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