I have few claims to fame, none of which have made me famous. I was attacked by a snake for about 50 minutes, which is very handy if the conversation dies at a dinner party. I, quite naturally you will agree, feel that this is something which deserves recognition even if it showed a level of ineptness that is best glossed over. My only other point of note, and one that is useful in email marketing, is that I invented two words.
I was being cross examined in court and changed my mind halfway through my answer. I was going to say possibly, then opted for probably, but it came out as prossibly. The judge was forced to look over the top of his half rimmed glasses to quieten the laughter in the court. The other was deliberate. I accused someone of using insinuendo. The argument took place in a newspaper office and the word was picked up by a couple of the journalists. I’m pleased to say it is now in some dictionaries and is not picked up by my spellchecker.
I used the word to emphasise what I saw as duplicity, and it worked. It was not so much unusual as unique and the person arguing with me stopped to consider what it meant. Could such a tactic be useful in email marketing?
An unfamiliar word, or even double entendre, in a paragraph that is intended to be scanned can stop the reader and although it is normally something to avoid, used with care it can emphasise the ‘hook’ of your product. You might want a person to be aware of certain details of a product in order to convince them to buy, and something that forces them to pay attention might be productive. It can’t be something that will cause them to click the Unsubscribe button or reach for a dictionary, but needs to be just enough to make them focus. Not an easy compromise.
A clever piece of copy included in a holiday brochure, back in the days when I was wondering where to go on honeymoon, offered romantic and unusual locations that were available in my price range, and a hotel in Damascus stood out. I was told it would be a revelation. This lovely little reference to St Paul wasn’t too obscure, although not so obvious that it didn’t give me a little buzz to work it out. It might be a joke too far nowadays, but back then it added to the mystical aspects of the destination.
The trick is to work out the actual word that would do the trick for you. An in-depth knowledge of a segmented email marketing list is a requirement, as well as a bit of imagination. A word used to stop the reader, to emphasise a particular point, or as a way of making the offer enticing, is a method that can be overused but with discretion can add to the impact. At a time when many marketing emails are bland and unremarkable, it could well be a risk worth taking.