By Phil Hill published July 17, 2012

Your Best Options for Sharing Content Through Email

sharing content through email, CMICreating quality content is now a prerequisite for social media marketing efforts. Let’s have a look at how email marketing is keeping up with this changing landscape.

New guys on the block

More and more marketers are using email to deliver content. You’ve probably started seeing these digest-style emails from your favorite sites recapping their top content.

Here is a pair of examples (click picture to expand):

The problem is that most of the traditional email service providers (ESPs) are not built to create these content-driven emails.

You can use the RSS feature that most bulk providers offer to pull all of the articles from a website, but this doesn’t work if you want to mix and match content from different sources.  Fortunately, there are a couple of new startups that are trying to solve this problem by making it easy to curate and share content from multiple sources. My company, FlashIssue, and XYDO are two such newcomers to the newsletter business.

FlashIssue takes content you have published — namely, your blog — and allows you to blend it with content you find (curate). The finished product is a social newsletter that can be shared through email, Twitter, or Facebook.

XYDO assumes that you don’t have your own content to publish; it instead provides curated content that others have published and mashes it in to an email digest.

What they get right:

  • You can quickly send personalized content to prospects and customers.
  • It’s easy to mix and match your favorite content from multiple sources.
  • All newsletters are optimized for mobile — no clunky templates required.
  • They integrate with most ESPs.

Where they can improve:

  • Theme/template options are limited.
  • Adding list management options inside the product
  • Call-to-action buttons for selling products and advertising
  • More integration options with all ESPs and CRM products

The traditional options

Although most ESPs are set up primarily to send traditional announcements, they are also good for sharing content. These providers allow you to manually add content to a template, and most have an RSS option that will grab all the stories from a specific website.

Here is a pair of examples (click to expand):

 

Here is some additional analysis on the different options that are available:

Companies like MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, GetResponse, iContact, Campaign Monitor, and Vertical Response are good solutions here.

What they get right:

  • All have a number of attractive template options.
  • Most give each newsletter a unique URL for easy social sharing.
  • It’s easy to add graphic content to templates.
  • Most make it easy to add your content through an RSS feed.

Where they can improve:

  • Reduce the learning curve for first-time users.
  • Templates often break between the formatting and publishing stage.
  • Make it easier to mix and match content instead of a blanket RSS pull.

If you need to get content out quickly, try going with an ESP that has a lower learning curve. Three such providers come to mind: MadMimi, MailerLite and BombBomb (focused on video email). All focus on making it simple to get a social newsletter out quickly, without a lot of hassle.

What they get right:

  • They are built for DIY marketers, not just email experts.
  • Interfaces are seamless and easy to use.
  • It’s easier to get started than with other ESPs.
  • They include standard campaign reporting and tracking.

Where they can improve:

  • More features for advanced users.
  • Make it easier to integrate content from multiple sources.
  • More robust design options for professionals.

It all comes down to personal preference, end-use scenario, and budget. Either way, the important thing is that you’re delivering content that resonates with your audience.

Want more content marketing inspiration? Download our ultimate eBook with 100 content marketing examples.

Email image via Bigstock

Author: Phil Hill

Phil Hill is Founder & CEO of FlashIssue, a curation platform that allows you to rapidly create content for email and social media campaigns. Phil is a successful serial internet entrepreneur with a passion to fix problems faced by business people like himself. In his spare time he loves to mountain bike, build tree houses and hang out with the family (he is also a retired improv actor). Contact Phil at Phil@Flashissue.com or on Twitter @philhill.

Other posts by Phil Hill

  • http://twitter.com/Rogercparker Roger C. Parker

    Thanks, Phil: Fascinating from the content point of view as well as an excellent example of tight, helpful writing coupled with great visual examples.
    Roger

  • http://humanwebsite.com.my/ Kent

    Thank you very much Phil. At least I know what good and bad for Aweber! :)

  • mariawilliams672

    Great article.. this is so helpful… thank you so  much for sharing it