It may seem harsh, but marketing writers know that very few people will ever read our words. Maybe it’s the drive to get people to notice us that keeps us going. The key is to not take it personally and use that cruel reality to spur more effective work.
If you remember nothing else about creating content, keep this two-part formula in mind:
Part #1: Everybody is busy.
You’re busy. Plumbers are busy. Tech consultants are busy. People who don’t look busy are just better at hiding it. And if your audience has any value, you’re not the only one trying to get their attention.
Part #2: Nobody cares.
As excited as you may be about your prospect, you need to know that they’re not waiting to hear from you. That’s right. They’re just not that into you. At least not yet.
How can you turn a disinterested target into someone who cares? And is willing to spend their ten available seconds with you? Keep these tips in mind—for email copy, subject lines and buttons, as well as every other marketing channel you use.
How many sentences start with the company name, “We” or “Our?” You’ve been stuck sitting next to those people at parties before—the ones who love to talk about themselves. And you’ve gotten away as fast as you could.
Make it fast.
Marketing 101 professors all told to focus on benefits, not features, and the result is an internet full of companies that don’t say what they do. So, sure, offer to optimize my business. But make sure I’m clear on whether you want to do it by installing IoT sensors, selling data viz software or helping streamline my org chart.
While there are some brands and environments where deep, beautifully written stories can connect, for the most part, we live in a world of scanners. As much as you may love your prose, you may need to let it go in favor of crisp, clear, motivating text.
If you have a lot to say, break it down into digestible hunks, each with its own far more engaging and specific hook (and subject line). Voilà—a drip campaign.
Bonus tip: Don’t waste the reader’s time telling them about their problem. They already know it all too well. And if you get it even a little wrong, you could lose them entirely. Let them know you understand their pain in the way you present the solution.
Make it about them.
Scan the last thing you wrote. How many sentences start with the company name, “We” or “Our?” You’ve been stuck sitting next to those people at parties before—the ones who love to talk about themselves. And you’ve gotten away as fast as you could.
Don’t be that person. Rather than who you are or how great or what you want, dive into what they can accomplish with you on board. An easy way to check—see how often you can start a sentence with a verb.
Bonus tip: This should go without saying (and we’ve talked about it in a post on drip campaigns, but you can’t berate people into responding. I’m seeing a surprising number of cold emails complaining that I haven’t responded to earlier attempts. Your prospects do not owe you an open. You have to earn it.
Make it easy.
One of the rules we try to live by at FATFREE is that you can’t say you’re going to make something easy (or that you respect someone’s time) with 10,000 words. Don’t talk about easy. BE easy.
- Use everyday language
- Tell them what do do next
- Include one big, clear link or button (and leave out the extra “just in case” links)
- Make sure they know why they’re clicking (Read More, Sign Up Now, Get Your Free Thing)
- Take them directly to what they need
Bonus tip: If you don’t know what you want prospects to do next or you don’t have a page to drive toward, you’re not ready to send. Email is a tough acquisition channel to begin with, so make sure you’ve got the rest of the conversion flow worked out before you let yours fly.
Picture yourself as the email recipient. Would you open it? Does it pique your interest or solve your problem? Would you click? What questions would it raise? Whether it’s a promotion, newsletter or transactional email, you’ve got just a few seconds. Make them count. Need some help answering those questions? Let FATFREE help you work it out.