Tips for Creating E-Mail Marketing Message!

Part of our continuing series on email marketing.

Every piece of written communication has a “sound” or tone. Most direct mail letters are written with a “hard-sell” style — pound away at the offer, the benefits, the call-to-action. And in direct mail, that style works.

Not so in e-mail marketing. People feel differently about their e- mail boxes than their post office boxes. The e-mail inbox is much, much more a personal space. So the approach in your e-mail marketing communications has to be more personal, friendly, low-key.

As with direct mail, you should focus on the recipient rather than yourself — use the words “you,” “your” and “yours” frequently. But avoid over-use of such words as “free,” “save” and “money,” — and stay away completely from such hype-tinged words as “fantastic,” “unbelievable,” “first-ever,” “indispensable” — you get the picture.

Give your e-mail message a more relaxed feel — no pressure. This is not the time for the frantic, relentless cadence of hard-sell direct mail.

Whereas long copy works well in direct mail, e-mail communications should be short — initially, at least. Let your first message be brief — two or three short paragraphs. Let the recipient request further information via a Web page or a follow-up e-mail message. Use that second stage to do a more in-depth job of selling.

At all costs, avoid the look and feel of spam — no screaming headlines, message in all capital letters, multiple exclamation points, or deceptive “gotcha” subject lines. Never try to hide your identity by forging or concealing message headers. Provide full contact information. And don’t send commercial e-mail to someone who has not given you permission to do so.

Al Bredenberg is senior consultant at Enterprise Interactive [http://www.enterprise1.com].

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