You can be anything you want to be online, and your company is just waiting to tap on the endless possibilities. But first, read our etiquette guide to make sure you’re not in danger of letting your dark side take over:
Monster Marketer #1: The Invader
Think about the people you’d love to keep at arm’s length: the strangers at parties who stand way too close and are way too generous with their hugs and kisses, the dreaded acquaintance who crashes social gatherings and invites himself to hang out at your apartment, or the colleague who reads over your shoulder and steals your stationery. Here’s what they have in common: they don’t ask for permission. Ever. The same rules apply online, and not asking your recipients if they would like to hear from you counts as very bad manners indeed. Even if you know your recipients in some capacity (and that includes your best friends, by the way), don’t assume they’d appreciate emails from your company – always ask first. It may not be apparent, but it costs money and takes time to download your emails (and to chuck or report them as spam if necessary), so it pays to be considerate.
Monster Marketer #2: The Show-Off
Why compose an email newsletter in plain text when there’s HTML mail, and why write an obvious subject line when you can pen a headline that’s mysterious, witty, or just plain clever? Be careful that showing off doesn’t result in your company being showed up. Not all email applications are able to display elaborately designed emails, so relax on your images and HTML coding, and not all readers will understand what you’re trying to say, if you don’t say it in the clearest possible way.
Monster Marketer #3: The Narcissist
We all know the type: they’re only interested in talking to you as long as the spotlight’s on them. Although, if truth be told, we all enjoy a bit of attention from time to time. Which is why the last thing anyone needs is to read about your company’s milestones and awards and exciting new hires, when in fact they’re really wondering, “So what’s in it for me?” Answer that question for readers right away, and you’ll keep them coming back for more.
Monster Marketer #4: The Chatterbox
Sending an email to your readers is a lot like holding a one-way conversation, and you know what happens during a one-way conversation – the other party tunes out, and fast. So make your emails as interactive as possible, by inviting your readers to vote in polls, post their views online or send in their feedback. Also bear in mind that the less you say, the more readers are likely to remember what you’ve said.
Monster Marketer #5: The Loudmouth
If you’re not planning to shout at your customers and scare them off, steer clear of putting words in all caps and exclamation marks. But if you need to emphasize a word, there is a mature, tasteful way to do it – by using italics. Exclamation marks can be used sparingly, but we wouldn’t recommend more than one or two per mailer.
Monster Marketer #6: The Slacker
Most people have a good idea of what constitutes professional behavior in the real world: they show up to meetings on time, try to be fairly well groomed, and refrain from chewing gum. But give them a chance to make an impression online and all hell breaks loose – their emails are riddled with spelling and grammar errors, missing text, broken links, misaligned images… you get the picture. Clean up your emails just as you would clean up before meeting a customer; if not, your offline efforts would’ve gone to waste.