How to create great emails for "boring" niches

27th Oct 2016

So, you market insurance, toilet tissue, cleaning products, plumbing services, or some other equally as “boring” product or service. You have an email mailing list, so that you can offer discounts and special offers or maybe introduce an addition to your product line. But unless you are offering discounts and new products every week, you don’t have much to say in those emails,

So, you don’t send many emails. Unfortunately, you are missing a great content marketing opportunity. Your emails can be engaging. They can be fun and they can be educational. How do you make toilet paper any of these things? Read on.

Accept that your email is content

You write content for your blog and for all of your social media channels. Your emails should be no different. They should engage your customers/potential customers just like your Facebook and blog posts do. As you think about topics for you emails, think in the same way you do for other posts. When you do this, you will find great subjects for emails. Here are some things you can do.

Ask engaging questions in the subject line and answer them in the email

Journalists ask the questions – who, what, where, when, how. You can do the same with our emails. Take toilet paper, for example, here are some subject lines:

  • Who invented toilet paper?
  • What was the first toilet paper made of?
  • Where was toilet paper invented and first used?
  • When was toilet paper first carried in stores?
  • How many squares of double-ply toilet paper will do the job?
  • Why doesn’t toilet paper come in colors?

Believe it or not, you can Google “Types of Toilet Paper” and the very first entry is a site that gives the history of toilet paper, how toilet paper is made either from trees or recycled paper, how it is softened, how it is bleached and imprinted in designs, etc. From that site alone, there are probably 50 more questions that you can craft. Why some cultures don’t use toilet paper, for example.

Research questions people are asking about toilet paper

If you search just the term toilet paper on Quora, you will find another 24 questions – questions that people are actually asking. There are also questions on toilet paper holders. Again, these can be questions that are posed in your email subject lines.

Drive people to sign-up for a set of emails that will be delivered on a schedule

You can advertise your emails as providing some cool information/education and you and package them in bundles and invite people to opt in to them. Roma Caravans, a company in Australia has done just this. It has a checklist guide, for example, with such topics as:

  • The Caravan Checklist budget and towing capabilities.
  • The Caravan Checklist caravan types.
  • The Caravan Checklist engineering and design.
  • The Caravan checklist fit out and finishes.

The series of emails can be delivered through an automated service to anyone who opts in.

Use current events

Suppose you sell insurance of some type, or several types. Recently, there have been car scandals (Toyota) and, even more recently, a severe hurricane. These types of events can provide topics for emails that can be quite timely. And if you come up with a compelling subject line, they’ll be opened.

Embed videos

Videos are the most viewed content on the web. If you have explainer or “how to” videos on your site or social media channels, put those into emails too. You will have email subscribers who do not access your site, your blog, or your social media platforms. Make sure they get this cool content too. It would be wasteful not to do this. You might be a paint and deck stain company and you might have “how-to” videos on deck staining. Send that video in an email.

Tell customer stories

You can feature customers and their uses of your products or services. WD-40, not a particularly exciting product, has had a running campaign for users to submit unique uses of the product. These lists are updated all the time and posted everywhere. They are also sent in emails.

Use holidays in unique ways

Of course, every company uses emails on holidays – they offer discounts, promote appropriate products, etc. through emails to their subscriber lists, etc. You can use lesser holidays to provide humorous emails. Below it a Twitter Post from Charmin to celebrate Father’s Day – this can easily be posted in an email too.

Show your social responsibility

Companies that support causes or that demonstrate environmental responsibility are popular with millennial especially. If your business supports a cause or has gone solar, for example, you should feature this through emails, publicizing your activities. If you have a charitable campaign, provide the details and ask your subscribers to participate by making a purchase. Maybe you are making a donation for each purchase. Do good and ask your customers to do good too.

This is a good start point of ideas for using your emails, even when your product or service is boring. It may not be exciting or “fun,” but your emails can be. The more variety you can put into your emails, just as you do all of your other content platforms, the more those emails will be opened. And the more your emails are opened, the more your brand stays in your readers’ memories.


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