Educate Customers through your Email Marketing Campaigns

There are many different types of emails that you can send to your clients; they don’t always have to be sales-related. Why not set up an educational email nurture campaign?

Case in point …

One night last week I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to catch up my my blog reading instead of tossing and turning.

Normally, when I come across an article that I really enjoy or think will be useful to me in the future, I save it to Evernote. However, this time I was using a different application on my iPhone than I normally do to read my blogs, so I had to email the article to Evernote, which I had never done before, instead of enjoy the auto-sync that usually occurs.

A few minutes later, I received the following email from Evernote:

Congrats! You’ve just emailed a note to your Evernote account. Did you know that you can send it to a specific notebook and assign tags to it? Here’s how:

  1. Select a destination notebook for your email by adding @[notebook name] to the end of the subject line.
  2. Add tags to your note by typing  #[tag name] at the end of the subject line. This feature works with existing tags in your account.
  3. To designate a destination notebook and add tags, be sure to list the notebook name before the tags.

An example subject: Fwd: Recipe for Bouillabaisse @Recipes #soup #fish #french

Happy emailing and organizing in Evernote!  Thanks, The Evernote team

How cool is that?

Evernote took the time to educate its users on how to use the product more efficiently. Most companies put together an introduction video and are done with it. But Evernote has subscribed to the school of thought that an educated user is more likely to stick around and use its product or service a lot more.

Columbia Sportswear sees sales increase through Educational Email Marketing.

Another major company who decided to test out email marketing campaigns for purposes other than just generating online sales is Columbia Sportwear. In early 2011, Columbia’s marketing team, though not giving up on sales-based emails altogether, began to shift most of its focus toward educating customers on the Columbia brand. “We wanted to focus on messages that are brand-building, and can engage our customers and educate them so they have all the information they need to buy our products in any of our distribution channels,” said Ali Norwood, Columbia’s Ecommerce Marketing Specialist.

Columbia’s new and improved email campaigns included:

  • Promotion and education of the brand and its products (e.g. “As waterproof as a nuclear submarine”)
  • Involving multiple departments within the organization to determine the marketing direction, ensuring tangible benefits for more than just the sales team

Despite a lack of clear, sales-based calls-to-action, Columbia’s email marketing click-through rates have increased 65%, proving that although the goal of us web marketers may be to see quick results, nurturing the customer through education of our brands and products can achieve much more effective and long-term results.

Setting Up Your Own Educational Email Marketing Campaign

According to MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, 91% of email marketers agreed that their email marketing efforts, even when direct online conversions were not achieved, were still helpful in garnering offline sales.

How can your company use email marketing to educate customers? How can a customer’s life improve by using your product … or by using it in a different way?

This article originally appeared on LyntonWeb.