There’s a lot to like about the email below received last week from Radian6, makers of social media monitoring tools (and recently acquired by Salesforce.com.) Most notable: not once in the entire copy is the company or product mentioned. This is content marketing, pure and simple.
What I like:
1. The headline: “Strategically Social: 5 Keys to Becoming a Social Business” promises a specific, tangible learning benefit (“5 Keys”), drawing the reader into the copy.
2. The very first paragraph identifies the offer immediately, in terms that promise insight and information of value. Note that whereas there’s no mention of the product, the people most interested in what the ebook has to offer (“…how companies are integrating social tools and strategies …”) are by default those that will be interested in Radian6 solutions.
3. The graphic image at right adds visual interest (in an illustrative style consistent with the company’s brand and Website) but not in a way that forces vital selling copy down the page. (Even with images turned off, the only things missing in this email are the illustration and the company logo at top left.)
What I’d change:
1. I understand the purpose of “Download the free 12 page eBook now!” at top right – it ensures that the reader sees a call to action immediately, without having to scroll down the page. However, placed as it is, it seems arbitrary, somewhat redundant, and detracts from an otherwise cohesive design. A better option might have been simply to introduce a call to action in the first paragraph, as in:
“Download this free ebook by Brent Leary and learn how companies are integrating …”
2. In the second paragraph, the use of first person (“We dive into five high level areas …”) is jarring and unnecessary. This could so easily be converted to a more action-oriented sentence, in a way that speaks more directly to the reader:
“Inside, discover the 5 key areas where being strategic is transforming the relationship …”
3. On the one hand, I appreciate the list of bulleted topics in that it gives substance and detail to the offer and what the reader will learn if he/she responds. Some of the topics, however, are vague, lack tangible benefits, and aren’t particularly compelling. Prime example: “Automation and Integration: Creating Social Business Processes.” Wha …?
A more effective alternative, rather than simply copying a list of topics from the table of contents, would be to cherry-pick key learnings from throughout the ebook:
• the 4 core philosophies that consumers carry into social channels, and how companies should respond (Page 4)
• why a structured, strategic approach to social media increases the odds of building longer, more valuable customer relationships (Page 6)
• why leveraging social media to improve interaction with current customer can have a more immediate impact than marketing, branding and promotion (Page 9)
In sum, the Radian6 email demonstrates a simple truth of content-based demand generation: you don’t need to sing the praises of your product to be effective. If your offer appeals to the very same people facing the challenges and problems your product can solve, you’ll generate good leads regardless.