Marketing – Please Do not Confuse Your Email Readers

Confusion is an uncomfortable state of mind, so why would a marketer inflate it upon a would-be customer? To make them run away, perhaps? That's kinda dumb.

Most "old pros" in copywriting have a lot to say about using language that fits the audience – and remembering that your audience is not necessarily composed of professionals who know all the industry jargon. They point out that if you write so a 7th grader can understand it, the guy with a Master's Degree will also understand, but if you write so only the guy with the Master's can understand, you'll lose everyone else!

And some writers object – believing that writing with short, concise, clearly understood words "dumbs-down" their message. That's fine – they can keep right on writing with "$ 40 words." If they want to pass up new customers, it's their business. But that's not what you want to do! You want to be understood by absolutely everyone who comes across your message.

So be careful what you say in your subject line. You know what you mean, but will all of your prospects?

Sometimes an email holds good information – information your prospects could use – but many will delete it because the subject line is written to a professional – someone well-versed in their industry jargon.

Here's one I received recently from a well-known source – a source that should know better!

"Data Visualization for Nonquantitative Marketers"

Now, being just an ordinary person, how would I know if I'm a nonquantitave marketer? And why do I want to visualize my data? Which data?

This is jargon – and since since I'm a busy person, I'm not going to take the time to learn the meaning behind the subject line. Would you?

The only reason I did not delete it was I thought it was a good example of bad marketing, and I wanted to bring it to your attention.

To make it more confusing, that particular article is listed down at the end of the ezine, so when you open the email the first thing you see (about a half dozen ads) is about green marketing. Huh? If your subject line causes someone to open your mail, then you should absolutely begin talking about that subject in the first sentence. If you make your reader hunt for the connection, it's very likely he or she will not bother.

If your particular enterprise has the potential to confuse, please double-check your subject lines before you hit send. Otherwise, new customers may never find out what you have to offer.

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