Email marketing is still one of the largest distribution and engagement channels for content marketing efforts with more than half of marketers  sharing content through email newsletters, according to CMI. Like all of content marketing, the challenges of successful email marketing campaigns center on getting audience attention in a busy and crowded space.

Improved Open Rates and Click Rates

Email campaigns, no matter how well planned, won’t be successful if the intended audiences never read your content. Getting audiences to engage in email marketing messages means that we must overcome the first barrier to engagement, opening the email. Once we’ve cleared that first hurdle, our next challenge is to provide compelling content within the email to encourage continued participation and click throughs to other content or forms.
Successful email campaigns have two things in common, they have compelling subject lines and they are written to address the needs of the audience. To stay relevant and improve your email open rates and click rates, create subject lines and email content based on the words and phrases your audiences are already using when they search for answers to their questions and challenges online.
Here are five ways you can improve your email campaigns by using search data to write subject lines and emails that compel your audiences to open and click.

#1. Subject lines that compel audiences to open emails

Subject lines are the key to improving open rates. If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for the magical formula that will help create the perfect subject line every time. While there is no magic wand, there are resources at our fingertips that can help us to capture the attention of our target audiences through email.
If you’re looking for fresh ground to plant your email seeds, try using a keyword discovery tool to find the keywords your audience already associates with your brand and industry. Knowing the topics your audience is searching for, but that you haven’t capitalized on yet, will give you a way to freshen up your email subject lines and attrScreen Shot 2016-06-29 at 2.55.12 PMact audience members who haven’t opened your emails yet or don’t open them regularly.
Of course, once someone has opened an email, you want to follow-up with the content you promised and provide interesting and helpful information. Using keyword discovery, you’ll not only have a new list of ideas for email subject lines, you’ll also have a list of topics for blog posts, videos, eBooks, or whatever medium you’re using to effectively engage your audiences.

#2 Engage audiences with topics they’re already interested in

If you have topics that drive visitors to your website and create conversions, capitalize on the keywords associated with those searches and use them in your subject lines and in the body of your email copy. Using keyword ranking data, you can identify which of your keywords appear in the top spot. Set your timeline filter at the monthly view to see what’s been popular for the last 30 days.
Keyword ranking distribution for marketing dashboard
Once you’ve identified your top performing keywords, use what’s already working for you to engage your email audiences. You can use keyword tracking to further qualify your best keywords for subject lines and email copy by looking at the content audiences are engaging with once they find you through search.
Determine which of your highest-ranking keywords to use in subject lines and email copy by comparing:

  • Corresponding content to keyword or key phrase.
  • Number of times the keyword was searched in the last 30 days.
  • How many visits a specific keyword generated.
  • Number of conversions for that keyword on your site.

#3 Use content insights to create interest

What blog posts or pages on your website are getting the most views? Use your content insights to capture the topics your audiences are already engaging with and use the associated keywords for email subject lines. If audiences are reading content on your website, chances are they’ll open emails that address those same topics.
social engagement data for marketersYour email subject lines can capitalize on topics that are most popular right now by using your social engagement data. When you know what content is being shared on your social channels, you can find the keywords and topics that audiences are interested in today. Use your social engagement data to track what content is being shared and what questions are being asked and answered on your social channels and by your most popular content. Then, use the questions and comments being used by your audiences to craft subject lines that mirror the language they’re using now. Keep your emails up to date and addressing current trends by using your social engagement data to inform email campaign messages.
Knowing which blog posts and landing pages are most popular among your social audiences will also help you to decide what links to include in your emails to drive audiences to your website and ultimately through to conversion.

#4 Win audiences back from your competitors

The competition for audience attention has never been as fierce as it is now. If you aren’t engaging with your target audience, someone else is. Find out what content is gaining attention in your industry and discover topics that your competitors are addressing that you aren’t.
Use competitor intelligence to identify hot topics by seeing the exact content your competitors are using to attract audiences. Once discovered, you can use competitor insights to develop your own content or email subject lines to win your audiences back.
competitors chart keyword insights
Besides the competitors you know, discover other brands or publications that are garnering audience attention and find the latest hot topics and identify the content that’s outranking you in search. Then, create content around those popular topics and promote them through emails with subject lines that match the keywords associated with them. Now, you’ve solved two problems – what new content to create and what new email subject line to write.

#5 Tell a story beyond your product

If you’re identifying and tracking audience behavior and preferences for your content creation efforts, it makes sense to use that same data to generate email subject lines that compel audiences to open and read your emails. Think of your email marketing campaigns as you would any content marketing effort and provide helpful, informative information based on audience needs and desires.
Use your email marketing efforts to build relationships with your audience and begin a conversation that can continue on your website or on social media. Creating a unified message within all your marketing channels will help your audiences understand who you are without creating confusion and conflict. Telling a story that transcends your own product offerings and provides helpful, relevant information will help you build a loyal following of readers and email subscribers that will look forward to your regular email sends thereby naturally increasing your open rates.
Your audiences are already searching for information on the web and on your site. Find out what they want to know and create content and emails that answer their questions and give them the information they’re looking for. Search data will give you the insights you need to meet your audiences with the information they want and provide thought leadership and helpful advice.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get the search insights you need, give us a shout and we’ll show you around the platform.