Emails From Yours Truly
The other day I wanted to write an email to the customers of my bagel shop featuring this cute candid photo. I took the photo during a gathering of old friends. The four-year-old in the picture had protested our fished and farmed dinner spread, and his parents quickly solved the problem by grabbing a bagel and making him a sandwich with select dinner ingredients as the filling.
What a great reason to tell people to bring bagels to a gathering I thought to myself, and snapped a pic of the kid from the back. I was sure of all the new sales it would get me.
But when I sat down to write the email, my mind went blank. I had this idea of how to weave the photo into a great pitch for my product… but getting there naturally in an email just wasn’t making sense in my head.
The truth is, I was over complicating it. In an effort to weave a crafty sales pitch and drive desire for my product while making a logical case for the practical buyer…
I forgot the key to writing good emails… which is… to make them sound like emails.
Email marketing works when your reader feels like they’ve opened up an email that’s meant for them. People don’t want to feel like they’re one in a million on a newsletter. They aren’t interested in crafty sales messages and they certainly don’t want to see ads in their inbox.
Emails should feel conversational, written from one person to the other.
Getting back to my cute candid photo in an email problem. I solved it by starting the email the same way I would talk about the picture to a friend if I were standing next to her. In fact my email ended up sounding a lot like this article, with some added sarcasm and extra bullet points.
Stories from my life are what my readers are used to. It’s what makes them feel comfortable approaching me, or writing back to me. I don’t have to be crafty… I just have to be me.
I’m a personality in my brand, so being “me” in my emails makes sense to my audience. We’re a family owned bagel place, and letting our customers get to know the owner and family as real people, helps us sell more of our products.
But the same formula works for all kinds of brands. Even… actually most especially (because you’ll stand out from your competitors), B2B emails. Emails should always be written from one person to another, and the writer needs to have a personality, one that the reader can recognize, relate to and get used to.
Depending on your brand, you may have an actual person in the company like the founder or CEO or the lead customer success team member, who stands out as the obvious personality signing off on your brand’s emails. But whether it’s a real person, a fictional person, or just a general “from the team”, the consistency in the name and the personality is what matters the most.
Your brand has a voice. You can find that voice in your ads, your social media posts, even your employee memos and job descriptions. You probably even have a “voice guide” for your brand. But personality is even more specific. Personality is what people notice that makes you different from other people. It’s what people like about you. And most especially, it’s what people recognize you for.
A specific personality in your emails makes the same kinds of jokes over and over again. That personality shares a consistent perspective on stories. A personality echoes the same values again and again over time. A personality feels a certain way about language, in a way a general “voice guide” could never capture.
Don’t be afraid to allow that personality to come through in your B2B emails. In fact, LEAN INTO IT. If nothing else, it will make the job of coming up with new content so much easier when you have a consistent way of speaking and relating to your audience that you can always fall back on.
Your readers and prospective customers are going to notice the difference when they read your emails and the emails feel like a friend or co-worker wrote them. It’s going to increase your open rates, click through rates, conversion rates and MOST of all, you customer loyalty over time.
You can’t fake authenticity… so why even try?
Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b email marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion email copy and strategy that’s tailored for SaaS and e-com brands, visit my website, aaroewriting.com, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.