Consumer-generated Content or User-genrated Content includes all kinds of contributions made by customers and consumers. Many of our previous posts have focused on image-based earned content such as pictures and videos. As Consumer-generated Content includes many other formats it can be integrated into various outlets and channels, one of which is e-mail marketing. This post offers an overview of different kinds of Consumer-generated Content that can help you improve your e-mail marketing by making the most out of the earned content.

Many brands and businesses animate their customers to share different kinds of Consumer-generated Content, whether it’s an image of their new purchase on Instagram or a product review on their website. Often, they fail to include the highly valuable earned content they received in other channels to make maximum use of it. This can be due to the missing knowledge about the extensive possibilities. Consumer-generated Content is the ultimate way to promote your products and services in a diverse and authentic way. It allows you to let your customers speak for you and ultimately they will speak to each other.

Integrating Consumer-genrated Content into your e-mail marketing will allow you to personalize your contact with customers and subscribers. The e-mails you send them are a great way to keep them up to date and make them feel like an important part of your business. As you display current information and offer insights into the latest news and inner workings of your company, customers feel involved and connected to you on a closer level. Since you’re able to address your customers rather directly, it is advisable to include the earned content into the e-mail marketing, making it more diverse and authentic.

1. Displaying Consumer-generated Content-images

The more you actively encourage your customer to share their own images with you, the more diverse and high quality content you receive. If you ran a social media contest including UGC, you can share your favorite image with your customers through your newsletter or a special e-mail. This way, you can reinforce the reach of your campaign and honor the participants again. At the same time, this will allow you to inspire further purchase through diverse content.

The same can be applied to continuous contests or call-to-actions you run to receive Consumer-generated Content. Use your e-mails and newsletters to regularly highlight the best pieces of UGC you have received. This will, once again show gratitude for the earned content and you can offer your subscribers diverse content.

If you are promoting a specific product that is on sale or has received large positive feedback in the form of UGC images, make use of them through e-mail marketing. Including images of a product you are promoting gives the e-mail a visual component that most consumers heavily rely on. Highlighting that the displayed images have been shared by previous customers, adds another level of reliability and trust into your brand as you are showing your customers that other people are satisfied enough with your product to share an image of it.

2. Integrating product reviews or ratings

The opinion of peers and other users are highly influential for customers and should therefore be used for your e-mail marketing. Additionally, you are making product research easier for your customers as you are displaying reviews and ratings right with the product itself, ensuring the e-mail you send them is actually worthwhile and a valuable input for them.

When promoting a special product that has gotten large amounts of positive feedback or you are running a sale, it is always advisable to include reviews or ratings from customers. They share their opinion on social media, on your website or send you an e-mail to share their thoughts and feedback. As these earned content are from real people sharing their own experiences, other customers can relate to their opinion and use it as a reference point for their own purchase decisions. Consumer-generated Content in the form of reviews and ratings are the digital version of word of mouth recommendations. You are offering your customers a room for their own thoughts and enable them to communicate with each other. By publicly displaying these conversations you reinforce the importance of your customers’ opinions and that you value the time and effort they put into sharing it with you.

3. How do I receive high quality Consumer-genereated Content?

Lastly, we want to highlight all the different possibilities to receive high quality Consumer-generated Content. For call-to-actions you include on social media as well as contests and giveaways, the important ingredient is a branded hashtag. Choose a fitting and memorable hashtag that you want your customers to use when sharing their images. The hashtag will help you to find the content quickly.

Additionally, you can ask your customers for contributions on your website. Animate them on your cover page by telling them how important their opinion is to you and ask them to share their images or rate their favorite products. The same can be done throughout different stages of the online-shopping experience. When delivering products, include a little card that calls on their participation and offers short and easy guidelines on what kinds of contributions you are looking for and where to share them. You can then use this earned content for marketing purposes.