Keep It Simple

This article is the third in a series to help empower you to find success in online marketing. You can read the first article here. You can read the second article here.


Last week’s column unpacked the idea that your customers, or your target audience, whoever they might be, don’t really care about you.

It might be tough to hear, but it isn’t a criticism against you; it’s an observation that can empower you to become a master marketer, correcting for mistakes that are far too common in this field. When marketing, especially with your email campaigns, make sure that your focus is on the consumer.

You want to avoid using the email platform to brag about yourself and your accomplishments, however successful you may be; instead, use it to hold a mirror up to the audience, letting them see their own success through the use of your product or service. If you put the focus back onto the consumer, I guarantee it will make you a more successful marketer. 

Also, recall from the first column that the first step is writing directly to the audience. Don’t treat them as a mass of people, but rather hone in as if each email was a personal note from you to them. With those previous skills developed, you’re ready to advance to the third in this series: Simplify everything.

What do I mean by simplifying everything? It’s simple, really. Don’t make it complicated. Again, remember that you are writing both to and for your audience; it’s all about them. 

Think about how newspapers write. Your hometown paper probably writes at about a middle-school reading level. Does that mean it’s written by middle-schoolers? Probably not, but the general populace is not going to be as well-educated as those who produce the content for mass audiences. Newspapers keep that in mind, of course, so their word choices need to reflect those who will read it. 

Write to the audience, and cut through the noise.

If a reader cannot understand what he or she is reading, the stories have no value for the consumer. In the same vein, The Wall Street Journal knows its audience tends to be at or above an undergraduate degree in terms of education, and probably relies on the news to make informed decisions in their occupation, as opposed to someone in a small town interested in local events. Write to the audience, and cut through the noise.

It beneath you to make something simple; in fact, a sure sign of intelligence is the ability to explain something in plain terms. If you can’t break it down for someone else, you likely don’t know enough about the subject yourself. Complicating things for your consumer will do nothing to improve your bottom line. If they can’t understand you, they’re not going to buy from you.

Every email should request an action.

With that in mind, you also need to include a call to action, or a CTA. It’s great that you’ve put together an email, but without some direction included, it’s going into the trash can and nothing will happen. 

Figure out what exactly it is you want from your audience. Every email should request an action. Click this, buy these, sign that – they need direction. They also need to know why. What problem will it solve? Remember: It’s about them. 

With the tools in this series, you’re ready to take your email marketing to the next level. In sum: personalize your emails, focus on your audience’s needs, and make it simple. It’s a recipe for success. 

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