If you want readers to invest their time in your email then you need to keep interest rates high. It’s a mistake to think the best approach is cutting your copy to the bone — wasting less of your visitors’ time with fewer words is still wasting their time, and yours.
Concise isn’t the same as short.
Writing concisely means focusing on what’s important. But over-zealous editing, reducing your writing down to little more than bullet-points, means you’ve not focused on something important.
How you say things is as important as what you say.
We humans are emotional as well as rational creatures and we make decisions based on more than just the cold and harsh presentation of fact.
Conversing = converting
Trust and credibility are two vital ingredients when it comes to selling — even if you’re selling an idea or asking readers to spend time. Like I said, we’re emotional creatures, and ‘trust’ is a personal and subjective quality that’s hard to evoke through facts alone.
We naturally mistrust people telling us they’re great and we’ve become almost blind to the ubiquitous testimonial. We want the reassurance of a trusted big name but with the friendly, approachable and personalised service of a local fishmonger. We want to be told honest and interesting stories, not read a piece of bland corporate propaganda.
We don’t want to be talked at, we want a conversation.
Personality and a healthy dollop of creativity go a long way in guiding/ maintaining the reader’s interest, building trust/ credibility, and convincing potential customers you’ve got what they’re looking for.
Going long or selling short?
Longer sales copy tends to out-perform short. Given that we’re always being told that everyone’s in too much of a hurry and they only skim-read — how can this be? The key is making sure it’s well written.
Well written copy goes beyond bare-bone facts — it needs room to breathe, to target emotions, drives, wants and needs. It creates the right tempo, style and psychological triggers to maintain interest rates and evoke a response from the reader. The longer you can keep someone reading — the more answers you can provide, the more trust you can build — the more likely that person will convert.
People will spend time reading your emails — but what they demand is a decent return on that investment. Don’t be in too much of a rush to cut your word-count or you could well be slashing interest rates.