Crazy Idea of the Week: Make Email the Point

We all earn a permission grant from our subscribers, and then watch the response rates falter after a few email messages. Why do consumers and business professionals sign up for email they don’t want to read? Well, they do want to hear from you, but when you don’t manage to keep them engaged, you lose out to other things in their inbox. To break through inbox clutter, you have meet a high standard.

Want your email program to work harder? Apply this crazy idea to your program: Make the email itself the point. Our research shows that the primary driver of opens and response is prior value with the email program itself. It matters less that your brand is recognized, or even that the reader is a loyal customer. The key is providing value in the email message.

To wit. Sending a promotion about merchandise makes the email about the offer. What if the email was the point? Instead, send three tips for summer travel, staying elegant in the heat, or preparing tasty, nutritious meals without turning on the oven. Feature your merchandise “in real life.”

Sending a product announcement makes the email about your company. What if the email was the point? Instead, send the first three graphs of a whitepaper on workplace productivity, and how your product helps your customers make more money, build their business and get a raise.

Sending an event invitation makes the email about some future presentation. What if the email was the point? Instead, increase response by including a three-email follow up series with every registration that gets the subscriber fully prepped to get the most out of your seminar – and you get a much more highly qualified prospect.

Sending special offers makes the email about discounts. What if the email was the point? Invite customers to sign up for an email fashion show, a weekend cooking series or a travelers packing productivity guide. Each email contains real value and is a destination. Just like product placement in the movies, your products are featured in a flattering light. This is also a great way to encourage pass along readership and viral list growth.

As always, the power is in our hands to make our email messages welcomed, opened, read and response-generating. Try these ideas to add value to your current calendar. Or, turn them into win-back campaigns to re-engage inactive subscribers. Want to brainstorm on how to make it work for you? Just email me.

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