Navigate to the websites of some of your favorite brands — large, medium, or small — and pay attention to their sidebars and footers. Here, keeping common website design approaches in mind is where you’ll likely notice prominent newsletter signup forms.
Website positioning aside, take stock of the value proposition posited in conjunction with the opt-in form. In doing so, you may end up finding that, more often not, there isn’t one.
Businesses can be quick to assume that if you simply build the form, the submissions will come. But doing so suggests that readers should automatically know what they’re going to get in exchange for their email address.
With over 100 billion emails sent every day worldwide, readers are experienced enough in the art of sifting to automatically know only one of two things about your businesses’ newsletter: if it’s worth opening or if it’s total garbage.
That’s right. You can spend all the time in the world carefully calculating subject line wording and structure, throwing in emojis, and optimizing strategy. But if the content of what you’re distributing to your readers doesn’t resonate, you’re likely better off not sending anything at all.
Alternatively, consider why sending a content roundup email instead of something totally self-promotional could be of more benefit to your company’s long-term marketing goals.
There’s a Difference Between Email Marketing and Email Newsletters
The reason why many businesses fall into the lackluster email newsletter category is because of their tendency to approach this tactic from an email marketing mindset.
As SendGrid discusses, email newsletters are only a piece of the marketing puzzle — defined by their own sets of expectations. Newsletters are for relationship-building. They don’t push products, they connect audiences to brand narrative.
This is done through the distribution of content that draws a line between the problems a brand’s audience is looking to solve, and the solutions a brand has to offer them. You’re creating valuable touchpoints that help consistently keep your brand top of mind, whether it means they buy in that moment or at a future date.
Content Roundup Emails Are Trendy for a Reason
If you cringe at the idea of a content roundup email for no other reason than that it’s been done before, it’s time to reevaluate this thought process.
As Neil Patel so eloquently says, “In a world where information floats around freely online, every effective content marketing strategy can’t be a kept secret”.
In other words, of course you’re going to end up doing things that other companies have done, are doing, or will do. Mainstream tactics become that way because of their ability to prove effective.
The reality of the mainstream is that while everyone may be doing it, only a small subset of the whole is actually doing it well. So, your businesses’ email newsletter approach shouldn’t be one of completely reinventing the wheel, but instead, building the best possible wheel for your audience’s needs.
How can your company perfect content roundup emails in relation to your specific business goals and reader interests?
We’ve got a few ideas.
Inadvertent SEO Benefit
The beauty behind a content roundup email is multi-faceted. Brand affinity aside, what you create for the sake of each newsletter has the ability to be repurposed and impactful for your businesses’ other marketing channels as well.
Backlinks, for example, are one of the most important SEO tools for building your brand’s online visibility. They tell Google, as a result of number of shares and who’s sharing, that the content you’re creating has both authority and relevance to the subject matter being ranked for.
With this in mind, content roundup emails serve as a means of building relationships with not just your readers; but featured experts that could be of value in promoting your brand through their own channels. Think of it as a tit for tat sort of exchange.
You can evolve these roundup emails to further benefit your backlink strategy with proactive outreach to the writers and publications you’re featuring. Offer to do exclusive interviews, invite them to guest blog, and/or solicit quotes that provide a unique piece of expert advice.
In time, you’ll likely find that these types of newsletters and relationships they foster can end up heavily influencing the evolution of your team’s overall content production strategy over time.
Prove Your Inbox Value
New product announcements, exclusive deals, company news — there’s a time and place for these types of communications. In conjunction with your larger email marketing strategy, time will reveal the right cadence and segments worth focusing on for the sake of conversion optimization.
But the value of an email newsletter shouldn’t be focused on conversion. Because again, it’s content-based by nature.
Opting for email sends that are totally self-promotional 100% of the time fails to consider the complexity of your audience’s needs. They aren’t simply on the hunt for your product or service. Prior to signing up for your company’s newsletter, they may not have even known your product or service existed.
So, how can you truly expect that hitting them over the head with a sales pitch alone is going to get the job done? Especially when you’re up against the potential value shared by other emails filling up subscriber inboxes.
A content roundup email is an approach that shows that your team looks at each customer as more than just a number. They’re individuals you’re willing to guide and engage with in relation to a brand mission that goes beyond “sell stuff”.
Final Thoughts: Instead of Focusing on Self-Promotion, Send a Content Roundup Email
There’s no one right way to go about sending content roundup emails, but there are many wrong ways to go about self-promotion.
The effectiveness of your sends will inevitably be a factor of whether messaging aligns with the timing of what readers are interested in, when. Your subscribers are participating in an exchange, after all — their email address for your brand communications.
Make sure it’s material that proves the price was right.