Quick and Easy Email Marketing From Beginning to Endby Brian Long
Offers are at the heart of every business transaction. When you buy a house, you make an offer and hope the seller accepts. When you go to a store, the merchant is offering to sell something at a certain price.
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If you are not getting results on your email campaign, maybe it's time to study your offer. Here's how to make an effective offer in your email campaign.
Offers are at the heart of every business transaction. When you buy a house, you make an offer and hope the seller accepts. When you go to a store, the merchant is offering to sell something at a certain price. Stopping for gas? You have accepted the station's offer to fill up your tank. Even though "offer and acceptance" has a legalistic ring, everyone, with the possible exception of the cave-dwelling hermit, is navigating a world of offers all the time.
Digital marketing is no different. When you are marketing via email, you are always offering your recipients something, whether that something is a special deal, a sample, a new product, a white paper or a collection of useful information.
Some offers are accepted, others are rejected and a great many are simply ignored. The job of email marketing is to make it into that first category or, at the very least, to stay out of the pile of offers that failed to get themselves noticed at all.
Keep it simple. The average recipient is going to devote very little time to your message, with many estimates pegging the reader's attention span at no more than three seconds. Use simple language and a simple format. Bullet points and a judicious use of bold or italic fonts can help a reader grasp your message quickly. Think of someone scanning your message. Do the important points stand out at a glance?
Keep it short. A long message with paragraph after paragraph of text is likely to be ignored. Your audience does not have time to wade through an essay that never seems to end. Think in terms of a text message and edit ruthlessly.
Make it clear. Your readers should be able to grasp the substance of your offer in a flash. In any medium, the worst offers are the ones that cannot be understood very quickly. Domino's Pizza had the right idea: Pizza at your door in 30 minutes or it's free. No one had to wonder what that meant.
Make two things especially clear. Two supremely important elements of your message need special attention. First, every reader is silently asking "What's in it for me?" The benefits to the reader should be as obvious as you can make them. Domino's, for example, was not offering the world's best pizza. It was offering a quick, simple alternative to its tired and hungry customers. Second, do not neglect your call to action. Whether a reader takes you up on the offer or not, he should have absolutely no doubt about what you want him to do.
Put yourself in the reader's shoes. Would you read the message? Is it interesting? Is it offering something worthwhile? Do you come away with a positive feeling about what you have read? While you are in those shoes, work on the subject line. Would you open the message? Is it clear that a compelling offer lies within?
With people awash in a sea of offers, it is no easy task to break through and get your message heard. Your best bet is a message that is simple and clear, that offers something of value and that respects your customer's time and attention, something that you might bother reading yourself if you found it in your inbox one day.
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