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1. 40-40-20 Rule

2. Respect Your Recipient

3. Opt-in's Big Payoff

4. Think Like A Customer

5. Write Great Copy

6. Track Your Results

7. Test, Test, Test

Secret #4:  Think Like a Customer Do's & Don'ts

Do: Get to the point.
Don't: Play guessing games.

Don't make recipients of your email campaign figure it out for themselves. Internet users are busy people who receive hundreds of email messages every day. They barely have time to click on your email to open it, much less waste valuable time figuring out what you're message is all about. Capture attention right from the start with the subject line of your email. Personalization is very powerful but use it in the body of the email and not the subject line. Many anti-spam applications will trash email that has a personalized subject line. If you can't come up with a short, meaningful subject line that sums up your pitch, and doesn't reek of spam hit the Delete key and start over. Or, call Dr. Email to write it correctly for you in the first place.

Do: Give people an incentive to buy.
Don't: Restate your everyday low prices.

Internet users tend to be buyers with short attention spans. If you want to inspire them to action, you need to give them a compelling reason to purchase your product or service today. Remember the 40-40-20 Rule: Offer is 40% of the success of your entire campaign. Discounts, instant rebate, free samples, free shipping, free gifts, a big bonus with purchase and limited-time offers are all powerful incentives to get people to respond. Remember: an emailing that generates 1000 inquiries for additional information is ultimately going to be far more successful than a mailing that produces one or two quick sales.

Do: Include a "call to action".
Don't: Leave recipients wondering what to do next.

Connect the dots for people. No one is a mind reader. Never assume the obvious. It's not enough to tell recipients to visit your home page or grab a free download. You need to tell them exactly what you want them to do. Don't send someone to your home page with lots of other distracting information on it. Send them to a sales page or micro-site that is specifically focused on fulfilling the visitor's quest for more information and takes the next step in the sales conversation. Some people are actually confused about the free download process. Others just don't have the time or desire to search through your home page to find what they are seeking based on your email offer. Should they sign up for a free trial offer? Should they purchase your product today? If you don't ask recipients to do something in particular, they may check out your home page, then surf away. And, be sure to place multiple links in the body of the email. More links means more respondents. While most people click through within the first five links, you can capture 20-35% more respondents with long copy and more links deeper in the message. It's an art as well as science to do this correctly.

Do: Expect recipients to ask you questions.
Don't: Expect to close the sale first try.

While generating immediate sales from your emailing is always great, keep in mind that many prospects are going to want more information before they decide to buy. Studies have shown that the average sale is made only after seven attempts to convince the prospect to buy. So, don't give up on the first try. This is especially true with any type of financial services offer. Be sure to have the website, email CRM campaign and customer care staff in place to respond to these inquiries immediately or prepare to see your valuable leads disappear. Instant Offers are specifically designed to maintain the sales conversation when prospects do not buy on their first visit.

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