In the current digital space, the importance of brevity has been lost on many businesses aiming to improve their bottom line, as they try to fit in as many words as possible into their marketing copy. This is especially true for marketing emails. However, it is important to note that the average individual is inundated with all kinds of marketing messages over the course of any given day.
From social media to email, there is only so much time available for your customer to digest your content. The problem is compounded even further with the poor attention span situation. An email deemed too long can put off your customer, regardless of what you may be selling.
This piece looks at mistakes you are making that end up leading to lengthy and sometimes verbose email copy. If you are guilty of these, then there is no denying the fact that your customers will find your emails to be confusing, boring and off-putting.
Divulging all the Selling Points in one Email
One of the most successful ingredients in email copywriting is the use of intrigue and curiosity. This is especially true if your campaign is still in the nascent stage. Keep in mind that at this time, your customer doesn’t know about your brand just yet.
If you include all the interesting bits about your brand in the first email, you have lost the opportunity to create a sense of mystery around your brand. The end result will be a huge wall of text that will reduce the chances of the customer listening to your message.
A good tip is to focus on one element of your product or service for every email. Since it is ideal to adopt a multi-contact approach per customer with your email campaigns, there will be other emails in future to discuss other facets of your business or other offers you might have.
Including a Lengthy List of Benefits
When you send an email to your customers with a feature list added in the body, containing all of the amazing benefits you have to offer, you are elongating the email unnecessarily and reducing its overall effectiveness. Your customer will likely not bother to read everything contained in the list.
Lists – whether written out plainly or graphically formatted and presented – are difficult to read for most people. Of course, there is a good reason to add benefits to your email, but do not take them to the extreme.
One key way to deal with this issue is to have a sentence limit for your emails. The best emails are between three and five sentences long. When you have an imposed limit, you will be less likely to break any rules with sentence length. You will then have to decide what would make most sense from the standpoint of your business to the standpoint of your target.
Extreme Politeness and Niceties
It is great to have manners and to be polite in your exchanges. However, the fast-paced nature of this day and age means we are generally less patient towards pleasantries. So, when you use the first line to ask after the customer’s family or to ask how the week is going, you have added nothing to the email and have most likely ended up wasting words. Going back to the five-sentence upper limit we set above for emails, using a line or two for greetings and pleasantries leaves you with at most three lines to discuss the value you are providing.
A good tip to retain the niceties without wasting words is to use the opening line to ask a punchy question. You can also quote a telling statistic. Then at the end of the email, use a personalised ‘Call to Action’ to flatter the recipient. This will work more effectively than pleasantries overall.
Excess Quote Usage
It is often tempting to use quotes as social proof in sales emails, especially when they are from respected individuals or influencers in your niche. However, you need to choose the quotes you use very carefully. In many cases, the quotes are just unnecessary texts.
Ditch the quotes if they don’t clearly communicate a specified benefit and if they do not contain information that isn’t already available on your website. If the quotes are more than a line, do not use them regardless of perceived benefits.
It is often difficult to admit to narcissism because we don’t always know when we are being narcissistic. However, if you read some of your past emails and they are too focused on you or your brand, you are indeed being narcissistic. This is nothing to be ashamed of (as many sales people have been guilty of this at some point), but it’s something you must work on.
The problem with this is that it’s very easy for the email to degenerate into a monologue. How would you feel at an event where the presenter ignores the solutions you have come for and first proceeds on a 30-minute discussion about their private lives? This is exactly what you are doing to your customers when you are engaging in inadvertent narcissism with your emails.
Make sure you are focused on the pain-points of the customer and ensure you are focused on highlighting how your business can help take care of these. You’d be more likely to send short and thoughtful messages when you haven’t made the entire email about yourself.
At the end of the day, one of the best ways to avoid the mistakes communicated here is to make sure you aren’t getting too engrossed in your own words. When you get too attached to a sentence, you might end up doing a disservice to it. Trim the words from your sales emails as soon as the opportunity arises. This way, you can be certain that every sentence contained in the email serves a specific purpose. With this, you can get back to writing truly compelling sales emails in readiness for better conversions in 2018.