The key to writing good e-content (content for your emails and ezines) is to make the most sense in the fewest possible words, while making an impression/connection with potential clients, to the point that they respond to your call to action.
Here are a few “new rules” shaping effective emailed content today.
1. Keep an eye on headlines (and subject lines). A cleverly crafted headline or subject line will determine if your email gets opened and read or not. Headlines appealing to reader’s desires on an emotional level will be more effective.
“Insider secrets,” “5 tips you can apply now to save time/money/energy,” and “What they don’t want you to know,” are examples of titles that work because they are compelling. They offer a promise to solve a problem. They create great curiosity. They seduce the reader to open and read the email.
2. Use keywords in the headline. Use them again in the first paragraph, and repeat several times in the body of the content.
3. Keep content length short and to the point. Once you write your message, review it and delete as many words as possible. Ask, “So what?” to each sentence. Keep the focus on your core intention for that email message.
4. Use bulleted lists to provide readers a means to scan your points. Remember the Jakob Neilsen survey that showed only 11 percent read an email thoroughly? Make your messages user-friendly.
5. Use stories to make it real to readers. Use your own experiences, or those of your clients. One tactic is to use your own mistakes, and then describe a lesson learned. This is because you want readers to connect with you on a human level, and trust you.
6. Write with the reader in mind. Focus on providing solutions to their pain.
7. Demonstrate a clear purpose. Each email should have one intention only. One subject, one call to action.
8. Use statistics, testimonials, case studies, and expert references to support your point. Never forget that readers have sensitive BS antennae and a finger poised on the delete key. Don’t waste their time.
9. Make a clear offer. Be transparent, and up-front. Give them a “reason-why” and a reason to act now. Whether you are selling a product or a service, help reduce the readers’ fear of risk. Stand behind what you offer.
10. Go easy on the hype. A good tip is to read your content out loud. If it sounds like a commercial, rewrite it to sound like part of a conversation. Be friendly, yet professional. Over-use of power-words will trigger the delete finger.
For more articles on writing better ezines and content, click on the category Writing Better Ezines.