What Nigerian scam letters can teach you about email marketing

publication date: Dec 23, 2011
Think there's nothing we can learn about email marketing from overseas con artists? Think again, says marketing consultant Megan Leap. If you look at everything that's wrong with those fraudulent messages, you'll deduce five tips to help you get your own email marketing right.

Tip 1 - speak like your audience

Do your supporters address you as Sir or Madam and use convoluted sentences like, "We shall commence the transfer of the funds immediately we receive the following information"?

You might laugh, but beware of talking about your own programs and stakeholders in language your readers would never use. Aim for a language, tone, and style that resonates with them, Leap advises.

Tip 2 - personalize and get it right

You already know that correct personalization can boost your open and click-through rates (unlike "Dear beloved"). So do it, and do it right.

Tip 3 - take time to nurture trust

"Don't rush for the close like the con artists do and ask them to hand over their credit card immediately," Leap counsels.

Instead, use meaningful information about your impact and credibility to build trust before you begin asking new list names for money.

Tip 4 - segment and target

One of the biggest mistakes the scam letters make, says Leap, is not segmenting and targeting. They send the same email to everyone in the world.

But experience confirms that segmented email campaigns will always outperform a campaign that sends the same copy to your entire list. Segmentation is well worth the time and trouble of changing the subject line and a portion of the copy.

Tip 5 - focus on quality, not quantity

Nigerian scam letters are renowned for their length, typos and laughable grammar. They've become a byword for poor writing.

What's the lesson for you? Pay attention to quality, urges Leap. Proof and proof again. Cut the copy ruthlessly. Make sure every email benefits your subscribers, resonates with your target audience, and is a great representation of your brand.

Read the complete article at http://www.mpdailyfix.com/five-email-marketing-lessons-from-nigerian-scam-letters

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