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The Importance


of Being Earnest

                                                                                     — Oscar Wilde

     First of all, promotional emails that are well-done are well done because they are an earnest attempt to sell or promote a quality product or service in a highly personalized (and/or recipient opt-in) way. When emails meet these criteria, it’s hard to dismiss them as junk. 

     Does that make it okay to send them out? It depends on the circumstances, but odds are if your message is sincere, backed with integrity, not insulting, and actually has something informing, educational, reassuring, or entertaining to say, it’s perfectly okay in my book.

     But how do you get an email to accomplish all that? It’s not easy. The subject line has to be fitting, provocative, persuasive, spelled correctly, punctuated correctly, creative, have and suggest a purpose, demonstrate the ability to relate, and literally shout of legitimacy.

     And that’s just to get it opened. When’s the last time you opened mail addressed to “Occupant”? Or something that says “Stop Berning Calorees” or “Hey, should something I no four sure be puzzling to you?” You have better examples sitting in your own inbox right now.

     The email message must be simple, straightforward, no BS, get right to the point, read fast, use bullet-points and summaries, use consistent colors, use consistent font styles, use consistent font sizes, use consistent font treatments, use consistent font and line spacing.

     The bottom line is that promotional emails are generally not effective if they’re written as letters, or memos, or print ads, or broadcast scripts, or txtmsgs. They are a combination of the impact and brevity used with billboards, bumper stickers and direct mail pieces.

     They must communicate instantly.

     Headlines and lead-ins are critical and need to attract attention, create interest, stimulate desire, bring about action, and prompt/promote/deliver satisfaction.

     You must ask for the sale and provide as many ways as possible for the respondent to respond/order and as many locations for that as possible without being too obnoxious about it.

     Sign off with a real name and contact information. Include a guarantee. Where you use endorsements or testimonials, provide contact details and don’t gloss over names/titles/affiliations/credentials. Promotional emails can work for you if you’re willing to work to make them work.

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  1. […] know how in between all the business emails, you get all kinds of email junk FWD’d to you every day from well-intentioned friends?  It’s […]

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