Now what does an enchanting email look like? I’m taking a couple of principles from Enchantment to illustrate.
If you’ve ever seen Guy Kawasaki, or a picture of him (I have yet to meet him in person), one of the first things you’ll notice is his smile. In fact one of the first pieces of advice he gives is to learn how to SMILE BIG. With crows feet; with your whole face, not just your mouth. Smile, darn ya, smile.
An email that smiles is a message that is positive. OK, sometimes you have to be the bearer of bad news, but don’t be a downer all the time. People will avoid your emails or they’ll simply unsubscribe. But ahhh….elevate your message and the whole world smiles with you.
Start by trusting others; give people the benefit of the doubt and they will respond to your message in a straightforward way (personally and through emails). Then:
- Be generous (with info and value).
- Honest. Value your email list because behind each address is a real person. Don’t ever forget that. I’m getting off the tracks here a little bit, but even the phrase “email list” can make you complacent. Each and every subscriber is a gift; and they are there because you have something to teach or offer them. Never take that lightly.
- Transparent. Tell it like it is; not how you think people want to hear it.
- Show how you’re different and recognize the differences of others. Offer email preferences and look at your email statistics; then cater to those beautiful different dimensions of your list.
Here’s something you don’t hear everyday. Kawasaki cites Gary Klein, who wrote about “pre-mortems” instead of postmortems for evaluating a project. In email terms, that means you’d assume that your email was entirely unopened, un-clicked, unloved … a complete failure. Then try to figure out why it failed. Yes, BEFORE you send it. Pretend your email bombed; then fix it.
Maybe in this case you could step back a bit and look at a whole campaign or strategy for a series of emails, because let’s face it, we don’t try to use failing subject lines and un-enchanting photos in any of our emails, do we? I liked this idea simply because sometimes it’s helpful to look at an everyday item — an email — from the inside out. With fresh eyes. Creative analysis: the difference between beating a dead horse and reviving a dead horse.
That’s Japanese for “eliminating clutter; expressing things in plain and simple ways.” I think that means to speak like a real person TO a real person; don’t say things in a highfalutin’ way if you can express it simply. Also:
- Eliminate the junk or anything that distracts from the main message of your email. Some people swear by having only one call to action in an email, for example. That doesn’t work in a newsletter format, or even promotional emails with several options. But too many choices can certainly be distracting. When you’re creating an email, think “what’s my point?” then stick to that.
- On a practical note, use simple table-based HTML email templates that dodge that junk folder.
- Keep the design simple and elegant.
- Provide a text-only option.
- Especially online, clean is better than fussy. Include some white space.
Funny how reading a great marketing or how-to book brings to mind practical applications to your own business. I promise, while reading Enchantment; whatever your interest or passion or profession, you will learn how to be more “enchanting” while doing it. And that’s a very attractive idea, isn’t it?
So what did you read this week? Did it speak to your business? Your heart? Inspire yourself and continue your education a little bit every day and you will daily improve and grow.
Image: Song of Songs #4 Detail, Creative Commons, Flickr: Carly & Art