October 17, 2009
E-mail campaigns: Best practices for the best response
Want to increase readership of your e-mails? Using the same tactics as you would use for direct mail will help increase readership of your e-mail copy, according to an article by Pat Friesen in Target Marketing magazine’s July ’08 issue.
Here are some basic rules to live, or write, by:
- Use Hot Spots – Put important benefits in copy hot spots such as subject and “from” lines, headlines, sidebars, bulleted copy and in a P.S. (30 percent of readers read the P.S. first!)
- Write (and Design) for the Scanner – Rarely will anyone read every word you write. Think about your own habits. Do you?
- Briefer is Better – Use short sentences (one and a half lines) and short paragraphs (six lines or less).
- You, You, You, NOT Me, Me, Me – Use the word “you” twice as often as “I” or “we” to increase reader involvement and create rapport.
- Be Specific – Use exact numbers and numerals (469) instead of spelling out numbers like four hundred and sixty-nine.
- FREE! – In today’s world of “if it’s free it’s for me,” the most powerful word is “free,” not “complimentary.”
- Call to Action – Tell e-mail recipients what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. Repeat the directive in each e-mail and on each Web page.
- No Pulitzer – The job of direct response copywriter is to generate a response – either immediate or delayed – not to win awards.
Direct mail and e-mail are eternally linked. What’s good for one is most likely good for the other, with the same basic practices working for both on- and offline copy.
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