The "fatal flaws" are the things that stop me from taking the action the marketer wants me to take. Of course, this is just my opinion, but I think these fatal flaws prevent a lot of people from doing whatever the email is trying to get us to do.
1. Assuming I'll take the time to read your entire email.
I often won't, and a lot of others won't either. In fact, I keep busy with my own projects, so a lot of times I'm looking for an excuse to delete your email. Don't waste my time with inane blather intended to build a relationship with me.
Oh my gosh! Did I just say that?
Yep. A lot of folks have the wrong idea about what building a relationship with a mailing list is all about. Here's a clue: be useful, be honest, keep my best interests in mind and let that guide your actions.
The idea is to earn trust, not recruit your next best friend.
2. Asking the wrong kind of question.
This is also a copywriting lesson ... if you want me to keep reading, don't start your email with a question I can easily say "no" to. An email I got today opened with a question similar to this, "Are you unhappy with your marketing efforts?"
Nope, delete. That's all I read of it. I win!
When you ask questions, the idea is to ask questions that get your reader to agree with you, not to disagree. Instead of asking if someone is unhappy with a certain result, ask if they'd like to improve a certain result.
The difference may seem like niggling, but the impact is notable.
3. If you're going to tell a story, make sure it isn't boring.
Yes, telling a story can be good, but most of the story-form emails I get suck. They seem to be telling a story for the sake of telling a story because they are not a good segue into the offer.
If you use a story, make it relevant, and make it interesting. Use descriptive words that create the mental pictures and feelings you want to evoke.
4. Don't be yet another copy-and-paste expert.
If all you're doing is copying and pasting a pre-written sales message and sending it you disqualify yourself as an authoritative referrer. You will not be rewarded with an affiliate commission from me because you took one minute to copy, paste, and send an email.
If you want to earn a commission from me, then you really do have to earn it. By that I mean try the product so you can actually tell me what you really like about it.
You want to know a secret? There aren't many perfect products, so tell me about the drawbacks too. Chances are if I want the benefits of the product I'll overlook the drawbacks if they aren't major deal breakers, and your honest assessment makes you more real and your words more believeable.
Do you know what that does? It builds trust.
You may think your readers don't know when you copy and paste what you send, but a good many of us do. We get the same email, often word for word, from a half dozen or more other marketers. We know when you're playing us, which leads to my last point...
5. Don't insult my intelligence.
As Carl Sagan used to say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even the dumbest guy in the room can often tell when someone is trying to play him for a sucker.
Those were my thoughts as I went through the marketing emails I received today. I'm not telling you how to run your business, but if you practice marketing like that, you might want to rethink your approach.
Lastly, feel free to add your own reasons to this list as to why you're unresponsive to certain emails, but don't just turn this thread into a rant. Explain why it (whatever IT is) doesn't work for you so others can learn.
We are here to learn from each other, right?