9 Things That Make Emails Seriously Effective
Despite the endless talk about social media–Twitter or Facebook, for example–-emails are still the workhorse of online prospecting.
Why? Clickthrough decay. Twitter time passes 10 times faster than email time.
One of the big downsides of stream-based communication compared to email newsletters is the highly ephemeral nature of the postings: Once they scroll off the first screen, they’re essentially 6 feet under.
A look at clickthrough statistics for links posted to Twitter vs. those circulated in email newsletters shows a drastically steeper decay function: lots of clicks the first few minutes, and then almost none. In contrast, email continues to generate clicks for days as people work their way through their inboxes.
So, since more and more and more people are checking their e-mail on cell phones or smart phones and archiving, it’s wise to keep grooming your emails so their readable, relevant and powerful.
1. Reason Why. First, what’s your most compelling reason to send the email? If there’s no good reason for it, consider taking the day off.
2. “From” Line. The “From” line and subject line work in tandem. And an effective “From” line starts with name recognition. If you’re not famous in your market, then maybe your company is. Use the most famous.
3. Subject Line. Something that stands out in their inbox. Use this tool to test your subject lines AND “From” lines.
4. First vertical inch or two. Many people won’t see images—your header, wrapper, or photos—because their e-mail software turns them off. Or they may be getting your message on their mobile phone. Consider what’s in this precious real estate. And make it count.
5. Scannable. Since very few people read it all the way through, is it easy to scan your email? Can they get the point at a glance?
6. Headline. You do have a headline, don’t you? Okay then, if you don’t, then the first sentence is your headline. Does it make the point and provide a link for action? Is the call to action simple and clear, making a single point and with no more than a sentence or two at the most?
7. Precision. Omit needless words. All of them. Here’s a rule of thumb to follow: Once you reduce the email to half it’s length…try to reduce it again.
8. Call to Action. Will the person feel like he’s losing big if he decides to sit this one out? That’s the kind of feeling you want to give people.
9. Tone. Conversational. What do I mean by that? Does it feel like one person writing to another? As impersonal as e-mail can be, you still want it to feel like one person’s message to another.
So what about you: are you still using email to prospect? Have you given it up for Twitter or Facebook? If so, how effective have you become? Or has spam and the crowd noise chased you out? Is email dead and anybody who uses it wasting their time and money?
Share your thoughts. Looking forward to hearing from you.