Friday, April 11, 2014

Why the Hard Sales Pitch Doesn't Always Work in Email Campaigns

I have recently opted out of many email lists as a result of spamming and hard sales pitches 24, 7. There is one reason I stay connected and subscribe to lists - for helpful information that's going to make MY life better. I'm not saying you can't throw in a sales pitch once in awhile or share a discount or deal, but I'm over the "in-your-face-buy-my-crap" emails. I also see this approach on social media as well, which has really turned me off to LinkedIn recently.

I know, I know. You've been told by an email marketing/lead generation "expert" that you need to reel prospects into your sales funnel by getting them to sign up for your emails. Yes, you want qualified subscribers but the fastest way for them to unsubscribe is to blast them with a hard sales pitch email. I recently signed up for an email list and then automatically unsubscribed when the first email I received was a blatant sales pitch for their product. They didn't even have the decency to send m an introductory email thanking me for signing up to their list. Thanks but NO thanks!

As a copywriter, I write a lot email campaign copy. While there is a sales and marketing "edge" to email copy, my campaigns don't bombard subscribers with useless information or sales pitches 24,7. While you don't want to give away freebies all the time, you need to find a balance in your emails between a "soft" sale approach while providing and sharing helpful information.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make when developing email campaigns:

1. "Blah" email capture forms with no calls to action - Your capture forms need to "wow" prospects so steer clear of generic template forms. If you don't ask people to directly sign up/subscribe (your call to action), forget about people signing up for your emails.

2. Don't lie or make false claims in your email campaigns. That seems like a no-brainer but even a slight exaggeration can turn people off and your subscribers aren't stupid. How many times have you received "scam" sounding emails? They read something like this: Are you a stay-at-home mom? YOU can make THOUSANDS of dollars each month by working from the comfort of your own home! Don't make promises you can't keep.

3. Don't harass people EVERY day with emails. This is another given but you'd be surprised how many people get overzealous with information overload. Ask your subscribers how many times they want to receive emails and honor that request. Also, subscribers can report you as a spammer if you send out too many emails at one time.

4. Be transparent and tell them who you are! People don't trust unknown email senders. It's important to identify your company name in the "from" email section when you blast out emails to lists. Also, personalize your email greetings as much as you can. If you come across sounding generic and canned, people will unsubscribe and possibly block and report your email as spam.

Before you send emails to your lists, think strategically and remember that the hard sales approach might be the very reason why you are losing customers!

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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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