Professional Composing Techniques for Targeted Email Campaigns

Effective marketing copy contains a headline, a proposition and a call to action. There is nothing new about this and it still applies to targeted email marketing. Here is how to make the most of your message composition:

Use A Benefit-Rich Headline

A strong, provocative headline is the most important element of any marketing copy. Only one out of five people get beyond the headline so make this your most powerful punch. The secret is that customers are more interested in reading about THEMSELVES than about a company. State a benefit in your headline that clearly enhances their life, using power words such as: "Discover";"Announcing"; "Breakthrough"; "Facts";"New"; "Now"; "Yes"; "Sale";- words that are active, grab the attention of prospects, and promise them something. (The two words that are most enticing are "You", and "Free".)

State A Prospect-Centered Proposition

It is all about your customer. You need to setup your copy to make them believe how their life will be better with your product or service. Go back to the roots of the product or service being offered. Why does it exist in today's world, and why does your company sell it? The proposition section of your marketing copy sets up a kind of vacuum, which you are about to fill with... benefits. A benefit is anything that will make a customer's life better by using your product or service. This is the payoff, and the crucial section of your marketing copy where you must deliver the goods. Write down each and every benefit that you can, with later. Next comes features, however with email marketing you may want to drive traffic to your web site where you can spill out all the features. If a customer reads beyond the headline, then they may be good prospect for what you are selling. Now it's your job to give them ALL the information you can... but not all in a single email. If you must put all the information here, then break it up with calls to action between each major section.

Ask For a Response!

This is your call to action. All marketing copy must deliver a clear call to action. Do you want the customer to phone, click, respond? Customers are bombarded with thousands of calls to action every day so make you call DIRECT AND FIRM. And finally, is there a compelling reason for them to act NOW? (Limited time offer, call now and receive a discount, etc.)

Keep it focused.

Unless you are composing a newsletter, keep your email message focused and keep it short. It may be tempting to throw in blurbs about other products or services, but it will distract from your objective. Customers will see a long email and think it is too much trouble to read the whole email for the benefit (even if you do everything else right). Since newsletters often cover many topics and tend to be long, try to group the topics and compose several shorter variations of your newsletter. Select customers based on their interests and create a group profile for each variation of your newsletter. Focus on quality, not quantity. The more targeted an e-mail list is, the smaller the number of returns (leads or sales) will be. However, the leads or sales should be of high quality and thus likely to turn into long-term, profitable customers. This is the value of targeted email marketing - send your message to those most likely to respond.

Formatting your marketing message.

Keep in mind that there could be a wide range of acceptable formats to use when you compose your email, but there are some basics that are common to all successful campaigns. Even though graphically enhanced email has a higher response rate, you should strive to use graphics sparingly. Just like your web site, too many graphics in a message will be a turn-off when the recipient is waiting to view them. Use graphics to strengthen your message, not distract from it. Usually, a good quality header graphic, your logo and one other picture is all that is necessary to make your point. And don't forget to place a call to action at the beginning and end of your message. If a recipient fails to read your entire message, you at least want to impact them in the headline.

Your messages should also contain: a footer with standard contact information and/or a privacy policy. Include unsubscribe instructions. The first mailing to a customer should always thank them for signing up and remind them what they signed up for. Every graphic should have a text alternative, since some customers may not be able to view graphics in their email client.

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