Our inboxes are cluttered with hundreds of email messages–some from friends asking us to join for dinner and most from companies looking to sell us something. We may have signed up for a few enewsletters. We may have met some people at networking events. Regardless, our inboxes are overwhelmed with email.
In the past week, my company sent out its enewsletter. It got two unsubscribes, one report for spam (the person who did it may have had some sort of personal vendetta, not sure) and a fairly good open rate. I am going to call it a moderate success. The newsletter did not have a call to action, so it is hard to measure its effectiveness.
In the past couple of day, I got two emails from two sources. Both caught my eye for different reasons. The first was from someone I met a while back who just started a new business venture. The subject line said “Hi Deborah.” The body was the following (with identifying info cut out):
Dear Mr. Sample:
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is XXXX, Director of Media Services for XXXX and XXXX– two truly groundbreaking companies that have recently joined together to become one of Washington’s newest and most innovative full-service production resources. If you’re in the neighborhood, I hope you’ll stop by for a tour of our facility, just off XX here in downtown D.C.
Our owner-operators are award-winning media professionals with more than 25 years of experience, and our list of long-term clients include companies like X, Y and Z, together with advertising and public relations agencies, corporations, associations and government agencies, both local and nationwide.
We’d like to show you exactly what we can do. By addressing your creatitve and technical needs with our deep expertise in all forms of broadcast and corporate production, creative editorial, 2-D and 3-D graphics, sound design and audio mixing. With our detailed approach to client service, we can easily guide your next project from concept through completion.
Feel free to look through our demo reels and check out the bios of our skilled artists, editors and producers. Just go to (website) and (website) to find out more. Or give me a call personally, at 999-999-9999 I’ll be happy to answer your questions or set up a convenient time when you can pay us a visit. I look forward to the opportunity to meet you in person.
What is wrong with this email? First, the personalization is not working. Second, the formatting was off. Third, there are several grammatical mistakes (and at least one typo). The first paragraph is a waste. The sender could have mentioned a reason that I would be interested in this email and new venture. Instead it is an “introduction” to someone I met already. The email was sent out in plain format–and this is a multimedia production company? Why not make it look pretty and professional? There is no signature from the sender. No way of opting out of the email. No permission. I could go on and on.
The other email I got was announcing a group trip. But guess what? No dates were listed for the trip on the email, forcing me to go to the website. Maybe this was on purpose, to get a click-through to the website. In my opinion, when you don’t give people some basic information, you lose them at hello.
Lessons about email marketing:
- Have a call to action.
- Mind your ps and qs–details like grammar are important.
- Include relevant information: dates, locations, contact information, pricing (don’t make me work so hard to figure it out).
- If possible, personalize.
- Make it look nice (there are many enewsletter/email marketing companies out there at various price points).
- Be careful with SPAM laws. Give people a way to opt-out. Explain why they are receiving your email.
What drives you crazy when you get an email?
Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.