More On Converting Your Personal Email

August 03, 2006
By Robbin Steif

Personal, one-to-one email should be one of the best ways to convert an individual. You have the opportunity to customize everything about the message. Yet I am still awed at how badly people do this. Websites are hard. Mass email is hard. But individual email is easy, it just requires a little bit of attention.

In my first post on this topic, months ago, I moaned about how people don’t write personal subject lines. But even after the email is opened, if you are looking for action, you still have to write something that the recipient cares about.

For example, I recently got an email from a PR firm, asking me to take some action on some web analytic software review. It was your standard press release (item, quote, item, quote, for more info contact..), but the beginning was just personalized enough to make me really read it. It started out like this,

Hi Robbin –

I found your blog while conducting research on industry influencers in web analytics….

Just to see how personal this really was, I wrote the PR guy back and said, “Here is a copy of my recent posting on how people should write press releases now that everyone online reads them — what do you think?” And I was so impressed that the PR guy answered back personally with specific comments. (In fact, here is the link to the white paper he wanted me to review. It is about HBX vs SiteCatalyst. Since I really know SC but don’t know HBX even slightly, I will let you all review it yourselves.)

Compare that to another web analytics blogger who wants to be on my blogroll. His first email to me was something like this:

Dear LunaMetrics blog:

I was wondering if you could check out my blog and if the information sounds useful, potentially put a link up on your blog.

He could so easily have changed the dynamics of his email by writing, “It would be an honor to be included on your blogroll.” He wouldn’t even have to lie and say that he reads me….

I am just always amazed at how we work to convert an individual by email, we take the time to send them a personal note, and then we don’t create the content to make all that effort worthwhile.