Marketing 101 : Getting People to Read Your Email
Last updated: 8/10/2002; 3:56:28 AM
 
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Marketing 101 : Getting People to Read Your Email

This Marketing 101 piece is very short.  Why?  Well after you read it, you’ll understand. 

This Guy is Smart!!! Or How to Get People to Read Your Email

I just got the following email from John:

Scott,

read this :

a link here (text version of link in email replaced "a link here" due to the length of the link)

it's quick... and yes you should be using Adium if you're not.

John

Here’s what was so damn smart about it:

  • The email was short.  How many times have you opened an email and found it to be long and said to yourself “I’ll read this later; I don’t have the mental energy for it right now”.  You put it aside until later and then never return to it.  Anyone who sends an email has to understand that people today are busy.  We all have good intentions (yes I really do have faith in people) but we’re all overworked, overtired, overstressed, etc.  Short works well.  Now when it’s the right person, there is nothing wrong with long emails (and I would have gladly read a long email from John since previous dialog has built up the trust relationship between us but my making it short, he dramatically raised the probability of my reading it).

  • He sets my expectations in advance“it’s quick”.  I’ve written in the past about committment and here is just another example.  Following a link is a commitment.  “Horse puckey” you think.  “Now Scott has really lost it; it’s just a damn link”.  Well… Not really.  Anything that involves my time is a commitment.  Think about the amount of email you get daily and the quantity that has a url attached.  That’s what, say, 60 urls?  Sure some of it may be spam but we all get a lot of mail these days.  And in this blogosphere of ours, it’s probably higher.  If you assume that the average time to click on a url and then just scan (not read but scan) the destination web page is 30 seconds, that’s:
    • 30 minutes per day or 

    • 3 1/2 hours per week or

    • 182 hours per year or

    • 7.583 days per year or
    • 1.583 weeks per year
  • Now I’m not going to tell you that we all work out in our heads the mail on the time spent following urls in emails; we don’t at all.  What we have is an overall subliminal perception in our heads that this stuff takes time and maybe we just shouldn’t bother.  When John told me “ it’s quick”, he alerted me that it wouldn’t take long.  John’s a regular reader as far as I know and he’s making the logical inference that I’m busy (probably since he sees the quantity of blog drivel I produce) and being unbelievably considerate of my time.  That’s very, very cool.  Kudos to John on this.  And, yes, I’m a huge believer in good manners; despite what some of my invective filled writing might make you think.

  • He added a personal recommendation “ and yes you should be using Audium…”.  I’m a firm believer that if you don’t really know what you are doing in a geeky area you seek the opinion of someone who does.  I know John’s a better Mac guy than I am so I’m going to trust him here.  I’m not sure if John knows that but a personal recommendation works for me as it does for many people.  I could also describe this as it “plays in peoria” (an old Americanism phrase indicating this; no idea where it came from).  In a world that is all too often increasingly anonymous, personal works.

Nicely done John, nicely done!!!  Thanks Man.  Next time I’m on an OSX system it’s pretty much a given that I’ll not only download Audium but these emoticons as well.

 
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