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Paul Rijnders

What Not to Say When Building Email Lists, Part 2: Email Marketing?

Apr 05 2011, 07:07 PM by

What You Said:
Hi, I’d love to be able to send you our email marketing.
What They Heard:
Hi, I’m trying to send you mass communication messages. I’m well trained in consumer manipulation and have technology on my side. I bet I can get you to part with a few more of your hard-earned dollars.
You’re Not Selling the Email Marketing, You’re Doing the Email Marketing
What we do is called email marketing, but that doesn’t sound so good to your customers, does it? So why say it? People like their email (well, usually), but they don’t really love being marketed to. Face it, it sounds cold, manipulative and completely impersonal.
McDonald’s Does Food Fast but They’re Not Trying to Sell You Fast Food
What if McDonald’s tried to get you to come into their quick service restaurants by advertising, “We’d love to feed you fast food”? They don’t do that. They move past what they’re doing to what they serve – either a savory meal or the perceived benefit of eating a good tasting treat.
Are You Really Pushing a Newsletter?
How are you enticing people to subscribe to your email lists? Many good companies with good websites and/or Facebook pages just put up a generic signup box and a simple “Sign up for our newsletter” message next to it. McDonald’s doesn’t advertise that they have these cool bags, paper cups and boxes. That’s just what the food comes in. So why are you so focused on the container that is your newsletter?
Promise the Savory Goods!
What are you going to send to your subscribers? Informative newsletters? Tell them. Great email discounts? Let them know now. Sales announcements? Product demos? Put it out, dress it up, shoot it all sexy and promise those things right at the signup box. People want to know what they’re getting before they risk being annoyed in their inbox. If you have a visual example, all the better. But make sure that example shows the thing, not just the thing it comes in.
People Like to See People
Some marketing professionals will tell you, “Pictures of people sell to people.” In commercials, there are often pictures of people doing the thing you wish you were doing. But what is it you wish you were doing? Is it really that you want to eat fast food?
People that Are Lovin’ It
Maybe it’s really that you like to enjoy your food (who doesn’t?) and you wish that happened a bit more. It works if you can connect the image with the benefit. Pictures of people smiling are alone not too powerful. Pictures of food are effective if you’re hungry at that moment. Pictures of people smiling while eating their food really connects the dots. That message is more effective and makes a lasting impression, hunger aside.
So How Do You Make People See Themselves Lovin’ Your Newsletters?
If you’re mentioning the newsletter subscription personally, bring it up naturally:
I have a few customers that I like to tell about our email newsletter because I want them to get the discounts that come up now and again. Our prices are great, but you know what really helps? Those email coupons. Someone saved a hundred bucks last week by looking out for the deal.
Remember, it has to be sincere. If they hear you say the same thing to everyone in line, it’s not going to come from the heart.
You Don’t Need Actors & Models to Make It Work on Your Webpages
If you’re trying to do the effect on your website or Facebook page, show some pictures of smiling people who took advantage of the specific things your newsletters offer. It can really hit home if you do it right. You don’t have to spend money on actors and models. Take pictures of volunteers or staff in your store. You can also purchase royalty free images online for cheap at a number of sites.
Show the Smiles, Tell Them Why It Happened
Here’s one for the restaurants: Get a picture of a smiling couple enjoying a great meal. Your message? Food tastes better when you get a discount/get a free appetizer/don’t have to wait for a table/find out about our secret menu. Any of those things will do. The important thing is that if people want the benefit, can see themselves enjoying the benefit, then they aren’t going to let just giving up their email address stand between them and a good time.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Lists & Signup Forms

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