Make Your eMail Communications Sell: Drawing the Line Between "Buzz" and "Hype"
Every day, I cringe at the emails that flood my inbox.
There is a good chance, in fact, that I deleted YOUR email today.
The influx of spam, opt-in newsletters and sales letters
overwhelm me on a daily basis. (80 % of my online mail is sales-junk
-- and I know I'm not alone.)
Why do so many emails go straight to the Recycle Bin?
Besides the fact that hundred of unsolicited emails
are sent to me on a daily basis, there's also the often-ignored
fact that most small businesses and online vendors ignore;
credibility is the key to online success.
How do you establish credibility? Kill the Hype. Get Buzz.
What's the difference between hype and buzz?
Hype is something that you create and try to sustain,
with little to back it up. Buzz is user
and customer-created interest -- and it lasts because there
are hundreds or thousands of people backing it up.
Ways to Kill Hype
1. Recognize that EVERY online word you type is both COMMUNICATION
2. If you don't have a newsletter, CREATE ONE! It's easy and
relatively painless to find an email host such as Yahoogroups.com and
there are plenty of ways to use a newsletter establish your expertise
and credibility. Some large ecommerce websites simply send out a link
to articles relevant to their readers with a short summary of what
they contain. There are also plenty of free content websites that
contain quality articles for reprint.
3. Recognize that your newsletter is not a catalog. It's NOT
about "You". A good newsletter has valuable content and minimal
advertisements -- this gives the reader a reason to read. It also
lets your own advertisements and promotions stand out. Remind your
readers that the publication is "sponsored by" your business, and
place a small advertisement in a semi-conspicuous place. Let the
content build your expertise.
4. Admit you don't know everything. Ask your readers or contacts for
help when you need it. They'll feel important and "listened to" when
you ask for their input, whether you're looking for a specific
product, website, or service. You can even ask them to help you with
your goals by sincerely asking them to help -- tell them if they
enjoy the newsletter, "please forward it to anyone that may be
5. Be consistent. If your publication is weekly, send it weekly. Try
to resist the urge to send out a slew of "solo ads".... If you want
to email your newsletter list directly, try to limit the solo
mailings and make sure that you let them know that you are sending
a "one-time" mailing. If you don't, they may unsubscribe and you'll
be left without an audience.
6. Learn the delicate art of specificity. When you DO write sales
copy for your product or service, learn to write a brief, specific
list of benefits. Honestly evaluate what sets you apart from the
competition. Even if you are a part of an affiliate program, there IS
SOMETHING that makes you different. For example, you may give
personal attention to your clients and customers and follow up to
make sure they are satisfied. Maybe you have a freebie to go with
your sales. Maybe your website has links to free search engines
submission services. If you aren't doing anything differently than
the competition, it's time to brainstorm a few things that you CAN do
differently, starting today.
7. LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, DON'T SHOUT IN YOUR EMAILS!!!! Emails should
be written the way you would hold a conversation. If you were a brick-
and-mortar business, would you really introduce yourself and your
product to customers with "HI! I'M JACK AND I HAVE A GREAT DEAL FOR
YOU!" You're not a used car salesman in the seedy part of town.
You're a legitimate business. Emulate the type of communication you
would expect at a Land Rover Dealership.
Ways to Build Buzz
1. Create a professional signature line that explains who
you are and what you (or your business) do.
2. Spread your expertise around. Join related discussion lists and
DISCUSS. Don't spam or incessantly write about how wonderful your
product is. For example, I forward relevant writing jobs to the lists
I belong to every chance I get. This is where the signature line
comes in: I get at least 5 subscribers from each list I forward
information to, every time I forward information. Many discussion
lists will also allow you to forward a copy of your newsletter if it
3. Find something newsworthy about yourself or your product -- and
write a professional press release. Create a list of industry-
specific places -- magazines, newsletters, and other publications
that you will send it to. (Use a search engine if you are not
familiar with them!)
4. Offer to write articles for other publications--and write them well
or outsource them to a ghostwriter. Link to your articles in the
newsletters you send out and add recent publication links to your
5. Get reviewed -- no matter what you sell, there's somebody out there
who wants it free and is willing to review it if they get it for
free. This method will provide you with some genuine testimonials,
specific to your business. You can also get your newsletter reviewed
by websites. Send a short query offering review copies to websites
that are aligned with your interests.
6. Make friends and influence people -- "meet" people in your industry
online through their websites, sign their guest books, and send them
appreciative emails. Give them tips on promotion. Ask them questions
about what works for them. Trade secrets and advertisements once
you've established an online relationship.
These are just a few tips on killing hype and getting buzz. I hope you
use them well -- happy buzzing and many sales to you!
About the Author
Melissa Brewer is a freelance writer based in Northern Virginia. She
writes articles, manuals, and online content for a plethora of
clients. She is currently looking for affiliates willing to sell her
eBook on their website -- if you are an affiliate of eLance.com or
other job sites, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details!