You Must Know What Your Audience Wants

Know What Your Audience Wants

I used to work on a busy newsdesk at a national newspaper and it is no exaggeration to say that many hundreds, of not thousands of emails would come in every day. You must know what your audience wants or you won’t get them to take the correct action.

It was a full time job in itself just reading through all the information which came through the newsroom each day to find ones we would want to follow up for publication.

The fact is that only a tiny percentage of the information which poured into the newsroom ever got to come out of the other side as an article in the next day’s publication – the rest was just deleted.

But at least everything got read before it got deleted right? Wrong.

There were not enough hours in the day to read everything so this is what would typically happen:

  • not a look in – some people or organizations who had gained a reputation of sending absolute rubbish would have their emails immediately deleted – unread.
  • you’ve got to be joking – some emails were just too long and boring to read and as a result, they did not get read at all. If the email went on for six or seven pages and looked boring then it would not even get read. Yes we may have missed some good stories by ignoring this source of content but that is what happened.
  • you have ten seconds starting from now – If I didn’t know who an email was from then I would look at it…for all of about ten seconds (or less) Basically if the first paragraph didn’t grab my attention then I stopped reading and moved on to the next one.
  • I know you and I like you – Some people sent in emails that were timely, relevant, interesting and right up our street. These were always given the most attention as they were most likely to contain material we could use as content for the next day’s paper.
  • Please stop annoying me – At the opposite end of the spectrum were emails from PR companies which were nothing short of marketing drivel. You could judge the levels of desperation by the amount of times they would send the same email and follow them up with maddening phone calls.

You don’t have to work for a newspaper to learn lessons from these examples because they can apply to anyone who sends an email to anyone ever.

Basically know what your audience wants and send emails that will actually want to read. You won’t get it right all the time but if around eight out of ten of your emails are on target then you should be doing very well indeed.

Say It Again

If A Message Is Worth Sending, It’s Worth Sending Again

Email marketing tips and tricks: There are times when it is helpful not to be timid in your email marketing.

Let’s say you have an important announcement to get across to your subscribers.

It is something you know they would be interested in, or at least you hope that they would be interested in it.

This might be a brand new launch, a cool new product or a special promotion that you want everyone to be aware of.

So naturally you send an email to your RocketResponder list telling them about the cool new thing you know they will love.

The problem is that people being people, not everyone will actually read your email.

And this will include some of the people who might be really interested in the contents of your email.

Now it has been shown that if you send an email multiple times to people the following could happen:

  • you will annoy your subscribers and turn them into unsubscribers (very bad)
  • they will still not read your email (bad)
  • they will become interested enough to find out why you are sending so many emails that they will open one and (hopefully) take action.

OK so there is a more subtle way to minimize the chances of the first two events happening.

If you have a very important message to get across then devise an email series just for this one topic.

So if you want to send three, five or seven emails to promote the launch, event or new product then send three, five or seven related emails on the subject. You could, for example, talk about the new product or promotion, explain some of its main points in the email series or give a series of hints or tutorials if appropriate.

Obviously you don’t want to hammer home the message every time you send an email but there will be times when you really want to ensure that your message gets read and understood by the maximum number of people.


A Great Example Of Communicating With Your Subscribers

Communicating With Your Subscribers

Communicating With Your Subscribers: It is great to see an email where someone has got it so totally right that you drop everything to open it up.

This happened to me the other day and it really is a joy to see.

It was actually a rare example of an autoresponder email where you really do think the email was sent to you, and you alone.

If you can achieve anything close to this with your RocketResponder email series then you are well on your way to success.

Anatomy of a great email.

The email I am talking about had the following subject line.

Hey I need your help!

Thoughts on this:

Few of us could resist the urge to find out what the person needs help with, especially if it is someone you have built up a relationship with already.

If you are thinking of using this or a variation of this then make sure that you really do need help with something or other.

If it is just a ploy to get someone to open yet another marketing offer then expect a lot of people to hit “unsubscribe”

The email went on to say…

I’m not kidding, I actually NEED your help this time.

…it is pretty hard to know what to send you because you all may be on different stages, which leads to the following question:

Q. What do you expect to receive from me?”

Then the email went on to remind readers:

  • where they subscribed to the list in the first place
  • possible reasons for remaining subscribed
  • how to unsubscribe

It ended with a call to action which said:

I’d love if you could take a minute to reply to this email and let me know what’s the deal so I can give you more of what you want!…Thanks a lot and I look forward to your answers!”

Personally I don’t think you can get much better than that when it comes to connecting with subscribers and showing them that you care.