Tag Archives: Email Writing Advice

Make Your Email Marketing a Summer Success

letters-1132703_1280

Here’s a phenomenon you may have noticed: During the grueling hot months of summer, you’re much more likely to get out-of-office auto-responders from the people you try to reach by e-mail. It’s not that everyone’s avoiding you. It’s just that everyone’s on vacation—or so it seems, sometimes. Certainly, the summer season is touch-and-go when it comes to emails, which may tempt you to pack in your email marketing campaign for the summer, perhaps revisiting the ol’ email list when September rolls around.

That’s not an illegitimate temptation, nor is it necessarily a wrong one: Certainly, there is an argument to be made for scaling back on your marketing emails during the summer months, if not disbanding them completely.

No matter how many marketing emails you send over the next couple of months, though—just one or a baker’s dozen—we encourage you to implement some simple tweaks to your strategy, which can make those emails much more enticing to your recipients—and thus, likely to get opened and acted upon.

Get Your Marketing Emails Ready for Summer

Keep those subject lines succinct. A lot of your readers may be getting those emails while they’re waiting in line for movie tickets, a plane ride, or a trip down a roller coaster. They don’t have time for epic-length headings. Shoot for subject lines between 30 and 50 characters—never any more.

Cozy up to emojis! Summer time is fun time, right? There’s no better season to adorn your subject lines and your email messages with a few tasteful smiley faces or other festive icons. Don’t go overboard, and don’t sacrifice actual words for emojis, but do feel free to use them as they fit.

Resist the temptation toward click bait. Drop two swimsuit sizes in a week’s time may seem like a tempting promise, and if your product can actually deliver it, then good for you! Don’t fall into the trap of making cheap promises that you know you can’t keep, though, nor of writing subject headings that aren’t actually relevant to your content. You may get click-throughs, but you’ll also get a lot of annoyed customers.

Don’t let your emails fall into the junk pile. Nobody has a lot of time to sort through their junk folder, so avoid letting your emails end up there. Cut down on spam triggers, as we talked about in this previous post.

Need some further assistance getting your marketing emails summer-ready? We can help you strategize, write, format, and send. Reach out to Grammar Chic today at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Writing, Email Writing, Writing

E-mail Marketing: Keep it Professional

Contact-Us (E&P)In today’s super-digital environment, an e-mail has roughly the same impact that a business card might have had 10 or 20 years ago: It’s a reflection of your brand and it speaks to your professionalism.

This is true of the personal e-mails you send to clients and co-workers, but it’s also true of the missives sent to your company e-mail list: For better or worse, marketing e-mails really do reflect your brand, which means that there’s more to them than their messaging. The presentation itself must be professional, underscoring, not undermining, the authority of your brand.

But not all marketing e-mails are created equal, and—frankly—not all are as professional as they need to be. There are minor infractions you can make that will subvert your status as a dignified and authoritative pro—and of course, you want to avoid those infractions if you can.

Keeping Things Respectable

The question is, how do you ensure that your marketing e-mails are adequately projecting your professionalism? Start by ensuring that you’re actually using a professional account, which is to say, a business one. E-mailing from a personal account is not only amateurish, but it begs the question: Why hasn’t your company invested in Constant Contact, MailChimp, or another e-mail marketing platform? E-mailing from a personal account suggests that you’re not yet ready for prime time.

Another way to ensure your marketing e-mails are above board: Only send them to people who ask. Have different forms on your site where people can join your e-mail marketing list, and provide opt-out information on your e-mails themselves. Forcing people onto your e-mail marketing list without their permission smacks of desperation.

Lies & Distortions

The message of your e-mail—and your subject line—can also set a tone of professionalism. Then again, they can also contradict it. What matters here is that you don’t over exaggerate, embellish, or outright lie about your company—especially in ways that will be plainly obvious to your readers.

Obviously you want to convey value, but you don’t want to be audacious. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t suggest that you have the cure for cancer or a solution to world hunger. Keep it value-focused and positive, but also earthbound.

Action Focus

Finally: Remember that professional communiqués always have action steps. Your marketing e-mails are not exempt from this. Your e-mails shouldn’t have an “FYI” spirit to them, but rather they should come with clear calls to action. This, you should always tell your readers, is what you do next!

The Grammar Chic, Inc. team stands ready to assist you with any of these e-mail marketing tweaks. In fact, we offer everything from content creation to full campaign management. Learn more: Contact us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Email Writing

Three Ways to Keep Your Marketing E-mails Short

pfb0_bigstockphotoEmail5859574

Let’s start this one with a hypothetical. Imagine it’s a Tuesday morning, around 11:45. You’re in your office, just preparing to head to the car to go meet a client for lunch. As you walk out the door you flip to your phone to check your e-mail. You have a couple of new messages, and both of them are for e-mail lists you’ve signed up for. We’ll call them the e-mail lists for Company A and Company B.

Company A has sent you an exhaustive missive that details everything about their new line of products—eight products in total, with a full paragraph of information on each one of them. The full e-mail is more than 700 words!

Company B has sent you a quick reminder to call them if you have any needs they can meet. Their e-mail is exactly three sentences long, including a call to action. It totals 35 words.

Our questions for you are two. The first question: How likely are you, really, to read the e-mail from Company A? One glance at that litany of text and you’re probably going to swipe it into your trashcan. It’s not that you’re uninterested per se—but really, who has the time?

Our second question: Don’t you think it’s pretty likely that you will read the e-mail from Company B, at least if the headline is compelling enough for you to open it in the first place? Reading 35 words takes only slightly more time than it does to delete the message; why not give it a cursory scan?

And that’s the point here: E-mail marketing tends to be the most significant and successful form of content marketing, yet it’s the e-mails that are short and sweet that get the best results. And that brings us to the topic du jour: How do you ensure that your marketing e-mails are as brief, as lean, and as focused as possible?

We have three quick tips for you:

  1. Treat your e-mail like a landing page. A landing page is a piece of Web content that’s designed to do one thing and one thing only—to convert customers and get them to take a specific action, whether it’s to sign up for an e-mail list, buy a specific product, or download an e-Book. A landing page is focused on just one topic and getting the reader to take just one action, and as such a landing page is always going to be extremely direct and uncluttered. Use the landing page mentality as a guide for your marketing e-mails.
  2. Let images do the talking. A picture’s worth… well, you know. Images can make great marketing e-mail fodder; a quick piece of graphic text can be more attention-grabbing than a full written paragraph, and using an image forces you to keep things brief.
  3. Here’s an e-mail marketing strategy that tends to work well: Provide the first three or four sentences of a really great new company blog post, as a kind of a teaser, and then redirect readers to the blog itself for more information—“Click here to read the rest.” Not only does this drive traffic to your blog, but it also helps ensure your e-mail message is short and snappy.

E-mail marketing works—especially when it gets to the point. For assistance with any of this, contact the Grammar Chic, Inc. team at your convenience! Call 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Email Writing

E-mail Etiquette is Essential to Your Job Search

iStock_000017356289XSmall

First impressions are everything, especially when you’re searching for a new job. You probably wouldn’t show up for a job interview wearing your gym clothes and a baseball cap, nor would you greet the hiring manager with a fist bump instead of a firm handshake—because you understand that your appearance, your words, and your actions ultimately all reflect on your professionalism, and on your desirability as a candidate.

But of course, in many cases, the interview is not your first impression, not truly. In today’s world, there’s often a fair amount of back-and-forth e-mailing that goes on between you and the HR manager or recruiter, long before you even have a phone interview, much less an in-person one. Thus, some of the very first impressions about your character and your professionalism will come from your e-mails—how they’re worded, how they’re sent, and how you convey good manners even through electronic communication.

The Basics of E-mail Etiquette

For jobseekers, then, mastering the fundamentals of e-mail etiquette is important. Many tips will go without saying—you don’t want to send out professional e-mails laden with typos or text-message abbreviations, for instance—but a few more salient points include:

  • In addition to Internet slang and text message abbreviations, you’ll also want to weed out jokes, emoticons, and any instances of deadpan or sarcasm. It’s not that there isn’t any room for a sense of humor in the job search, but these things can often be misconstrued over e-mail—so why risk it? Just stick to straightforward professionalism.
  • Use a professional e-mail address, which is not the same thing as saying use your current work e-mail address. Set up a Gmail or some other account that includes just your name, or a variation on it—not something like RunnerGal1983 or VolsFan or Springsteen4Life or what have you.
  • When you receive an e-mail from a hiring manager or recruiter, respond within 24 hours if possible, 48 hours at the absolute most. If you don’t particularly have anything to say, then simply confirm receipt of the previous e-mail.
  • Don’t use all-caps or exclamation points in professional e-mails. There’s no need to yell.
  • Finally, remember that while professionalism is the order of the day, there is always room for a little enthusiasm. Make it clear that you’re interested in the job—that you really want it. If you’re on the fence about it, that’s likely to come through in your communications, so work to convey your real excitement, or else just move on to the next opportunity.

Every e-mail you send to a potential employer is an opportunity to convey your professionalism—and your desire for the job in question. To learn more about the best job search protocol, please contact our team today. Grammar Chic, Inc. can be reached at 803-831-7444, or at http://www.grammarchic.net.

2 Comments

Filed under Email Writing

Keeping Your E-mails Out of the Spam Folder

iStock_000018350665XSmall

Have you ever received an obviously spammy, advertorial, mass e-mail—crudely written and flagrantly promotional—and taken great relish in moving it from your inbox to your spam folder? It can be fun, even therapeutic, to put spammers in their place like this.

Of course, when it’s your business e-mail that gets put into the spam folder, then it’s a different story.

The truth of the matter is that your e-mail recipients can click on the ‘Spam’ button any time they want to—and the more they do, the more likely it is that your company’s e-mails are going to be blacklisted, which means they’ll begin to automatically show up in spam folders instead of inboxes—effectively killing your e-mail marketing campaign.

That’s not what you want to happen, obviously, but how can you avoid it?

Looking for a Reason

A basic point to keep in mind as you design your marketing e-mails is that, when your e-mails get flagged as spam, that increases the likelihood of them being blacklisted—so if you want to avoid the blacklist, you need to avoid giving your recipients a reason to flag you as spam.

Now, folks who actually signed up for your e-mail newsletter probably aren’t going to flag your e-mails as spam, especially not if you give them an easy way to opt out of your e-mail list should they ever desire to. For “cold” contacts, though, you need to make sure your e-mails are well-written, devoid of typos, and generally come across as professional. Take some time to make sure your e-mails offer something of value—not just a great discount but also some real content, like links to your company blog or to your Pinterest page.

The Problem with Bulk E-mails

The method you use for sending your e-mails is also important. If you simply send a bulk e-mail from Microsoft Office, well, you’re very likely to get yourself on the blacklist. That’s a huge no-no, which is why it’s important to invest in a platform like Constant Contact (what we use at Grammar Chic, Inc.) or Mail Chimp. These platforms provide you with a lot of great tools, templates, and analytics, but the mere fact that they keep your e-mails from automatically being blacklisted is reason enough for the investment.

On a related note: Make sure you have a dedicated e-mail account set up for your e-mail marketing messages. Having responses forwarded to a personal e-mail account is an old spammer’s trick, and it may get you blacklisted.

Staying Off the List

Believe it or not, there is an entire list of words that blacklist services use to classify which e-mails are spam and which aren’t. The list is too expansive and too fluid to be copied here, but you can image some of the kinds of words and phrases that tend to land e-mails in the Spam heap—including:

  • Impersonal subject lines and greetings, i.e., Friend, to whom it may concern, etc.
  • Words associated with multi-tier marketing, including direct marketing.
  • Generic calls to action, like click here or click below.
  • The term notspam.
  • Cheesy marketing buzzwords—once in a lifetime, miracle, one-time-only, pre-approved, get paid, save $, save big money, no investment needed, incredible deal, fast cash, discount, free, f r e e, etc.

Again, if you focus on offering value and substance, rather than framing your e-mails as glorified infomercials, then you’ll probably be alright. As with everything else in online marketing, content quality really is king—so if you need help constructing quality e-mails, we invite you to contact Grammar Chic, Inc. today. Visit http://www.grammarchic.net, or call 803-831-7444.

3 Comments

Filed under Email Writing