I haven’t always been in email marketing. I started out in the ad-setting department of a local weekly newspaper. The easier part of my job was to take rough notes from a client and convert it into copy. The harder part was to get the proofs accepted by my boss.
Once, when unwisely voicing my frustrations at having to alter a part of the copy I was particularly pleased with, he said, “Explain to me in ten words or less why anyone who wants to buy central heating for their house cares about your clever word play.”
I liked the bloke. He set high standards for us but personally exceeded them. However, I could never come to terms with that fact that as I went up the pay scale for the role, I was writing fewer and fewer words.
Everyone tells you that as far as email marketing campaigns are concerned, every word counts. If one is not essential then it is in the way. Get rid of it. Customers haven’t got time to waste. Let them read it quickly and then move on.
This goes for all aspects of customer interface. Your website is there to sell, just the same as your marketing emails. So why are there so many mission statements on websites?
An overall description on your targets and beliefs is great, but it is for internal consumption only. You are selling products, not yourself. In any case, no one is interested.
There are other problems with mission statements, the biggest being how pretentious the phrase sounds. Mission? You’re in email marketing and your purpose is to sell. Calling it a mission hardly adds to the desirability of the item.
Another bit of self-indulgence is the pages on what the company thinks about what it does, what it produces, or their ‘ethos’. Aspirations are nothing more than self-recommendation. You will be judged on what you do.
Read such pages on the site of a competitor of yours and when you’ve finished, grade it on pretention from 0-10. Or 8-10 is probably likely. Then realise that that’s how others see you.
Two things that your website should be doing are getting your product better known and, more importantly, getting is desired. While people are reading that your company worked out of the disused dance hall of a public house, they are not imagining themselves using your product.
Those from your email marketing list, as well as potential customers just browsing, come onto your website for solutions to their problems. They want something from you so you should, right from the start, eliminate all distractions. If they’ve used a keyword in a search that points to a particular product, then ensure that that landing page is what confronts them when Google does its bit.
As with any advert, don’t tell; show. To get yourself ignored, tell people you are a genuine people person. To get people interested, be genuine.
Most customers don’t care who you are or what hurdles you have had to overcome to be where you are. That is, not unless you make them care.