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How To Leverage User-Generated Content In Your Newsletters

How To Leverage User-Generated Content In Your Newsletters

When unpaid contributors (usually your target audience) create and publish something related to your brand, it’s known as user-generated content or UGC. There’s no limit to what the content can be, with blogs, reviews, social media posts, images and videos all being valid forms of UGC.

A famous example of a successful UGC campaign was when Coca Cola released their personalized bottles and cans. By strategically using popular names for each part of the world, the “Share a Coke” campaign was a massive success. Coca Cola kept the momentum going by having its audience share pictures (UGC) of their named drinks on social media.

The customer subsequently became the advertiser. This was no fluke – UGC content is extremely effective. One study found that 86% of millennials consider it indicative of a quality brand. But how can you incorporate it into your marketing emails? The following are some tips to help you leverage UGC in your newsletters.

Contests

Today, UGC contests are a mainstay on social media and a popular strategy for collecting content. Companies also hold them on their websites. What many businesses don’t know is that UGC contests can be incorporated into newsletters as well. Start by writing an email informing users about the terms of the competition and how they can participate.

Be sure to include information about the prizes they can win. Keep it simple with discounts, subscriptions, and small gifts. This method is effective because people love competition. As an added bonus, you can rake in a high amount of quality images, testimonials or other content to use in your marketing efforts moving forward.

Personalization

Personalization is more than just a marketing buzzword; for newsletters, it’s essential. You can use social media and website analytics, coupled with sales data, to get a better idea of your customers and their behavior. From here, you can separate them into different market segments and send out tailored content accordingly.

Where UGC comes in, is that you can use what you’ve collected to create targeted messages for your subscribers. This is a great way to personalize your emails, improve deliverability and boost open rates. You can also use UGC to send custom emails with unique content for different subscribers.

Themes

As you may already know, the way your emails are designed and structured plays a major role in the performance of your campaigns. This is why it helps to occasionally look through some successful newsletter samples to get a better idea of what an effective theme is made up of. So, what does this have to do with user-generated content?

Not all UGC is created equal. Some can do wonders for your marketing, while others might fail to meet your quality standards or align with the theme of your campaign. Ensure that any UGC you use is suitable for your brand tone and voice. You can achieve this by setting up the campaigns where you collect the UGC to ask for certain kinds of content.

Written Content

While UGC is most often associated with visuals like images and video, written content has great potential when used effectively. This is especially true if you incorporate it into your newsletters. Reviews and testimonials written by your users are not only a great way to showcase the quality of your product or service, but to also encourage others to join in.

Incentivizing customer feedback really drives the latter point home. Perhaps by posting a review or writing a testimonial, users can be rewarded with a discount or special offer. Then, you can use that UGC to give the visual content in your emails a human touch.

Remarketing

For most businesses, the vast majority of their sales come from repeat customers as opposed to new ones. Email marketing is a good way to create a larger group of buyers that keep coming back. This is mainly done by using analytics to determine what products or services are being bought, why, and how often.

You can send your subscribers UGC content including products or services that they would be most likely to purchase at a specific time. A similar effect can be achieved to reduce abandonment. For instance, fashion retailers can send customers who abandoned their carts UGC with images of people wearing the clothes they wanted.

While that can be achieved with professionally photographed models, there’s usually a much greater appeal for images of regular people wearing those clothes, further exemplifying the power of UGC. At the end of the day, the potential here is only limited to your own creativity, so don’t hesitate to think outside of the box.

User-generated content is clearly a winner for email marketing. You can use it to collect valuable content, then share it with your subscribers to improve engagement and add a human element to your newsletters. Following a combination of the above-listed methods will go a long way in making this happen.

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