With new technology popping up in the marketing space on a weekly basis, it can be difficult to know what to focus on. Which tool is going to turn your company into a sales and marketing rocketship? Maybe it’s a social media analytics tool. Perhaps it’s native advertising. It’s possibly even that new CRM; that costs £15,000 a month, it must be good, right?

Probably. But there’s one solution that has such potential, such a mind-blowing capacity to transform a business, that it’s like…

It’s like…

The Large Hadron Collider


So what is it? Wellllll…………….it’s the combination of content and email marketing.

What do you mean underwhelming?

Look, it may not have flashing lights and thousands of settings to play about with, but email and content marketing combined can reveal to you the fundamental truths of your business – the Higgs Boson, if you like –  of where you get the leads that matter and the journey they go on.

And the best part? It doesn’t cost £xxxbillion to implement.

You may also like: Interview with Watertight Marketing founder Bryony Thomas

(Dark) matter of fact

So why is it so effective? Well, it’s all about that email address.

  • It’s direct – You may only get a click through rate of 15%. You’re still looking at close to 100% delivery into your contacts’ inboxes and there’s a very good chance that your email will be noticed, if not opened. How does that compare to your last tweet? (The answer: well.)
  • It’s your first step to marketing ROI. Once you get that email address, you know who you’re dealing with. And that allows you to ‘reverse engineer’ the steps to purchase.
  • It shows you what your prospects are interested in. Which piece of content encouraged them to sign up for your newsletter? Once signed up, what did they read? You can see all of this with free tools like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor.
  • It’s easy to set up, start and implement. You can do it all yourself with little experience. Or you can engage others with plenty of experience without too much expenditure.

Address to impress


The fact is, email signups are often the first opportunity for a small business to understand who’s on their website, who’s following them on social, who’s engaging with them online. If you can get an email address – you get a name. And if you have a name, you can understand who’s interested.

Once this person – let’s call them Dr. Cern – has signed up, you instantly have in-depth, personalised activity data. The stats show that Dr. Cern opens 50% of your emails and is particularly interested in this particular thing you keep talking about in your content. That’s a name, and a specifically targetable product or service right there. That’s enough info to sell to someone. So do that.

Once you’ve been email marketing for months rather than weeks, certain trends start to become apparent…and you can start to map the way prospects engage with you and your content. Now we’re lead profiling! You know who to talk to and how to talk to them, you overworked business owner you. Now we’re marketing.

And because you’ve got that email, you can see which of those great clients you’ve got came from the website, or were influenced by your email and your articles. ROI anyone? Oh yeah!!

So there you have it – the marketing fundamentals right under your nose. Content and email marketing, who’d have thought it? And you don’t have to invest £billions to discover the fundamentals and the route to growth. Just time, talent and back-destroying work (hey, the LHC wasn’t built in a day).

Of course, what’s outlined here is the top level. The ins and outs of creating that killer content, generating signups and doing the reporting is the hard, detailed slog of it all. Aren’t you lucky that we run a weekly newsletter that covers these exact things! (fancy that!)

This post Originally featured on the Business West blog but they edited all the fun out of it. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

Featured image credit: NIST Image https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyendra_Nath_Bose#/media/File:Bose_Einstein_condensate.png

Hadron Collider image credit: Photo Editor via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/11304375@N07/2046228644

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Tom is the founder of Future Content, a specialist content agency located in Bristol, UK. Tom is the winner of the 2016 'Acceler8' award for Entrepreneurial Leadership from RBS and Entrepreneurial Spark. You can find Tom on Twitter @HTSandford. If you ever visit Future Content's offices you'll find Tom near the table tennis table.

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