Six tips to make your e-mail broadcasts more responsive

Dear Vendor Partner,

Every month in the Partner Resource Newsletter, we'll examine marketing issues and topics that are of interest to you. We'll also share with you how we can help you reach your marketing goals, and answer some of the most common questions we're asked by our vendor partners.

Six quick tips for making your e-mail broadcasts more responsive

E-mail broadcasts are continuing to play an increasingly important role for marketers as a cost-effective way to share their marketing message. The benefits are many, including:
  • Faster response times.
  • The ability to test multiple messages easily.
  • The lack of hard costs associated with printing.
However, the pitfalls of e-mail marketing are increasing as well. Poor e-mail lists, spam control software, and the sheer number of messages people receive all contribute to lower response rates.

This month we'll look at six ways to improve your e-mail broadcast response rates and increase your return on investment.

  • Use a good list
    If your list is poor then your message and offer are not going to go far. Typically, in-house lists perform better than outside or purchased lists. The exceptions to this can be highly focused, opt-in lists like the community Insider lists. These opt-in lists ensure prior interest in the subject matter or field and can increase response rates accordingly.

    When looking at purchasing a list make sure you know exactly how the names were gathered, when the last time the list was updated and how often it has been mailed to in the past.

    If you have a need to reach radiologists or any other profession related to the radiology industry, please contact our sales team for more information on the lists available.

  • Communicate on the emotional level
    Emotion is a powerful and direct way to make an immediate connection with your prospects. If you can tap into their frustrations, fears or concerns, then you will have earned the opportunity to share your message in a way that ensures they are the most receptive to what you have to say.

    Logical details and technical specifications are important, but without being framed in an emotional appeal they become nothing more than numbers and specs that prospects may not be able to relate too. Tying those same numbers and specs directly to an emotional appeal can create an urgent and compelling need to learn more about your product or service.

  • Picture this
    People think and imagine in terms of images, not words. That's why the cliché "A picture is worth a thousand words" is true. If I ask you to imagine a "rose" you don't picture the letters "r-o-s-e" in your mind - you're imagining a picture of a rose.

    Look for dramatic pictures to illustrate your e-mail broadcasts. Ideally your picture will capture the essence of your headline, making it instantly clear to the reader what you are trying to say and eliminating the need to read a lot of copy to understand why they should continue.

    If you don't have a budget for custom photography there are some good sources for stock photography on the Internet. Because you'll only be using the low-resolution versions of these photos for your e-mail, you can often get a good photo to illustrate your concept for less than $100 for royalty-free images. One of my favorite sources is Getty Images (

  • Get to the benefits - now!
    Just as a punch line loses its punch if the joke takes too long to tell, your e-mail will lose its ability to hook the reader if you don't get to the benefits for them quickly. People won't care how great your company or product is until they understand what is in it for them. Be sure you put your most compelling reasons and benefits up front and early in the copy. Keep your message clear and concise and make sure that the benefits you highlight are of high interest to the reader. If you hook readers early with your message, they'll be more likely to read on. Lose them in the first five seconds and your message will likely be deleted.

    Some things to help accomplish this include:
    • Create headlines with 6-10 words or less.
    • Use simple, short words that everybody understands.
    • Use paragraph headers - these "mini-headline" can help draw attention to key points when someone is just scanning the page.
    • Cut out everything that is not directly related to the message and the offer.

  • Keep the message formatting clean and simple
    Use no more than two type fonts in your message. Multiple fonts are distracting and draw attention away from what should be the primary focus, which is your message. Likewise, only use graphics when they can help clarify or draw attention to your message. When done well, good design will be transparent to the user as they read your message. Anything that distracts the reader should be removed.

  • Make it easy for prospects to take action
    It's always important to tell people what you want them to do after reading your message. We've all heard the old stories about customers who were ready to buy a product but didn't, simply because the sales person did not ask for the sale.

    In your e-mail broadcast be sure you not only ask the prospects to take the action you desire, but make it easy for them to do it. Create multiple links that take them to the desired page on your site. That way, wherever they are in your message they won't have to look for the correct link. Whatever you do, don't simply create a link to your company's home page and expect prospects to go looking for the products they want to learn more about. Have your links point directly to the relevant products or services.

By following these six simple steps you can expect to see your response rates improve and enjoy a higher return for your time and effort. Next month we'll look at some of the benefits of using online market research tools to get answers quickly while saving time and money over traditional research methods.