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Toilet roll email marketing

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday November 24, 2007 )

Marketing emails should’nt be treated the same way as a web site landing page, yet many online business owners fall into this trap by following the example of many so called “gurus” who push small business tools and information products using what I call a toilet roll approach.

I’m on many marketing lists and something I’ve noticed about product promo communications from a certain type of marketer is the horribly long body texts they tend to use.

I’m looking at a plain text communication now that’s over 150 lines long. It runs through the usual basic format

– ask a question
– offer a solution
– build excitement
– hit with the call to action.

.. but it just takes so darned long to do it. 500 words in an email to stir up enough interest to click on a link is just over the top.

A lengthy web site landing page is no problem (as long as you follow the basics of good landing page development), but in an email, people are more receptive to a “wham, bam” approach. Give them the meat of your offer, then send them to a landing page that provides more detail. It’s important to remember that the web site is where the transaction is actually made, not the email.

People just don’t have the time these days to spend even a full minute reading a marketing email. Placing the link to whatever the offer is right at the end of these toilet roll emails only makes the likelihood of someone clicking through even more remote.

Why do the self-styled “gurus” do it then?

I’m really not sure – probably because they are still getting some conversions; but I really believe these marketers would do a lot better with shorter body copy. Like landing pages, some email marketers over the years have slowly allowed their copy to become severely bloated, trying to cram every feature and trick they can think of into their communication. I just think it’s really counter-productive.

When it comes to email marketing, I firmly believe that keeping it short and sweet is the best way to go :).


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