All too often we think to ourselves I need to do a “quick email” to my subscribers, thats probably the worst thing you can do, a good email takes time, sometimes a lot of time. If you consistently write good emails then your open rates increase and more people see your messages which leads to more sales.
2 Types of Email
There are generally 2 types of emails that you will have to write in an IM environment.
A Follow up email- which is your basic standard auto responder series
A broadcast email which is usually an announcement or a promotion.
In this post i’ll focus on the follow up emails, and in part 2 we’ll look at the broadcast email, as both emails need different skills.
Your Personality In Word Form
First off I want to cover what a good email does. Too many times I get emails that are just words on a page, they don’t press any emotional buttons and don’t have anything of the writers personality in them.
If you can get the reader to have empathy with you then you start to have a relationship.
The 2 examples below say exactly the same thing… If you had acne which do you think would would resonate more.
When I was younger I suffered badly from acne. it was so bad I’d find excuses not to go and hang out with my friends”
Do you ever feel like you can’t leave the house because of your bad acne? When I was younger my acne was so bad i’d resort to making up excuses about why I couldn’t go out and hangout with my friends
The difference is obvious, the 2nd talks about the reader first and foremost, but it’s something very few people do. If the reader answers yes in their minds they have had an emotional response… they know you’ve been through the same things you are going through. If they answer no then they probably aren’t your target market.
The Secret Handshake
Another way to start the relationship is to use the same language that the reader does, if you are writing a followup sequence for a skateboarding product then use skateboard slang. Let the reader know/think that you are part of the crowd and one of them.
People naturally relate better to someone who is from the same social group as they are, just like the Freemasons have a secret handshake groups have their own language, If I was to tell you in an email that “I totally fragged King Wee Wee last night” hardly any of you will know what the hell I am talking about but If you did understand it you’d know exactly what i was referring to and you’d know that we had something in common.
Avoid The Urge to Sell Too Soon
All good email relationships should start with a good series of follow up emails. These have one aim , to build a relationship with your subscribers. I usually recommend a 7 email series as that allows you time to introduce yourself and to give some hopefully helpful advice to your new subscriber.
If you have something to promote this should only be done in emails 6 & 7 although you can mention it earlier but not as a sales pitch.
” When I was creating product x I discovered to my horror…..”
The Writing Process
Your followup series should be treated like a script, it’s not something you just create and post up and then forget.
You need to tweak it and rewrite it, I recently changed the subject of one of my emails as I noticed it had a significantly lower open rate that the emails on either side of it. That simple tweak resulted is 4% more opens.
When I write an auto responder series I start off by writing it like a script for a movie. I know what I want to happen at the end , I just need to find a good place to start and then fill it in with various story lines which all lead to the end point.
Once i’ve written it I go back and rewrite it and tweak it until I am happy with what I have at that point it’s still a single script.
Now I need to split it up into 7 parts, it’s like the film producers have scrapped the film project and are asking me to use the script for a TV series
The trouble is if you were to just cut in into 7 equal pieces then It wouldn’t make sense so now the magic begins. You start to weave natural breaks into the emails, you start stories and don’t finish them in the same email, you make people want to read the next email just to get closure.
Leave Them Hanging
I am sure 99% of people reading this have probably seen at least 1 episode of 24… Do you remember how you were desperate to watch the next episode to find out what happened? If you were brought up in the Uk you would have seen Dr Who, how many times did an episode end with The Doctor facing impending doom?
Charles Dickens published ost of his books a series published in newspapers If you read the books now you can still see the breaks where one episode ended. If you read any book by any successful author you will notice how they generally have 3 or 4 story lines running through them and they never get resolved at the end of a chapter until the end of the book.
If you have watched TV or read a book then you know the secret to good emails… so go and use it.
I’ll do Part 2 of this next week as we are almost at 1000 words so far. If you have any questions please post them as comments and i’ll address them in the next post.. If you enjoyed this post please take time to share it … I really do appreciate it!!