Stating clear objectives gives you a platform for creating e-mail content that accomplishes your objectives. Running a small business involves frequently setting new objectives and developing new e-mail content in line with those objectives. When your time is limited, you might be tempted to create e-mail content that fits your schedule better than your objectives. One of the most important reasons to use specific objectives to guide the creation of your e-mail content is to keep you from bombarding your customers and prospects with all your information.
Sending all the information you can think of to everyone and then hoping that someone finds something interesting in your e-mails is spraying and praying, and it’s no way to reward all your hard work. Avoid using the following e-mail strategies to prevent spraying and praying:
- Newsletters with mixtures of themes, multiple unrelated articles, and numerous calls to action
- Promotions featuring multiple contrasting products along with nonpromotional content
- Announcements pertaining to a select group of contacts but sent to everyone
- Procedural e-mails including excessive or confusing promotionalmessages
While you develop e-mail content, think about how your audience will perceive your intentions. If you want your audience to help you accomplish your objectives, your audience needs to know why you are sending them e-mail and what you are asking them to do. Because you can’t just tell your audience to buy something (um, because you are trying to buy another beach house in Hawaii), you have to translate your objectives into themes that clue your audience in on your objectives without explicitly telling them what you are trying to accomplish.
E-mail messages make more sense to your prospects and customers when the content you create and deliver is tied together under familiar themes. A theme is the main idea of your entire e-mail campaign. Themes are not the same as formats. Format refers to the classification and configuration of an e-mail. Most objectives can be grouped into one of four familiar themes:
e-mails can sometimes include content with multiple themes, but in such cases, it’s usually best to have one main theme and several related themesgrouped together visually under the main theme.
When the main objective of your e-mail is to persuade your audience to take a specific action or to ask for a specific purchase decision, make sure your e-mail includes only content that supports and relates to a promotional theme.
For example, if your e-mail’s main objective is to ask your audience to purchase a specific product, including an invitation to a related product seminar would follow your theme. Comparatively, including an invitation to an unrelated event would detract from your theme. Examples of content you might include in an e-mail with a promotional theme include
- Product images and descriptions
- Headlines and links that call for action
- Links to information that supports the main call to action
- Directions on how to take action
When the main objective of your e-mail is to inform your audience to help them form an opinion, include only that content which supports and relates to an informational theme.
Informational themes differ from promotional themes: Informational themes rarely include a specific call to action other than reading the message content. For example, a newsletter with an informational theme might have threearticles about the benefits of clean air.
When the main objective of your e-mail is to give official instructions or explain processes, include content that supports and relates to a procedural theme. Procedural messages are like informational messages in that they rarely call forspecific action outside of reading the content in the e-mail.
When the main objective of your e-mail is to build or deepen personal relationships, your e-mail should include only content that supports and relates to a relational theme. Relational themes are typically one-way communicationswith no call to action.
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Note: This article was sent to us by: Denissa Zinetti at 06242010
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