Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Top 10 Tips For Your Most Powerful e-Mail Marketing

The latest column from my friend Bill Koelzer in San Clemente, CA. Bill is a Web marketing consultant for realty-related corporations. He is co-author, with Barbara Cox, Ph.D., of the Prentice-Hall books, "Internet Marketing in Real Estate" and "Internet Marketing".

He maintains and promotes his wife's Orange County Real Estate website, Debbie Ferrari.com. Debbie was actually quoted in Donald Trump's most recent book. Very impressive, Debbie!
They are good friends, and Bill and I often collaborate on the latest search engine news and what it means to our clients and business associates.

Top 10 Tips For Your Most Powerful e-Mail Marketing

Effective e-mail communications don't just happen. They require some thought about the audience, the purpose of the message, and what the message should include to accomplish that purpose.

Here is a short list of steps and tips for writing clear, unambiguous e-mail messages that will not be misunderstood - and that will help you get the results you want...

Plan. Know your purpose. Are you making a complaint or answering one? Are you trying to stimulate trials of a product? Are you providing some facts and figures in response to an inquiry?
Plan. Know your audience. The amount of background information or detail you provide should be appropriate for the recipient. Be sure each recipient has sufficient information to do what you want him or her to do.

Too much information, on the other hand, will bore some readers. Worse, telling someone a lot of information that they already know can be interpreted as being condescending. Also, knowing your audience will help you use an appropriate tone or level of formality.

Do the buyers of your products or services tend to be rather formal? Do you know them on a first-name basis? The rule of thumb here is: when in doubt, follow the same business correspondence style that you would use for a letter.

Use short sentences. If a sentence gets too long, reword it and make two sentences. Use a simple, active subject-verb-object sentence structure when possible - more like Hemingway than Shakespeare.

Short sentences are easier for most readers to absorb and remember.

Use plain language - clear words that your reader can relate to. Look for terms that could be misunderstood and replace them or give an explanation.

Eliminate fuzzy wording that could be interpreted as sarcastic, egocentric, critical, etc. A sentence that sounds fine when spoken may lose its intended effect when read by a recipient.

Use short paragraphs and skip a line between paragraphs to make the message easier to read and to emphasize main points.

State clearly what you want the recipient to do! Answer a question? Visit a Web site? Give you an opinion? (Don't assume that sending someone a list of facts will lead them to do something about them!

Avoid long, involved descriptions and explanations. If sending this information is critical, send it as an attachment or post it to a Web site and send the link.

Use "you," "your," or the person's name. This produces empathy!

Read what you write! Always check any e-mail addresses or Web site addresses that you have included. Incorrect Web addresses are "unreachable" and will irritate your contacts.

Until you gain experience, read each e-mail message aloud to yourself before you send it. This technique will help you identify statements or phrases that are vague or that could be misinterpreted. Never write and send an email while angry.

Also, Answer Promptly: Fast Follow up says "good service" to customers. When you receive e-mail - or send out your e-mail to a target audience and responses start to come in - what's next? Fast follow up is what helps make a sale, satisfy a customer need, or move your recipient to whatever action you desired of him.

And keep following up. Most sales are not made in the first contact; they are made through follow-up. The importance of following up is made clear in these statistics from the Association of Professional Salesmen and the National Sales Executive Association:

2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact

You can see from the above data that firms who market online using one-time mass e-mailings might have only limited success. Help prospects reach a decision by presenting a viable, valuable useful possibility that they might not have considered before.

Follow up quickly to inquiries - even if you think you answered a question previously!
Use every reasonable opportunity to provide information or service.
Do that and your e-mails will produce far better results.
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Excellent advice, Bill.
Bill can be contacted at Bill@Koelzer.com or visit his website at www.koelzer.com

Myrtle Beach Web Design and Real Estate Marketing
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