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Effective-ly Email-ed

August 9, 2012

Here’s the short list of tricks to effective emails.  They take time to write, are personal, engaging and effective.  These are the emails you want to send, because the emails that will be opened.  Otherwise you’re voice may wind us as spam.  On y va!

1.  Send an email to yourself.  Now check your inbox.  Who is your email from?  Is it your name? The name of your business?  Is it blank?  The number one reason people don’t open their email is an unrecognizable (or unwanted) sender.  Make sure your name is there and your readers know who you are.

2.  Subject line.  Are your subject lines inviting or invasive?  I read a terrific article today called Subject Lines that Deliver written by Allison Howen (Website Magazine).  She says, “there’s no need to shout” when it comes to subject lines.  She’s right.  How often do you see subject proclaiming “only 24 hours left!” and how often do skip those emails?  Don’t be invasive.  You want people to come to you, you don’t want to trample all over them.  Think of what you are selling, don’t reminder us your a merchant.  Talk about your product.  After reading her fantastic article I went through my personal inbox.  Here is a best and worst list from my research:

Ignored (and annoyed):

  • Last chance to help a gator out!
  • IMPACT Now!
  • We need your help – Rent emergency

Read (and loved):

  • 90 days, 90 emails
  • Wanna see the EDEN project for free?
  • Help keep us floating

Bottom line; human beings are dexterous creatures.  We love problem solving.  We love discovery.  It raises our sense of accomplishment and self worth.  Your service begins with the subject line of your email, so why not offer dignity?

This little exercise was fun and informative, I invite you to do them same.  How would you list your emails?

3.  Limit your number of recipients.  This is a hard one.  Once you’ve reached 500 subscribers the last thing you want to do is limit their number.  Mix it up.  Think about the email you’re sending.  If you have 500 emails to send to 500 recipients, mix up your content.  Write three different emails, using different language, to communicate the same idea.  If your customers talk to one another they’ll be impressed and delighted you took the time to come up with varied and interesting content.  Your customers will feel taken care of.  No one likes to feel unimportant, even if they are one in 500.

4.  Offer your contact info.  The wonderful Seth Godin says to include your name, email address, and phone number at the bottom of each email.  This is a favorite of mine.  The idea behind this is trust.  If your readers should trust you enough to open and read your emails, then you should trust them enough to list your phone number.  If you don’t trust them, don’t email them.  Bottom line.

ps If you’re not reading Seth Godin get to it.  He’s the best writer for entrepreneurs alive.

5.  Know your audience.  If you don’t know your reader’s purchase history with your site, their age demographic, taste, it could be difficult to write on their level.  Engage with the people who are engaging with you.

The nuclear idea here is respect.  Respect your readers, offer them clear language with compelling ideas and avoid insolence.  Your readers will reward you for it.