6 Ways to Use Evergreen Content in Your Email Program
When there’s an ever-growing list of content to create, the phrase “evergreen content” is music to content creators’ ears.
As its name suggests, evergreen content is relevant year-round, consistently engaging readers no matter the season. Not only is it good for your audience, it’s good for you too. After all, if you can squeeze more value from the content you’ve already created, there’s less new work to do.
If you’re looking for ways to use your evergreen content more effectively, email is a good (and sometimes overlooked) place to start. By adding these enduring email strategies to your to program, you can grow and engage your direct audience without crafting new content.
1) Include evergreen content in your welcome emails.
Welcome emails routinely earn higher open rates than the typical newsletter because 1) readers expect to receive one, and 2) it provides confirmation that they signed up successfully. Take advantage of this high engagement by directing your new subscribers to some evergreen content. Linking to a high-quality article or two can get them excited about the emails that follow, helping you to increase engagement over the long run.
2) Send new subscribers an onboarding email series of your most engaging content.
Your email subscribers will likely never be more engaged than they are at the beginning of the relationship, so sending a series of top content early in the relationship can help deepen engagement at this critical point.
Your welcome series could include a varied assortment of high-quality enduring content, a selection of articles about a single topic, or even a single article sent one part at a time. If readers know they can look forward to a series, they’ll get in the habit of opening each day. When it comes to creating dedicated audiences, such reader habits are invaluable.
3) Show off top content in your email newsletter template.
Your newsletters don’t have to be all-new content. Publishers like Wired, which boast a long history of great content, link to evergreen articles in each newsletter. To quickly deploy this content in each send, you could create a module in your newsletter template to feature evergreen content, perhaps even positioning it as a “best-of” or “from the archives” article if appropriate.
4) Link helpful content in your editorial email copy.
Even editorial-heavy digital publishing newsletters may need additional context to tell the story. Keep your eyes out for ways to provide this context with the content you already have. For instance, if you have a particularly helpful explainer on a topic in the day’s news, be sure to link it in your email copy. It allows the already-educated readers to stay engaged within the email while giving other readers the opportunity to learn more (not to mention, click through to your site).
5) Turn your top content into a standalone evergreen email series.
Marketers often turn high-performing articles into larger pieces, such as e-books, to generate leads. If you have a body of informational content that can be reasonably paired together, you can also use it to create an evergreen email series that grows your audience.
Harvard Business Review takes this approach with their educational email courses, combining the focus and high engagement of a pop-up email series with the educational value of a training course. So far, it’s paying off:
“For one thing, email engagement tends to decline over time; short-run newsletters don’t ask readers to sign up in perpetuity. Therefore, they tend to have higher engagement. They also help publishers focus on a particular audience. And that focused relationship is between the publisher and the user, not mediated by social media algorithms.”
Encouraging current subscribers to sign up for this series can deepen their engagement with your content, while promoting an enticing series on your site will help you earn new email subscribers.
6) Use your evergreen content to convert new subscribers.
If an article is regularly generating new visitors to your site, you have a great opportunity to turn that passing traffic into members of your direct email audience! All you have to do is collect their email address, and you’ve got a direct link to this reader.
For this, make sure your email capture strategy is working in your favor. Adding inline forms to your articles will show visitors your newsletters at the peak of their attention, while active capture widgets (like sliders or sticky footers) will grab their attention without being intrusive. Increase your odds of converting a subscriber by aligning your capture form copy and creative with the on-page content, emphasizing that new subscribers can expect to see similar content in their inbox.
Additional tips for using evergreen content.
Once you’ve identified how you want to use evergreen content in your email, here are a few ways to use it effectively.
1) Choose your evergreen content with care. Look to your site analytics to pick content that’s driven consistently high engagement. Pay attention to metrics like time spent on page and traffic source: an article that’s perpetually popular on social may not resonate with more attentive email readers. Of course, you can also follow reader feedback. If a topic generates significant user interest, it might be worth rolling out a whole series.
2) Look for ways to keep your subscribers engaged. If you choose to send an evergreen email series, don’t let their engagement end when the series does. Promote your other newsletters throughout the series, then use the final email to make the big newsletter cross-promotion push and showcase other emails they can receive.
3) Don’t rest on your laurels. Remember: it’s evergreen content, not eternal content. Even your best content may require tweaks over time. Perhaps new information becomes available, or you want to incorporate user feedback. Making incremental improvements as you gather more insights can help you drive even more value from your evergreen content.
Using evergreen content saves time that can be better spent elsewhere. Another way to make more efficient use of your day? Automation. Grab our Automation Solution Guide to reduce manual work and get your time back.
Editor, PostUp PlayBook