The downside to knowing the power of email marketing for your business is brutally obvious. But now you need to know what to write in your marketing emails. You’re sitting there, empty, feeling nothing but pressure to get it right and get it out to your list of real people, on time, every time. Like now.
You write a line and stare blankly at it. It won’t read, it sounds hollow or corny or pretentious. It seems lifeless – dead on arrival.
And meanwhile, here’s your deadline! All up in your face. Maybe you set that deadline yourself. It hardly matters. Here you are, with a few sad lines on a page, under the weight of the deadline. No ideas. Take a deep breath. There are methods.
Let’s look at some habits and tricks that can pull you out of this stalemate and give your readers something to devour.
Start off by getting your blood moving, now. Get up, walk around the room. Take three deep breaths in a row. If you are someplace where nobody will panic, let out a loud “yeah!” You have a magnificent brain, but it does require your body, so wake your body up, and then settle down with a new purpose.
You’re not going to write a great opening sentence, a powerful hook. No. You’re going to write a pathetic opening, and then go on with the story, and come back to the stinking first part afterwards. Rewriting is where the magic will happen. So let’s get on it. The “dark and stormy night” has got nothing on the clunker you’re starting out with. Be rude, be obscure, be awkward about the topic you have in mind. And then go!
Oh, wait. You don’t actually have a topic?
That might seem like a deeper problem, but are there ever a lot of solutions. Been writing for a year or two? Go back to the first two emails you ever wrote, when the list was smaller, and reinterpret a very early message. If it looks pretty good, find some updated examples and new phrases and remind your readers of something you still find important. If that email makes you cringe now, all the better. Revise, refute, take the message in a wiser direction, based on all you’ve been through since then.
Or are you writing a lot of other content but not using it in your email messaging? Is there a blog post, Instagram or Twitter post or other communication you put out recently that you could quote and expand upon? Really, this is the same approach, taking something you said and going deeper with it. You can show your authenticity by being willing to question your first impression. Or perhaps you can playfully confess that you struggled with keeping a tweet short because of these amazing details you couldn’t include and can’t wait to share now.
If there’s nothing you wrote recently, what about a customer’s post? Can you highlight a fan of your business and shower some views on a member of your community? Quote them, link to them, talk about why you cared about what they said. Go write!
All right, I’m not psychic. I can’t tell if that’s going anywhere. Maybe you’re still here, looking for the next clue. So let’s get much simpler with it.
When you’re stuck and don’t know what to write in your marketing emails, Here are some writing prompts you can use over and over again:
How my business fits into/enhances the coming season or holiday. Wait, what holiday? You can look at major shopping holidays, or go to calendars that list hundreds of fanciful holidays. National Aviation Week come to us each August, during the week of Orville Wright’s birthday on August 19. No, you don’t sell airplanes, though if you did you’d find a way to tie Orville to your newest product. But you are an innovator, feeling the spirit of the Wright brothers. Your readers understand invention, flight, aspiration. Take it, run with it. Or simply look ahead at the idea of Labor Day sales or travel tie-ins.
How current events are changing my industry or that of my customers. Something happened recently that most of your readers probably missed. Something heartwarming? …tied to business opportunity? This may be something only insiders in your sector are talking about, that your customers will learn about from you.
Are there blogs, podcasts, apps, sources you have bookmarked that your readers would like? Share the good stuff that will bring them success. No, don’t link to your competition, but don’t be afraid of suggesting great external resources. Some of your readers may know some of them. Don’t worry. They will feel pride that they are already in the know.
If you haven’t broken away from the page and started writing a draft by now, you can check out my Electrified Email Marketing Ebook for more info.