Before You Load It into the Email Cannon, Read It!

This post was written by John White on Wed, 21 Dec 2011 09:42:56 +0000
Posted Under: marketing manager,Web content

When your marketing copy ends up in unintended places, make sure it doesn’t embarrass you. If it’s not good enough to be caught anywhere, it shouldn’t be your copy.

Fire email cannonI subscribe to Fierce Wireless. Every day, they send me a free newsletter with wireless industry news. Big names – Cisco, Ericsson, AT&T, Nokia – sponsor the newsletter, so every week or so I get email with an ad.

I don’t mind an ad, but I do mind lousy copy in an ad.

And I really mind a datasheet that somebody mistakenly used as an ad.

The wrong copy for email

Twice in a week I received a sponsored email through Fierce Wireless from the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company (not its real name), an outfit that certainly knows a thing or two about marketing.

The email reads something like a product announcement, with lots of jargon-crammed bullets describing capabilities, features and benefits. It tells me all about active network abstraction and an XML-based Broadband Query Language (BQL) API.

I don’t care about this stuff.

I might care, if the copy talked about the problems that afflict people who need it. But the copy doesn’t even give me that chance.

The copy does mention (twice) that service providers and other network operators can now upgrade. But it doesn’t tell them why they should care.

The wrong email for the audience

Obviously, I’m not a network operator, so I shouldn’t have received this message. It was the wrong email for such a broad audience. It was wasted on me.

But it really didn’t have to be.

People are going to see your marketing communications – white papers, case studies, Web content, newsletters, blog – whether you intend those people as the audience or not.

At the very least, a poorly targeted impression should still help you as a marketing manager to build your brand. Your copy shouldn’t turn potential acquaintances off in a hailstorm of features and benefits.

Don’t put out dull copy. You never know where it’s going to land. Or whom you’re going to turn off when it does land.

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a marketing communications writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Marketing Communications Writer.”

photo credit: foxypar4

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