FACT: The purpose of email marketing isn't to "Tell & Sell"...

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Instead, your challenge is to take your prospects on a journey up Conversion Mountain, where they could fall off at any point...

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...with an engaging opening line, a message that speaks to their problems and challenges, and a clear call-to-action that makes clicking, calling, or replying a natural and easy next step.

The journey to a response, click-through, or “conversion” can take a million different routes, but there are no shortcuts—just the time-tested guideposts of clear, concise, empathetic writing to make sure your prospects complete the trip...

...and deliver you more good leads.

To craft a message that generates more good leads, use these rules of the road:

 

STEP 1

Start With Your Offer

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The whole point of your email is to get your prospect to act—to click, call, or reply.

But every email is a transaction—your prospects won’t act unless there’s something in it for them:

That’s where your “offer” comes in—it's what your prospect gets in return for acting on your email, and lays the entire foundation for your message.

Offers come in all shapes and sizes—they educate, entertain, engage, and reward.

The clearer and more specific you are about what your offer is and how it helps your prospect, the more likely your prospect will be to act.

Identify your offer before you do anything else, then craft an email message that sells your offer (not your company or your product). So let's start writing...

 

STEP 2

Open With A Bang

Your prospects have limited time and patience. If you don’t grab their attention immediately, you’ll lose them.

Your opening line offers your best chance to grab their attention, so don’t waste it.

Above all, be clear and concise. If you’re opening sentence is too long or hard to understand, your prospect will stop reading.

In addition, use your first sentence to speak to your offer and entice your prospects to read on, either by hinting at a benefit or piquing their curiosity.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when crafting your opening line, and ideas for improvement:

 

STEP 3

Highlight The Problem

Once you’ve grabbed your prospect’s attention, reel them in with more details.

Use the next few lines of your email to flesh out your message. Explain more clearly the nature of the problem and why your offer will help solve it.

Don’t be long-winded; be direct and informative.

Don’t talk about yourself or your product; use the second person “you” to speak to what your prospect cares about.

And don’t use buzzwords or business jargon; write plainly using words everyone understands.

Wise Guys Tip:
It’s okay to include information about yourself, but always phrase it in a way that speaks to your prospects’ point of view. For example, instead of writing “We’ve been the industry leader in X, Y, and Z since 1995,” write “For over 20 years, we’ve been helping businesses like yours accomplish X, Y, and Z.”

 

STEP 4

Make It Easy For Your Prospect

If your goal is a click-through (and in email marketing, it usually is), you want to make it as easy as possible for your prospect to do just that with a clear “call-to-action.”

Calls-to-action are most successful when they are:

  • Clear—tell your prospect exactly what they get
  • Frequent—give your prospect multiple chances to act by inserting your call-to-action as early as possible in your message, then repeating it one or two more times
  • Focused—prompt your prospects to take one action only (no irrelevant or distracting links to take their eye off the ball)

Wise Guys Tip:
Calls-to-action are more successful when they stand out visually. Try linking an entire line of text (rather than just one or two words) so your call-to-action catches your reader’s eye.

 

STEP 5

Review for Clarity & Empathy

You’re done (almost).

Now, go back to the beginning and re-read your whole message, applying the following checklist to every paragraph, sentence, and word:

  • Is it as clear as possible?
  • Is it written to appeal to my prospect’s point of view?
  • Is it concise (paragraphs no more than ~4 lines and sentences of no more than ~15 words)?
  • Did I use any unnecessary business jargon that could be replaced with something more conversational?
  • Did I make it as easy as possible for my prospect to act?

Most importantly, ask yourself: is my message relevant—to my offer and to my prospects?

Wise Guys Tip:
Need a fresh take? Let a colleague review your message, or set it aside and revisit it in a couple of days.

 

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