Does Your Email Need A Little Soul?

What inspires your email offers and content? Are they driven by your need to offload inventory or support seasonality? What about driving incremental behavior or revenue? These are all great goals, but do they feel inspired? Mmmmm, not really.

We all have tasks we need to accomplish to make our organizations successful -- but when you are competing in the inbox for your subscribers' attention, considering the subscriber can take you far!  It's a page out of direct marketing 101: Look to the customer. Your recipient is gaining control over marketing conversation more now than ever. Consumers are savvy and smart -- and they want to be inspired by you.  Here are three tactics to consider for motivating your subscribers:

Be timely. There is a lot going on in the world around us that people are passionate and vocal about. Take real-life situations and incorporate them into your email. Anything from General Stanley McChrystal being relieved of duty because he ran his mouth to Rolling Stone, to all the coverage around those annoying horns blaring during the World Cup. Clearly not every event is going to be a perfect fit for your marketing message, but if it is, use it. But please be tasteful -- otherwise, you could get negative press.



Give 'em what they want. Now, I know we aren't mind readers -- but as marketers we have gotten pretty good at predicting customer behavior. Understanding purchase trends for products, length of engagement for a new customer and even predicting cross-sell/up-sell opportunities based on previous purchases have all been used to build some pretty great promotions. Among my favorites right now is the Southwest Vac8ion Destin8ion Giveaway. When you are developing offers and promotions, don't lead with the fact that you have distressed inventory as the driver or motivation. Look to your data to see what inspires consumers and drives them to engage with you. I have been on Southwest's Web site every day since I entered the promotion, which has put me in a vacation-planning state of mind. It's not a bad place to be.

Be inspired. If you are inspired it, will translate to your email and to your customers. If you really believe in what you are doing and how you promote it, that will transcend the page. You may think that sounds hokey, but I was reminded of just how effective a positive disposition can be today. So use it to your advantage; it's an email asset that isn't necessarily on your checklist.

Yesterday I found inspiration in the U.S. Men's Soccer team. No one thought they would win their World Cup bracket and then, in the 91st minute of the match, they scored the goal that won their bracket and moved them on to the next round! Sometimes great things happen at the last minute -- like my inspiration to write this article. 

2 comments about "Does Your Email Need A Little Soul?".
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  1. Evan W from Experience Advertising, Inc., June 24, 2010 at 9:26 a.m.

    Nice points. thx for sharing.

  2. Rita from FreshAddress, Inc., June 24, 2010 at 9:35 a.m.

    Helpful observations, Kara."If you are inspired it, will translate to your email and to your customers." I think that rereading our message before deploying, putting ourselves in the eyes of the recipient, is important. Choosing long-shot strategies can be quite never quitting. Go Team USA!

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