A few weeks ago, I overheard two women in a coffee shop talking about e-letters. One of the women said, “I don’t care all that much about the content in my business’ e-letters. It’s the touch point that matters. You know, keeping the business’ name in front of people.” I was more than a little aghast at the statement, but what was I to do? They were on their way out the door, and I was waiting on my latte. Besides, I doubt they would have looked kindly on an eavesdropper, and I didn’t have a good argument at the ready.
My problem with the woman’s statement is that the content of an e-letter is as much a part of the “touch point” as the business’ name is. The written word and the design of an e-letter conveys something to the person who opens it. If those words and design aren’t done well, the recipient begins to ignore the e-letters. He or she may unsubscribe, particularly if the “touch point” has become a point of irritation. Any time that person hears the business’ name, that emotion is recalled. There are no warm fuzzies. Only distaste and a desire not to have anything to do with the business remains.
No, the content matters. The content has value, but it isn’t inherently valuable. It becomes that way because the business believes in providing something more than a “touch point” and puts time and energy into creating content. The business believes in creating something of value for the customer. The business shares information, including sales and specials, that is of interest to its audience.
The design matters, too. The best words in the world can’t overcome a poorly designed page or e-letter. The content has to be easy to read; i.e., the content is formatted with a legible font. The content is easy to scan. The design is attractive to the eye. Both the content and the design are mobile friendly.
Those two things working together create a memorable “touch point.” It isn’t created merely by sending an e-letter once or twice or more per month. It’s done by taking the time to consider the recipients and crafting and designing an e-letter that shows respect and care for those recipients.
This post originally appeared at Leaders West on January 29, 2013.
Image: Joel Gillman (CC BY SA 2.0)