Three Quick Questions for Stronger Emails

Patti RennerEmail remains the cornerstone of most digital campaigns, often acting as a conduit to drive people into cross-channel engagement with your brand. With so many commercial messages jockeying for position within the inbox, it’s vital to make every impression count. But in the push to get an email campaign out the door, just be sure your goals and objectives aren’t lost in the rush.

Use these three quick questions as you review your email to help your messaging stay on track.

  • “What’s the one thing I want them to do?” – By understanding your email “cliffs” (the point when your audience drops off), you know your audience can only handle X number of emails each day/week/month. With this knowledge, there’s a temptation to pack far too much into a single email. “Shop now… Sign up and save… Like us on Facebook… Preview our next big thing… Order samples… Chat live with us…” Human nature tells us that we want to make the most of each opportunity in front of the customer. But you lose opportunity when the reader has too many options, or your email’s goal is convoluted and unclear. Begin with the end in mind. Be sure your one big idea/goal/CTA takes center stage.
  • “What’s the value here?” – Ask yourself, if I’m the ideal customer, why should I buy from you instead of a competitor – what’s the value for me? Stronger conversions come from people having a clear understanding of how they will benefit from the information you’re sending. Clarity of purpose is important here. Beef up the WIIFM factor.
  • “Who cares?” – It all comes down to relevance. Make sure you’ve clearly communicated the “why,” as in why this offer/information is different or better. Another way to put it is “Why does this matter to me?” But never make decisions for them. Don’t make presumptions. Instead simply give them the data and information they need to draw their own conclusions.

As a marketer who counts on email sends to foster more business, if your content doesn’t convert, you’re wasting time and opportunities. So, before you approve that next big campaign, embrace the customer’s perspective and take a cold hard look at what you’re planning to send.

Here are a few other posts for stronger emails you may find useful:

Creating Great Email Headlines

More Tips for Writing Better Email Subject Lines

Juicy Morsels from Email Summit 2012

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