Being human in email is hard. Brands struggle to find the perfect combination of a value proposition, voice and their desired call to action in email. For years smart marketers have been trying to leverage social media and what it has taught us in email. When I speak with clients, or conferences and even webcasts I always reference the desire for companies to add a more humanized approach to email marketing because that is what social taught us. I often bring up examples of what brands do to move away from the buttons, the likes and focus on what people want, which is the ability for companies to speak with them instead of at them.
Selling In A Conversational Tone
While most subscribers still elect to receive email from brands because they want a good deal, they also crave for brands to know them and to speak with them about their products rather just force images with discounts. As humans w
e crave the interactions of other humans and want to know what they have to say about something that isn’t the brand talking. We trust what others have to say and we want to feel like we are being seduced by products rather than being sold.
Real Reviews Make A Difference
We have often seen brands send out emails with reviews or stars in them and wonder why everything is rated so high and why the quotes used seem a little contrived. We want to learn more than “this was fantastic” or “best XXX ever” because we know that those types of reviews are a dime a dozen. When brands take the time to source real reviews and stories around the products, it can be a winning combination. I think we can all agree that in order for companies to get to the next level of email marketing they are going to have to put forth effort and creativity because in the long run, it does pay off.
Take the email below from @UncommonGoods. While it has the obligatory “stars”, I believe that the time and effort to solicit this feedback from their customers will pay off. The stories seem real and relatable and fit in nicely with the products being shown. The email is trying to seduce me by how most people read email today which is left to right (the triangle offense … thanks Alex) and offers a nice recovery module at the end if I am not interested in the 7 featured products.
Being human in email is not a hard concept to grasp, but it does come at a price internally at organizations who have being “doing” email marketing the same way for years and have seen good results. This approach is not for everyone and every email, but it does have some long tail rewards. If you have been human in email for a while, drop me a line and let me know how it’s going. If not … try it.