Email is a great way to reach prospects and customers at a very low cost. The copy in your emails can make a big difference in whether you get a low response rate (1%) or a high one (up to 20%). Here are some tips for dramatically increasing the number of people who click through to Web site.
Short subject lines work best. Too long and it gets cut off by your readers’ browsers or email application. Try to keep it under 40 characters.
Personalize the subject line. It increases open rates. People like to see their own names. And, they're more likely to open an email with their name in the subject line.
Attract attention. Ask a question. Promise a benefit. Tap into emotions, such as curiosity or hope or greed. Your readers will want to know more and will open the email instead of trashing it.
Plain text or HTML? If you're selling a product, like a high-end bicycle, visual images will help. If not, plain text is fine. Also some email providers (and users) block images. Using plain text reduces the chance that your email will be marked as junk.
Break up text into short blocks. It's harder to read online, and people skim, rather than reading every word. If you use plain text, create emphasis for your bullets and headlines with asterisks and hyphens.
Write conversationally. Spell out what people will get by responding to your offer. Show them how your product can improve their careers, help them earn more money, or become a better athlete. Don't use a lot of jargon or fancy words, just talk, as if you were telling a friend about a great new rock band. Let your passion come through.
Talk about your readers, not yourself. Or, in other words, talk about their lawns, not your grass seeds. Create a mental picture of how lush and green their lawns will be, and how beautiful the house will look.
Include multiple links. These can all go to the same place (your email service provider can track the number of clicks for each). Why do it? Some people will read only part of your email, and then want to learn more. Others will read all the way through. Either way, it should be easy to click, without scrolling up or down.
Long or short copy? This debate has been going on in direct marketing for years and years. In my opinion, length is like Abraham Lincoln's joke about his legs. When asked how long they were, he said, “Long enough to reach the ground. " Your copy should be long enough to do its job, get a response.
Use a P. S. The subject line, from line and P. S. have the highest eye traffic. Use your P. S. to repeat an important point, such as your offer, or emphasize that it's for a limited time.
Send traffic to a landing page, not your home page. Create a separate page that repeats the headline and main points of your email.
Make it easy to respond. Make it simple to call, click, or order, with as few distractions as possible. Don't include your usual site links on the landing page, just keep it simple and direct, without a lot of fields or steps standing between your prospect and a lead or order.
About the author:
Jodi Kaplan fixes “broken" marketing. If your direct marketing is costing more money than it's making and people leave your Web site without buying, your marketing is broken. If you'd like to fix it, visit http://www.kaplancopy.com for free articles, marketing resources, and information on marketing services.
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