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Show Highlights

In this sports analogy laden episode, Graham and Derek talk about effective copywriting tactics when writing out an email to the loyal customers of float centers across the globe.

They line out the importance of focusing on a short, sweet, and simple message, while outlining some strategies at Float On that are used with that in mind.

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Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Graham: Alright, hello everybody.

Derek: Hey, hey, hey.

Graham: Once again, we are joined by Derek Wyatt, and I am Graham Talley. We will be talking a little bit about marketing, because that’s Derek’s realm of expertise.

Derek: That’s right, Bob.

Graham: I can’t believe I couldn’t think of the word “expertise” there for a second. Today’s question is “how long should an email marketing blast be when that marketing blast is big?” Sounds like a tongue twister.

Derek: Long enough to keep their attention, but short enough to get the point across. I don’t know.

Graham: I think they’re just saying when they’re emailing a bunch of customers, I assume not like a newsletter is what I’m seeing.

Derek: Right.

Graham: When they’re doing a deal or, probably a deal is usually what a big email blast would be about. I guess a special event maybe, like you’re hosting an anniversary party at your shop or something, you might send out an email blast for them.

Derek: Historically, I’ve sent very short emails. I can’t think of too many cases in all of my marketing where I side on the long form side of email copywriting.

Graham: Yeah, I guess that’s why I was trying to just draw the distinction between an email newsletter versus a blast. Email newsletters, I feel like, yeah, give some news, keep it long, conversational. You want to give some people information.

Derek: Nobody wants to read that. No, but I mean, so think about the person you’re emailing. How frequently do you email them? If you email them more frequently, you probably want to keep them short. If you email them once a month, like a newsletter, then it’s probably okay to go a little bit longer, especially if it’s things in there that are going to provide them value. As long as you’re saying something that your general audience on your list is going to be interested in getting, say it, and then be done with the email. If that has to be a two page email, then it has to be that. That was the right length for email.

Graham: Even your terminology there, like “has to be two pages”. I can tell that your psychology is just keep it as short as you humanly can.

Derek: 100%.

Graham: Yeah, so that’s where I was going with the email blast too. Again, maybe newsletters get a pass, because they are newsletters. You’re sharing news. An email blast, usually you just want to get one thing across to the audience. You should be able to get that thing across pretty succinctly.

Derek: Right.

Graham: I’d almost say for every paragraph that you add, you’re going to lose 10% of people.

Derek: That’s sounds like an excellent made up number. I would agree.

Graham: Yeah, yeah, it’s based on nothing, but it gives you kind of a at least a mental idea of what’s going on, which is if you can keep it short and to the point, I would say two to three paragraphs max, for a usual newsletter blast, then you can actually get people’s attention, and if you tell them very succinctly what you want them to do and what the benefits are, like, “We have a sale on floats, and I want you to buy them, and this is going away soon.” That is a successful blast.

Derek: I want to steal a page out of this marketer I know. His name’s Graham Talley. He likes to give the TL;DR, the two long; didn’t read gist of an email up top, and then he wants to be long winded. He does it in the P.S. section below his signature.

Graham: The old Graham Talley Special, I call it.

Derek: That’s right. The Graham Slam.

Graham: Here’s a little bit more about the Graham Talley Special.

Derek: It’s the Graham Slam Special. It’s 3.99. Graham, tell us your thoughts behind why you do that.

Graham: And this is great, I was actually going to give them this later in the episode, so happy you gave me a little alley-oop pass there.

Derek: Fast forward. That’s right, Bob.

Graham: The idea being get your most important stuff up front, right? If you do want to share some news, like you installed a new float tank, which is awesome, and now people have a greater choice to choose from, and you want to say that you’re doing a deal on floats, and you want people to buy them, up front, the first paragraph, be like, “Hey, we’re doing a deal on floats, and you should buy them, and we have some exciting upgrades they made to the space that you can read about below, but mainly, we like you. You’re on our mailing list. Here’s your deal. See you later. PS, just let me tell you about my awesome new tank, and all the cool things it does, and it has a starlight ceiling, and the transducer speakers are better mounted.” That way, the main thing, if they’re not going to read that far, there’s an obvious to click buy the discounted floats button. If they are curious about what upgrades happened, then it just naturally divides people into groups, and neither one is disappointed.

Derek: Right.

Graham: Whereas if you lead with the upgrades to the float tanks, some people are going to be like, “Oh, this is just an update post,” and then leave, not realizing they could save money. Then that way, only the people who really were interested in floating are going to get all the way down the bottom essentially. So you’re unnecessarily screening out people who would have taken advantage of the deal otherwise.

Derek: I mean, you know, we’re trying to get people to unplug, so why would we want to take two, three minutes of their time reading an email that’s indulgent about us, right? We want to convey the information they need to know, and let them be on their way, let them be able to finish their work day, click out of their emails, and go home.

Graham: Yeah. I definitely, that also changed my opinion on length of emails in general, when I read a nice essay on the amount of other people’s time you waste by being long winded. If you’re blasting out even to 10,000 people, and it takes them 15 seconds longer to scan or read your email that you sent out, that’s a collective one billion man hours or something. I don’t know, I didn’t sit down to to do the math, but it’s a lot of actual man hours that you’re spending, even though it’s 15 second increments, just on reading an email. So a little more philosophical for why not to have a long email, but also very, very true.

Derek: Right. As I think Tim Ferriss quoting somebody else says, “Your inbox is other people’s agenda.” Don’t burden somebody with more stuff to do.

Graham: Plus we’re not Proust. People aren’t going to take the time to read our humongous sentences, nor should they. We’re essentially, we’re marketing to them. This isn’t fine literature, so yeah. Don’t get too attached to the length and beauty of your own prose.

Derek: If you want to have length and beauty in your prose, write a blog. Write a blog, and then maybe email a link should they want to read and click through. Now you sent them an email with a headline that’s, “Click here to read this long piece.” Then if they want to read it, they can do that.

Graham: Yeah, that’s even like an extended form of the P.S. kind of thing that I do on newsletters.

Derek: Right.

Graham: We’ve done that before too, where it’s like P.S., here’s more about what I wanted to say, but you’ll have to click it to go to a blog post. That way, the letter stays short. There is more content for people who want it.

Derek: As an online marketer, with that blog piece that they read, they now visited your website, so your Facebook pixel will now track them, so you can re-target them with ads later. You’re welcome.

Graham: Put all those mattress ads up on their screen.

Derek: Absolutely.

Graham: Or whatever it is we sell. What is it? Floats? That’s right. Not mattresses.

Derek: Water mattresses.

Graham: Yeah, water mattresses. So short. Keep them short. That’s the short answer to your question.

Derek: I think we should keep this podcast short, because I feel good with it.

Graham: It’s too late. It’s too late for that.

Derek: Damn.

Graham: Gone over the deep end.

Derek: Well, let’s talk about long emails.

Graham: If you have any questions at all that you want us to answer, head on over to floattanksolutions.com/podcast. And we’ll do it. We’ll answer them.

Derek: Alright. Take care everybody.

Graham: Bye.

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