Repost Good Content, Personalize Emails, Develop a Journey, Rinse and Repeat

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"People forget about 90% of what they read after 12 weeks," Luis Hernandez, director of content and marketing for FDAnews, told us at last month's Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS). "Check your analytics and repeat your most popular posts every quarter."

Hernandez led off a powerful session titled Creating an Effective Email Series That Engages, Nurtures and Converts. Amy Wieman, VP of marketing for Business & Legal Resources (BLR), followed him. (Read my post on Wieman talking about BLR's 40th anniversary campaign here.)

"We're big believers at FDAnews that you should be sending emails regularly to your prospects—show how much you now. Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities vs non-nurtured leads."

Because almost half of emails are now opened on smartphones, making your email mobile-friendly is a must. Hernandez believes publishers should be sending content every day to their audience. And that your archives should be a big part of this, as should keyword research to focus content or choose new topics.

(Speaking of archives, I just received an email from the Air & Space Museum offering me their Pearl Harbor 75: Honor and Remembrance book—from a year ago—for $9.95. I'm sure they will get a lot of sales. As Hernandez said, bring back your good work.)

Here are more email best-practice tips from the session:

1. Your subject line should not be "Your Daily Email" or "Dec. 7 Email." It should be something that entices people about what's in the email.

2. Personalization is better. I also like when the "from" line is personalized. I just got a "Dear Ronn" email from Betty at Strathmore, a performing arts complex just outside Washington, D.C. She's the artist in residence director. Feels more human this way.

3. "Like any relationship, be honest and do what you say you are going to do," Hernandez advised. "Be clear." If your first email promises new benefits coming their way, those benefits should come. (I recently heard an example when this didn't happen—not a great way to start a relationship.)

4. Develop a content journey. Use analytics to identify best products. Send your initial email. "If they click on speakers, then your follow-up email should be just about that...," Hernandez said. "Repeat the content on all channels (web, email, social). If customers clicked on livestreaming, send them the new email just about that."

5. Look at other revenue sources. FDAnews earns revenue through livestreaming. Here's copy from one of their emails promoting an upcoming conference:

If you can't be in Washington in November, we understand... deadlines, family, budgets, etc.
But there is no need to miss out, because we've got an alternative.
The entire conference, including standout pre-conference workshops, is available in real time on your desktop.
Check out livestreaming options NOW. 

6. Use marketing automation to target your strongest leads.

7. Encourage forwarding to friends.

8. Use house ads for sales throughout the email (text ads work better).

9. Send email frequently and consistently—and at the same time of day, if possible.

10. Explore convert to paid. You gave them content that mattered—frequently. You've demonstrated expertise and showed them love. Your landing page makes sense. You followed up quickly. Go for the revenue!

11. "Look at what's already coming to your site. What are people landing on the most?" Hernandez asked. "Find the most frequently searched terms through Google Analytics."

12. You really CAN repeat posts every quarter—put on the new date and update it when necessary.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…