All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Monday, February 9, 2009

09 - the year of clarity

I have just finished listening to a really interesting webinar by Herschell Gordon Lewis - one of the USA's pre-eminent thinkers on marketing.

Of course, there is always a danger that when you hear the right voice saying things that make sense, you buy in a little too much - many people say that's how Hitler rose to power.

But Gordon Lewis' message was loud and clear. For email marketing, motivation to respond is a function of clarity and specific benefits. And it is very hard to argue with.

Attention spans are diminishing - as part of our evolution, and as a function of email volume. Recipient reaction must be an immediate "I get it."

Whilst Gordon Lewis was arguing from the background of a professional copywriting expert. I think he could have gone further to align his ideas to email. he omitted to discuss the presentation of email - and made the assumption that recipients would look at the entire message.

I believe what he should have said is that you need to ensure the recipient says "I get it" on the basis of what they see in the preview pane alone. Be clear, direct and engaging. Don't be clever. Cleverness is no longer valid.

Traditionally email begins with a banner. Is that any longer valid? I suspect not. Prime email real estate should support the subject line. A logo and a message should form the header of email. A message which is true. Real bait works better than false bait. Cynicism has grown. Claiming special offers as a preview pane hook which are riddled with subsequent conditions do not work.

More on this soon.