Five Ways to Mess up Your Email Marketing

Despite the mythology that says email marketing is dead, it’s still the number one way stuff gets sold on the Internet.

Marketing concept: pixelated words Email marketing on digital sc

Bottom line: if you want to succeed marketing online, you’re going to have to use email.

If it works so well, why does it seem so hard for many companies?

Here are five great ways to mess up your email marketing:

  1. Make it look like an ad. That’s a surefire way to to get your email deleted right away.
  2. Write using the “royal we”. After all, human beings write in the first person.
  3. Make your email all about you and your product. That way it won’t be interesting at all to the reader.
  4. Assume the reader was waiting to get your email. That way you can skip providing any real content or value and just get right to the selling.
  5. Forget the state your reader is in when they check email. Otherwise, it will occur to you that what they were looking for was communication from a friend, something inspiring, something entertaining, or even something profane.

Of course, I hope that you pick up on the fact if you want your email marketing to succeed you should do the exact opposite of these five things.

But I felt like it might be a good idea to point that out.

Just in case.

 

What To Leave Out

Success usually is not dependent upon your coming up with the most brilliant marketing idea ever conceived. Trying to win the battle that way is literally like running “against the wind”.

Businessman trying to keep balance

The classic Bob Seger song, Against the Wind, includes these lyrics:

Well those drifter’s days are past me now
I’ve got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out

This describes the dilemma of the modern marketer.

The real question is: what to leave in, what to leave out.

What belongs in your marketing message, and what doesn’t?

The answer is simple, but not always easy. You must leave out the parts your prospects are not interested in.

To quote great novelist Elmore Leonard: “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”

Of course, to do that, you have to know which parts people skip.

 

Why You Should Start More Fights

Every time I publish something I have strong feelings about, no matter how hard I try to word those feelings with civility, someone is provoked. It often starts a fight.

fight-club

If no one ever objects to what you write, what you say, or what you do… it’s possible you’re not writing, saying, or doing anything of significance.

Strong ideas challenge people.

All powerful communication offends someone.

I think of this as Fight Club for the Brain.

I don’t want to fight for the sake of striking blows, but as the Great Storyteller writes, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

I’m not suggesting that you be provocative merely for sport.

But I am suggesting that if no one is provoked by what you say, it’s possible that no one is paying attention.

 

 

Freelancers, Copywriters & Consultants: Decide Who You WON’T Sell To

You should not sell to everyone who is willing to buy from you. This is especially true for freelancers, copywriters, consultants, and solo professionals.

Emotions

While this may sound crazy, especially if you are revenue-starved, give it a bit more thought and you’ll see that I’m right.

Two Sides Of The Truth

Using truth in your marketing has two paradoxical sides.

 

First, you must understand that people on the whole, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson’s character in the film A Few Good Men, “can’t handle the truth”. They don’t want to hear it.

But they need to hear it.

This is why we often are forced to sugarcoat the truth in order to get people to swallow it.

For instance, if you are selling a diet product you may, in your marketing, say to your prospects, “it’s not your fault”. But the truth is, it is their fault. Nobody forced them to slam donuts down their neck every day. So how can we honestly and ethically say that it is not their fault? We might zoom out to the macro level, realizing it’s not their fault they didn’t have proper nutritional education. We let them off the hook a little bit, and then we zoom back in and remind them that now that they understand the truth about why they are overweight, it is now their responsibility. That’s an example of sugarcoating the truth in order to get people to swallow it!

Now, to the paradox I mentioned…

Many people are tired of being sold a pack of lies, especially in certain markets (like the diet industry, the investment industry, or the business opportunity industry).

To people who are sick of lies and hype, nothing will sell better than unvarnished truth.

The trick, of course, is to know when to sugarcoat, and when to just tell the hard truth.

For a good example of telling the truth and selling products like hotcakes at the same time, look no further than Beach Body’s P90X program. This program promises hard work, pain, sweat. And results. Everybody knows by now that those are the required ingredients for a set of six-pack abs. So for Beach Body, the unvarnished truth was the right way to go.

Question for you: Do you sugarcoat, or do you tell your prospects the cold, hard, truth?