A cheer for email - Charlie Meyerson
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A cheer for email - Charlie Meyerson

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Why is email still the most valuable communications medium for reaching your most loyal followers? How can you make sure you reach as many of them as possible? How can you best reach those who (think ...

Why is email still the most valuable communications medium for reaching your most loyal followers? How can you make sure you reach as many of them as possible? How can you best reach those who (think they) aren't interested in what you have to share?

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A cheer for email - Charlie Meyerson A cheer for email - Charlie Meyerson Presentation Transcript

  • Charlie Meyerson Bit.ly/Meyerson linkedin.com/in/cmeyerson 708-TEQ-NEWS©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Who  am  I  ...  and  why  am  I  here?    I  worked   here  for   13  years:   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Who  am  I  ...  and  why  am  I  here?    But   before   and  a>er   that,  I   worked   in  radio   news  for   more   than  20   years:   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Who  am  I  ...  and  why  am  I  here?    But   before   and  a>er   that,  I   worked   in  radio   news  for   more   than  20   years:   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ...  And  why  is  radio  relevant  to  email  and   audience  development?  Because  ...   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Radio’s  been  fighJng  tuneout   since  the  early  20th  Century:   For  radio   (and,  later,  TV),   the  compeJJon  has   almost  always  been  a   click  away.  hQp://www.fredsuniquefurniture.com   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Now,  for  everyone  ...   ...  Whether  you’re  peddling  shoes  or   news,  the  compeJJon  is  just  a  click   away.   How  do  you  keep  an  audience?  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Show  of  hands:  •  How  many  of  you  check  Facebook,  TwiQer  and   email  regularly?  •  How  many  check  all  three  at  least  once  a  day?  •  How  many  of  you,  when  you  check  them,  scroll   all  the  way  back  to  the  last  item  you  checked  ...   •  On  TwiQer?   •  On  Facebook?   •  On  email?   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Do  young  people  skip  email?   A  friend  describes  “ Twenty-­‐somethings  who   neither  check  nor  respond  to  email  when  not   on  work  hours.”   Common  or  not?  Discuss.  (Even  if  so,  “work  hours”  is  a  preQy  sweet  spot.)   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Assuming  they  use  email  ...  (and  if  they’ve  given  you  their  email  addresses,   they’re  confirming  not  only  that  they  do,  but   that  they’re  willing  to  hear  from  you  and  that   they’re  the  sort  of  people  who  look  at  email   once  in  a  while)   ...  How  do  you  get  people  to  open  it?   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • It’s  the  wri7ng.  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • WriJng  for  digital  media  ...  isn’t  much  different  from  wriJng  in   general.  What’s  always  been  interesJng,  what’s  always  been  can’t-­‐ put-­‐it-­‐down,  is  s7ll  interesJng,  can’t-­‐ put-­‐it-­‐down.  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • WriJng  for  digital  media   The  difference  is  ...   ...  now  we  know  what  works  and   what  doesn’t.  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • The  right  email  at  the  right  Jme,  with  the  right   content  and  the  right  subject  line:   ...  o>en  achieved  Tribune  Co.  editorial   newsleQer-­‐leading  60  percent  clickthrough   rates  –  60  clicks  per  100  subscribers.   And  it  went  to  tens  of  thousands  of   subscribers.   How?   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • It’s  the  wri7ng  ...   ...  and  watching  how  that  wriJng   works  for  the  audience.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • It  turns  out  ...     WriJng  for  the  Web  has  a  lot  in   common  with  wriJng  for   broadcasJng  –  wriJng  for  the  ear.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Secrets  to  geang  people  not  to  tune  out    -­‐-­‐  for  radio  and,  it  turns  out,  just  about  anything   on  the  Web:   Omit  needless  words.   -­‐-­‐  Will  Strunk,  The  Elements  of  Style,  1918   TwiQer.  TexJng.   Tiny  smartphone  screens,  2013.   Need  we  say  more?   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Secrets  to  geang  people  not  to  tune  out    -­‐-­‐  for  radio  and,  it  turns  out,  just  about  anything   on  the  Web:   •   Select  the  most  interesJng  word  or   phrase.   •   Make  that  the  first  element  of  your   story  (and,  in  email  and  on  the  Web,   your  headline  or  subject  line),  and  let   your  wriJng  flow  from  there.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • But  what  are  the  most  interesJng  words?   •     Develop  a  sense  of  the  wider  world’s   prioriJes  by  checking  sites  like  Google   Trends  <google.com/trends/>   •   And  develop  a  sense  of  your  audience’s   prioriJes  by  monitoring  clicks.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • By  your  clicks  shall  ye  know  them    The  People  Formerly  Known  As  the  Audience   are  telling  you  what  they  want.    In  doing  so,  they’re  telling  you  how  to  get   them  interested  in  content  they  may  think   they’re  not  interested  in.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • The  joy  of  email  •  Summon  your  most  devoted  users  at  will  •  Your  biggest  fans  share  their  interests  •  Lingers  in  in-­‐box,  unlike  the  rivers  of  TwiQer   and  Facebook  •  Fixed,  unlike  Web  site  front  pages  –  and  so   easier  to  gauge  elements’  popularity  •  Heat  maps  make  paQerns  easy  to  spot   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • But  ...  ...  Ya  goQa  get  ’em  in   the  door.   So  ...   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Would  you  do  this?  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • No,  but  many  companies  do  just  that.    ...  by  failing  to  use  Subject  and  From  fields   wisely.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Use  your  Subject  and  From  fields  wisely  InteresJng  words  first       Don’t  repeat  Subject   Don’t  echo  From   from  day  to  day   fields  in  Subject   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Compare  these  to  those  in  the  previous  screens.   Which  would  you  click?   Note  how  few  words  you  get  here.   If  the  future  is  mobile,  now  more  than  ever,   every  word  –  every  syllable  –  counts.   Strunk  &  White:  Omit  needless  words.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Anatomy  of  an  email  turd  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Anatomy  of  an  email  turd  Consider  what  we  see,  word  for  word  ...  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • “Unbeatabl...”  what?  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • “Oh,  that’s  what  a  circular  is  ...”   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • So  ...  What  are  the  odds  you’ll  open  the  next  email   you  get  from  these  guys,  if  it’s  labeled  and   subject-­‐lined  the  same  way?   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • What’s  your  audience   interested  in?   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Watch  your  clicks.  •  LiQle-­‐clicked  items  amid  more-­‐clicked  items.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Are  you  out  of  sync?     More-­‐clicked  items  among  liQle-­‐clicked  items.©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Headlines  that  work  Two  kinds  of  headlines:  •  Search-­‐engine-­‐op:mized  headlines.    Good  for  story-­‐level  placement.  •  “Curiosity  gap”-­‐opJmized  headlines.      Good  for  front-­‐page  and  email  placement,  for   print  publica:ons  ...  and  for  social  media   (TwiEer,  Facebook).   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ‘Curiosity  gap’  The  difference  between  what  you  know  and   what  you  want  to  know   Like  The  Onion,  the  editorial  team  at  Upworthy  begins  with  dozens   of  headlines  and  works  on  them  un7l  they  create  what  Mr.  [Eli]   Pariser  called  “a  curiosity  gap”  —  a  need  to  know  more  that   prompts  the  impulse  to  click  on  something.   -­‐-­‐  David  Carr,  The  New  York  Times   hQp://mediadecoder.blogs.nyJmes.com/2012/07/09/two-­‐guys-­‐made-­‐a-­‐web-­‐site-­‐and-­‐this-­‐is-­‐what-­‐they-­‐got/   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • SEO-­‐friendly  headline  techniques  •  Place  the  storys  most  interes:ng  word  or   phrase  as  close  as  possible  to  the  start  of  the   headline.  •  Simple,  direct  headlines  (with  familiar   names).  •  “How-­‐to”  or  “Why”  headlines.  •  Accentuate  the  posi:ve.  Say  what  did  happen,   not  what’s  unchanged  or  stable.   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Elements  of  Style:  Use  definite,   specific,  concrete  language  •  Regardless  of  headline  or  wriJng  style  ...   Consider  words’  “point  value.”   hQp://www.amazon.com/University-­‐Games-­‐1520-­‐ Man-­‐Bites/dp/B000087BDT   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ‘Curiosity  gap’  headlines  •  Assume  most  people  aren’t  interested.   Write  headlines  to  engage  people  who  think  they’re   not  interested,  and  your  core  audience  will  sJll  be   there  for  you.  (Dare  them  not  to  be  interested.)  •  Play  down  loca:on.  (Except  for  famous  locaJons.)  •  Play  down  names.  (Except  for  famous  names.)   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ‘Curiosity  gap’  headlines  •  Simple,  direct  headlines  (with  generic  nouns   for  unfamiliar  names).   The  most-­‐clicked  Internet  headline  (or  most-­‐ read  newspaper  headline)  ever  might  be  ...   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Most-­‐clicked  headline  ever?  ©  Meyerson  2013   -­‐-­‐  Credit  for  headline:  Paul  Muth,  Concordia  University  
  • ...  or  maybe  more  so:   With  a  puppy.  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • ‘Curiosity  gap’  headlines  •  Ques:ons:  ‘Who  was  Deep  Throat?’  •  Ellipses,  teases:  ‘NaJon’s  faQest  city  is  ...’  •  Pull-­‐quotes:  ‘Suck  it  up,  wussies.’   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • The  power  of  YOU  •  Works  with  SEO-­‐friendly  headlines.  •  Works  with  “curiosity  gap”  headlines.   hQp://www.theonion.com/ arJcles/secondperson-­‐ narraJve-­‐enthralling-­‐you, 30380/   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • The  case  for  sentence  case   ...  vs.  Title  Case  for  headlines:  •  Concrete  nouns  drive  traffic.  •  The  most  concrete  concrete  nouns  are  Proper  Nouns.  •  So  why  not  make  Proper  Nouns  easier  to  find?   A  demonstraJon  ...   ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Find  proper  nouns:  ©  Meyerson  2013  
  • Charlie Meyerson* Bit.ly/Meyerson linkedin.com/in/cmeyerson 708-TEQ-NEWS *Feature this presentation at your next birthday party or bar mitzvah. Business cards available. ©  Meyerson  2013