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ClickZ Email Marketing: Your Email Must Have Relevant Content

Aug 17, 2007
When I was listening to Jordan Ayan of SubscriberMail mention the importance of Relevant Content as it applies to email marketing I thought to myself that 99.9% of the so-called email marketers need to hear this.

For years I have worked as a translator between the online world an Main Street. I have consistently tried to point out to online marketers - that they need to make their copy relevant to the mainstream business community. That their message should not be written for their (the marketer's) colleagues to read, but for people with traditional businesses to understand and see the values in, for them.

In the beginning the email marketers relevancy test hit the "home run" wall. Every message was directed at companies large enough to have IT staffs just waiting for their otherwise indecipherable message. Back in 2000 at the Internet Expo in new York, I met a guy who was manning a booth for one of the important players (since gone broke, oops) - when he saw my press badge he was all over me.

I asked him, as I looked at the spectacular booth with its flashy displays, who his company did business with. His response was typical - Fortune 500 companies. I didn't let him down but my first thought was that what they needed was 500 well sourced email addresses - not a million dollar booth.

When you develop your email campaign, having a subject line that is relevant (and clever enough to get them to open it) and a message that is relevant to them, right then.

Technology allows us to personalize our email messages. I'm pretty sure no one that any of us want to do business with is so out of touch that they think we actually wrote specifically to them.

Technology allows us to send html messages, text messages, and combinations. Messages that are smart enough to cause the email client to display them in the best light.

Who cares? Not decision makers. They get zillions of emails a day from the most technologically sophisticated among us. If you try to be more clever than your competitors, you'll go broke while your designers win awards.

What is your company's message, does your email campaign build consistently on that message? It's trite but true - "what's in for me?" is still the key.

When the message is not relevant - specifically to the particular recipient of the email - it doesn't matter how many bells and whistles it has, they will not read it, much less take action on it.

I get lots of email from strangers, every day. I can sniff out the potentially relevant ones instantly, by their subject line, the words and phrases they use, and delete 99.9% of them. When I do open one, the first 2-3 lines are all I see most of the time, before trashing them and relegating the sender to the junk filters.

That's what you're up against. Stay away from cute, stick to a relevant message that will get action. And if you don't know the people you're contacting well enough to have at least some idea what might be relevant to them - don't clutter up cyberspace.
About the Author
Wayne Messick reports on how Main St. businesses can integrate technology to succeed in the 21st Century on his blog iBizResources.com/blog His company's updated Internet marketing strategy can be found at
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