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The message is your secret sauce

Richard Strauss | September 22, 2015 

At ListEngage, we have made delivering the right message to the right person at the right time a science. Having been in the business of email marketing for over 10 years, we’ve seen our share of suboptimal emails.  So, in this post, let’s discuss what we actually mean by the “right message.”

You are winning customers not selling products

We don’t have to tell you that the B2B and B2C worlds have been changed by the Internet.  Your customers buy when they are ready to buy and do so from people and companies they know, respect and trust. We all have to recognize that trust, registrations, subscriptions and, eventually, customers are earned over time.  This is one reason we send out emails – to stay in front of our customers and prospects.

If the message focuses on the needs of your customers, you increase your chances of ranking higher on their “internal search engines” so your brand is considered when it’s time to purchase.

Formulate your message to create branding, but, remember, it’s not as important to “sell” your brand as it is to create awareness of how your brand will fulfill a need or want for your customer.  If the message focuses on the needs of your customers, you increase your chances of ranking higher on their “internal search engines” so your brand is considered when it’s time to purchase.

Demonstrate that you care about the reader

In reading about emotional intelligence one finds that showing concern about the person you are communicating with is the secret to creating a bond.  The same is true in email marketing.  If you want someone to read your email, show that you care about the reader.  For instance, one of our most successful campaigns was promoting water heaters. The first sentence read, “Did you know that the average life of a hot water heater is 7 years, and our records indicate that yours is 7 years old?”

Don’t fall into the trap of starting “I will try to take up just a little bit of your time”, or “This is an important message for you.” These are immediately recognized as hollow statements.  If you use this kind of statement, you are going to lose the reader immediately.  Don’t just say you care, demonstrate that you care.

Put yourself in your reader’s place.  What would make YOU want to read your email?

State what the reader wants to read, not what you want to say

Much earlier in my career I was a product manager measured on the success of my products.  I would often go on and on about the merits of the product without regard for what the listener wanted to hear.  Now I understand the error of my youth.  We do not have patience for irrelevant messages, so we stop reading, change the channel, check our phones – anything but listen to nonsense.  There are too many sources vying for our attention to be bothered with those that are irrelevant.

We can find out many details about our prospects between our company databases and the data available on the Internet.  Use that information to personalize the message and grab your reader.  Do not send advertisements for ice cubes to people in the Arctic.  Do your homework first and increase the relevance of your message.  While it is much easier to blast a message to a million people in the hope that you reach the ten that are looking for your product, you are quickly burning your ability to communicate with the other 999,990 ever again.  Remember, the goal is to build relationships with your customers.

Get the pace right

This is more about message frequency than content. You may have the greatest message ever, but you will never get attention if you have been bugging the prospect every week for the past few months with irrelevant messages.  Balance your need to get the word out with an understanding that most prospects and customers have very limited patience and attention spans.

If you follow the steps outlined above, then you are:

  • Enamoring your customers and prospects to your brand by meeting their needs and wants.
  • Showing that you care and creating a bond with them.
  • Targeting the right people with the right message because you’ve done your research and know your customers.
  • Pacing your emails so as not to irritate your audience with too many.
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Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss | rstrauss