UGC Email Strategy: How to Incorporate and Collect UGC With Email

The exciting thing about user-generated content (UGC) is that it’s an efficient type of content because of its authenticity and trustworthiness.

But, most marketers and brand owners seem to think UGC and email don’t mix.

Well, they actually can and do, and emails can be amazing for both sourcing and delivering UGC content to audiences.

So, how can you incorporate UGC into your email strategy?

This is what we’ll cover in-depth in our guide. Here you’ll learn:

  • Steps to incorporate UGC in email marketing
  • UGC benefits for email marketing strategies
  • How to source UGC with email campaigns

And lastly, we’ve got the secret “sauce” for collecting UGC with emails.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

4 Steps to Incorporating UGC in Email Marketing

How does UGC relate to email marketing? And how can you use UGC in email marketing campaigns naturally?

These two questions might be in your mind at this point. 

Most people think UGC is a component of social media posts for visual platforms, such as Instagram or TikTok.

In reality, UGC doesn’t have to include visuals. 

Any type of content can be effective UGC if it showcases the user experience of the brand’s products or services.

That might be written content in the form of reviews or testimonials.

As we’ve clarified this, you can jump into the ways to incorporate UGC in email campaigns.

Step #1: Show your customers

The first step to leveraging UGC in your email campaigns is using customer-generated content published on other channels.

By repurposing and distributing this content in your newsletter, your subscribers get content that feels more natural and authentic. 

The UGC you use in your emails doesn't just have to be text since visual content can be attached to your email. You can use both photo and video UGC. 

If video files turn out to be too large for your email marketing software, you can turn them into fun GIFs!

Through UGC, emails can become more personalized and satisfying to customers since visual content is gaining ground with 91% of consumers preferring visual content to written content.

Lastly, when you showcase satisfied customers in emails, you’re more likely to gain the trust of potential customers and convert them. 

UGC content in email marketing campaigns is a unique approach to engaging with customers bored by generic promotional emails. 

Step #2: Run a hashtag campaign

Looking for a way to source and use customer-created content?

Then consider running a hashtag campaign.

Creating branded hashtags is an excellent way for brands to encourage users to participate in their UGC campaign.

As a marketer or brand owner, you can create a branded hashtag and share it with your audience through an email update to source content.

Don’t assume that your email subscribers follow you on social media, so make a clear call-to-action (CTA) to trigger emotion in your recipients and get them to follow you on social media channels.

Adding a prize for the participants can also make things more engaging and encourage people to participate in your hashtag campaign.

Step #3: Use customer testimonials

As we’ve already said, UGC is all about customer experiences and reviews.

Brands share testimonials to create social proof and build trust with other people. When people see others recommending products or services, they’re more likely to think of that brand as credible. 

86% of people consider customer reviews an essential resource for purchasing decisions.

This is reason enough for eCommerce brands to share user testimonials across their marketing channels.

Using customer testimonials in email campaigns lets people know your brand is trustworthy and reliable. 

Just a reminder regarding testimonials, you need to choose the right ones that represent your brand values.

Step #4: Have your followers subscribe to your email list

This might be basic, but it’s shocking how often it doesn’t happen.

UGC is a valuable marketing tool for email campaigns but also works vice-versa—you can source UGC through email marketing.

And since these marketing initiatives are interrelated, you can capitalize on UGC to encourage people to subscribe to your email list.

You can do so through contests, discounts, or even by providing material from others who already receive your personalized emails and appreciate them.

Using UGC and email marketing, brands create a community of like-minded individuals that share the brand's values.

So, you now know all the steps to make your UGC fit naturally to your email campaigns.

But why use UGC, and what does it do for your emails?

Why UCG Benefits Email Marketing Strategies

UGC can be an effective type of content, but what about when it’s combined with email marketing? 

UGC can not only integrate with but also provide many benefits to your email campaigns. 

Here we’ll look in detail at the main benefits of using UGC as part of your marketing efforts. 

Let’s dive into it!

Highly cost-effective

Marketing departments are usually expensive for brands. 

As a brand owner, you’re probably interested in new ways to reduce the costs of marketing initiatives while gaining the same benefits.

So, UGC is a go-to type of content for efficient, cost-effective marketing initiatives you can incorporate into your marketing strategy. 

How is that possible?

Because you’re using content created by users, you won't have to think about production costs. 

The only cost will be repurposing this content to share on your digital channels, such as email or social media.

A survey's supportive insight indicates that every dollar a brand spends on creator marketing generates $18

So, brands can collaborate with influencers to produce high-quality UGC that their audience connects with.

You benefit from running unique and cost-efficient marketing campaigns by incorporating UGC in your email campaigns.

Solid return on investment (ROI)

Every marketing campaign aims to accelerate business growth with the highest return on investment (ROI).

This means that companies want to drive more sales and higher conversion rates while spending less on their marketing campaigns.

As we saw earlier, UGC campaigns and email marketing are cost-effective while they have a high impact on brands’ marketing campaigns.

78% of millennials find UGC especially helpful in purchasing decisions.

Also, 86% of people consider customer reviews essential before conversions.

These statistics show a clear preference for people to check out other customer experiences before purchasing something. 

Providing people with product reviews in emails makes them more likely to purchase them.  

In that way, brands drive more sales with the least expenses.

Builds trust

If people have already subscribed to your email newsletter, you’ve got their attention.

Still, you have to earn their trust to make them brand advocates and to avoid them unsubscribing from your list. 

What’s the solution to this daunting challenge?

Use UGC since it’s trusted 50% more than any other media. Also, 84% of people are more likely to trust brands if they use UGC in their digital marketing.

These stats indicate that the various types of UGC content help brands relate to their customers through engaging and authentic stories.

Finally, UGC leverages word-of-mouth marketing, one of the most powerful marketing techniques.

Word-of-mouth stands for recommendations from other people that help consumers make a purchasing decision.

As you can see, UGC works as social proof for potential customers.

Good scalability

What is the challenge that most content marketers face?

To find relevant content that the consumers care about.

And here comes UGC. 

56% of consumers say they’re anticipating more UGC content from brands.

Also, 67% of people say it’s important for brands to share more personalized experiences.

So you now know that audiences anticipate more UGC and by sharing content that connects with them, you create a stronger bond. 

As you see, UGC can be beneficial for brands' marketing initiatives. The following section will cover the step-by-step process of sourcing UGC with email campaigns.

How to Get UGC With Email

Now that you know about the benefits, you'll probably want to incorporate UGC in your email campaigns. 

But, wait! What if you don't have any? 

Don't worry, we'll guide you through the process of sourcing fun and interesting user-generated content.

The technique we’ll share with you doesn’t have any fancy parts. It’s a simple process that will encourage people to create content genuinely. 

That content might be a review or feedback you can repurpose and share through your digital channels.

You just have to follow the steps.

1. Set your SMART goals

The first step is to find all the necessary information to help you set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals for your UGC optimization efforts.

It’s essential to stay informed of keywords and trends related to your industry.

You can start by tracking the questions and concerns about products, services, and companies in your niche on social media.

Determine when and how you’ll leverage this information for your UGC marketing. 

Using a specific time boundary creates buzz and anticipation around your campaign.

Lastly, pick a specific goal based on the expected outcome to evaluate the whole process. 

That goal could be user engagements, subscriptions, or click-through rates.

2. Make your emails personalized

First impressions are key. 

That's why ensuring your UGC collection email stands out from the rest is essential. 

One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by personalizing your emails. 

By addressing each recipient by name in your greeting and incorporating personal details using merge tags, you can create a connection with your audience and make your email feel more natural. 

Even if your email is automated, the personal touch will demonstrate that you have put thought and effort into it, which can help improve the chances of a positive response. 

When your audience feels like they are being personally addressed, they are more likely to engage with your content and respond positively to your request for UGC. 

In short, personalizing your UGC collection emails can significantly enhance your marketing efforts and ultimately drive better results.

3. Be descriptive about what kind of UGC you’re looking for

When it comes to collecting UGC, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of what type of content you're looking for. 

This will help ensure that you and your audience are on the same page and prevent misunderstandings or wasted efforts. 

The use of descriptive language can be extremely helpful in this regard. 

Make sure to clearly explain what kind of UGC you want and what it should contain. 

Providing examples can also be very beneficial in illustrating your expectations and encouraging participation. 

By being clear and specific about the type of UGC you want, you increase the chances of receiving content that aligns with your expectations and goals. 

Since you’ve understood the theory behind sourcing UGC, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start collecting the user’s content.

Email Templates for Collecting UGC

In the following section, you’ll find email templates for the main types of UGC campaigns.

Pick the template that fits your content goals and adjust it accordingly.

Let’s jump into them!

Hashtag campaign participation template

A gentle reminder never hurts when it comes to encouraging customers to participate in your hashtag campaign. 

Encouraging customers to create content using your hashtags on their own is great, but a template can make the process even easier. 

Below is the template to get people engaged with our hashtags.

Template example:

Subject Line: Join Our Hashtag Campaign for {Product}! 

Dear {Customer Name}, 

We're excited to announce our hashtag campaign for {Product}, and we'd love for you to join us! 

Here's how you can participate: 

  1. Take a photo of yourself {With/Using} the {Product}. 
  2. Post the photo on {Name of Platform} and include our unique hashtag: #{Hashtag}.
  3. Sit back and relax! We'll keep an eye on the hashtag and re-post some of the best content we receive. 

We can't wait to see and share your creative photos with our followers. 

Together, we'll show the world the versatility and usefulness of {Product}. 

Thank you for your participation! 

Best regards, 

{Your Name}

Personal story request template

A customer experience communicated authentically is a great way to leverage UGC.

Through personal stories, customers relate with brands and create deeper relationships.

This type of content helps brands build a community with common desires and likes.

Template example:

Subject Line: Share Your Success Story with {Product/Service}: Inspire Others Today

Dear {Customer Name}, 

We are thrilled to hear about your positive experience with {Product/Service}. 

We are proud to have made a difference in your life, and sharing your story can help others facing similar challenges. 

With your permission, we would love to feature your story on our website and social media platforms to inspire others who could benefit from our {Product/Service}. 

We have created a short form with a few questions about your experience to make it easy for you. 

{Form Link}

Your story will be a valuable resource for others and help spread the word about the impact {Product/Service} can have. 

Best regards, 

{Your Name}

Testimonial request template

A genuine review from a customer is gold for marketers and businesses.

Testimonials are one of the best types of UGC that highly affect consumer decisions.

So, encourage your customers to produce a creative review representing your brand at its best.

Template example:

Subject Line: Let Your Voice Be Heard: Share Your {Company Name} Experience

Dear {Customer Name}, 

We at {Company Name} appreciate your support and are thrilled to hear that you're happy with our {Product or Service}. 

Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we would be honored if you could take a moment to share your experience with others. 

Your testimonial would be valuable as we strive to improve our services. 

Feel free to share your thoughts on {Testimonial Link}. 

Thank you for your support and for choosing {Company Name}. 

Best regards, 

{Your Name}

In short, you now know to leverage UGC through personalized emails encouraging customers to take action.

Let’s wrap this up!

Over to You

As you’ve learned, UGC and emails can mix in several ways to supercharge a brand’s marketing strategy. 

Only, the question is… where to find UGC in the first place?

The best way is to use tools like Insense that help you reach creators to produce content to incorporate into your emails. 

You can do so by booking a demo with Insense

We’re looking forward to your UGC email marketing campaigns.

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Kaylan Cavalcante

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