Want Your Most Successful Email Ever? Stop Writing By Rote.

      

Go read your privacy policy, the copy that describes your business for the annual trade show and the automatic emails that customers get when they send you a question,  As a matter of fact, read anything else you’ve written so that customers can understand how your business works, your policies, and procedures–or even the recording that customers hear while on hold

Chances are that it sounds like it was written by a computer.  By definition, you just compromised your social media efforts.  You know, the work you do to sound human, to interact like a human and to be yourself.

We tend to separate all of that required copy from our social media efforts.  But, they are not two different worlds. The voice on your blog or on Twitter should not be a completely different voice from the one that tells customers that their product is out of stock or the one that is on your mission statement.

If you looked at the copy and found any words like “strive” or “please be advised” or  “we provide solutions to leverage. . . ” then you don’t sound like a person.  And, if your letters to customers are abrupt or sound like everyone else’s letters, you didn’t put any thought into them.  No customer will complain, but imagine what would happen if for once, they got a letter that didn’t sound canned.

I just read Anything You Want by Derek Sivers who founded CD Baby.  He offered a great example of turning a canned letter into a letter that delighted his customers.

The old letter read:

You order has shipped today. Please let us know if it doesn’t arrive.  Thank you for your business.”

The new letter read:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your Cd and polished it to make sure it was int he best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.”  We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.com!!

Yes, it’s over the top, but so were the results.  Customers who received that letter shared it often with friends, and posted it to their websites so that it appears in Google search about twenty thousand times.  It brought in thousands of new customers.  All from a rewrite that took twenty minutes.

One Response to Want Your Most Successful Email Ever? Stop Writing By Rote.
  1. Blog Larson
    August 2, 2011 | 9:54 am

    What customers want is to know that they are valued, appreciated and taken care of. Canned letters surely won’t create a big hit on the sales. Lets face it… nobody cares about your products. They want to solve a problem or fulfill a need or want. When prospects are searching online, provide them with the information that they are looking for in your industry and move them closer to the sale. This will also build trust with your company.In the end, relationship building and selling is much more effective than link building!

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