Getting the tone of an email just right

As part of my work, I subscribe to literally hundreds of e-newsletters. What surprises me is the frequency of what appears to be the wrong ‘tone’.

Advertising agencies have become masters of tone: creating an emotional bond with customers is the soul of marketing. It is how you enter and stay in the minds and hearts of customers. You do more than convince: you beguile and motivate. Rather than scream, you send a subtle, subliminal message that appeals to both sides of the brain.

How do you develop a tone? Well, of course, you have already segmented your audience into a number of segments defined by demographics. For each segment, create a typical customer/prospect and build up a number of characteristics. Give your ‘crash dummy’ a name: for instance, if one of your segments were owner/managers of smaller firms suffering financial pressures, she might be Katie Cashflow.

Katie is 35, a first-time entrepreneur, too busy with detail, under-capitalised and under financial pressure with poor sales and cashflow. She has a poor life/work balance, has a good offering but needs financial and analytical skills to help her buy some time and get the business on a stronger financial footing.

That’s only a start but, when you’re composing an e-newsletter to Katie and her equivalent audience segment, it is much simpler to get the tone of the e-newsletter right, to understand her dilemmas and offer her services that will solve her challenges.

You can get the tone right in factual, emotional and style terms. And effective tone improves your results.

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