Creative Corner - The Trouble With E-Mail (1,091 words)
For instance, a few weeks ago I received a solicitation offering PCs at great prices, so I went to the site. I was looking for a laptop and had a question, so I e-mailed customer service. Two weeks have gone by and I've had no reply. Not only has the company lost my business, but it lost the money it spent marketing to me—and now I'll probably never buy its products. If this is how it treats me as a prospect, how would it treat me if I buy one of its PCs and it breaks down? How could I have confidence in its tech support if it doesn't acknowledge me when I'm trying to buy from it? There's a lot of business falling between the cracks because companies are not yet incorporating back-end practices into their e-mail marketing efforts.
Clearly, there is tremendous potential for e-mail as a direct response vehicle. However, as electronic mailboxes become more inundated with mail, a higher level of attention will be required to break through the clutter and be successful.
Here at the agency, we've been getting calls about working with companies on their e-mail campaigns. Here are some of the things we focus on in developing these programs:
• E-mail is the "conversation" through which you and your reader have a relationship. Maintaining your integrity and building rapport are crucial. "Getting the sale" is great, but the real objective of online communication is to become a trusted source for each and every one of your customers.
• My favorite radio station is WIIFM: "What's In It For ME?" That's the only "station" you should be playing for your e-mail recipients. Don't write a laundry list of what you think you have to offer. People don't really care what you have, they only care about what's in it for them. Take the features or attributes of your product/service and turn them into benefits for your prospect. Be as specific as possible in detailing how your product or service will work for them.