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Email marketing content

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Slides from Michael Katz's half-day email marketing content workshop, 4/14/10, Constant Contact HQ, Waltham, MA.

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Email marketing content

  1. 1. E-mail Marketing Content That Works <ul><li>WHAT to say to </li></ul><ul><li>WHOM and </li></ul><ul><li>HOW … </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… to ensure that your emails get read! </li></ul></ul></ul>                                                                                                               
  2. 2. Three BIG Changes Coming Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. 1. Lots of publishing tools Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Offline Online 2. The end-user holds all the cards.
  5. 5. 3. The business/personal line is vanishing… Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. What DO you like? What DON’T you like? Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Why are we publishing content anyway? Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. A Simple Content Equation Our Expertise (What do we know?) Our Target Client/Customer (Whose attention do we want?) What do we know that they want/need to know? Our Voice/Personality Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. In what area are you an EXPERT? (Hint: You know more than you realize.)
  10. 10. What questions are people already asking? <ul><ul><ul><li>“ How do I . . . ?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Should I . . .?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ What do you think about . . .?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ How do I know if . . . ?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Is it worth spending money on . . .? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ What would you recommend for . . .?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ What will happen if . . .?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Why is it that . . .?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Could you recommend . . .?” </li></ul></ul></ul>Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. To whom are you writing?
  12. 12. Legal Advice for Small Business Owners Legal Advice for Female Small Business Owners In Arizona High Interest Low Interest Potential Audience Size Legal Advice Who’s your Audience?
  13. 13. Who wants to share their answers? WHAT are you sending to WHOM ?
  14. 14. Balance Between “Useful” and “Promotional” Content Balance 80%: Useful, interesting, relevant information… things that help your audience live their lives / do their jobs better 20%: Our company Our products Our mission Our values Our clients People we’ve promoted Charities we sponsor Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Become the “World’s Leading Expert” <ul><li>Narrow your focus </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t over-rely on statistics or other experts </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of qualifiers. (e.g., “I believe” … “I think” … “It seems to me”) </li></ul><ul><li>Take a position (perspective, not just information) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Perspective is better than information (and there’s an endless supply) <ul><li>What do you disagree with? </li></ul><ul><li>What are clients/customers having problems with? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s funny? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s interesting? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the real reason behind …. ? And what will be its impact? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the press not seem to understand? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do you break ranks with your peers/industry? </li></ul><ul><li>What analogies/metaphors do you already use? </li></ul><ul><li>What happened last week? What will happen next month? </li></ul><ul><li>What are you scared about? What are you looking forward to? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s good, bad, ill-conceived, poorly written, about time, irrelevant in your industry? </li></ul>(What do you know that a recently graduated competitor doesn’t?)
  17. 17. http://www.thegardencentergroup.com Newsletter, 11/9/09: “ My guess is that a garden center beginning the season with 20% or more off all Christmas items probably shouldn't be doing Christmas decor in the first place... “ When a discount this high is the only hope a company has for getting stuff to sell, the real issue is company buying decisions, not the economy… “ And don't try that ‘mark way up to mark way down so a big sale can be advertised to draw traffic during a down economy’ lump of coal…” Become the World’s Leading Expert
  18. 18. Give information away. Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Web Site Thought Pieces Podcast Books CD Giveaway Public Speaking Repurpose your content! Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Feedback / Interaction <ul><li>Ask for it: “Click reply to tell me what you think (I respond to every e-mail).” </li></ul><ul><li>Link to photos and videos </li></ul><ul><li>Hold contests </li></ul><ul><li>Showcase other readers’ comments </li></ul><ul><li>Give things away </li></ul><ul><li>Point of view (say something worth responding to) </li></ul>Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. Do I know you, or are you SPAM? Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Even if I know you, why should I open this? Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Which one is best? From: Subject: Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  24. 24. Copyblogger: How to Write Magnetic Headlines Source: http://www.copyblogger.com/magnetic-headlines/
  25. 25. Part 2: How to Write….. Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  26. 26. Writing E-mail Content, Oversimplified: 1. Write in your real voice. 2. Write as if you already know the other person. (I told you it was oversimplified.) Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  27. 27. Find your voice What’s already working? What do your friends, colleagues, clients/customers like about you? Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  28. 28. Sample Response: Easy, efficient, effective, empathetic Insightful, creative, reliable Professional, informed, informative, easy-to-do-business-with, collaborative Committed, honorable, experienced, thoughtful Has integrity, visual, cool Friendly, efficient, intelligent Congenial, professional, successful Responsive, solution-oriented, professional Responsive, empathetic, collaborative Professional, personable, flexible, fun Professional, pleasant, reassuring, has integrity Top-notch customer service, honest, forthright, down-to-earth, unpretentious Smart, reliable, dependable, experienced, &quot;gets it&quot; creatively Professional, knowledgeable, creative Organized, knowledgeable, calm Innovative, energetic, cutting-edge Happy, professional, best I’m working on clarifying the &quot;voice&quot; and personality of my company, in order to improve the way we market and communicate. Please help me by answering one simple question: What are the first three words that come to mind when you think of me and/or my company? Send this e-mail to 15 people who know you well Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  29. 29. http://ittybiz.com/
  30. 30. “ I don’t want to look unprofessional” Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  31. 31. Write to someone you know well <ul><li>I’m very comfortable around her </li></ul><ul><li>I know what she needs to know </li></ul><ul><li>I know how much of an insider she is </li></ul><ul><li>I know how “all business” she is </li></ul><ul><li>I know what kinds of words to use </li></ul>Nancy Latady www.latadyphysicianstrategies.com Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  32. 32. crisp autumn morning woefully inadequate ugly divorce from an ancient, once fruitful relationship To my mind What language is appropriate? Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  33. 33. . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.girlslife.com/ Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  34. 34. “ We’ll eat free donuts.” “ Psst... I know what's bothering you (in addition to my photo up above).”  “… ground-breaking, earth-shattering, gut-igniting (or whatever) half-day workshop.” “ Considerably less than (I'm guessing) what one new client is worth to you.”
  35. 35. Hey Michael! This is just a note to let you know that we've moved your email accounts to a new servers! We apologize for the lack of notice, but this move was necessary to insure stability and increase the performance of your mail service. What does this mean to you? Hopefully nothing! PLEASE READ THIS FULL MESSAGE though, as it may help you fix any problems that come up as a result of the move. [… techy detail on server settings removed from here …] That's it really.. and again, we really apologize for the abrupt nature of this move! Thanks! The Happy DreamHost Moving Team Pop Quiz: What’s wrong with this e-mail? (Sent from Dreamhost Support, 11/15/09) Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  36. 36. Before:   Andrea Novakowski is a Master Certified Coach who provides Business and Personal Coaching to Executives, Business Owners, Professionals and Managers. Andrea partners with people to set goals and create momentum to produce effective results in their business and/or personal lives. Write the way you speak (lose the elevator speech). ( www.coachandrea.com ) After:   I'm a Business Coach and I specialize in working with people who own their own businesses. Like you, I'm a business owner and have been for 25 years. During that time I've built two companies, one of which was sold to Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA in the mid-90's. So I know what it's like to juggle lots of moving parts in keeping things working day to day.   My work with clients focuses on helping them sift through their conflicting priorities and demands, determining what's most important and taking action. I'm in your corner as a sounding board, strategic thinker and occasional whip-cracker. Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  37. 37. Trouble Getting Started? <ul><li>Never look at a blank screen </li></ul><ul><li>Start an idea file </li></ul><ul><li>Record first, then transcribe </li></ul><ul><li>Write as fast as you can </li></ul><ul><li>Shut your monitor off </li></ul>Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  38. 38. Tell sto ries! Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  39. 39. “ The home features a cabinet-packed kitchen, hardwood flooring, open floor plan, good sized bedrooms, master suite with bonus room and fireplace and finished lower level.” “ The cabinet-packed cherry eat-in kitchen has a bay window overlooking a level back yard with a large deck and screened porch nearby.” “ Upgraded woodwork & moldings, cherry kitchen w/granite counters, hardwood floors on all 1st floor.” Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  40. 40. Why tell sto ries? <ul><li>You’re already good at it </li></ul><ul><li>Unique to you </li></ul><ul><li>Memorable </li></ul><ul><li>Very revealing </li></ul>Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  41. 41. “ I wandered through the local Blockbuster video store last Saturday afternoon, hoping to find a movie that would satisfy the necessary criteria: Not too violent for my wife Linda; not too mature (if you know what I mean) for my 14 year-old son Evan; not too scary for me… “ So I pressed on down the aisles. As I turned the corner, it hit me. Tucked in-between School for Scoundrels and Snakes on a Plane was Shut Up and Sing , a behind-the-scenes look at the Dixie Chicks and the controversy created in 2003, when lead singer Natalie Maines made a negative comment about George Bush, during a concert in London.” Stories are First Person; Stories include Detail: http://bluepenguindevelopment.com/newsletters/2007_03_23.html Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  42. 42. Story + Bridge +“A-ha” = Info Segment + “ I mention all this, because over the last 15 years or so, I’ve noticed the same thing happening with content. What I used to know to be true, no longer is. ” + Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  43. 43. Story + Bridge +“A-ha” = Info Segment NCAA basketball pool leads to lesson on tracking financial numbers. http://www.finman.com/bayou/2010_05_howes_bayou.html Eating salad with a fork leads to lesson on giving salespeople the right tools. http://www.smsearch.com/newsletter/0410.html Attending the “Lakers Fan Jam” leads to lesson on looking for what’s NOT there. http://www.darumanyc.com/newsletter/Daruma_2010_04.html Superbowl TV coverage leads to a lesson in targeting info to the right audience. http://www.bluepenguindevelopment.com/newsletters/2010_02_05.html Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  44. 44. More Content Suggestions: <ul><li>Simple </li></ul><ul><li>Trim </li></ul><ul><li>Short sentences </li></ul><ul><li>“ Too many” paragraph breaks </li></ul><ul><li>Plenty of white space </li></ul><ul><li>Boldface, bullets, numbered lists </li></ul><ul><li>Another pair of eyes </li></ul>Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  45. 45. Make it easy to scan… Plenty of white space Short paragraphs Large, easy to read typeface Boldface to highlight Numbered (or bulleted lists) Black text on white background http://www.wellspringfinancial.com/groundhog.php Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  46. 46. Make this story better! There was a problem in a retail store recently. The electric eye over the automatic door fell down and a few customers who wanted to leave didn’t know what to do. Until somebody came by and pushed the door open and they all realized that they could leave by doing the same thing. Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  47. 47. Three Books Made to Stick Chip & Dan Heath 8 ½ Steps to Writing Faster, Better Daphne Gray-Grant Spunk & Bite Arthur Plotnik Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.
  48. 48. [email_address] Blue Penguin Development, Inc. One Ash Street Hopkinton, MA 01748 508-497-0900 Copyright 2010, Blue Penguin Development, Inc.
  49. 49. One last thing… Copyright 2000-2010 Michael Katz. All rights reserved.

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