How to Handle a Long E-Mail Marketing Message - dummies

How to Handle a Long E-Mail Marketing Message

By John Arnold

Communicating your entire marketing message in the body of your e-mail can be tempting. If your message is concise and interesting to your readers, including it all may may suit your objectives and your audience. However, e-mails are generally more effective when sentences and paragraphs of text are used as summaries and teasers to entice readers to seek more information and take action outside the content of your e-mail.

If you have a lot of text to communicate or if you have several topics of unrelated content to deliver, post the bulk of your text content to your website and provide a link for interested readers to continue reading at the end of each summary.

The sentences and paragraphs in the body of your e-mail can include

  • Short articles and stories: Generally, you want to summarize stories and articles and link to the entire text on a website. Using an excerpt from a story or article is an effective alternative to summaries when you want to highlight the main points of a story or article and generate interest in reading the entire body of text.

  • Salutations: Greetings and closing bodies of text help personalize your e-mails and summarize the content for your audience. Greetings and closings paragraphs should be no more than two to three sentences.

    EMPs usually allow you to insert database fields so you can merge your reader’s first name and other database information to personalize your salutations:

    [Credit: Courtesy of Centennial Leasing & Sales]
    Credit: Courtesy of Centennial Leasing & Sales
  • Product and service descriptions: Have your descriptions convey the immediate benefits of making an immediate purchase decision or entice your audience to click and view additional information.

  • Directions: Most of the time, you need to tell your audience exactly how to take action on the content of your e-mail. For example, including your phone number in the body of your e-mail probably won’t generate any calls unless you ask people to call you for a specific reason. If the directions comprise several steps, use a list format instead of a paragraph.

  • Testimonials and facts: Put customer testimonials and facts that support the main idea of your e-mail or the call to action in quotes and include the source of the quote. If you have lots of testimonials, you can include one or two examples in your e-mail and provide a link so your audience can read more of them.

  • Lists: Bulleted text makes longer sections of text and lists easier to scan and read. Use bullet points and lists to summarize the most important information in a particular section of your e-mail. Lists are also a good way to provide links related to your business but not necessarily related to the content of your e-mail.

Posting the bulk of your text content on your website and providing links has another advantage besides saving your readers from sorting through too much content. E-mail links are trackable, so you can tell when someone clicks to get more information about a topic you summarized in your e-mail. If you include all your content in the body of the e-mail, you won’t know whether anyone read it or who found it interesting.