Our E-mail Addiction - 1
2. Every reader who writes receives a personal answer from me. If a comment comes directly to me, I personally reply and sometimes urge the reader to go to www.businesscommonsense.com to paste the letter into the Reader Comments section so it can be shared with others.
The column that's generated the most reader comments so far:
"Should Congress Shut Down eBay?"
Columns that have been most e-mailed by readers to others:
* "Old Media Becoming Vestigial at Warp Speed"
* "Is It Time to Stop Doing Business with China?"
* "The Incompetence of General Ad Agencies"
* "The Book Business: An Industry of Whiners"
* "Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing"
The most prolific commenter: Wash Phillips with 43 approved comments. (Always love hearing from you, Wash!)
About Direct Mail
"All direct mail is opened over the wastebasket," wrote Chicago copywriter Lea Pierce. With direct mail, you have, at best, three to five seconds to get the reader's attention.
Freelancer Pat Friesen of Kansas City, Kan., has identified the six outer-envelope "hot spots"--the elements that scream for attention:
1. Corner-card/return address Who is it from? Do I know the person or company?
2. Addressing Window or label? Computer or handwritten? Is my name spelled correctly?
3. Postage Live stamp? Metered indicia? Printed indicia?
4. Teaser copy Is it relevant to me?
5. Back envelope flap Is it blank? Is it relevant to me?
6. Back teaser copy Is it relevant to me?
Unlike a direct mail envelope that has Friesen's six elements, e-mail has just two elements: "From" and the subject line. This means the decision-making process to open or delete takes one second or less. The ideal subject line should be no more than 30-35 characters. For example, the following 11 e-mails arrived in my Yahoo inbox on Sept. 13 and 14: