User-generated content (UGC) has a widespread appeal because it evokes a psychological response, which leads people to believe that a brand is worth trusting. It is effective for creating credibility, but you can't just sit back and wait for UGC to come to you. You must take matters into your own hands and ask your customers for it.
We'll look at how you can include UGC into your email marketing strategy in this guide, as well as why it's so powerful.
Table of contents
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content is any written or visual material contributed by a company's users. It includes images, videos, reviews, social media posts, and testimonials. It can be contributed by customers, brand loyalists, or employees and helps in improving the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
In the example below, Teleflora is requesting customers to create content for them by taking a picture of their bouquet that they bought from the company in exchange for a reward.
Where does UGC come from, you ask?
Employee-generated content (EGC) demonstrates the value and story of your company. A video of your employees discussing why they enjoy working for you establishes your brand identity and can be used in email campaigns to show authenticity.
- Brand loyalists
This audience demographic is excellent to reach out to and ask for UGC content because they are loyal to the brand and want to support it. This loyalty gets people to trust the brand. They get a chance to participate in your brand's growth rather than being mere spectators, which increases brand loyalty.
Your customers are the most notable group from which you'll seek UGC, either because you've asked for it or because they've chosen to share content about your business on their own.
A majority of the time, UGC is discovered. For example, customer reviews on websites, YouTube, or social media. Other times, UGC is sought. For instance, when a company holds a contest in which consumers are asked to submit photos of themselves using their product.
Related guide: How to Use Email Gamification to Boost Your Emails
Why is user-generated content important?
Here are some reasons why UGC is an excellent approach to generate relevant material for your email marketing campaigns.
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Increases conversion rate
Source: Search Engine Journal
The conversion rate of visitors that see UGC in all industries is 5.65% as compared to those that don’t according to Search Engine Journal.
Related guide: 6 Effective Tips To Boost Your Email Conversion Rate in 2022
Boosts community growth
As technology advances, user-generated material acts as a digital version of word of mouth marketing. The best aspect is that social media has allowed UGC to reach a larger audience in a shorter amount of time. When people create UGC and the brand shares it or acknowledges it, they feel seen and this helps build a tight-knit community. For example, when someone gives a negative review, the brand acknowledges it, fixes it, and responds to their feedback.
Shows brand authenticity
According to a survey by Nosto, consumers find user-generated material 2.4 times more authentic than branded content. They also find UGC 9.8 times more influential than influencer material when making purchasing decisions, as per the same survey. Thus, UGC helps develop deeper audience relationships, driving brand loyalty.
If you are an email marketer who wants to make the most of your campaigns and stand out you need to start planning and sending emails that people want to open. Customers will want to open emails that their content has real value and it’s authentic. And what’s better than the content created by your own users? Also, most of the time, it's free! - Maria A on why UGC in emails is important
You will pay a small price if you host a contest to collect UGC. You may promise to reward the winner of the contest with money or run paid ads to publicize the contest. Even so, running a UGC campaign will be rather inexpensive. Not to forget, you can get access to UGC for free in the form of reviews from actual users, social media mentions, etc.
How to get UGC with emails?
This is a step-by-step process of how to get UGC via emails for increasing your product usage and engagement.
Step 1: Set a clear objective
Keep track of keywords and trends you know are related to your business and set clear goals about which ones you want to optimize through UGC. You can start by tracking queries and concerns about your company on social media. Determine whether the same questions are asked before and after your UGC campaign by listening to social discussions.
Step 2: Create a strong subject line
If the email you’re using to collect UGC doesn’t have a compelling subject line, your marketing efforts will go down the drain. To draft a subject line that gets you more opens, read our guide on winning email subject lines.
Step 3: Personalize the message
Make a personal connection with each recipient by including their name in the email's greeting. You can include merge tags in your email code, which will be substituted with actual content when the email is delivered. Even if the email is automated, it demonstrates that you put some thought into it.
Related guide: An Ultimate Guide to Creating Personalized Emails
Step 4: Tell your audience what content you seek
Make sure you're on the same page with your expectations. Ask for the precise type of UGC you want straight away, and be specific in your request. For example, we incorporate examples of surveys our clients generate in our newsletter. This strategy demonstrates the functionality of the survey component and encourages other customers to use it.
5 email templates to collect UGC
We explored different techniques to collect UGC at Mailmodo and found that our email templates are the most effective for turning your customers into advocates. To help you collect and manage UGC, we’re sharing our 5 most prized email templates.
Testimonial request template
You can request and collect testimonials from your clients via interactive AMP emails which you can use as social proof for your brand. Snag our testimonial request template ASAP.
Market survey template
This market survey email template is a dark-themed interactive AMP template for conducting surveys to get in-depth information about customer satisfaction. You can repurpose this data into a social media post or use it for your lead magnets to show how happy customers are with your product or service. Check out our personalized market survey template.
NPS survey template
Use our interactive NPS survey email to get feedback from your consumers which you can spotlight on your landing page for gaining trust, authority, and credibility. Click on our NPS survey template to recreate a survey that converts.
Restaurant evaluation template
Get an effective evaluation from your customers with interactive AMP emails. You can display the positive reviews on the testimonials and reviews page or promote them on your homepage. You can even integrate praiseworthy words into your menu, helping visitors get personally recommended dishes from your older customers. Grab our restaurant evaluation template.
Opinion polls template
Collect actionable insights from this opinion polls email template which can help you validate whether the implementation of a marketing strategy is working or not. Sign up to customize our opinion polls template.
User-generated content tips
Here are some tips to gather quality content from your users.
Always ask for permission instead of being demanding. You must respect your customers’ decision whether or not they send you UGC. Avoid the hard sell by including a statement in your email letting them know it's acceptable if they don't want to contribute.
Don’t forget to examine and evaluate your UGC efforts. You can read our case studies of how our clients are using Mailmodo to collect UGC to gain a thorough understanding of the metrics we track for each campaign.
Don't post every review you get; only include the ones that are the most beneficial to your audience. You can invite people to submit photographs or videos via a form to ensure that you have a steady supply of new user-generated content to send out in future emails.
Aside from reviews, you may also incorporate UGC that relates to the subject of your email newsletters. If you send an email marketing campaign for your restaurant, try to include photos or videos of customers' favorite meals.
Have a contest. Encourage users to submit user-generated content, such as a photo or a review, in exchange for a lottery entry. This will allow you to collect positive contributions.
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Collect user-generated content with Mailmodo
We make use of a variety of distribution platforms to promote all of the wonderful UGC we receive. We see no reason why you shouldn’t steal our strategy! Mailmodo can help you in collecting valuable user-generated content with interactive AMP emails. Read our guide on AMP emails to send responsive emails and see the results roll in directly inside the email without being redirected elsewhere.
What you should do next
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