By: Javi Calderon
on Tuesday, November 16, 2010
How to Write Effective and Professional Email Marketing Copy
Taking the time to edit and review any written material that involves your business is an absolute must. The goal of any written business communication is to get your point across clearly and to sound professional. Simple mistakes like spelling or grammatical errors and confusing diction will reflect poorly on your business, or worse, make your marketing message look like spam.
Marketing, unlike advertising, focuses on the relationship between the business and the customer. Understandably, part of marketing is making the customer feel valued. It might be subconscious, but someone receiving a message full of errors not only gets the impression that the sender is unprofessional, they feel that the sender doesn’t care enough about them to spend the time to write a good, clean message. If you don’t seem to care about them then why should they care about you?
Errors and confusing statements are probably the best way to ensure that your message is deleted. So take the time to review your message before you send it out! Read it three or four times, put it down for a while and read it again, have someone else read it over, as well. If you know that writing isn’t your strong suit it’s probably well worth it to pay a copywriter to write your messages for you.
Following is an outline of the different types of writing errors that you need to look out for. Another useful technique is reading the document over one time per issue. Read it once looking only for misspellings, read it again looking for grammar issues, read it again to make sure your statements are clear, etc.
1. Spelling Errors:
Spell Check is a very useful tool, but it also becomes a crutch for writers. A) You never really learn how to spell certain words because Spell Check automatically corrects it for you, and B) Spell Check doesn’t catch everything! So don’t rely on spell check, review your document again and again to make sure it’s clean.
2. Grammatical Errors:
Against popular belief, grammar is not punctuation. Grammar refers to syntax
– the proper structure of sentences, etc. Grammatical errors are harder to spot because we don’t speak the language how it should be written. In every day conversation we relax our grammar and it is acceptable because we get our point across. So you may read a sentence over and over again and be convinced that it is perfectly fine when it’s not. This is why it’s always a good idea to have someone else read your message before you send it out. Especially someone who is an avid reader or writer.
3. Punctuation Errors:
The most rampant grammatical error is comma usage. In short, use commas when there is a natural pause when you’re speaking the sentence out loud. If you’re unsure, limit your comma usage.
Here are a few basic examples of proper comma usage:
A) “John is my best friend. His brother Bill, however, has always disliked me.”
B) “Last summer I took a road trip through Texas
, New Mexico, Arizona
C) “Today was a hectic day at work, the computer system was down.”
4. Improper Word Usage:
Many people struggle with words that sound similar or are written similarly, this is why Spell Check is not enough. Read through your message to make sure you have the right word in place.
Look out for these: they’re, their, and there; who’s and whose; effect and affect; site, sight, and cite; two, to and too; where and wear; your and you’re.
You don’t want your reader to have to guess what you’re trying to say or have to fight through a series of awkward sentences. Write clearly and concisely. Many recipients of your message won’t ever open it, so you don’t want to alienate those that do by making them struggle through your message. The harder it is to read or understand, the more likely they are to close out of it. Keep your message as simple and straight forward as possible. Word your phrases simply and ask yourself if your statements make sense.
Another very useful exercise is to view your marketing Email from the recipients’ perspective. Does it get the point across? Are you compelled to keep reading? Is the offer compelling?
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Having well written copy isn’t the only key to having a successful email marketing campaign. You need a marketing strategy and a targeted list of recipients. Hiring an online marketing consultant
to get the best out of your budget is definitely worth while. Not only do you have an expert working on your marketing campaign but it also frees your time to focus on running your business.
Step away from direct mail marketing and start getting real results with email and online marketing.