Many email marketers use side columns as a space for links, but these columns also offer some unique opportunities. Really, the beauty of these columns is that they are the perfect place for all the odds and ends – the things that may not fit anywhere else, but are essential to display in your email newsletter.
But what are those odds and ends? More importantly, how do you make them fancy? Coming up with the exact content for a side column can be tricky, because the information has to be scannable and laser-focused.
Here are five creative content ideas that might help fancify your newsletter’s side column:
1. Remind readers about services
Only sending sales emails is never a good thing if you’re trying to build a long-term relationship, but reminding email subscribers about your services doesn’t hurt.
Sunset Hills Automotive, a car service shop in Reston, Virginia, uses the side columns of emails to offer people the chance to schedule appointments and request estimates. And also shows off some of the shop’s awards!
2. Showcase customer testimonials
There’s no easier way to show off your product or service than showing a smiling customer alongside said product or service.
For Minnesota-based trumpet bag manufacturer Torpedo Bags, this is easy – after all, trumpet players who play for everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Beyonce use the bags – but any business can benefit from using photos to concisely show just how happy customers are.
3. Update donors on a nonprofit’s status
Fairy DogParents, a Massachusetts-based animal assistant organization, uses the side columns of emails to announce news and upcoming events, but also keeps a running tab on the impact of donations. This directly shows how much each contribution is helping with the Fairy DogParents mission.
4. Offer useful resources & articles
The San Diego French-American School has a staff that takes turns contributing content to each newsletter, so communications consultant Mim Britton keeps things organized with a number of quick links within the issue.
The newsletter also offers the opportunity for parents to get an inside glimpse of school materials and forms that may otherwise get lost on the trip home.
5. Provide bite-size tips
Whole Foods Penticton, a grocery store in British Columbia, occasionally uses the side column to share nutritional information. This is a trick that anyone can do – whether you find something interesting on Google or just think of something your customers may enjoy.
It’s all about the balance
Aside from the valuable, micro pieces of content that you can share within a side column, there are structural benefits: by spotlighting material in the column, you can provide an easily scannable email that helps readers find what’s most important to them.
Do your emails have side columns? How do you use them? Share your thoughts below!