It`s an old, old saying, but it`s true: you only have one
chance to make a good first impression. And in email, the
first impression is always visual -- a consumer LOOKS/SEES
before he/she READS.
Imagine walking by a grotesquely garish storefront with all
kinds of things hanging off the front porch, every floor
painted a different color, and odd music playing through
loudspeakers. Would you want to walk in the front door? No
way! You`d assume that the owner is a kook, at best, or a
deranged axe murderer, at worst.
Did you ever have an ugly looking email land in your
mailbox? You know what I`m talking about: an orange
background and yellow borders, multi-colored text in all
sizes from gigantic to microscopic, a message that looks like
it was created by a crazed six-year-old? If you did, I bet
you didn`t feel the urge to read it. You probably just
wanted to delete it as quickly as possible.
=> PUT OUT THE WELCOME MAT
You want your email message to be friendly and inviting, not
bizarre and scary. The suggestions below -- and they`re
just suggestions, not hard and fast rules -- will go a long
way towards making recipients` eyes say "come on in!" to
=> DO`s and DON`Ts FOR ATTRACTIVE EMAILS
-DON`T use COLOR fonts in your message. (Leave that to
junior high girls who want to write about Britney and
-DO use BLACK TEXT ON A WHITE BACKGROUND. (When you`re
"speaking" in black-and-white, people will give their full
attention to your message without being distracted by your
-DON`T use UNCOMMON FONTS. (If someone`s system doesn`t
recognize the font you`ve selected, they could see gibberish
instead of your brilliant message).
-DO use the email marketers` FAVORITE FONTS: Arial, Times
New Roman, and Courier New
-DON`T use flashing buttons or banners in your email! (Your
prospects have undoubtedly gotten their fill of "bells and
whistles" when they`ve surfed the Internet. They don`t need
more from you.)
=> GET HYPER" WITH EMAIL HYPERLINKS
An "email hyperlink" is just techno-talk for a link in your
email to a website, or email address. Sounds simple enough,
and it is -- unless you try to contact a prospect on AOL who
may not be able to receive "clickable" links.
Don`t worry. There`s a "fix" for this: simply type mailto:
in front of your email address (no space in between, and
include the : )
For a link to a web page, you need to write your link this
(And tell your recipient they can copy and paste this
link into their browser if it`s not highlighted.)
=> ALWAYS USE SIGNATURE TAGS
Today, it`s common practice on the Internet to tell people
about your product or service with a SIGNATURE TAG, which is
3-6 lines of text (usually) that is automatically added to
every message you send.
If you`d like to add a tag to your messages, simply open
your email program. Find the SIGNATURES TAB (located in the
TOOLS/OPTIONS menu in Outlook Express). Follow the (simple)
instructions for creating a sig file. Easy as pie...and the
results will amaze you.
That`s it for now, but get your "net" ready. Next lesson
we`re going to hunt down and CAPTURE EMAILS.