Columbia Sportswear has woven content marketing and email marketing to] improve open and click-through rates.

Shifting from promotional to informative content, Columbia Sportswear’s email marketing campaigns now focus on converting users through education. Sending emails that include information about products and the Columbia brand rather than just promotions has helped the company ramp up open rates and CTRs.

According to Columbia, since it made the adjustment, its email marketing open rates have increased 40 percent and click-through rates jumped 65 percent.

An example of the new content marketing included in the emails is an article discussing gift ideas. While any link the user clicks will have calls to action somewhere on the page, the content referenced in the email message simply discusses picking out gifts – an idea relevant to their target audience – and positions Columbia’s apparel as a solution.

The calls to action included are centered on relevant information as well. Rather than using solely on web conversion and buy-oriented CTAs, Columbia has focused heavily on linking to related product pages, providing information for in-store conversions and offering phone numbers for users to contact the company if they have questions or prefer buying over the phone.

Columbia also uses images paired perfectly with its email content This is something marketers should learn from – for their email content as well as their broader web content marketing campaigns. Brafton recently reported that the use of relevant images can help improve the appeal of content.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.