The "Gurus" are over using this... are you?

46 replies
These days, when I open an email and see that narrow margin, I know right off the bat that it is a sales letter. The gurus tell you that it is easier to scan through and see popping words and links, but don't you think that the readers are pretty much aware by now that a narrow margin means that somebody is trying to sell you something?

My good friend Frank Kern
just called to tell me that he
is quitting the marketing
business and will be selling
his last product tonight.

Shhhh... I am the only one that
he has told.

If you don't buy now, you will
be sorry.

I am writing in a little bitty column
because I want you to read
as fast as possible and get to
my affiliate link.

Again, I am the only one
that knows. Don't tell anyone,
just buy now.
#email #gurus #margins #sales letter #usung
  • Profile picture of the author Marian
    Yeah, I don't like the "guru" type emails... actually I hate them!

    Marian
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278425].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278436].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Schicks
      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      My good friend Frank Kern
      just called to tell me that he
      is quitting the marketing
      business and will be selling
      his last product tonight.

      Shhhh... I am the only one that
      he has told.

      If you don't buy now, you will
      be sorry.

      I am writing in a little bitty column
      because I want you to read
      as fast as possible and get to
      my affiliate link.

      Again, I am the only one
      that knows. Don't tell anyone,
      just buy now.
      Thanks for that! I needed a good laugh.
      These guys are all terrible at keeping secrets. I had four or five salesletters from one marketer last week giving away his buddies' secrets.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278457].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    I try not to
    complain about
    what other
    marketers are
    doing, but I
    must admit I
    think this is
    annoying. I
    usually delete
    the message
    without reading
    it, right after
    I unsubscribe.

    But, to each their own. I'm sure they know what they are doing. No one copycats in this industry without testing for themselves. Nope.

    No
    one.
    Not
    even
    a
    dummy
    like
    me.
    Signature

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278491].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    Ha Ha
    That
    Is
    Really
    Funny.
    Thanks
    For the
    laugh!

    CT
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278495].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    I'm waiting for somebody to post a series of haikus.
    Signature

    Founder of JVZoo. All around good guy :)

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278526].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author abednego
    Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

    These days, when I open an email and see that narrow margin, I know right off the bat that it is a sales letter. The gurus tell you that it is easier to scan through and see popping words and links, but don't you think that the readers are pretty much aware by now that a narrow margin means that somebody is trying to sell you something?

    My good friend Frank Kern
    just called to tell me that he
    is quitting the marketing
    business and will be selling
    his last product tonight.

    Shhhh... I am the only one that
    he has told.

    If you don't buy now, you will
    be sorry.

    I am writing in a little bitty column
    because I want you to read
    as fast as possible and get to
    my affiliate link.

    Again, I am the only one
    that knows. Don't tell anyone,
    just buy now.
    Wait, so the margin is narrow on purpose? The marketers WANT it to look like that?
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278554].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    I don't know what it is but I find that style hard to read. When someone writes a forum post that has shortened lines I rarely read what it says and skip over it to the next post.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278740].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
    Our newsletters go out with narrow margin , we asked our
    readers which read more easily for them, and they preferred
    narrow margin to full width.

    We don't sell anything in the newsletters.

    Not so sure about the 3-4 words per line , does start to look
    a bit over engineered but certainly reduced width versus full
    width can improve readability and seems popular.

    It was the no 2 request from one of our lists over "no images"
    please.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278773].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tyroneshum
    This style has been used widely in Internet Marketing especially Affiliate Marketing. It's easier to read for me though. And, still it's not about the margin or anything else, it's about the content so it's better to open them and see if they really are selling good ones or not and it's true, most of them have tried what they are promoting so it's all about the right choices.
    Signature
    outsourcinglive.com
    Follow me on my 90 Day Challenge to rank no. 1 on Google
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Connect with me at: outsourcinglive.com/google-plus
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278776].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author theemperor
      "I want you to read
      as fast as possible and get to
      my affiliate link."
      That's honesty for you. The guy hasn't heard of WIIFM though!
      Signature
      Learn to code faster, and remove the roadblocks. Get stuff done and shipped! PM me and I can help you with programming tutoring, specialising in Web and the following languages: Javascript ~ HTML ~ CSS ~ React ~ JQuery ~ Typescript ~ NodeJS ~ C#.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278789].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thewealthywiseman
    The fact of the matter is, narrow margins are more pleasing to the eye. This is not a guru's technique (they seldom invent anything) it is a mail order technique. Read a few Ted Nicholas books.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2278792].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    I always assumed they were composing it on an iphone or something, lol. I don't get it either. Maybe the guys doing that use the same system to send out via SMS or something?

    I try to make text wrap at about 64 characters (about the same as most paperbacks), but not as small as I've seen a lot of guys do it. I've never heard a reason why on that.
    Signature

    Fair warning: It's possible I'm arguing with you because I have nothing better to do.
    Join my free copywriting group on Facebook: http://CultOfCopy.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279286].message }}
  • I don't think these emails are for the advanced warrior, who has been around the block so many times he hates the structures. I think it's for the newbie. These short blocked emails appear to be a quick note to the reader. Makes em' feel all special.
    Signature
    The S.C.A.M. PRODUCT CREATION METHOD
    Completely White Hat - Check it out
    ------------------------------
    Make your customers an offer they can't refuse! - FREE WSO
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279458].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    Some people do the same with Forum posts - I hate that even more

    Will
    Signature
    Is This The World's Easiest Way to Make Money?

    Click Here to Find Out
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279570].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    I like narrow margins but not the super narrow like many marketers are using. I never thought about it too much until this post but as soon as I open it and see the super narrow I autonmatically think "bad sales pitch - delete."
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279611].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    When I compose my AR messages in AWeber, I do a hard return at the end of their default text area (for HTML), and select "Wrap Long Lines" for the text version of the email.

    The reson I do it is so that the line doesn't have to scroll horizontally, or wrap in an unexpected way. It also keeps the right marging somewhat regular, not justified, but not wildly uneven either.

    For example, have you ever received an email message that
    looked something
    like this, and then wondered why the heck it happened?
    If so, there's a
    good chance that the writer
    of the message only used a hard return on some lines, and
    not on others. Anyway, that's why I
    do it that way.

    It's for readability, and some level of control over the uniformity of the message. I didn't copy anybody else's techinque, I just did a few test messages to see what looks best.

    All the
    best,
    Michael
    Signature

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279718].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    You joined his list - if you don't like what he sends you - just unsub.

    He's an Internet Marketer who is positioned as a guru and you're 'noticing that he's selling to you'?
    Signature

    nothing to see here.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279728].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Not sure if most people know this...but the suggested "breaks" in Aweber and GetResponse always look like crap on an iPhone or small screen.

    You end up getting a really
    long line
    and then a short one like above
    and then
    a long one. But you get the idea
    right?
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279746].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kate Furst
      Wow,reading this thread was like reading some of my old students' attempts at haiku...grabbed instinctively for my red pen.
      Signature

      Looking for a new writer? Try my content at 50% off!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279830].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Why "narrow"? Aren't those wide margins with narrow text?

    kay
    Signature

    Due to the current pandemic I will no longer be shaking hands or giving hugs. You may wave, bow to me or give me the finger...your choice.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279863].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Why "narrow"? Aren't those wide margins with narrow text?

      kay
      I was thinking the same thing, but figured out what he meant.



      When I first read it, I was wondering if the "gurus" were somehow putting the text right up to the edges.

      The margin is the white space, not the text. So, as Kay points out, a wider marging would leave more white space which is what the OP is talking about.

      ~Michael
      Signature

      "Ich bin en fuego!"
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279877].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Tyson Faulkner
        That's interesting...I've formatted my emails like this for a long time, probably because I learned it from some marketer...haha.

        But truth be told I think it's easier to read. Long lines of text just wear me out =)

        It probably looks Ok on smaller screens but if I have gmail opened up full on my widescreen lines go forever, so it's nice to have them shortened imo.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279907].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Trivum
    Well, if you're on a "guru" list, or any other marketer's list for that matter, you know they're going to be trying to sell you anyway ... even if they say they aren't in that particular email. Don't get me wrong, some of them do indeed offer some very good value for free, but I don't think they'd be calling you "friend" and wanting to "keep up" with you if they didn't need another million dollar payday. (Why do they need so many? ... Makes you wonder about the quality of their lives. -- okay, off topic)

    Anyway, if you find yourself annoyed by the narrow column, it probably means you're getting burned out by being relentlessly marketed to. You're also probably tired of them pretending that they aren't marketing to you. They aren't your "friend," and you're not their "cousin," and no matter how nice they might be in real life, those facts resist any schmaltz or schmooze they can lay on. After a certain point, a natural backlash kicks in.

    Internet marketers (the successful ones) get the big payoffs, it's true. But due to the nature of the niche, their customer base is probably more jaded than any other market out there. ... It's a good thing they're promising riches and not happy cats or revolutionary knitting techniques. Otherwise they'd be dead.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2279891].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sodette1
    I've always wrapped my emails at around 65 to 70 characters...

    Web pages at about 13pt (not pixel) san-seriff style text for most industries, I try to keep the content at roughly 680 to 780 pixels wide (12 to 14 words per line).

    This is what books like "Design to Sell" by Roger C. Parker (Great guy, great read by the way) say about it from a user study and statistical perspective.

    Personally, I prefer a shorter line and HATE having to scroll rght/left when reading emails - many of the html emails that I get are too interested in looking "branded" and pretty to even consider how easy it is for me to scan or read their messages.

    Frankly, to me... again... just give me good information that I can benefit from and that has value to ME - and I'll read it if you can't spell correctly, if your grammar is poor, if you wrap it every three words or make me click a link to read it all on your blog.

    Keep sending me crap with headlines that trick me to open them however - and you can gold plate the message and I'll still unsubscribe from your list.
    Signature

    NEW MEMBERSHIP PLATFORM! PayPal (Express Checkout!), JVZoo, ClickBank, Stripe, Authorize.net, Powerful Coaching Software, Blogging Platform, Forum, Landing Pages, Themes, Coupons, Manage Videos, Audios, Downloads easily, Amazon S3 Integration, Reporting System, Complete Affiliate Management, Membership Management... much more.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2280180].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      What a guru is not:
      Man who tries to sell you stuff.
      Guru is man who teaches.
      Signature

      Dan's content is irregularly read by handfuls of people. Join the elite few by reading his blog: dcrBlogs.com, following him on Twitter: dcrTweets.com or reading his fiction: dcrWrites.com but NOT by Clicking Here!

      Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2280244].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        What a guru is not:
        Man who tries to sell you stuff.
        Guru is man who teaches.
        This is bad Haiku.
        Your syllable counts are off.
        It's five-seven-five.
        Signature

        Fair warning: It's possible I'm arguing with you because I have nothing better to do.
        Join my free copywriting group on Facebook: http://CultOfCopy.com

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2280271].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
          Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

          This is bad Haiku.
          Your syllable counts are off.
          It's five-seven-five.
          I used free-form Haiku, counting words instead of syllables.

          At any rate, traditional Haiku uses 17 moras which are not necessarily equivalent to syllables.

          Also, proper Haiku contains a kigo and kireji, neither of which did mine have.
          Signature

          Dan's content is irregularly read by handfuls of people. Join the elite few by reading his blog: dcrBlogs.com, following him on Twitter: dcrTweets.com or reading his fiction: dcrWrites.com but NOT by Clicking Here!

          Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2280308].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
            Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

            I used free-form Haiku, counting words instead of syllables.

            At any rate, traditional Haiku uses 17 moras which are not necessarily equivalent to syllables.

            Also, proper Haiku contains a kigo and kireji, neither of which did mine have.
            Your pedantry took all the humor out of my joke. Twice now. I hope you're happy.
            Signature

            Fair warning: It's possible I'm arguing with you because I have nothing better to do.
            Join my free copywriting group on Facebook: http://CultOfCopy.com

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2280471].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
              Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

              Your pedantry took all the humor out of my joke. Twice now. I hope you're happy.
              Don't worry, I found the humor in your joke.
              Signature

              Founder of JVZoo. All around good guy :)

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2280509].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
              Originally Posted by SimonHarrison View Post

              Not so sure about the 3-4 words per line , does start to look
              a bit over engineered but certainly reduced width versus full
              width can improve readability and seems popular.
              That's the thing, Simon. Some of these emails literally only have 3-4 average length words per line, with only 2-3 words per line if the writer uses a particularly long word . . . like particularly.


              Deviating from the norm may get attention, but it also has risks.
              Signature

              Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281029].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
    Banned
    Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

    These days, when I open an email and see that narrow margin, I know right off the bat that it is a sales letter.
    These days, when I see an email in my inbox, I know right off the bat that it is a sales letter.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2280963].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Online Bliss
    Like Andy said, "You subscribed"
    At one time someone decided to be clever and stand out.
    Then as usually happens his/her idea was copied by the masses.
    Signature
    You've got it Made
    with the Guy in the Shades!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281010].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Rikki_Fawkes
      That's why gurus like Jeremy Palmer recommend you send ample "non-commercial" emails just as often - or more often - as/than you send affiliate ones. That way, people might not automatically guess that *your* letter will just be salesy.

      But I still think they'll have this mentality most the time. Getting them to open it in the first place is my issue, let alone reading it...
      Signature

      Learn how you can get paid writing online with NO startup money! I will help you make part-time or full-time income as a freelance writer at http://getpaidwriting.org. No previous writing experience necessary!


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281034].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    I actually find the narrow margin emails significantly easier (and faster) to read. Along with all of the mocking posts here.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281017].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Ranger
    I used to do this

    Then someone private messaged me saying it annoyed them and I stopped. I thought it looked prettier but deep down I think I sub-consciously did it to increase the chances of it getting read.

    People love small snippets
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281126].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    I've always wondered about the short lines. I only see them once from any particular sender.
    Signature
    Do Your Copywriting Skills Suck?

    Let Us Help You Develop Your Writing Skills!

    Submit Guest Posts With [ TheBitBot.Com ]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281151].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author shakaama
    The reason these "gurus" are so successful are BECAUSE of their massive massive email lists. Which they acheived by branding branding branding. Junk like that narrow margin email is them not trying. At all! They don't have to any more. They're like google. Why try when you've got 500k email lists? Without a doubt, good copywright will get you true blue sales, and get people to stay on your email list, and not unsubscribe. Good copywright however, takes effort. There is no way, someone pretending to whisper to you in an email builds and rapport or trust. I guarantee you people don't unsubscribe from Frank Kerns, because he's Frank Kerns, but because they love receiving those hokey emails.
    Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

    These days, when I open an email and see that narrow margin, I know right off the bat that it is a sales letter. The gurus tell you that it is easier to scan through and see popping words and links, but don't you think that the readers are pretty much aware by now that a narrow margin means that somebody is trying to sell you something?

    My good friend Frank Kern
    just called to tell me that he
    is quitting the marketing
    business and will be selling
    his last product tonight.

    Shhhh... I am the only one that
    he has told.

    If you don't buy now, you will
    be sorry.

    I am writing in a little bitty column
    because I want you to read
    as fast as possible and get to
    my affiliate link.

    Again, I am the only one
    that knows. Don't tell anyone,
    just buy now.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281181].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author matthewd
    It's easier to read.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281217].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Stirling
    I write all my emails and even forum posts with a 'reduced' margin.
    I think it's easier to read than if it's full width.

    but I don't think column width has anything to do with the sales
    copy in the emails..

    seems like your real issue is with the hyped up pitching some marketers
    do.. well, you're on their list, and you have the freedom to unsubscribe.

    Stuart
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281685].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
      Originally Posted by Stuart Stirling View Post

      I write all my emails and even forum posts with a 'reduced' margin.
      I think it's easier to read than if it's full width.

      but I don't think column width has anything to do with the sales
      copy in the emails..

      seems like your real issue is with the hyped up pitching some marketers
      do.. well, you're on their list, and you have the freedom to unsubscribe.

      Stuart
      Yeah, I also like to keep my line lengths a bit on the shorter side, about to the width of
      the window in which I type here .

      And the same thing for emails. I don't like to have to scroll, and I don't want to risk
      those uneven length emails either.

      Do they sell better? Who knows. I think it's time for some split testing.

      Even if someone tested it when it first started, I think it's time to do it again...

      Elisabeth
      Signature

      FREE Report: 5 Ways To Grow Your Affiliate Income

      Let Me Help You Sell: Sales Letters, Email Series, Pre-Sell Reports... PM me & we'll talk!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281856].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Antoni
    When I first started writing emails I did it because my old mentor taught me that style back in the good ol days of 2006.

    Now, I do it out of habit and I also think it looks better.

    But the other reason to do it is because if you write a full blown side to side email you run the risk of the email program having to scroll right to read the text.

    That's the main reason I do it now.

    There was a time when I started making lines shorter and shorter, but now I manage to write a little further than I used to.

    Like all things in direct marketing, a series of split tests will reveal what's best for you.
    Signature

    Check out my Affiliate Internet Marketing Blog, lots of cool free stuff. And make sure you take a peek at Trilateral Profits. Internet Marketing Management

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281731].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author terrapurus
    Here is a more simple reason to consider. Aweber gives you the opportunity to create a html version and a text version of your email. The text version will ask you to create line breaks so screens don't scroll horizontally.

    I look at that and think - text version autoresponder.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2281828].message }}

Trending Topics