How Can I Best Use Email to Distribute Content?

From an Interview with marketing expert Brooke Morrill (bio at the end of the post).

January 18, 2024

What does it mean to email your customers all the time without actually emailing them?

This is great because writing out an email takes a lot of time; however, if you write an email that has awesome content and performs well, you can add it to an email flow, which a lot of your new customers can use. There are a lot of different email flows you can set up along the way. If you do something once, you can set it in a flow so that people keep getting emails from you. You only had to do it once. So, it is definitely a saving grace.

What are some of the good cases and scenarios for using an email flow, and what types of content can you include?

I definitely recommend all different types of email flows. If you are starting out, it might seem like a big process, and it definitely can be, but start out small. If you are selling something, start with your post-purchase email flow, where you can discuss payment. Whenever they are buying, they get that post-purchase confirmation. You might throw in some information later as it gets closer to being shipped. This is how to take care of it. Something that will trigger when the product is actually shipped. There are a lot of different things you can put in there; it just depends on what you are selling.

If you have a loyalty program, you can do that through email flows. You can send people emails on their birthday or if they have earned enough points to redeem for some kind of discount. There are so many different things that can be the reason why you want email flows. They can sit on the back burner, and it is like you are kind of cloning yourself. Your time is limited. So, why not? Your audience will keep getting emails. It reminds them of your company, and then they may continue to buy depending on whatever email you are sending them.  

How do you distinguish between the type of information to put in an email flow and information you would use only once?

We are usually looking for email flows that are pretty evergreen; emails they can get any time of the year, and it still makes sense. So, if it were specific to summer, holidays, or Christmas, we would definitely skip that one, even though it is probably great. We will just save that for the next year. We generally end up using more of our brand stories and foundational blogs that help people buy or understand our content. Wherever they are in their customer journey, we are saving that to add to a specific flow so then more people who subscribe later on can get it. That is generally the rule of thumb. We also make sure the ones that perform the best and are evergreen are the ones we keep sending. Anything that flops kind of gets the cutting block and does not make it.

How long are some of these email flows? Are they a matter of days, weeks, months, years? What kind of time ranges do you actually build with these?

It depends on the different email flows. I guess it depends on what someone is selling, but you would not have more than a couple of weeks at most. Our welcome flow lasts longer. Anytime someone subscribes to our email list, they will enter our welcome flow. So, we will send them a welcome email, and here is a discount. That email flow is so long because they can consistently get emails for a long time. I think that is built out anywhere from six to eight months. By doing this, we are staying top of mind for these people who are getting the emails, and for a lot longer, instead of relying on our one-off emails. It has definitely increased our revenue.

How do you organize everything that you are doing from one-offs to flows and everything else?

I believe having a task management system is valuable. There is a lot out there that everyone uses. We track a lot of stuff, like our content and editorial calendar. Something specific that has helped is with messaging. If we have done a cell before, how do we need to write the same type of email but with our updated content? Eventually, I created this system of taking screenshots of the emails, putting them in folders in our Google Drive based on the email type, and then going back. It is really fascinating seeing the differences in how we have said things and then noticing that it really worked or that we did not even put something in there. Now, we have come so much further, and I think it has helped a lot. We have also been able to look back at these emails and say that was really awesome. We need to throw that in a flow. There are a lot of different processes, but staying organized is definitely a key in order to make everyone function properly.  

Have you experienced new team members benefiting from your organized documentation process?

Yes! I am sure a lot of people have experienced this going from two different companies and wondering what the new practices are. It can be hard finding examples. Sometimes, you are hired, and everyone else is too busy, so you have to rely on a lot of diffident hacks that you know yourself. That is one of the reasons I love the term tribal knowledge, and I tried to create a database for our tribal knowledge for myself and my team members. We do not have to think so hard, and we know what to do next. Let us rely on our own foundation of what has already been said. I definitely encourage that if anyone is looking for a system to get organized.

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