I don’t know about you, but I seem to be getting more and more sales emails these days. It’s almost as though people think the more emails they send me, the more likely I am to buy. Actually the reverse is true. Anyone who bugs me too much gets consigned to the spam black hole forever. This seems like an opportune moment to remind ourselves of some best practice email marketing basics.
Are you sure people want to buy what you’re selling?
Email marketing is not the platform to for long term educating and informing – it’s about getting the job done and provoking a response. Ideally a sale. This can work very well but only when you are speaking to people who want what you are offering. Careful targeting and clarity of message is vital. Don’t be tempted to ‘broaden your list’ on the off chance that someone might connect with it.
Solve the problem
Fitflops don’t just sell shoes, they sell comfort. Sweaty Betty doesn’t just sell workout gear, they sell a better body. Amazon doesn’t just sell products, it sells convenience and instant gratification. Make sure your direct marketing focuses on the problem and how you can solve it.
Emotional versus rational
Times are tough so rationally we don’t want to spend any more money than we have to. So you need to pitch your offering to the emotions. Make sure you include an emotional reason why the customer should buy from you. Once the deal is clinched you can swoop in with rational and easy ways to order or pay depending on your call to action.
Don’t get carried away with the pretty pictures
It starts (in my experience) with a conversation with a graphic designer. He says, “we’ll design the piece to suit the copy.” Great. So I write content that will ‘get the job done’. Then, the designer comes back and says the content doesn’t fit the design, so I end up being asked to re-draft the copy to fit the design. It drives me crazy. So much so that where possible I’ve learned to create simple, yet attractive templates myself in Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp so I get full control. I’m as much a fan to beautiful design as anyone. But don’t be temped to cave into design in favour of content.
Don’t forget the ‘big three’ of direct marketing
Make sure you include an offer, information to get immediate acceptance, and a call to action.