Some months ago I was contacted by a small business supplier I'd been in touch with in the past. We'd spoken on the phone before and had a conversation about the possibility of doing business in the future. I suggested that they send me an email some time and we'd go from there. When I received the email I was a little shocked. Not only did it make almost no sense at all it was riddled with grammatical errors and even the odd spelling mistake. It was extremely poorly presented too with different fonts all over the place and type so small it could hardly be read. The whole thing looked like it had been put together in a rush on a Friday afternoon as a last ditch effort to just do <em>something </em>to try and drum up business. I was so disappointed that I replied clearly explaining why we wouldn't be doing business together. My main point was clear: if you take that little care of your marketing communications then why should I entrust you with my business? I actually got a polite reply back which suggested they understood the spirit I had intended: nothing personal, just I wanted to express my disappointment at receiving something so slapdash. So here's some really simple tips to consider when creating marketing communications such as email marketing campaigns and direct mail. <strong>Be clear </strong>What exactly are you offering? Make that one compelling proposition crystal clear. Don't lose focus or get sidetracked into explaining that you also offer X, Y and Z. <strong>Clear call to actions</strong> What do you want the respondent to do? That's closely allied to having a clear and concise message. You want your message to elicit a response and an action of some kind. Make sure that is explicit. <strong>Be believable</strong> Don't offer things you can't deliver or don't pretend to be something you're not. You'll get found out sooner or later. <strong>Oh the wit! </strong> Wit does not mean 'bad jokes'. It's about mental sharpness and inventiveness; keen intelligence. Doing business doesn't have to be deadly serious, people want to do business with people they like so tread cautiously but don't be afraid to be witty if it's the right fit for your product or service. <strong>Avoid clichés</strong> We must assume that your product or service is of a 'high quality', if it isn't then why would you bother? If you 'innovate' make sure you really can offer something that nobody else can. People get immune to the same old language and simply switch off. <strong>Check the spelling and grammar </strong>I think I covered that one in full...but really, there's no excuse for misspellings. Not every marketing campaign can be the greatest killer conversion tool ever - but everything should meet certain minimum levels of quality if you want to be taken seriously. Rise above the mediocre and just see what happens.
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