Sometimes the minutiae can obscure the big picture. This touchpoint led to that clickthrough. That's great. But what if response falls off a cliff? What went wrong?
Phil Simon—author of "MESSAGE NOT RECEIVED: Why Business Communication is Broken and How to Fix It," published in March—is trying to rid the business world of the overuse of jargon and email messages.
Simon advises email marketers ask themselves:
1. Is It Necessary? This isn't a question of frequency—it's relevance. "The people who make major purchasing decisions are typically more senior," he says. "That means that they receive even more emails than average."
The average professional sends and receives "121 business messages every day," Simon cites of an April 2014 study by the Radicati Group (opens as a PDF).
"People are overwhelmed," he says. "It turns out that email overload is the single biggest reason that people unsubscribe from mailing lists. Yes, there is such a thing as too much communication."
[Editor's note: Journalists wish to only send and receive 121 emails a day. So an "average" is just that.]
2. Does a Random Teenager Understand It? Seriously. Ask at least one. Don't just imagine what a teenager would say. Is what the product or service is and does obvious? Does the email make clear what the recipient is being asked to do? Simon uses the example of "a next-generation, cross-platform communications app." So that's email, right?
3. Is It Personalized, But Not Creepy? Maybe it's the difference between asking "How are you?" vs. "How are you feeling after the laparoscopic gallbladder surgery for gallstones you had on April 3, Gerry?"
- "Dear Customer" is lazy.
- "If" doesn't inspire confidence.
- Don't call a "she" a "he," and get names right.
What are some other obvious points email marketers are missing in the age of data-driven communications?
Please respond in the comments section below.