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Posted: February 07, 2012

Three ingredients of highly effective emails

Dodge that delete button!

Liz Wendling

Email is an effective way to increase brand awareness, leads and sales, but many businesses don't get the response rate they are looking for because their approach is weak, worn-out and completely off track. It comes down to three seconds, and if your message doesn't hit the target your email will be immediately deleted. Your mission should be to get your reader to open, read and respond.

Do people respond to your emails in the way you want them to? Are you sure that you're making the best possible impression with your emails?
Unfortunately, most emails messages are ineffective, lengthy and seller-centered. Many end up in the trash without being read. They're tossed because they're missing these three key ingredients.

1. The subject line must me eye catching and compelling
2. The body of the email must be brief and to the point
3. The ending should get the reader to take some sort of action

The subject line must have a purpose and be customized to the reader. It needs to resonate with the mind of the reader and should compel them to open and skim. People receive hundreds of emails every day and most are read with a finger on the delete button. If the subject is generic, boring and weak, it immediately gets dumped.

Think of the email subject line as a headline in a newspaper or magazine. You have two to three seconds to grab their attention, so choose a headline that is strong and compelling. A few strong and well-chosen words increase the open rate by more than 34 percent. Invest time in your subject line as if you were paying hundreds of dollars for each one.

I coach sales teams to try out a few test subject lines on other people before you send them to prospective clients. Try sending them to others in your office, on your team or in your family to get their input and reaction to the subject line. Ask yourself, would you open your own emails?

If you're lucky enough for them to open your email, you must make your point as briefly as you can without sacrificing quality. An effective and easy formula to follow is one subject line, two brief paragraphs and one action item. I have received and saved many emails that were nothing but a not so cleverly disguised seven paragraph sales pitch. What a waste of time, money and energy.

Your email needs to start with a quick, friendly and to the point statement explaining why you're writing to them. Remember that you need to get their attention and hold it. Email readers and web surfers think and react in seconds so use your time wisely.

They're choosing to read your email so you owe it to them to make it about them, not you. Repeat, what's in it for them, not you! If the body is all about you, your company and how amazing you are, it will be deleted, dumped and discarded without any thought. You think customers want to know all about your company, but the reality is they don't. They only want to know what's in it for them. I can't stress this enough; it's not about you.

They want to know how you can help them solve their issues and problems. The more time you invest in discussing their issues, the greater the likelihood you'll move the sales conversation forward. If you don't, guess where your email is going? The trash!

Your audience needs to be engaged or they simply stop reading. Very seldom do I receive an email that gets my attention, holds my interest, and causes me to take an action.

Don't buy into the belief that they were not interested; accept the truth and responsibility that your email wasn't interesting! If you correctly present your ideas through their eyes, you can make any subject interesting.

With email and on-line communication you have only two to three seconds to get their attention. Only seven seconds to build interest and about 20 seconds to get them to take an action. Following this rule will improve your response rate dramatically.

Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant, sales expert and emotional intelligence coach. Liz is driven by her passion for business and generating results for her clients. Liz understands the challenges that business owners are facing building a business and selling their professional services in today's market.

Liz shows clients how to tap into and use their innate strength, power and confidence to develop highly successful businesses. She teaches them to create effective, dynamic and fluid client conversations that turn interested prospects into invested clients who keep coming back. 

Go to: www.insightbusinessconsultants.com or email Liz@insightbusinessconsultants.com

Check out Liz's latest book, Everyone Sells Something!  http://goo.gl/1prAlm

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