Email Marketing Part II: The Fun Stuff

Last week I discussed policies and procedures for creating an opt-in email marketing campaign for credit union members. Boring! But today we'll take about the fun stuff: content, format, and tone of voice.

 
 

Last week I discussed policies and procedures for creating an opt-in email marketing campaign for credit union members. Boring! But today we'll take about the fun stuff: content, format, and tone of voice.

1. What does my email marketing say?
Here's one idea. I'm sure all of you have received those emails extolling the virtues of the latest weight loss pill or lowest mortgage rate this side of the Mississippi. They may be true but you don't read them (let alone open them if the subject line gives you any indication what is in the body.) And, your members aren't going to get your message either if you don't give them a reason to read. Now, what about that newsletter with the home repair idea? It's a marketing too, but the reader is getting information useful to them that entices them to read on….and on…until they get to your pitch for a home improvement loan.

Or, if your MCIF system is sophisticated enough, you can match a members email with their financial profile and send them information directly relevant to their needs. Want to upgrade to a Visa GOLD or refinance your mortgage? These messages only work when the person receiving them isn't already using that service. So personalize!

2. What does it look like?
Basically this is a question of text email vs. HTML email. Text is pretty self explanatory, but what is an HTML email you say? Basically, an HTML email looks and feels like just a website…

So, why would you stick to just text? Well, AOL users (and some other email programs) can't accept HTML emails so your attempt will arrive looking like the gibberish that programming languages are. While this may change over time, for now a lot of your members probably use AOL accounts limiting your marketing campaign to a text format. Or you can produce both a text and HTML version and maintain two separate email lists.

3. What does it sound like?
''Sound like''-is that a typo? What I'm referring to is tone of voice. This feature will be somewhat dictated by the content you have chosen in part one but should also be your own style (within the bounds dictated by decency and professionalism). For example, here at CreditUnions.com, we take a light-hearted, personal tone with our readers in the headline email. This hasn't always endeared us to readers who think it's irrelevant to learn that it's snowing in Washington or I wish Purdue had won the Rose Bowl. But since we switched to this format, the amount of interaction from our readers has sky rocketed! In contrast, when you're talking about financial services, people typically don't want to deal with someone they view as unreliable or not serious, so be sure that that message is conveyed with the tone.
To learn more on these topics, attend Callahan & Associates' Winter Seminar on Building a Winning Internet Strategy. We will be at WESCO University in Grand Rapids on February 1st or 2nd. More info.

 

 

 

Jan. 8, 2001


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