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Email – getting the message right

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday February 7, 2010 )

A pre-sales conversation via email can be particularly challenging as there’s so many additional threats relating to mixing up the message and confusing a potential target.

Here’s an example:

“And if you decide to purchase a purple flomble from us today, we’ll take an additional 20 off”

20 what? 20 bucks, 20%, 20 armadillos?

For the sake of perhaps a single character, the sales process can be stalled. The same sort of situation can apply to email marketing as well.

Email being what it is, when something isn’t crystal clear, people can’t immediately say “pardon?” and ask for clarification as they can in a face to face or phone conversation. Instead they spend time trying to interpret the message or email back querying it – this can distract them from doing what you want them to – to buy your product.

The more time that passes in interpretation or to and fro, the greater the chance they’ll see a better deal from one of your competitors and then you’ll be battling that as well.

The other thing that may happen is they may just gloss over that statement altogether as folks tend to be a bit mentally lazy – and if it is an important hook, you’ve suddenly lost your big guns.

Online sales can be a high pressure environment, particularly if you have a ton of leads to work through.

The temptation is to race through using the shotgun approach – pointing the weapon in a general direction, then pulling the trigger and hoping for the best. This might be fine in some sectors, but where big ticket items are involved, we need to emulate the sniper who calmly lines up the target and continues to focus the crosshairs on the target while gently squeezing the trigger.

Take an extra minute and read your responses to pre-sales questions before sending – and most importantly, temporarily shed your role in sales to that of a prospective customer and try to view it from their perspective.

If there’s big bucks at stake, also try and recruit a co-worker or partner to proof-read your response as well for clarity, grammar and spelling as the latter two can also have a big impact on how well your message is received.


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