Email. We love to send it, but we really don't want or need anymore in our inboxes.
You probably send a lot of email. I'm asking you this week to reexamine what you're sending people. I want you to improve your messages and make sure you're not sending the same ole, lame ole email messages that everyone else is sending.
Slow down. Think before you send.
Think of your email as another art form. You're reaching out and trying to build connections with every email. Create an engaging composition as you would with your art.
Don't waste the one chance you have to get the message right. More importantly, don't junk up other inboxes with ill-advised email.
Oh-Too-Common Email Blunders
- Not saying anything. You're just sending an email because you think it's time and you don't work on your message long enough. Don't waste your readers' time.
- Saying too much. If you haven't sent an email update in awhile, it's tempting to try to catch up with all that's been going on. Don't do that to your poor readers. That's what blogs and Facebook pages are for. Get to the point in your email.
- Apologizing for not staying in touch. Really? Do you think we missed another email in our inboxes? Don't apologize, just get to the point. In the future, when you promise to send a monthly missive, keep that promise unless you have extenuating circumstances (always understandable and forgiven).
- Putting your entire list in the TO or the CC line. Every time you do this, you share email addresses with everyone on your list and risk pissing people off (sorry, there's no nicer way to say it). Use the Bcc line!
- Using a dull or trite subject line. Your subject line encourages people to open an email – or not. Vary your subject line and compel us to open what's inside.
- Bunching up all of your text. Your message should be scannable. Use 1-2 short sentences per paragraph, add subheadings, and bold important points. (See how I've done it in this post?)
- Sending images that are too large and take a long time to download.
- Putting all of your message in an attachment. Rule: Attachments are bonuses. They support the message, but they don't replace it. ALL images are attachments. Even though they look great on your screen, they might show up as a big red X and an attachment in someone else's inbox.If you want people to open the attachment, you have to give them reason to do so. Put all of the details in the message itself.
- Not using precise locations. Remember that email messages go out to the world – not just your local audience. Don't forget to add the name of the town, the city, and perhaps the country. Saying “It's near the mall” doesn't mean anything to your readers if they don't know your town and aren't anywhere near you.
- Sending your bulk email message to anyone who didn't request it. If you're sending your email to people who didn't opt in to your list you risk violating the CAN SPAM laws. More importantly, you risk alienating potential fans. Nobody appreciates receiving bulk email that they didn't subscribe to.
- There must be more. Maybe you know of a #11. Please share it with us in a comment.
Correct any of the above blunders you might be making and you're on your way to mastering email marketing for your art.