Often the most difficult part of writing a marketing email is getting started. That’s why, when writing copy for clients’ marketing to schools campaigns, I like to make sure I’m well versed in the background of the product or service and then just dive straight in!
At this stage I don’t think too much about structure, I’m simply trying to get all my ideas down. And because I’m basically trying to map out the campaign in a logical way, this will usually follow a pretty standard format; I’ll start off with an introduction, move through to the background of the product or service, explain the key benefits, and end with the call to action.
With this complete, I then refer to a list of 7 points that I’ve put together to help me shape that first draft into an email suitable for teachers’ inbox's. I’ve developed this checklist over a period of time based upon the way I write and the habits I know I tend to fall into.
Here’s my 7-point checklist:
1) Delete your opening paragraph. This is inevitably where you’ve explained all the boring background that the teacher either already knows or doesn’t care about. The second paragraph is normally where the good stuff starts; shift this up and restructure slightly.
2) Your call to action will be right at the bottom of the email. How high can you get this and still ensure the email makes sense?
3) Remind yourself what the call to action is. You need to revise so that everything in the email leads the teacher toward this end. Anything that doesn’t help in this cause needs to be cut. If the call to action is to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the teacher then there’s no reason why you can’t mention this in the opening sentence to set the tone.
4) Is the client’s website any good? If so, what pages of the website do you want teachers to click onto and whereabouts in the email would it help the campaign to include these links? Restructure the copy around these links.
5) Edit the copy to within an inch of its life! Get rid of all that flowery language that you love to use, remove any unnecessary words, and dispense with those sentences that don’t advance the campaign. If it’s going to be a design email or if it’s still looking pretty long can you break up the banks of text using subheadings or bullet points to aid skim reading?
6) Imagine that you’re sat in the office of one of the teachers that will receive this email. Picture yourself reading the email out to him across his desk. What bits would you add or change to make it sound really personal and specific to him and his school?
7) Sprinkle some magic dust to finish. Your sentences should be looking pretty snappy and shorn of fat by now but they could probably still do with a bit more punch if they’re going to get teachers responding. Don’t go overboard and start using that flowery language again but make it a little more inspiring and add a sense of urgency.
When I’ve been through these 7 points I’ll usually have something short and punchy – a bit like Peggy Mitchell in The Queen Vic on New Year’s Eve!
You might like to put together your own checklist. It may be very different to mine but it will help you to refine that initial ‘brain dump’ and ensure that your email to teachers is lean, mean and primed for success!
Selling to Schools
Email Calls to Action
Email School Teachers