How burying your offer in your enews confuses readers (and how to avoid it )

 Email marketing  Comments Off on How burying your offer in your enews confuses readers (and how to avoid it )
Sep 282012
 

How burying your offer in your enews confuses readers (and how to avoid it )

Don't bury your offer in the depths of your enewsletterYou know the saying, hiding your light under a bushel? It refers to being overly modest or hiding your talents. Although modesty can be a virtue in the real world, in the world of email marketing, hiding your light or what you have to offer in the depths of your e-newsletter is a bad idea.
It’s like that light under the bush. It loses all its impact.

What’s the offer?

The offer in your e-news is the juicy bit. It is the special discount, the sought after information, the competition, the illuminating photo, the joke or the freebie. It’s the value you’re offering to your reader. It’s the reason you’re sending out the e-news and the reason your reader is interested in your e-news.

Let’s take an example:

You think up a good, specific subject line such as:

Tell us your favourite fish for a chance to win dinner for 2 at the Mariners Arms

Readers eagerly click through expecting instructions on how to enter the competition. But what do they get instead?

Here we are again and it keeps raining. When will it stop? Here at HQ we’re really fed up with the weather. It feels like we missed summer all together. Pete cheered us up when he brought in a chocolate cake this morning but honestly if the weather doesn’t improve we’re all thinking of emigrating.

We’re delighted to announce Sally is joining us to help with Friday nights on the bar. BLAH BLAH BLAH

There’s a lot of waffle before we get to the offer. What does this do to the reader? The reader gets confused and then a bit frustrated. Frustrated enough to click move onto the next email.

Why does it fail?

It fails because it raised expectations and then didn’t deliver. The subject line hooked our attention, got us excited but then the body of the email seemed to have no connection with the headline.

What do you do instead?

Be brutal. Cut the waffle and cut straight to the chase. It is common to take time to warm up when you sit down to write. So feel free to cut your first (and maybe second) paragraph if you find you’ve rambled.
As soon as we open the email we want to see more about the subject that enticed us in. Like this:

For a chance to win dinner for 2, go to our Facebook page, like us and tell us your favourite fish and why you love it.

Rather blunt isn’t it?

You fear being bossy but in fact you’re doing your reader a favour, showing respect for their time and enabling them to respond to your offer quickly.

So remember lights under bushes aren’t much use to people needing illumination; offers buried half way down your e-news are hard for your readers to find and so lose their impact.


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P.S. This article first appeared in my enewsletter, sent free to my mailing list. To get free articles, to help you do better marketing,  direct to your inbox, join over 450 subscribers and sign up to my e-newsletter. A twice monthly helping of articles for those who have to write the sales material… and want to do it better.

Cool apps from MailChimp for mobile email marketing

 Direct selling farm produce, Email marketing, farm retail  Comments Off on Cool apps from MailChimp for mobile email marketing
Sep 262012
 

I found an excellent list of apps from MailChimp to improve subscribers’ experience when receiving your email marketing campaigns on their mobile phones.

Of particular interest for farm retailers and farm entrepreneurs are:

Pyow for iPhones

A free app to generate and manage QR based coupons in MailChimp email campaigns via mobiles. You create a coupon in your campaign. Then when your customer shows up at the stall with the coupon showing on their phone, you simply scan the QR card with Pyow and verify the coupon. You can set how many times the coupon can be redeemed. This makes using email marketing to bring customers to your markets even more useful for you and your customers.

Find Pyow in the Apple App store.

Chimpadeedoo for iPad

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get people to sign up to your list on the spot? If you have an iPad, now you can! Chimpadeedo is a sign up app for iPad. You don’t even need to be connected to the internet. The app will collect subscriptions and store them until the next time you’re connected, then it pushes the contacts to your main MailChimp account.

This would be perfect at festivals, shows and events. If people are engaged and interested, ask if they’d like to subscribe there and then. Even at permanent retails outlets, like Farm Shops, you could have the iPad secured near the counter and if people are queuing encourage them to sign up. Restaurants and cafes too, could make it oh so easy for people to subscribe. If you do box scheme deliveries and people stop you at the van, you could ask them to sign up to find out more.

But remember, you don’t have a right to email people. They are doing you a favour when they give you their email address. And all the fancy apps in the world won’t persuade them to part with their personal information unless you are offering something of value.

So be clear and specific about what you offer. For example. Sign up here to get monthly updates of our new products/special themed nights/food tasting events/reminders about our next markets. It is easier to be clear and specific if you segment your lists and allow subscribers to choose the information they want.

Find Chimpadeedoo in the Apple App store.

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Never have ‘Dear blank’ in your email campaigns again

 Email marketing  Comments Off on Never have ‘Dear blank’ in your email campaigns again
Sep 182012
 

Read this great how to article with video from Mail Chimp academy showing you how to add a default value for e.g. First Name in your lists.

How do I set default merge values (like Dear Customer)? | MailChimp.com.

That means you can set your campaigns to use a personalised greeting and MailChimp will insert your chosen replacement such as ‘customer’ or ‘subscriber’ where data is missing.

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