Every day, I cringe at emails that flood my inbox. There is a good chance, in fact, that I deleted YOUR email today. The influx of spam, opt-in newsletters and sales letters overwhelm me on a daily basis. (80 % of my online mail is sales-junk -- and I know I'm not alone.)
Why do so many emails go straight to Recycle Bin? Besides fact that hundred of unsolicited emails are sent to me on a daily basis, there's also often-ignored fact that most small businesses and online vendors ignore; credibility is key to online success.
How do you establish credibility? Kill Hype. Get Buzz.
What's difference between hype and buzz? Hype is something that you create and try to sustain, with little to back it up. Buzz is user and customer-created interest -- and it lasts because there are hundreds or thousands of people backing it up.
Ways to Kill Hype
1. Recognize that EVERY online word you type is both COMMUNICATION and COPY.
2. If you don't have a newsletter, CREATE ONE! It's easy and relatively painless to find an email host such as Yahoogroups.com and there are plenty of ways to use a newsletter establish your expertise and credibility. Some large ecommerce websites simply send out a link to articles relevant to their readers with a short summary of what they contain. There are also plenty of free content websites that contain quality articles for reprint.
3. Recognize that your newsletter is not a catalog. It's NOT about "You". A good newsletter has valuable content and minimal advertisements -- this gives reader a reason to read. It also lets your own advertisements and promotions stand out. Remind your readers that publication is "sponsored by" your business, and place a small advertisement in a semi-conspicuous place. Let content build your expertise.
4. Admit you don't know everything. Ask your readers or contacts for help when you need it. They'll feel important and "listened to" when you ask for their input, whether you're looking for a specific product, website, or service. You can even ask them to help you with your goals by sincerely asking them to help -- tell them if they enjoy newsletter, "please forward it to anyone that may be interested." 5. Be consistent. If your publication is weekly, send it weekly. Try to resist urge to send out a slew of "solo ads".... If you want to email your newsletter list directly, try to limit solo mailings and make sure that you let them know that you are sending a "one-time" mailing. If you don't, they may unsubscribe and you'll be left without an audience.
6. Learn delicate art of specificity. When you DO write sales copy for your product or service, learn to write a brief, specific list of benefits. Honestly evaluate what sets you apart from competition. Even if you are a part of an affiliate program, there IS SOMETHING that makes you different. For example, you may give personal attention to your clients and customers and follow up to make sure they are satisfied. Maybe you have a freebie to go with your sales. Maybe your website has links to free search engines submission services. If you aren't doing anything differently than competition, it's time to brainstorm a few things that you CAN do differently, starting today.