Email Marketing Tips from Three Kings of Content

online crmSome people may lead you to believe that carefully crafting language for email marketing is something new.  It is not new at all.  In fact, marketing with content is easily traced back to the genius of John Deere in the early 1800’s.


As a blacksmith, he constantly heard tales of farmers having trouble plowing because the sticky soil built up on the iron plows.  It was time consuming to clean the plow all the time.  His idea was to create a polished plow from a broken saw blade.  The farmers loved it.


He continued to listen to the farmer’s problems and began publishing and distributing a magazine called The Furrow.  He educated the farmers about subjects that were very close to the hearts of his customers.  His magazine has never been promotional or self-serving.  After 120 years, the magazine is still growing because the John Deere Company focuses on meeting the needs of customers.


3 Kings of Content


We sometimes forget that language is extremely powerful.  A century ago, people had to put effort into finding content.  The newspaper was the primary source of news and public speeches from famous people gave them access to the great minds of the time.


Our world is overwhelmed with lots and lots of words.  Email marketing makes it is easy to simply push things out to our sales leads and customers via email marketing with the hope that something ‘sticks’. 


We can all learn from the great masters of language.


“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”


Telling good stories is the best way to entertain your readers while educating them and developing trust in your email marketing efforts.  Ronald Reagan was dubbed the “Great Communicator” because of his folksy tales.  He spoke in simple language with lots of color sprinkled in.  As a traveling pitchman for General Electric and in his years as an actor, his ability to be passionately plainspoken won the day.


Storytelling and simple language will always be more effective in your email marketing than facts, figures and any attempt to look more intelligent.  In fact, when preparing for his Brandenburg Gate speech in 1987, Reagan’s speech writers tried to keep him from making such a bold statement to Gorbachev. 


“I have a dream”


It was hot in Washington that August day.  The speech only lasted 16 minutes.  Yet every single one of us remembers the power of what Martin Luther King said that day.  On that day, two centuries of history started changing course.


As a preacher, King had polished his speaking skills from the pulpit.  The language tool he used is called an “anaphora”; which uses repeated words in phrases to make a point.  The repeated use of the “I have a dream…” phrase and other repeated patterns were used eight times in those brief 16 minutes.  He had an important point to communicate and he used this language tool to make it memorable.


In email marketing, you can take the time to implement such tools of repetition to deepen the customer relationship.  Giving the reader valuable information bears repeating.  Take the time to hone the language in a way that makes your email campaigns worth reading.


“Ask not…”


Using contrasts is a 2,000 year old language tool, most recently made famous by JFK in his inaugural speech.  It was the fourth shortest inaugural address and was delivered by the youngster from Boston. 


The language tool is called alliteration.  Using two closely-connected words or phrases can make the language flow well in your email campaigns.  When overused, it sounds a bit like a nursery rhyme.


Two contrasting ideas when put together push against each other.  It is like trying to push two magnets together.  Emphasis is increased with this language tool.  In fact, in the 14 minutes of the JFK speech, he used contrast every 39 seconds.  It wasn’t an accident.  It was the result of carefully crafted word structures that have power to engage.


Words make people do things…like purchase your product or service.  Steal the ideas from some of the greatest communicators.  Use the tools to increase conversion rates in your email marketing campaigns.


The most powerful way to cut through the clutter of information overload is to become better at your communication.  Email marketing makes it much easier to reach more people with less effort.  Make it all count by using the most powerful language tools.