You don’t use the same tone of voice to speak with all of your friends, relatives and colleagues. It would be inappropriate. You tend to be serious in the office, especially when your contract is up for renewal. With friends, you’ll be more light-hearted. Not perhaps quite so jovial when discussing the appalling performance of the England rugby team.
It’s the same when working out what voice to use in an email marketing campaign. It’s easy to go bland but we should remember that we must generate an emotional response for the best returns. It’s accepted that logic doesn’t play a major factor in a decision to buy.
One mistake many make is to use the product to define the voice. If it’s a holiday in Spain during the festival season, then let’s be a little wild. A tour of the great sights of Egypt will generate a more solemn tone because of the grandeur. This is cart before the horse time though.
As with your differentiation between mates and colleagues, you should choose a voice the reader can relate to. You will want to encourage a particular emotion. If you can show that you understand their needs and relate to them, they’ll be more likely to respond.
The best advice I’ve received is to be yourself in the way you write. It’s a little more complicated than it might first seem. Your voice needs to change with each specific email marketing list, but if your corporate voice is to be friendly and chatty, then continue in your campaigns.
There’s nothing stopping you being business-like and still being chatty. It’s the content that makes it focused, the tone that makes it friendly. The trick is differentiating the two. Another way of looking at it is to say the product defines the words, the voice defines the emotions.
Ask yourself how you would sell the item to your favourite uncle. He’d expect a friendly tone. You’d be light, but still emphasise the product’s good points. Read the copy out loud as if your uncle is sitting the other side of the desk. You’ll know then if you’ve cracked it.