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Photo: Letter Slot Credit: Robert Linder

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. I also doubt they would have looked kindly on an eavesdropper, and I didn’t have a good argument at the ready.

“Touch point” content matters (of course)

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 or, worse yet, flag the e-letter as spam. The “touch point” has become a point of irritation. Any time the person hears the business’ name, that emotion is recalled. There are no warm fuzzies. There only is distaste and a desire not to have anything to do with the business.

No, the content matters. The content has value but only if time and energy are put into that content. Content doesn’t create itself. It isn’t inherently valuable. It becomes that way because the business believes in providing something more than a “touch point.” The business believes in creating something pertinent to the customer. The business shares information, including sales and specials, that is of interest to its audience.

Design matters, too….

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.

Erin Feldman
Erin Feldman is the founder of Write Right. She is a copywriter and editor. She helps people tell their stories.
Erin Feldman
Erin Feldman
Erin Feldman
Erin Feldman

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Yes! If you’re not going to take time to make it meaningful to the recipient, why bother? You’re probably doing more damage than good. I have quite enough businesses just trying to get their name in front of me. It’s a great way to make sure my shadow never darkens their doorstep.

January 29, 2013, 12:29 PM

That’s my question, too. Even if the content is written well, the attitude and intent feeds into it. People eventually will learn that the business is playing some sort of game.

January 29, 2013, 1:45 PM

I wonder if she’s surprised when people remove themselves from the list or just press delete. It seems like the appropriate response to all of the thought she puts into her message.

February 1, 2013, 1:20 PM

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