I got a postcard in the mail today it said:

Dear Brad,  50% off!!!  Best regards,  Joe

Dear Brad, 50% off!!! Thanks, Joe

That was it, no logo, no company name, no address, and no phone number. OK, I didn’t really receive a postcard, but everyday I get emails from companies that are the communication train wreck equivalent. It’s a common mistake, because our own perspective is that our entire life(or at least day) revolves around our company and our job, so when we communicate out to thousands of folks, we just assume that they know who we are and what we do. Unfortunately, unless we are already a customer and we use your services at least weekly, it’s very likely we don’t remember who you are, so you better be prepared to tell us who you are right up front or you are likely to end up in the trash.

Subject Before:
Alkabean Version 2.34 Launches

Subject After:
A Bean Counter Revolution – Alkabean 2.34 Launch

So, you’ve laid the foundations. Even if I don’t remember your company or product name, I do know you make bean counter technologies, which are crucial to my gig.

Body Before:
We are proud to announce that after 27 years of development, the new Alkabean 2.34 is out with amazing features to make your life easier every day. Our CEO – Jerry Crawford has a blog post up detailing all the new features……..

Body After:
For 27 years Alkabean has been optimizing and automating tedious bean counting tasks and now our latest version takes ben counting beyond anything you’ve ever seen.

These are obviously incredibly simple examples, but they make the basic point, that you have to remind us who you are and that is especially true if we aren’t a customer yet. You must clearly communicate in your subject line and in the body of you email immediately who you are and why I am getting your email. Don’t make me wonder and don’t make me search to figure it out, because I will likely delete your email before I will read it.

Not only should you make your communications clear and to the point, but you should try to segment your lists at the least between customer and non-customer and at the best, between types of prospects and customers, so that you can change up your subject lines and intro content to make it fit your audience. Experienced and regular customers will likely know who you are if they use your product everyday, so you can communicate in terms that non-customers won’t get to them, while couching your content in clear remember me terms for non-customers.