Friday, April 27, 2012

How NOT to Begin an Email Sales Message

What I say about email marketing has application to social media postings, as well as all other forms of sales and communications.

This is how NOT to begin an email marketing message:

"I sent you the below email two days ago. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, I encourage you to do so immediately. The response from readers has been outstanding . . . thousands have already received a __________".

I have a preview panel in my email client. So I can hover my cursor over an email BEFORE I open it, and thereby read the first few sentences. If a strong benefit, aligned with my actual interests or needs, does not appear in the preview panel, I DELETE the email without opening it.

This email intro quoted above begins by scolding me. I can almost hear a whining voice, almost see a scowl on the face: "I sent you...two days ago..." Ever get a complaining email from a good friend? He's mad at you because you didn't drop what you were doing to respond immediately to his email about some trivial thing? Guilt tripping is NOT an effective marketing tactic. It alienates people.

"I encourage you to...." What's with all the I's? I this. I that. I sent. I encourage. When does the "YOU" enter in? Only when they want YOU to BUY some junk. Prior to that, it's all about I, WE, US, IT (the product).

"The response from readers....thousands have already...." ??? What do I care about what others have done? The hackneyed old "Jump on the Bandwagon" marketing ploy doesn't work as an opening logic. That should come as a P.S. or footnote. Far better are free trials, free samples, or actual testimonials from people you can contact to verify the truth of the claim.

The main point of any marketing message is what YOU will gain, a benefit for YOU, based on YOUR interests and YOUR needs.

Far better approach might be something like “You recently expressed an interest in web design tools. Well, here's a tool you'll find useful on a daily basis. Eyedropper is a Chrome extension that enables you to pick colors from any web page and match them in your own project...”

Begin with a strong YOU statement, followed by WHAT you're promoting, along with a strong BENEFIT to the user.

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