What do you want to accomplish when you’re sending an e-mail?
When the reader sees your name and the subject line of the e-mail, will they immediately want to open your e-mail to see what you’ve sent?
Have you created, from your past relationship, an excitement, an anticipation…a perceived certainty that whatever you’ve sent…whether it’s an offer they choose to accept or decline…that the e-mail itself will add value the moment it’s received?
It can…and it will…when you remember the little things that matter…like “Thou Shall”;
- a) address the recipient by their preferred name…the one they gave you when they signed up;
- b) ensure the subject line suggests you’ve sent them something they’ll enjoy reading; and
- c) ensure the subject line piques curiosity.
Next, of course, is your message. What is your intention for the reader of your message? What benefit will they gain from reading… and acting on what you have to say? Are you truly focused on their “What’s in it for me?” Are you able to convey that message clearly, succinctly, and convincingly?
Just as important, at least from my perspective, is, do you follow the “Thou Shall Not” rules of e-mail marketing?
Here is my “short list” of “Thou Shall Not” for e-mail marketing:
- Send an e-mail to someone who has not asked for information from you…in other words “spamming.”
- Make false promises. Did you suggest or attempt in any way, to sell a product or service that is undeliverable…at least by you.
- Use racial, religious, sexist or any kind of derogatory language or comments to incite, sell, or gain the reader’s attention. It may, in fact, gain attention…totally of an undesired…and possibly even legal…nature.
- Threaten or coerce as in…”If you don’t buy this product today, you’ll be dead by tomorrow.” You can certainly suggest or advise that a price increase may occur, or that there is a limited opportunity. However, to suggest a dire result, such as imminent death, or guaranteed failure of some kind if the person chooses not to act, may not only backfire, it is, I believe, totally unethical.
- Hide or fail to disclose the full conditions of purchase in some way, such as using exceedingly fine print, using “bait and switch” sales tactics, or suggesting one of the payments is actually the full product or service price. You’ve undoubtedly been reading about the backlash, and financial/legal ramifications that have recently affected online marketers, particularly in the area of forced continuity…essentially a violation of this “Thou Shall Not” rule.
- Tag your message, through any method available, in an effort to gain access to the reader’s e-mail list. Asking your prospects and clients to share your message, and to offer a “reward” of some type for doing so is perfectly legitimate and a smart business maneuver…as long as you deliver.
This is certainly a non-exhaustive list, and I know there are many more. However, remembering…and practicing… these “Thou Shall” and “Thou Shall Not” rules from the tablet of E-mail marketing will reap you many benefits, such as better client relationships, an expanded client base, more sales…and the very best benefit…a happier, more satisfied you!