Last time, we discussed how we must appeal to both the intellectual and emotional sides of people when communicating with them. Now’s the time to talk about how we do it. Here are the 5 P’s of profitable email response.
A guest post by Karen Talavera, President Synchronicity Marketing.
The Five P’s of Profitable Email Response
I suggest what I call the “Five P’s” process because it not only centers on authenticity, personality and transparency over features and facts, but also honors the intellectual reasoning component of how people make decisions. The Five P’s of creating emotional resonance and response in email are:
- Plan (course of action/call to action)
This process can be followed to craft your copy, offers, message design, message sequence, and even overall messaging strategy throughout a quarter or year. Let’s explore each of these in more detail:
Proper positioning acknowledges both who you are and what’s in it for your audience to be in communication with you. Successful positioning boasts excellent clarity – it makes both your identity as the sender of email and your purpose in sending the message immediately apparent. It then goes beyond clarity to create comfort, familiarity and purpose for your audience.
In email there is little time and space for lengthy build-ups and stories – which is why creative/design elements (like graphics, color, and layout) can be more effective than long copy in creating mood, identity and personality.
Consider these tactics for creating solid positioning:
- Present the “big picture” of what’s possible for your subscribers if they respond to your offer. Show and tell – use both images and words or even video so they can experience that future potential as real.
- Include a link called “About us” or “Our Story” in your main navigation bar/ template that connects to more background about your company or organization. Don’t make it boring – tell a human story that creates both credibility and vulnerability.
- Use outcome-driven, enticing language to set the stage for your offer to come.
Yes, evoking negative as well as positive emotions can entice response (the worst reaction is no reaction at all), but your purpose here isn’t to bring your audience into a place of fear or dread. It is instead to identify and acknowledge their problems, challenges or pain – problems, challenges or pain that you intend to alleviate. Spend just enough effort identifying the pain so your audience knows you understand them, then move on.
It’s tempting to avoid this step in the process. However, in glossing over or skipping it you risk leaving out an important part of the emotional journey for your audience; you also miss a chance to create emotional resonance by helping them feel understood.
Here’s where you spare no expense getting to the juicy goodness of your message and tying back to your positioning. Effectively creating promise means conveying – again through both words and pictures – the transformational outcome your audience will experience if they say yes to your offer.
Will they be happier? Richer? More beautiful? Healthier? Less-stressed? More successful at work? Better organized?
What are the desired emotions they will feel if they say yes to your offer? Love? Joy? Happiness? Satisfaction? Relief? Peace?
Understanding how your core products/services translate into both emotional and transformational benefits is essential to creating marketing messages that emotionally resonate. If you don’t know how your offerings transform and better people’s lives, you need to learn. If you can’t express the transformational outcomes of your offerings in your marketing, it will fail to connect.
So far in this process we’ve been heavily in emotional territory. In the proof stage, we accelerate the appeal to reason.
Proof can take several forms both within email messages and on web sites/landing pages. These days the most compelling proof is social proof – as humans we crave a sense of belonging and will often follow the crowd. Who else has experienced the transformational outcome of your offerings and what do they have to say about it? Ideally, you can pull this information directly from your social media pages (assuming you have it there) into your email and website.
If not, include proof in the form of testimonials, quotes, links to case studies, and short success stories. Keep it human! Clinical trials and research studies are factually powerful (and often indisputable) but social proof generates greater credibility. We tend to believe our peers more than scientists or research studies because we can identify more with a peer group.
Finally, don’t leave people hanging – tell them what you want them to do next and how to do it! Show them where and how to get what you promised.
Otherwise known as your call to action, this step MUST be abundantly clear, concise, literal and logical. While positioning, pain, promise and proof all influence engagement, this final step influences action and actual purchases. It can be as simple as a text link or a sentence next to a button; or it can involve a short list of steps.
Remember that in email, real response is usually a two-step process beginning with a click from an email message and continuing as a completed call to action (sign-up, content view, purchase, etc.) on a web page. Remember to continue the clarity of your call to action all the way through your landing page and conversion process to avoid abandonment. After coming this far, you don’t want to lose the valuable connection you’ve created with your responders.
Understanding motivation behind your subscribers’ actions is crucial for the success of your email marketing campaigns. Karen and Jim Ducharme, GetResponse Community Manager, will present you with more key factors of successful email strategy in the free live webinar The Psychology of Email Response on Wednesday September 12, 1 PM EST. You can register for the webinar here.
Karen Talavera heads Synchronicity Marketing and writes about how to successfully use email, social media and content marketing on the Enlightened Emarketing blog. For your free copy of the Top 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts click here.