Before we get into today’s email…
You’ve no doubt opened an email that starts with a line like this before.
But by that point, you’re technically in the email already, aren’t you?
So that’s nonsense.
It’s too late to say Before we get into today’s email.
But people do this in email marketing all the time and it’s really clumsy.
You should avoid doing so, or at least be very careful about how you do it.
Sure, I’ve done it in the past myself (I’m far from perfect) and when I sent this piece to those who read my own email newsletter, I opened that email with this very line.
But give a guy a break, it was only for illustrative purposes.
Anyway, the point is, when you do flag something in this way in an email and clumsily indicate the thing you’re about to mention isn’t part of the main dish, you risk doing two negative things.
First, it suggests what you’re ‘quickly mentioning’ in an off-the-cuff way isn’t quite as important as the main message you’re writing about. This could lead the reader to wonder why you’re quickly mentioning it at all.
Second, it suggests the main message is not so much a genuine piece of communication but a ‘piece of content’ to be consumed in a detached way, not as a direct and engaging line to the email author’s mind.
Wait, I said it does TWO negative things.
But, you see, this is a genuine piece of communication, live and direct from my silly mind. I am writing off-the-cuff and I thought of a third…
It means you’re trying to share two ideas, which is always difficult. As much as possible with any piece of copy, you should stick to one idea.
Damn, that’s another idea in itself.
And that’s just it, sticking to a single idea is tough to do and right now I have no plan of how I’ll blend the fact I want you to donate to the IsolatedTalks.com project I’ve been working on recently (which is one idea), whilst at the same time resolving the fact I’ve actually made this piece about the fact you shouldn’t delineate two ideas in a single piece of email marketing (which is another idea).
Both are important ideas to cover. Bugger.
Hmm. How to resolve those two ideas?
Well, I guess I could write the paragraph I just wrote, which brings the ideas together in a deliberate way and shows you how this piece came about…
I was going to quickly tell my readers about IsolatedTalks.com as an important thing in its own right while still sharing some form of copywriting insight as is my usual wont.
By going a bit meta, I’ve managed (only just) to link the two.
If you’re able to do that and bring the two ideas you want to talk about together in a single email – great. Do that.
But that won’t always be possible.
When it isn’t, you should really look to cover the two ideas separately. It’s almost always better that way.
And if in doubt, err on the side of caution and split them.
Otherwise, you end up with two calls to action like we have here.
On the one hand, I’m telling you to go away and not merge two messages in an email…
But on the other, I’m saying you should visit IsolatedTalks.com because in helping to raise money for the Samaritans you’ll be doing a good thing.
It’s possible you’re confused, just as you would be if you tried to combine two ideas in your emails.
But please, don’t be confused. Just visit IsolatedTalks.com.
And anyway, with that thought out of the way, let’s get into this week’s piece…