Elvis stands at the front of the stage…
He flicks his hair back, jiggles his hips, and asks the audience (mostly made up of screaming girls)…
“Who wants to come up here with me for a slow dance, u-huh?”
The crowd goes wild, everyone screaming for Elvis to “Pick me, pick me!”
That crowd is like your inbox.
Every e-mail in there is screaming for you to “Pick me!”
And let me tell you…
Just like one fan wouldn’t think twice about elbowing another out of the way to be picked…
Neither will one e-mail pull any punches when it comes to edging itself out in front.
But you know that, right? And I bet there are a ton of e-mails in your inbox all jostling for your attention, just like this one was a minute ago before you decided to open it.
So, you’ve got your busy inbox and I’ve got my busy inbox, and you can safely assume that all of your customers have got their own similarly busy inboxes.
Here’s the thing then…
If you send an e-mail to your customers, make sure it’s worth opening.
The first is from your customer’s viewpoint:
I mean, imagine how peeved you would be if you loaded up your inbox and it was flooded with 50 e-mails all vying for your attention and you opened one particular e-mail only to find that instead of telling you anything useful, it just told you there would be no e-mail that day.
There’s no link to an interesting article in the meantime, or anything like that. Just a wasted e-mail saying there will be no e-mail.
Polite? Come off it. Politeness would have been to mention it in the last e-mail they sent.
The second reason is from a business point of view…
As you know, when you send an e-mail to your customers, you’re competing with who knows how many other e-mails.
By placing your e-mail in the mix, you’re making a claim to your customer that your e-mail is worth opening – otherwise, why would you send it?
If your e-mail is lucky enough to be opened, if it fights its way to the top of the pile, you sure as heck want to make sure your customer gets something out of it.
Because if they don’t, in that reader’s mind – and it might be on a totally sub-conscious level – you get a black mark against you.
Next time that customer is scanning their inbox and see an e-mail from you, they’ll remember that black mark…
They’ll remember the time they needn’t have bothered opening your e-mail.
And you don’t need me to tell you: Too many black marks and your e-mails won’t even be considered.
So you can see why, from both a customer’s and a business point of view, it’s so important to respect people’s inboxes.
When you choose to communicate with your customers, make sure you’re communicating something useful to them.
But don’t get me wrong. You don’t need to overdo it and flood them with information.
It’s like the e-mail I received from a record company that gave me too many options…
They invited me to listen to a band’s album for free, buy the album, see the band at some free shows, and then book tickets to other shows.
I’d have been much happier to have opened my inbox and found a nice simple e-mail informing me that I could listen to the new album for free at XYZ.
So when it comes to e-mailing your customers…
In fact, when it comes to e-mailing ANYONE…
To maintain a good relationship with the recipient, make sure you get the balance right.
Keep your message brief and make sure it’s useful.
Do that and the e-mails you send will always be the ones that get opened.[Ed. Note: Glenn Fisher is Managing Editor of Shortcut Publications, a division of Agora UK dedicated to finding new ways to generate extra income streams. Through his writing on information publishing, Internet marketing, and copywriting, Glenn has developed a loyal following, helping and inspiring thousands of readers to achieve personal and financial freedom. To receive Glenn’s free daily e-letter, go here.]