You sent me an email the other day. It was about percentages and lots of money off something. I think you said something about SHOPING, I can only assume you meant SHOPPING. Because I can’t really think of anything else it could have been. Thing is, you did really well in getting me to open it, although I can’t for the life of me remember what was in the subject headline, but well done anyway. Not everyone gets that far, I often delete emails before I even read them.
So basically I have the junk filter on high on my email account. The reason for this is because I get an awful lot for rubbish in my inbox and I don’t have the time to look at it. However, I still speed read my junk box to check what’s there, because inadvertently, emails I do want to read end up there by mistake, so it’s worth checking. It’s not uncommon for this to happen and I’m sure we all have a quick look in the junk every now and again.
I get all sorts of emails in there, some with some truly hilarious subject headings such as “Gillian how about some turbocharged testosterone” or “8 Foods That Can Cause Serious Gas” or “Do you need Viagra?” God alone knows what this says about me, who knows, but the majority of them end up in the delete box before you can say turbocharge.
Because I’m a copywriter I’m really interested in what makes a good sales email, and so should you, because it might be the difference between someone who opens your email and becomes engaged with what you’re selling, or clicking the delete button.
So, here’s what I DON’T like in an email:
· Calling me by name – this is subjective, some may find this personal touch really engaging, but not me I’m afraid, I think this type of selling has been done to death. The idea of faking some sort of familiarity with me when you don’t even know me is enough to make me delete it as soon as I see my name in the subject heading. If you are going to use names, for crying out loud make sure you spell it correctly, and don’t spend the rest of your email being too overly-sickeningly familiar,
· Too many exclamation marks – Not keen on exclamation marks, but one is just about ok, but more than three and I’ll think you have an emergency, one that needs an ambulance or a fire engine. Don’t over egg it, it’s not that exciting,
· Pyrotechnical, over-technical flashy-flashy – Please don’t flash at me, please don’t put neon bright colours in my face, especially before 10am and before I’ve had a coffee. It’s not necessary and neither is lots of text, a simple and effective message is all that’s required, with perhaps a few images of what you’re selling.
As an example – ASOS is great. Subject headline “Dress with up to 70% off” That has my attention. Click on the email and yes a few garish colours, but then mostly images in sets of four, dresses with 70% off and then beneath that, a few shoes that might go with the dresses, and then a list of famous brands they sell, and that’s it. Simple enough to get me interested and no empty promises and no over-familiarisation.
So this is what I do like in an email:
· Simple grabbing subject headlines, perhaps a simple question, a sentence with 6 to 7 characters only, examples are Change.org – “Will you join me?” And Goop – Stop, Collaborate, and Listen” You can be selling ideas or products, but if you want people to listen, you have to grab their attention with something powerful and it doesn’t have to be a long headline
· An email with a simple font and not too many bright colours and flashing images, something that really grabs me emotionally without being too personal or overly sentimental, and then gets straight to the point
· Simple graphics, good quality images if you have products to sell, I need to see what you’re trying to sell me
· Spelling – there’s nothing more off-putting than reading an email with spelling mistakes, it doesn’t look professional.
So there you have it, if you’d like to email again with SHOPPING rather than SHOPING I might pay more attention, and no I don’t need any Viagra, or turbocharged testosterone, but perhaps I might be interested in the gas free foods.