With the constant waxing and waning of market and technology trends, the biggest challenge in front of marketers is to sketch out a marketing plan which will keep them afloat both fiscally and strategically. Considering that people upload around 1.8 billion images every day on social media and 80% of web content is user generated content (UGC), marketers have zeroed in on it mainly due to its easy availability and social acceptance. Plus, its authentic and often in-situ nature makes it a unique insight tool relieved of biases and artificiality. As 92% of customers worldwide trust earned media over any form of advertising, it tells something about its unequaled persuasive ability. And the need, thus, is the proper and maximum utilization of such quality content. It’s realizable by putting UGC in emails.
All of a company’s marketing channels–from their social media presence to their blog and beyond–have their own significance, and intermixing them with UGC is a wise decision in any spread of analytical thinking. But a company is not putting its best foot forward with UGC if it’s not using UGC in emails. This is simply because email is, generally, the best performing marketing channel for ROI. According to dotmailer, emails drive £30.01 in returns for every £1 spent, making them the ideal tool for executing prominent areas of your marketing strategy. Their unobtrusive nature means that customers can view emails as per their convenience; something that telecallers or SMS alerts don’t allow. That’s what makes 77% of consumers prefer email for marketing communications.
Moreover, email’s status as a push channel creates the possibility to deliver personalized review content that’s relevant to each recipient, streamlining the customer experience by throwing away the “shop around” process. For all the brands who are vying for message relevancy and increased engagement from consumers, email usage can be a silver bullet.
Finally, email usage can rope in greater operational efficiency- even when you are using UGC in emails- due to email marketing automation reporting. With that at your disposal, you can have a detailed breakdown of your campaign’s performance, helping you to constantly refine your UGC strategy. It’s then not a lot of brain-work to understand why 20% of marketers say that their business’ primary revenue source is directly linked to email operations. It’s then as clear as day that email is more than just informing your subscribers about product releases or sending the occasional thank you note.
Different Ways of Using UGC in Emails
The aim should be to incorporate all the possible forms of UGC to create a compelling piece of email marketing. And ultimately, it should become a bridge of commerce between UGC and your consumers.
A) Product Reviews:
Product reviews are the trusted reinforcers of your product’s saleability. Through skillful targeting, the relevancy of these reviews can be further sharpened if paired with a strategic email campaign. Note that customer reviews boost click-through by 25% in e-commerce product emails. Naturopathica, the spa focused on holistic health, has been doing a commendable job by bringing feedback into product emails.
The noticeable thing about this email is the large product image, which is surrounded by three reviews. The email also has an incentive, as the bottom of the email gives a coupon code for 10 or 15 % off, depending on what size the customer purchases. The placement of the copy ensures that people won’t overlook what people have said in reviews.
B) User Generated Images:
User-generated images collected through Visual Commerce leave no place for guessing the functionalities, style, and comfort of the product. These illustrations make it quite easy for customers to visualize the actual worth of a product. And that stems from the authenticity. Maybe, that’s the reason why brands see a 25% increase in conversions when user-generated photos are used instead of professionally made product shots by brands. Images shared by users, thus, should have a place in your plan of using UGC in emails. Below is an example email from Buy Buy Baby.
This email is interesting because its main purpose is really just engagement. While sending happy thoughts to its customers, the email encourages them to contribute images too.
Such campaigns can easily earn extra credibility if you publish the first name of the individual beside the UGC. Or by linking that person’s social media account to his or her submitted photo. It validates the presence of that person. It does a lot in reassuring the email subscriber that you are highlighting real people in your emails.
Attentive minds would have guessed by now that the very meaning of branding has changed. It’s no longer what you as a marketer say about your brand. It’s all about what actual buyers of the brand say. UGC allows the proper amplification of those buyers’ sayings by sprinkling them sufficiently across purchase journeys. Inserting such valuable pieces of UGC in emails- something which platforms like dotmailer allow- gives the needed accuracy and relevancy in their right propagation. People generally check their emails at least once in a whole day. That’s what is at the core of the study, which says that using UGC in emails sees a 43% increase in click-through rates and a 2-3X conversion rate