Relax. Your email newsletter isn’t a resume, TPS report, or academic paper. Email is a personal format; write in a tone similar to chatting about your product, deal, or event with a colleague in an informal setting. It’s your “professional you,” but in a relaxed setting.
Warning: Due to concerns about Internet tracking cookies, customers don’t want to feel they’re being stalked by a company. Don’t use their first name more than once or twice in the email, and only in the opening. Don’t bring up too many marketing- or social media-sourced details.
You can show friendliness by using conversational tone, contractions, idioms, and slang. (Consider your target audience so that your verbiage is well received).
Some other tips:
1. Tell them how you met.
“Hi, Joan, you’re receiving this email because you signed up to receive updates on [yourwebsite.com].” Just like meeting in person, it catches Joan’s attention when you remind her that that she has a previous connection with you. Joan is a busy woman, she doesn’t have time to remember every product she took an interest in; but a reminder that she signed up for your mailing list herself is a reminder that, at some point, she already bought in to your product. So you don’t have to get this customer past the first and hardest hurtle — the initial sell — twice.
The tech behind this conversational email trick lies in the tools a versatile, afford ESP like Mission Suite can provide you. Place a tag or field that inserts the first name into the email body or header, and split your email list by all the people who signed up via the webform on the website.
2. Provide new information.
Would you keep reading emails from a friend who said the same thing over and over? How many coupons do you keep from the same company? Even if I really like a product, there’s only so many widgets I really need.
Use your newsletter to position yourself as a source of information. For example, Gerber, which makes baby products that parents need for only a year or two, has marketed itself as an information source that grows as the child does by creating their “Gerber Graduates” line of baby-to-toddler food. They also provide an extensive web-based library of free information for parents. Gerber has been in business for almost 100 years, and has never radically altered their logo; they are marketing their website library based on a voice of authority from longevity.
You, too, can use email marketing to promote your brand as knowledgeable and reliable, no matter how long you have been in business. What can you teach or inform your customers? What resources can you provide, link to, or entertain them with? Could you hire a copywriter who is especially knowledgeable or funny?
3. Format information articles in bulleted lists, and say so in the subject header: “5 Tips for Black Friday Shopping”. These types of subject lines have a very high open rate.
A word on subject lines:
Your subject line is why recipients will open your email or bin it. Keep it short — 70 characters or less — and front-load it with the important words. Personalization helps, so mine your social media, in-store chatter, and your ESP’s analytics to send the right type of marketing message to the right population in your email list.