Avoid Cliches With Your Newsletters, Advertising

If your marketing strategies include sending emails and newsletters, make sure that smart headlines, tight copy and a call to action are included to get results.

Avoid Cliches With Your Newsletters, Advertising

If your marketing strategies include sending emails and newsletters, you know (or should) that smart headlines, tight copy and a call to action can get results.

"Proven Secrets: How To Sell More Widgets and Gizmos"

"Our Holiday Weekend Prices Are A Steal!"

"The Best Meat-and-Three Buffet in Town!"

Those aren't bad. They get your attention and make you notice, even if you know that buffet's pizza is always dried out and nasty. But you still noticed the headline.

You probably won't see, and never should use, headlines like these:

"Come See Our Products in Our Store"

"Lots of Hunting Gear for Your Afternoon Shopping"

"We Have a Lot of Food on Our Buffet, So Come Eat"

Yuck. Those are yawners, right? There's a fine line between Crazy Eddie sensationalism (which is kind of funny) and boring "sensible shoes" advertising. You have to get the reader's attention in an age of being bombarded online, on phones, on the television and on radio with advertisements every few minutes.

Some estimate that on average a person is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements every day. In an hour of television, those 30-minute shows are about 21 minutes long with eight minutes of advertising. Think about a movie like The Patriot or Bourne Identity. The latter is a two-hour movie a network will stretch to at least three hours with commercials. The Patriot, one of my favorites, is a 3-hour movie that runs to four with commercials. That's a LOT of commercials.

This story on campaignmonitor.com has a great headline — "The Shocking Truth About How Many Emails Are Sent" — that sparks my interest. The story said that by the end of 2019 we'd have about 2.9 billion worldwide email users. It said 269 billion emails were sent-received every day in 2017 and that was expected to grow to almost 320 billion daily emails in 2021, according to Statista.

Is your bad headline getting your recipients' attention? Or do they see it and automatically hit "delete" without a second glance?

One way to ensure the latter is to write boring content, which means the headlines and anything in the body of the email. If you're not a good writer, find someone or hire someone. Plenty of qualified writers are  available who can assist you. Contact your local newspaper to ask if they know of any freelance writers or contract writers, or do a Google search for "contract writers in ..." your area.

Pay a fair rate, too, for their skill and experience. A good writer should ask to meet with you, discuss your goals and business, find out what you need and offer their rate. Don't get Cousin Jenny's brother's girlfriend to do it for free just because they said they got an A on term papers in high school. This is an investment if it's part of your marketing strategy. If you're doing television commercials you wouldn't hire someone who can't memorize lines or read cue cards, or sounds like Deputy Dawg.

Also, Don't Do This

Hearing the following on the radio or television makes me want to throw up:

Now, more than ever ...

In these uncertain times ... (when were there certain times?)

In these unprecedented times ... (maybe, yes, but I still don't want to hear it)

We've got your back. (Wait, you didn't have it before? Only now you do?)

Don't use these in your commercials or emails. It's one thing to acknowledge the reality of what's going on and another to hammer it repeatedly with mauldin commercials or email reminders. A bunch of marketing people got paid beaucoup bucks in the last few months turning out sappy, "heartfelt" commercials. And all that did was make me not want to buy or use those products and hit the mute button on the remote.

What do your customers want to know? That you're in business and how: curbside, open only on certain times and days, open from 8-to-6, whatever. They want to know about any changes, the ongoing sales, promotions, special events, holiday sales and what's in stock. 

Give your customers the news they want and need, and help them help you get back on track.


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