I got an e-mail today from a well-known organization. Well-known in one of my many circles anyway.
I was shocked to read what was on the screen. After all, they teach communications.
This time of year, the organization gets in the giving spirit.
That is to say, they get in the spirit of you giving to their good cause.
And, it really is worth it. They do good work.
But, I fear their pledge results will suffer from three mistakes they made.
There are many things to pay attention to in writing a successful e-mail. These are just three.
Don’t let their mistakes suffer your results.
1. Going for the call to action too soon.
In all fairness, they had the makings of a warm-and-cozy story.
But, before the reader had a chance to get emotionally involved, they asked for the donation.
Even as a marketer interested in how people present their messages, I was compelled to just close and delete.
Basically it was…
Your donation is greatly appreciated…”
After a few sentences about donating, they started their story.
Rarely, if ever, will that work effectively.
It takes some thought to get an e-mail opened these days. Don’t blow it with a mistake like that.
Before you ask for any call to action, you’ve got to get a reader emotionally hooked.
The only exception is when they are really familiar with you or the products.
2. Never start a story at the beginning.
If you’re going to include a story… that’s great. They are very powerful.
Go ahead and write your story.
Read it again before publishing though.
You’ll find the real start of your story about a third or so down the piece.
A sweet spot, a conflict, or a turning point you can focus on as a teaser to hook your reader.
Then you can back it up far enough to set up the conflict or turning point.
Which of these two stories draws you in louder?
Janice needed to go to the store. She felt a little uneasy sitting in her car while it idled in the driveway.
She and her husband just had a little fight.
Brushing off the uneasiness, she put it in gear and pulled out of the driveway.
About half-way to the store, from nowhere, a car slammed into her left front end of her car… sending her spinning for her life behind the wheel.
When Janice gained her bearings, there was no doubt about her being trapped in the car.
She had plenty of time to think about the morning events while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
After her brush with death she made a vow. She’d never leave the house without making things right after an argument.
Life is too short.
Janice had plenty of time to think about the morning events while waiting for the ambulance.
It took a few minutes to gain her composure after the car slammed into her from nowhere.
There was no doubt about her being trapped in the car.
She started to think about the fight she had with her husband. The uneasiness she felt sitting in the driveway just before a simple trip to the store turned into this.
Realizing how close her brush with death was, she made a vow right then.
Life is too short to not make things right… never leave someone you love while angry.
See the difference?
It’s a little more interesting starting the story with Janice trapped in her car waiting for the ambulance.
3. Buttons missed, opportunity gone.
This organization finally did get into their story. But, they missed some really obvious emotional buttons.
It was a really heartwarming situation.
But the story felt herky-jerky.
My natural urge to connect with the story was being dodged.
Just when I was about to lock in, they side stepped to a new character or point.
They would have locked me in if the flow started and built on the same emotion and main idea.
But it was disjointed and I just couldn’t attach emotion to it.
The writer bounced around. Doing so stopped them from planting the needed emotional buttons to sell the idea of donating.
And that’s the thing. Readers so want to agree with what you have to say. THEY WANT TO connect emotionally.
At the same time there is so much to be skeptical about today. They simultaneously look for reasons to click you off and move on.
These are just three of many areas for you to pay attention in your e-mails.
Stop back again for more tips.
Or, if you just want that monkey off your back. I’ll be glad to write your open rates and sales revenue potential.
I’ve got 40 ways alone to create subject lines which practically guarantee it will get opened.