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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on April 15, 2008

I have a loan officer who does not live in Grand Rapids, who sends me direct mail once a month. For awhile I opened the letters thinking that there was something of value in the mailings, but now I do not even open the letters.

OK, here is a good thing about her Marketing efforts; she is always top of mind. She has helped me purchase two homes and I would use her again. Not because of the mailings but because I trust her. The bad thing is that I throw away her mailings as soon as I get them without opening them. The truth is I throw away most mail that I get.

On the other hand, I get a ton email from all sorts of people I do not know or trust. However now and then I get caught by email that compels me to open it. So, on one hand someone I trust sends me something I do not read and someone I do not know sends me an email I read. Why the difference?

First, like everyone in this technology age, like all of you, I have been conditioned to tune out much information that screams, BUY ME unless it is relevant to your current needs and interests. Snail Mail comes in a sealed envelope and makes it easy just to discard it. Whereas email gives you the option to quickly preview before making a discard decision.

Here is an example of an email that caught my attention. It was from a company that I did not know, but they had a compelling subject that enticed me to look and within the first 3 seconds the email grabbed my attention and I kept reading. Not only did I read the email but I called them, sat through a demo and will definitely start using and recommending their services.

Now please keep in mind that I am not bashing, at all, direct mail campaigns. They have their place but here are a few tips. If you are going to send out a direct mailing make sure it is infrequent and that it has something a value to me related to your products or services. You should use your customer database to ensure the mailings are personalized to each customer’s interest. Even mom and pop shops can do this inexpensively using mail merge. So please do not send letters to someone who does not know you.

On the other hand, email marketing campaigns are different, but only slightly. Here are a few tips

  1. You can send me (the consumer) an email if I do not know you, but don't act like you know me. That is a trust breaker. If our relationship starts on a lie how can I ever trust you again?
  2. The subject should be an arousing pick up line. Why do I want to interact with you?
  3. If you have not figured this out yet let me state it again. Don’t try to sell me something. Inform me and educate me.
  4. Make your message engaging and create brand awareness. That is why I like HubSpot, they give you the ability to send brand building emails. Moreover, guess what? It makes it trackable.
  5. Don’t spam me!!!!! As a consumer, I am ok with receiving regular emails from you, especially if they are informative and engaging. However don’t spam me, stalk me, make me want to Put Your Number On The Call Block Have AOL? Make My emails Stop. (Oops, sorry to break into Destiny’s Child.)

http://youtu.be/9i-y0G8nNA8

Anyway there are other things that you can do to create compelling email messages that will get consumers to read them and I would be glad to help you out with more advices, but I must be getting punchy if I am breaking into song. So this should do get you by for now.

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