June 30, 2009
I read a great article from Vertical Response (a newsletter provider service eVision Media recommends to a lot of clients) that gives some great hints and tips on how to write effective newsletters that will help with your response rate. Here’s the article:
Writing Email Marketing Copy That Sells
by Janine Popick,
President and CEO – Founder of Vertical Response
Writing your email marketing campaigns can make anyone want to pull their hair out, especially if you’re trying to sell a product/service, or ask for a donation, either as part of your newsletter or the sole purpose of your email. You want to make sure you hit all of the highlights and make sure people SEE your offer.
I’ve put together some ideas you can think about and put to work when writing copy that sells in your campaigns.
Benefits – I’ve written about this before, but I can’t stress how important it is for you to answer your recipient’s question, “What’s it going to do for me?” “How is it going to make my life easier?” They don’t necessarily care about all of the nifty features you’ll offer without getting to the heart of why they need it first. Many businesses get caught up in focusing on themselves rather than their recipients. Recipients should always be the focus of the copy.
Use Subheads – Getting the attention of your readers using subheads is always a great idea. It breaks up your thoughts and gets to the heart of what you’re selling quickly while letting them do the skimming.
Write in Small Chunks – You need to get to your point fast in small succinct paragraphs. When was the last time you read an entire press release in an email? It’s difficult to do, no one has the time, they need you to tell your story briefly. If they want more detailed information, link off to a page where they can find it.
Use Bullets – Bullets break up points or benefits so that your readers can get your information quickly by scanning. This is a very popular copywriting tactic for email and the web in general.
Get Customer Testimonials – Nothing sells your product better than your customers, but getting the testimonial right is essential. “I love this product!” is not good enough. You need to get to the heart of why they love your product or your cause. “I love this product because it saved me $500 in fees per year!” tells a much better story. Make sure you put your customer’s real name and city or company they come from. It adds credibility to the quote.
Get the Subject Line Right – Make sure you think about the subject line first, it’s the most important item in your email. In just 40-50 characters get across what they’ll get for opening your email.
Write Like You Speak - If you’re talking to a prospect or customer you don’t speak in long boring sentences. You are probably concise and conversational. So should your email marketing copy be.
Ask For The Order – I’ve spent a lot of time on calls-to-action lately and it’s because they’re important. Your call-to-action is your “Buy Now” link or your “Call 1-800..” copy. It’s essentially what you want your recipients to do. You should definitely display your call-to-action above the fold so that your recipients don’t have to scroll down to find your offer links. Don’t be afraid to get in your recipient’s face either. If that’s what you told them you’d be sending them, they expect it and probably want it. Use expiration dates and bold colors, and make sure to link from everywhere you can in your email to get your recipients to act now!