4 Creative Ways to Add User-Generated Content to Your Emails

Building confidence, developing trust, and demonstrating authenticity.

Those are just a few ways that user-generated content (UGC) can strengthen your eCommerce brand’s email marketing efforts, but that’s not all.

Leaning on UGC is also a great way to stand out from your competitors, demonstrate your commitment to your customers, and consistently prioritize authentic, meaningful engagement… especially when you get creative with it!

So, to help get the UGC ball rolling, here are a few creative ways to source and incorporate UGC in your next email marketing campaigns.

1. Host a Contest or a Challenge

If you’re looking to generate new, creative, and high-quality UGC, then hosting a contest or challenge is a great way to do it.

Launch your contest or challenge among your subscribers, detailing the content that you’d like (with specifications) as well as rules for submissions. Then, put a ton of emphasis on the “prize” for participation. Whether it’s a chance to win a free product or a gift card for the “best” submission, your subscriber’s UGC deserves a reward!

2. Run an Interactive Poll, Survey, or Game

If your eCommerce brand doesn’t have a ton of UGC, or you want to refresh what you have, you can easily gather more insight by gamifying the process.

Asking for UGC through an interactive element – like a poll, survey, or quiz— is a great option for two reasons. First, it keeps things simple. Doing a short quiz is much easier than filling out a long form! Second, it keeps things fun! Games make highly engaging email content, making it easy to have a positive experience (and leave positive feedback about it)..


3. Ask for Customer Story Videos

Social proof is one of the most powerful tools for eCommerce brands, even if the proof comes from strangers — consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising!

You can combine the power of social proof with the effectiveness of short-form video content by asking current customers to share their personal stories through video. Adding story-based videos to your emails offers prospective customers the authentic, “real life” proof they want while re-capturing their attention with a unique video format.

4. Spotlight Your Social Media

Photos on social media are one of the most common types of UGC, but that doesn’t mean sharing them has to be boring!

User photos are an incredibly versatile type of content, so there are tons of ways to get creative with sharing them. Try turning user photos into a trendy GIF, or feature some of your top picks in an animated slideshow. You can also incorporate UGC in your design, incorporating photos into your email like a scrapbook or collage.

The Power of UGC: A Mini Case Study

Do you remember Cola-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign

In 2011, the brand got creative with a brand new initiative, replacing its iconic logo with hundreds of popular first names. 

By simply encouraging customers to “share a Coke” with someone whose name matched the label, the Share a Coke campaign generated impressive results for the brand, increasing Coca-Cola revenue by 11%  for the “largest YOY growth” in brand history. 

But, perhaps even more impressive than sales was the amount of UGC Coca-Cola fans created for Share a Coke. 

Throughout the single-year campaign, over 500,000 photos with the #ShareACoke were shared on social media, earning Coca-Cola 25M Facebook followers and a decade-long spot in the best UGC campaigns of all time. 


Wrap Up

When your brand explores UGC, it’s about more than just the content. 

UGC helps your eCommerce brand build confidence and trust among your supporters, demonstrate a commitment to your audience and your mission, and show that you value authentic engagement above all else. 

And, what’s more, UGC allows your brand to flex its creative muscles by developing contests, seeking short-form stories, and getting innovative with photos.

If your email marketing strategy is missing UGC, the team at DIDO Agency can help! Book your free consultation and let’s chat about meaningfully incorporating UGC into your brand’s email marketing efforts.