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Why Your Emails Fail When You Lead With Product

by Tom Ruwitch

This is a tale of two emails — one good and one bad.

I’ll start with the bad one from a company I’ll call Acme (no need to reveal the culprit).

I received an email with the subject line “Acme + Google Analytics/AdWords.”
My first question: Why would I want to open this email?

I opened the email anyway. It said: “Did you know that you can see actual company information within your Google Analytics and AdWords? Give our whitepaper a quick read. We’ll show you how integrating Acme’s data will greatly enhance your dashboard and reports with company name, website, employee count, revenue, industry, and more.”

Second question: Why do I need to see actual company information within Google Analytics and AdWords? Why do I need a greatly enhanced dashboard?

This email is bad because it doesn’t answer those questions.

Now for the good email.

The subject line: “How they got their first 1000 subscribers.”

Repeating my first question: Why would I want to open this email? Easy.

Because I want to grow my subscriber list.

“Do you ever wonder?” the email said, “how some of the big names across the interwebs built their email lists way back in the day? ... I asked 12 leading digital business owners to share how they got their first 1000 subscribers. ...This is a quick read that will inspire you to take action on your list building goals. Click here to get the exact steps that these 12 successful entrepreneurs took to get their first 1000 subscribers.”

Repeating my second question: Why would I want to click to get the steps that successful entrepreneurs took to get their first 1,000 subscribers? Easy. Because I want to grow my subscriber list.

When I clicked through as the email suggested, I learned about a software product—with a fancy dashboard and great data that will help me build my list. I’m probably going to test the product and consider buying it.

This email works because it targets people who want to grow their email lists with a message that quickly and clearly gets their attention. The subject line promises an answer about list-building. The email copy dives deeper, promising to reveal secrets from experts that will instruct you on list-building.
Compare that with the bad email. The subject line (Acme + Google Analytics/AdWords) offers no compelling reason to open the email. And the copy immediately starts pitching product without ever telling you why the product really matters.

This brings me back to the second question: Why do I need to see actual company information within Google Analytics and AdWords? Why do I need a greatly enhanced dashboard?

Because that information helps me identify warm prospects more quickly so I can sell more efficiently. Sure, the folks at Acme may say, “Well, duh … Of course that’s the reason that you need such data.” But is it really so clear to the target audience?

There’s an old adage in sales: If you lead with the product, you’re bound to fail.
The good email led with the outcome: Build your email list. Once it got my attention with that benefit, it led me to the product that could help me achieve the outcome.

The bad email led with product without ever revealing the ultimate outcome.
If I were selling the Acme product, my subject line might say, “How Analytics/Adwords Can Reveal Prospects to Target.” The copy might read, “For most businesses, Google Analytics is a black box full of traffic counts and sources. It’s easy to tell how many people visit your site, but it’s difficult to tell who. What if you could know who was visiting your site—and whether those visitors align with your ideal prospect profile? You could identify warm prospects more quickly and sell more efficiently. Acme’s Dashboard gives you this insight…”

If you lead with the outcome, you’re more likely to sell your product.

Tom Ruwitch is founder and president of MarketVolt, a St. Louis-based marketing technology firm. Visit MarketVolt.com/grow-your-list for an expanded set of list-building techniques.
Submitted 24 days ago
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Categories: categoryHigh Voltage Marketing
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