Don't be so afraid! Prospects WILL read your email if it has valuable information for them. The typical emails I write run a good seven or eight paragraphs in length ... often with bullets too. They work just fine.
Don't forget, as I mentioned above, if you drop a URL in early, prospects can clickthrough without reading every single word. Some people, though, like to read what you have to say and you shouldn't shortchange them.
Mistake #5: Writing in a boring, flat style.
This is a big no-no. As I often say, you have to write with a little energy and sense of fun, just like in direct mail copy.
Example: Take a look at this email I wrote for Shockwave. When I sat down to write this email, I imagined that I was sending a note to a 21-year-old sitting in his messy dorm room.
SUBJECT: Shockmachine is FREE and it's AWESOME!
Hey, have we got something for YOU.
Shockmachine. Free. Now.
It's dynamite, and it's waiting for you at:
Why does Shockmachine deserve a place on YOUR hard drive?
Well, first of all Shockmachine is free so it will cost you absolutely nada.
(Not a bad selling point!) ETC.
Fun to write! Sometimes, when you add a little attitude, you can cut through the clutter and get the reader on your side. Then you're halfway home.
Ivan Levison is a freelance direct response copywriter who works for companies like Bank of America, Fireman's Fund, Intel and Microsoft. Levison writes direct mail, emails, and Web copy. For a free subscription to his monthly email newsletter for marketers, and a free copy of his report, "101 Ways to Double Your Response Rates!", visit www.levison.com.