By the time you’re done reading here, you’ll see exactly why Bill Clinton’s hair proves your branding doesn’t help your e-mail success.
Let’s lay some ground work first.
Your logo identifies your business in a split second.
The website boasts a color scheme which carried over to your print material. Everything is matched and organized.
You spent a lot of money on your brand and you want to get your money’s worth out of it.
Up to the point of decking out your e-mails with all that eye candy.
Big bright logo shining at the top. Colors all painted in with fancy borders, graphics to break up text, and styled fonts to make it even prettier.
There’s the problem.
Big problem. The success of your e-mail doesn’t depend on all that glitter. In fact, it only hurts it.
And we’re going to use former President Bill Clinton’s hair to prove it.
I picked Bill’s hair because that’s when I first noticed an important marketing device.
Washington DC, 1994.
President Bill Clinton was on the TV.
He was talking to the young people of America about economics, jobs, and the bright future of our country.
I was watching him confidently address the audience, and I never saw it.
What was going on never occurred to me.
Not until I saw him days later.
There he was again. On TV.
Soft fisting the podium, emphasizing his points. Same as he did just days earlier.
But, his hair…
Something was different with his hair.
It was frosted. They put white frosting in it to make it look like he was graying.
Of course, a graying man is an older man. But, he was only 48 years old and he’d never shown gray before.
And what was his message this time?
Now, I know someone gets paid a lot of money as an image consultant to a president, but it won’t cost you a penny to learn this one.
They made Bill look older to make his message more believable to those he was delivering it to.
A little gray helped the old rapport effort.
They use those devices, because it works.
So, what does this have to do with the success of your e-mail?
When you send e-mail do what Bill did. Dress it up to appeal to the people receiving your message.
Unless you are a business person who has subscribed to other business’s e-mail newsletters, e-mail is a personal account.
What do we find in a personal e-mail account?
An e-mail from your brother with another one of his forwarded jokes.
A friend you hadn’t heard from in a while asking to catch a burger next week.
Maybe the family has their own e-mail list to finalize holiday plans.
Oh sure, you’ll find some spam in there on occasion. Probably some newsletters you subscribed to as well.
But, it’s a personal account and the mail in it is personal.
Your brother isn’t sending jokes on his fancy e-mail template.
Neither is most of your family, friends, or even many newsletters.
The e-mails look and feel very personal, not commercial.
And, you’ll read them long before you’ll ever read those commercial e-mails… if they get read at all before deleting them because your in-box is filling up and ran out of time.
Which of these are you going to read first?
If you went to your mail box out at the street, found two envelopes in it.
One is a letter from your dad in a plain white envelope.
The other is a window envelope with a bulk rate postage on it, various colors decorating it, text on the outside prompting you to open it now!
I know which one you’ll read first.
I know because there is a reason why direct mail copywriters are taught to write their copy as if the person looking at their mail is standing over the waste bin…
Because 98% of it is dropped in the bin just by glancing at the envelope.
The reason why there are e-mail templates isn’t because B2C customers want to read them or it improves readability…
They’re out there because the e-mail distribution companies are dazzling you with eye candy to justify what they are charging you.
There is enough visual stimulation in our everyday life.
If you want to stand out to your B2C customers, make it look like the rest of their personal mail in the inbox so it gets read.
You can still put in the gamification and other things, but at least give them a chance to open and read it without it screaming, “sales pitch,” from the preview screen.
Need more help on writing successful e-mail campaigns? Drop me a quick e-mail.