shorter should, say, the Yankees come up.

For the primary target of a vast number of companies large and small -- moms -- I think that point is well taken. The example, however, leaves me a bit bewildered, as perhaps it did at least half the audience of female marketers. Not that moms don’t love baseball … it’s just that example is perhaps not as relevant to email marketing to moms. 

So let me try again.

While social and mobile marketing tend to capture the imagination of marketers, the less glamorous email marketing campaign is a highly effective tool for connecting with consumers and, especially for an e-commerce company, one of the best tools for lead generation and driving traffic to the website. But when discussing email marketing – the conversation quickly turns quantitative. Now it seems times have changed, and the role of creative in content development has engaged the email marketing world as well.

Moms are addicted to email. Email lets them connect with friends, keep track of kids’ grades, stay current with local specials, get reminders for doctor’s appointments and know when the hottest summer camps are open for registration. Into this mix of everyday modern parenting brands pitch their latest sales and newest products.  

It’s tempting when developing the latest email campaign targeted to moms to get marketing-centric and talk about what the brand is doing. “Brand Y’s Mother’s Day Promotion” versus “3 Easy Mother’s Day Breakfasts Even a Toddler Can Make.” The latter headline is the type of context that cuts through the clutter, increases click through rates and drives traffic. Better yet, segment the list into children’s ages and create headlines that speak to mothers of tweens and elementary age kids, “Mother’s Day Recipes for Junior Cooks” and  teens “ Teen Approved Recipes for Mother’s Day.

Context for moms often is driven by the ages of their kids, particularly the eldest. Keeping this in mind when developing email campaigns keeps the conversation between brand and mom going!

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2 comments about "Content And Context In Email Marketing".
  1. Michal Clements from Insight to Action, Inc. , May 15, 2013 at 9:55 a.m.
    I particularly like the headlines that are age specific, e.g., Recipes for Junior Cooks, Teen Approved Recipes and also that these headlines bring in moms' #1 topic of interest- Food. This year, the Marketing to Moms Coalition research shows Food is moms' #1 interest (and dads' #3). As a mom, I love to cook with my young adult children, and we particularly enjoy new recipes that leverage fresh vegetables and fruits of the season. We are eagerly awaiting the opening of our local farmer's market (in Illinois).
  2. Maryanne Conlin from RedRopes Digital/4GreenPs , May 15, 2013 at 11:35 a.m.
    Love your research, Michael - Taking that interest in food and developing it into email marketing programs that provide mom with "news she can use" can make a big difference in open rates and CTR!