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Successful Emails: 6 Secrets To Make Them Sensational

Aug 26, 2008
During a new project call, today, a client asked for my advice on which was better, telemarketing or email, for finding new prospects.

My basic answer is that the telephone is overall more high-touch and more reliable. However, email, when done correctly can be effective. I didn't say *as* reliable or *as* effective but it can be a wonderful secondary form of air cover.

So that begs the question -- what makes a successful email?

At a high level, here are the six secrets to what makes a successful email. Notice, I didn't say "good" or "well-written" or "pleasant" or "graphically appealing" email -- I said *successful*. (I don't have time to go into the other components of an email campaign, so, for now, I'll cover the email itself.)

* Subject line with a great offer: If the email reaches the target, you have only a few seconds to get them to open the email; make sure the subject line jumps out at them by including a great offer. Another way of looking at this? "Don't be ashamed of bribing people."

* Headline w/great offer: Once people open your email and view your headline, you have another 3 seconds during which they decide whether to read the rest of the email or hit 'junk' or 'delete'. Make sure the headline captures their attention and again tells them about your wonderful offer.

* Content: Short and sweet and to the point: That's it. Don't write the great American novel. This is about time - and how much they can/will give to an email message, during their busy day.

* Single objective: Don't try to sell them anything; don't try to get them to do *several* things. You have one objective and one only -- You want them to go to a landing page or whatever the next step is. The landing page structure is a whole different animal - but my single objective advice is to focus on email effectiveness, for now.

* Contact: Make sure to give them various ways to connect with you including landing page, click to call, phone number, email, etc.

* Remind them of the offer: Again make the offer very enticing and remind them at least *three* times in the email about what they get if they respond. I also find that images of your offer works great, too (ex: If you give them a gift card for meeting with you, then use the image of a gift card, etc.).

There are other points of advice regarding email communication, of course, but my organization has found that these are the main secrets to our online success.

Just a little warning -- when we do emails I run into a lot of resistance from vendors who might be paying for these (our/your) marketing activities. As we develop marketing campaigns for these vendors, we must have all emails meet with their approval. Depending, of course, on your vendor client, they may try to water down the effectiveness of your email. That's your challenge.
About the Author
Ramon provides more marketing information, especially created for the IT VAR industry but also applies to everyone who wants to improve their sales. Stay up-to-date at StreetSmartVAR.com and while you're there, don't forget to sign up for Ramon's popular, no-cost online marketing course!
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