5 Ways to Boost Your Email Performance with User-Generated Content

By Megan DeGruttola - May 31, 2018
4 mins read time
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Although there are more ways than ever for brands to connect with audiences, email remains one of the best and strongest channels at marketers’ disposal.

While the latest social networks and messaging apps might generate a lot of excitement and focus within today’s marketing teams, email still proves to be the most cost-effective digital channel for brands.

But it can be hard to stand out in people’s crowded inboxes.

To capture people’s attention, your emails must not only be personalized and relevant, but also fresh and engaging.

As readers of this blog know by now, the abundance, authenticity and visually compelling nature of user-generated content (UGC) makes it a marketers’ best friend — but also a secret weapon for boosting email engagement.

The proof is in the inbox. On average, our customers see an 8 percent increase in email click-through rates by featuring UGC in their email marketing campaigns.

The proof is in the inbox — Stackla customers have seen an 8% increase in email click-through rates by featuring UGC in their email marketing campaignsClick To Tweet

And the more creative you get with your emails, the better results you can drive. So here are 5 ways some of our customers are using UGC to create more engaging emails for their audiences.

1. Create a Fun, Seasonal Campaign

“Nothing beats the feeling of going full summer.”

With this sentence, McDonald’s kicked off their Australian summer marketing campaign, encouraging people to indulge in the season by treating themselves to some Macca’s.

While the main purpose of the email was to drive app downloads and inspire repeat purchases, McDonald’s was able to bring their campaign to life by highlighting their customers’ “Macca Summer Moments” in their emails. Not only did this add an authentic, personal touch to their emails, but it was also used to encourage other customers to share their McDonald’s summer eats.

2. Provide Inspiration in Targeted Promotions

“Born to fly?”

As part of their ongoing, personalized email promotions, Jetstar Airways sends subscribers special sales offers around their birthdays.

In addition to sharing birthday sales and holiday packages, Jetstar users real traveler photos to help inspire people to book a birthday adventure — showcasing the incredible experiences other Jetstar customers are having in various destinations across the Asia Pacific region. And by including clear links to air fares under each piece of destination inspiration, they’re helping to expedite the booking process for interested audiences.

3. Build Excitement Around An Event

“See for yourself, Thursday nights After Dark.”

San Francisco’s Exploratorium is a public learning space that allows people to explore the worlds of science, art and human perception through one-of-a-kind experiences and exhibits.

Every Thursday night, they host an adults-only event called After Dark where people can enjoy alcoholic beverages while exploring over 650 of their interactive exhibits — from a large-scale kaleidoscope to mind-bending mirrors.

To drum up excitement around these regular events, the Exploratorium sends email newsletters to their database featuring their latest exhibits as well as real, dynamic social content from previous After Dark events. UGC provides them with a compelling and cost-effective way to show off the unique activities they have to offer while further exciting and engaging past attendees by shining a spotlight on the content they’ve created.

4. Cultivate a Community

“Here’s to hitting a performance goal this weekend.”

With their Halo Sport headset, Halo Neuroscience created the first headset that stimulates the part of your brain responsible for muscle movement, promising to help users refine their motor skills, boost their endurance and strengthen their minds and bodies.

To help build an active community around this niche product, Halo Neuroscience created a #HaloSports livestream webpage and an email newsletter to highlight why and how people were using Halo Sport while encouraging others to share their Halo journey.

Regularly demonstrating how other people are using Halo Sport to achieve their goals helps provide motivation to the rest of their customers and supplies a trustworthy source of third-party validation for consumers browsing their website.

5. Host a Competition

“Share your favorite little-known experience.”

Since they’re known for their authentic, tailor-made travel experiences, Audley Travel wanted to find a new personal and interactive way to engage their audiences.

So they decided to create a space on their website to showcase the inspirational posts their travelers share with them on a daily basis. And to help launch this new section of their site, they hosted a UGC competition, asking their community to share videos and photos of their best-loved and little-known travel experiences — whether it was a family-run restaurant in New Zealand or a secluded beach in Mauritius. The winner would be awarded a ten-day trip to Ecuador.

Leveraging email as the main channel to promote their #MyLittleKnow contest, Audley Travel used travelers’ social posts to not only demonstrate how people could enter the competition, but also provide inspiration to others — dynamically highlighting the latest UGC entries.

The competition was a huge success, as Audley Travel’s Head of Product Alex Bentley explained, “Discovering little-known experiences is what we seek to do at Audley and so it was fantastic to see how this campaign captured the imagination of so many others too.”

Learn more about how you can bring your emails to life with user-generated content.

See how you can start getting better content with less effort.

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