Bloggers: Crafting Effective Marketing Emails – 7 Common Errors

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Crafting Effective Marketing Emails - 7 Common ErrorsToday we are going to start to look at errors that marketers often make when crafting an Effective Marketing Email.  In my last post I talked about 12 critical elements that should be present when you are crafting effective marketing emails.  This was my list of elements that every email should contain.  I suspect that some will disagree with me and that is okay.  Today we look beyond the framework and look at the common mistakes that Marketers make in the actual text on their emails when they set about crafting effective marketing emails.  In other words, we are working to craft effective marketing emails and we’ll start by avoiding common mistakes.

Bloggers – you do realize that in the end “Bloggers are Email Marketers!”, don’t you?   Most of the money is made in the email follow-up sequence, so in the end you need to become very good at email marketing.  The nice thing is that you can spend some effort crafting an effective marketing email follow-up sequence and it will work for you 24/7 for years.   Do the work once and get paid over and over.  (Hmmmm where have I heard that phrase before? 🙂  )

 

Mistake 1: The Number ONE Error – Thinking like a Marketer!

As I researched this topic there was ONE common thread that was at the top of many of the articles and posts written by the pros.  Over and over (in different words) they explained how marketers found it almost impossible to get into the head of the customer and talk about things that were important to the customer.  This error in crafting effective marketing emails seems to be pervasive and difficult to avoid.  The most common solution was to ask your customers and potential customers what they want and give them what they ask for!

Here are some examples:

 Geoffrey James in an article called Have Your Customers Write Your Sales Letters

“The reality is that marketers are almost always horrible at writing sales messages. Over the past 10 years, I’ve reviewed hundreds of sales messages, most of which were written by highly paid professional marketers. And almost every one of these “sales messages” has been a collection of biz-blab, technical jargon, meaningless promises and bloodless abstractions that barely describes what a company can do–let alone why anyone would want to buy from it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is almost impossible for anyone inside a company to write a compelling sales message, simply because insiders (and especially marketers) are unable to see the situation from the customers’ perspective.”

Rebecca Lake in an article on the Objectives of a Sales Letter

“When drafting your sales letter, try to write from the perspective of a potential customer or client. Keep in mind your potential customer’s needs and write about what they want to know versus writing what you want to say.”

Mark Thompson in his eBook Email Marketing Handbook

“The most successful offers come from providing exactly what they tell you they want and need, not from you assuming you know what they want.”

Mistake 2.   Ignoring the Lessons of Copywriting.

Let me tell you a little story.  I was at a workshop last year and there were seven top tier Internet Marketers teaching the workshop.   I heard all seven of them (Ann Sieg, Tim Erway, Mark Hoverson, Andrew Cass, Raymond Fong, Fenie Ceballos and Tim Sales) say at different times that if there was one critical skill for Internet marketers, it was copywriting.  The general consensus was that marketers who master the basics of copywriting can start over at any time and build a large business quickly.  There was NO OTHER single skill that came close.

Copywriting tends to be one of those things we “put off until tomorrow.”  We have more urgent things to deal with today.  I would put it to you that copywriting is one of those “important” skills that trumps the day-to-day “urgent” issues.  Carve some time out of your week and get to work.

The main copywriting mistake that marketer’s make is writing like they were taught in High School.   In emails you need:

  • Attention Grabbing Headline
  • First line that supplements and strengthens the headline.  (many email readers show this line.)
  • Lots of Sub-headers
  • Very short lines.  Don’t use the word wrap, break lines so that they fit on a mobile smart phone without scrolling left and right (75 character max)
  • Lots of white space – double space very short paragraphs
  • Lots of emotion
  • Lots of concrete examples
  • Lots of social proof (testimonials)
  • Benefits – not features
  • Very Clear Calls To Action

Here is a quote from Cheryl called Top Thirteen Mistakes in Preparing a Sales Letter

 “There are two types of ‘readers’ who will read your sales letters, post cards, print ads, etc.

– Skimmers and Readers. If your headline does its job (see rule #1), then the Readers will read every word that you write. Skimmers, will NOT. You want Skimmers to be able to make a buying decision by just reading

    • The Headline
    • Subheads
    • Captions
    • Order instructions
    • P.S.

NOTE:  She makes the point that the “P.S.” is one of the most read parts of emails.  You need to include them.

Ernest W. Nicastro in his article on 5 Deadly Sales Letter Mistakes put it this way:

“Being a Slave to the Formal Rules of Correct Grammar. When you were in school, teachers and professors were paid to read your work and they dutifully corrected your writing according to the formal rules of grammar.

In the real world it’s a different story. When writing a sales letter you want your work to have a conversational readability to it. And in most instances that means writing in an informal style. Because that’s how the vast majority of buyers and sellers communicate with one another.

As a result, you’ll break a number of formal grammatical rules. You’ll start sentences with “and” or “but.” Instead of complete sentences you’ll sometimes use a sentence fragment. But that’s OK. And every now and then you’ll dangle a participle or end a sentence with a preposition.”

Edriaan Koening in an article entitled Write a Sales Letter Quickly

“Grab the reader’s attention in the first paragraph. Focus on the reader and how he might benefit from your product when crafting this opening sentence.”

Mistake 3:  Not Writing Directly to One Person – Your Avatar

Bloggers get used to writing blog posts that they KNOW will be read by different kinds of people.  While they also know they should be writing directly to their ideal prospect, the temptation to write more generically is very strong.   This usually is not earth shaking since the reader knows that the post wasn’t written personally for them.

An Email in your inbox is something else again.  While you know you’re on someone’s mailing list and that the email you’re reading was sent to many people, it still seems more personal after all no-one else is reading from this particular source – Your Inbox.

The bottom line is that the tenor of the email must be conversational and seem much more like a personal conversation.   I’ve certainly received emails from top tier marketers that I know and had to stop and wonder – did he or she send me a personal email or is this a broadcast email with good personalization?  This is not to say the a “conversation” with a group of high powered executive won’t sound a lot different than a conversation with a group of professional surfers, it certainly will.  I’m just saying that it needs to “feel like” it was written to one person and one person alone.

If you Google for “write to one person” in quotes you will see dozens of article on this one topic alone.  Here are a few examples.

Ernest W. Nicastro in his article on Five Deadly Sales Letter Mistakes

“Writing Your Letter For the Hundreds or Thousands of People You Will Be Mailing It To Instead of One Special Person. One sure way to generate an apathetic response to your sales letter is to write for the group or list of people you will be mailing it to.

Approaching your letter with a “crowd mentality” instead of focusing in on a single, real, living, breathing prospect will greatly impair the ability of your letter to make a genuine connection with the reader.”

Lori Anne in her article Why You Should Always Only Write to One Person

 “I’m asked all the time, “How do I improve my writing?” My advice? Write to only one person. I know…  I know… I can already hear it. “But I’m trying to reach a larger audience, not a smaller one!” So am I. And yet, I still write to only one person.”

Rebecca Matter in  her article How to Write Effective Emails that Engage Readers

It’s written from one person, to one person.

This concept may seem obvious, but I’m including it today because I see it violated a lot when reviewing email copy from new writers.

It’s this: You never write to the masses, or a large group of people. You always write to one person … one person you care about.

So, instead of writing something like: “so many people are worried about their financial future … ”

You’d write it: “if you’re worried about your financial future … ”

See the difference?

On the flip side, never write an email from a group either. “We” don’t write emails or articles. “I” do.

The thing to remember … it’s much easier to connect with one person than an entire group of people.”

Note:  I can hear you thinking “But what if they aren’t worried about their financial future right now?”  Then they are not your target market!

Note:  A critical part of writing to your Avatar is providing them value.  Mart Thompson in the eBook Email Marketing Handbook was very pointed about this.  He talked about how the phrase “The fortune is in the list” made him want to “puke”.   His point that that the fortune is in building a relationship with your list.   Marketers who sell in every email they send are not providing value.   Marketers who say “Wow this WSO (Warrior Sales Offer) was released today and I think you should buy it from me.  I’ve used it for 15 minutes and it is great!” are not providing value either.

Mistake 4:  Not Engaging the Reader’s Emotions

People decide to buy using emotions and then justify it with logic.  If you don’t ever engage the emotional side of the reader, this process is short circuited from the git-go.

Maria Veloso in her book Web Copy That Sells does a great job of describing this.  One of her tips is to use the word “Imagine.”  Instead of saying “You can increase sales by 200%” you say “Imagine what it would be like when you increase your sales by 200%”   The first line requires the person to take an extra step.  They have to stop long enough to think “Hmmm a 200% gain.  That would be nice.   That would mean that I would….”   The second line takes you right to the “That would mean I would…”  Most people are scanning their emails and will NOT stop and work through what a benefit would really mean to them.

 Geoffrey James in an article on Writing Persuasive Sales Letters

“Your ability to sell is greatly dependent upon your ability to communicate sales messages. Unfortunately, many sales professionals, and almost all marketing professionals, don’t understand how to provide answers (i.e. messages) that actually motivate the customer to buy. The reason is that most business people don’t understand what makes a message persuasive. They tend to create messages that reflect the dull dialog of the corporate boardroom.”

Think of messages as having two sliding scales. The first scale has “Intellectual” at one end, and “Emotional” at the other. The second scale has “Abstract” at one end, and “Concrete” at the other. The most unpersuasive messages are always intellectual and abstract; the most persuasive messages are emotional and concrete.” (my bolding)

Kim T. Gordon in her article on  How to Make Your Message Stick wrote:

“Whether you tug at their heartstrings, shock them, surprise them or make them laugh, your audience will tune in and remember your advertising message better if their emotions are in play. It’s no wonder that some of the award-winning broadcast commercials make people laugh. They beg to be watched or listened to over and over again, even after the audience is well in on the joke. But other emotions can make your ad unforgettable, too. Think of all the commercials that bring tears to many consumers’ eyes in unforgettable ways. We remember things that touch our hearts, minds and imaginations. We also like to hum along, so a great jingle, particularly if it includes your company’s name and a call-to-action, can keep your message running through your customers’ minds for years.”

Mistake 5:   Failing to Provide Social Proof

Readers really want to know that what they are buying works.  Even though we know that the marketer is going to present their product in the best light possible, it still makes the readers much more comfortable when they hear a story or testimonials.

Story –  We’ve all heard the expression “Facts tell – stories sell!”   It can be your own story but hearing something in story form gives us a good feeling.   Think about how you react when you read the following statements.

  • “This product can improve you traffic by 200%”   and
  • “Last year I was really struggling to get traffic.  I tried this product and that product.  Finally I ran into the product I’m showing you today.  I was skeptical as all get out, after all I’d thrown a lot of money at similar products already.  I decided to give it try and WOW was I impressed.  Within a week me traffic was up over 200% and it has been climbing ever since.  I can’t promise anything, but I’m betting you will see the same results.”

If you are like me (and I’m betting you are!) the second statement – the story – carried a LOT more oomph,

Testimonials –  hearing that other people – real people – have used the product or service and are happy with it gives you credibility a real boost.

Ernest W. Nicastro put it this way way in his article on 5 Deadly Sales Letter Mistakes

“Not Offering Proof That Your Product or Service Does What You Say It Will Do. Not only is your typical prospect indifferent, in the vast majority of situations he is also highly skeptical. That’s why you always want to offer the reader proof that your product or service will do what you say it will do. This will serve to validate your claims and minimize your prospect’s skepticism. Most important, it will establish your salesperson — the sales letter — as a more credible and believable source of information.

The proof you offer up in your sales letter can take several different forms. Here are two forms of proof that I have found to be very effective

1.     Customer Testimonials

2.     Tell A Success Story…”

Andrew Grant Included this as one of his 7 Most Common Mistakes in Sales Letters

“Testimonials – not being addressed properly”
“Evidence – in their sales letters not being addressed”

 

Edriaan Koening in Write Sales Letters Quickly made this step 3 in writing the letter:

“Justify your claims in the third paragraph by providing facts and details. You might mention the awards your product or service has received, the technical features, statistics and testimonials.”

Jessica Swanson in 10 Steps to Creating Emails That Get Results

 “The P.S. portion of your email is the 2nd most read section. So, use a P.S. to reinstate why it’s important for your prospects to take immediate action.”

I could go on and on with quotes.  Needless to say, many of the pros comment on how often this part of the sales letter is over looked.

Mistake 6:  Not Using the Email to Pre-sell your products.

The testimonial is part of what is called the pre-sell.  Too many marketers today work very hard on crafting a strong sales/squeeze page and they depend on that page to do the selling.  They seem to completely forget one small fact “You have to get the reader to the sales page before it can do its magic.”   You need to think “pre-sell” all the time.  Sometimes you are talking about what is coming tomorrow and sometimes you are talking about the product that is available today if you just “click on the link.”   Just like the old quote that “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take!”, you will miss the opportunity for your readers to say “Oh, I might be interested in that!” 100% of the time when you just say “I got some Great stuff – click here”

Let me give you a couple of examples that came in TODAY.   I opt-in for a lot of eBooks and love reading and learning from them.  I can tell you that I unsubscribed to both of these lists.  ‘nuf said.

Email WIth Nothing But Links2

And

 

Email with nothing by links - how not to Create Effective Marketing Emails

Mistake 7: Not Optimizing for Mobile Devices

According to research quoted in an article in eConsultancy

“More than a third of consumers (36%) read marketing emails on mobile, according to new research.”

Or as Michael Levanduski said in Professional Insider

“People Read Mobile Emails, But Only If They Look Good”  Here was their number: “To be more precise about the numbers, a total of 43 percent of mobile consumers stated that they do in fact read the majority of the emails that they receive on their mobile devices, even from businesses”

At the very least you should check how your emails look on your own smart phone.

‘nuf said

So there you have it “7 Major Errors Marketers Make Crafting Effective Marketing Emails”

Until next time, you have a Great Day!  Oh Hale Yes!  🙂

Dr Hale

↓ ↓ If this post gave you some ideas – Go ahead & comment below.  ↓ ↓

Hale Pringle

Hale Pringle Ed. D.

 

Hale Pringle – Hale Yes!

Skype hale.pringle

Email: HaleYes@HalePringle.com

 

P.S. If you are working to move your business online and it all seems overwhelming, I can help!  Take a look at http://HalePringle.com, or sign up for the free coaching call. You can email me or give me a Skype call. I’ll give you the benefit of my years of experience and many thousands of dollars in training and searching the rabbit hole called Internet Marketing and Network Marketing. I can help you with Lead Generation, the feeling of overwhelm, blogging, and even career change. Add that to the finest mentoring on the Internet (Ann Sieg’s Team and Inner Circle) and you have a Winner!

About Hale Pringle

Dr. Hale is an Internet Entrepreneur and Network
Marketing expert. His greatest pleasure is
helping people and he does just that, drawing
upon the immense resources that he has gathered
over the years in his unquenchable thirst for
knowledge.

Dr. Hale lives in beautiful, sunny Florida with
his wife, two dogs and a cat. His four children
are grown and are scattered around the state.

An eternal optimist you will hear him say
regularly: “Is this a Great Day?” The answer is
always, “Hale Yes!”

If you need help with your online marketing or a
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to man. “Hale Yes!”

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