What do I put in my emails?
For many of your customers and potential customers, your emails are the primary content they get from you and you need to make the content as engaging as possible. You need to deliver value to your recipients rather than simply hard sell them all the time if you want to retain their loyalty. For a truly engaging email, think about your content and maybe even do some research rather than simply put together a quick email with your latest offer as one big image.
Timely and Fresh content
Your content is what gives recipients a reason to read your e-mail thoroughly leading them to click through to your web site, and/or to act on an offer. Timely content strongly relates to their needs or circumstances so deliver messages that accurately address seasonal or cyclical needs.
Fresh content offers readers something new instead of repeating previous messages. Providing fresh content motivates recipients to read your message and to anticipate what you have to say in future messages (although a reminder that an excellent offer is about to expire is not a bad thing!)
Try to clearly define a specific objective for each mailing and focus content on that objective. You may have more than one objective, but in general, should have one primary objective and no more than a few objectives in total. Possible objectives:
- Service focused – offering consistent, timely, cost effective and valued service to customers
- Promotion – building brand recognition by driving traffic to your web site or telephone and promoting awareness of your products and services to all online consumers
- Revenue Generation – generating revenue by selling to existing customers and/or by attracting new customers
When writing copy, keep it short, sweet and scannable. Most words should be 6 characters or less, sentences around 1.5 – 2 lines and paragraphs up 4 lines. Use bullets to reduce copy and keep the overall design succinct.
Personality and Tone
The tone should match the content type. So if you are doing a promotion for example, keep the message brief with a conversational tone and an active voice that focuses on your reader. For newsletter content, you want a casual but informed tone and an active voice focused on the topics covered. The message should be succinct with enough content to inform recipients but encourage them to click though to your site for additional information. Transactional message should be brief, providing salient points concisely and clearly. Use a formal tone and keep the voice passive generally.
- Focus on your recipients using “you” more than “we” to improve response and inject some personality into your emails, whether a company exec or a fictional character.
- Remember to invite feedback such as comments or reviews which you can include in future emails.
- Consumers often base purchase decisions on other peoples feedback so letting your customers recount their experiences will create a customer community.
When in doubt, KISS
Keep it Simple Stupid….make the meaning of the message easy to identify and remember to ensure the email is focused on this message. A final tip is to read your copy out loud when proofing as this will help you notice awkward phrases better than simply reading.
Julie Joseph is owner of JJ Consulting. She has 20 years sales and marketing experience including 15 years focused on Digital Marketing. She has worked with clients across many sectors including major players from Media, Retail, Transport and Finance and presented at various industry events. Please see www.facebook.com/jjconsultinguk for more information.
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