Clicks That Count
To make yours stand out from the bazillion other e-mails people receive, add some personality to your correspondence. One of the best e-mail programs I've seen comes from www.anitalang.com. Anita Lang sells high-quality animal-inspired jewelry to upscale pet lovers. Every other week she sends out an e-mail to her house list that includes lots of special Internet-only offers as well as funny, anecdotal information about the antics of Scruffy, Nathan and Bear, her furry-legged friends.
When you're putting together your e-mail program, pay special attention to your "To" and "From" lines, subject line and the first two lines of your e-mail. Personalize your e-mails with the person's name—"friends" and "colleagues" just don't cut it anymore.
Your subject line works just like an envelope teaser, only more aggressive. You have 24 to 35 characters to get your e-mail opened, so choose your words wisely. And, pay attention to your opening two lines. About half of the people delete your e-mails after reading the first couple sentences so don't waste the space with unsubscribe messages. Use an aggressive message with active hyperlinks to make them click fast.
Don't under estimate the power of your "from" address. Whether it's a character, a real person or someone you make up, your e-mails should be from a name. More than 30 percent of people delete e-mails without even looking at the subject line because they don't recognize whom the e-mail is from.
Dancing bunnies? Flying spaceships with helpful green aliens that land all over the screen? They can't hold a candle to the things that work. And yes, that still holds true if you are a multimillion dollar company searching for a new Internet consultant, Peter.
Amy Africa is the president of Creative Results, a strategic direct marketing agency located in Williston, VT. She can be reached at email@example.com.