Email Marketing: What The Heck Do I Write About?

5 Content Categories for Effective Email Marketing

You’re sitting in front of the computer screen trying to write an email to send to your email list.

And nothing comes to mind.

Not. A. Single. Thing.

What the heck are you going to write about??

We’ve all been there at some point. And it’s painful. You don’t have time to waste figuring out what to say – let alone do that on a consistent basis.

So here are some ideas to get you going.

Five Content Categories

Good email marketing content falls into five categories:


This is what most people think about when they hear “email marketing”.

But, unless you’re running an online store, it should be the smallest percent of your emails – perhaps 10% of your emails would fall into this category.

Try offering discounts, bonuses for referrals, extra services for a limited time, or new services/products.

Focus on what’s in it for your readers, rather than the service or product itself.


This will be the majority of your emails. The goal is to educate your subscribers to help them understand the benefits of what you offer.

Think through the kinds of questions you typically get from customers. Answer them.

What are your service or product offerings? Describe the value that customers get out of it – how does it make their life better, easier, safer, more productive, etc.? They don’t care about your service or product, just about the benefits for them.

“Case studies” showcasing a particular customer and their results can work wonders (get permission first, of course).

Look at the typical problems your customers face. Show them how to solve those problems.

Still stuck?

Try looking at the questions people ask in online forums, blog comments, or sites like Quora and Reddit.

If you write a blog, or publish content on LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium, etc., then take a look at the topics that got the most engagement. Those a good candidates for your email marketing.

And ask questions. People love to feel that they’re valued and included. If you ask, they’ll tell you what they want to know.


What do your subscribers need to know? What would be helpful for them?

Inform them of upcoming events (e.g., talks, webinars, conferences, charity events that your involved with), changes that impact their lives (e.g., legal issues, new products or product recalls, weather), and what’s going on in your business (e.g., new staff, improved invoicing process, new services).

Keep the information timely and relevant to your readers.


This isn’t necessarily a content category that requires a separate email of its own – unless your readers expect to be entertained. But do try to work some of the “entertainment factor” into your emails. Not all your emails need to be serious.

Be careful with jokes, but consider including videos, photos of fun things related to your business, comics, and stories.

Relationship Building

Ultimately, the goal of email marketing is to build a relationship with your subscribers.

People who feel that they know you are more likely to like and trust you.

And who are you most likely to buy from? Yup – someone you trust.

So tell short (and relevant) stories about yourself, show people what a day in your life looks like, introduce your pet or family or employees, give a behind the scenes tour of your business.

Don’t be overly familiar with your readers but do give them a glimpse into who you are and what motivates you.

Let your personality shine through.

So, what are YOU going to write about today?  Let me know in the comments below!

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