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How to create a marketing communication email

Thu, Mar 07, 2013 @ 02:21 PM / by Chuck Lohre

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People are consuming so much online content that the art of scanning and filing away for more in-depth reading later has become a fine art.

This blog post will show you ways to first, get noticed and second, get read.

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Breakthrough communications today take a three-step process:

  1. The attention getter, much like a billboard you notice on the highway. It gets your attention and you decide if it's for you.
  2. Learning more about what intrigued you. This stage is like one PowerPoint slide, an image and a few bullet points
  3. The money shot is the meaty content, today this is best delivered as a video. If you can't deliver a video, you're going to have to be a very good writer to complete the communication, educate your audience and get them to take action. Plus, you'll need to be a good photography editor, too.
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Let's take the case of a highly technical maintenance program offered by an international machine tool company. The service is a two-tiered offering, the first is a yearly machine assessment, and the second is a twice-yearly tuneup. The first problem is coming up with the headline. Corporate came up with "One Stop Shop" but that's more for their five-tier programs including control retrofits and oil changes. We need to focus on just the assessment and tuneups for the North American market. The senior sales manager has correctly selected the services that will most likely be chosen by operations and sold to upper management here in North America. We're not going after the high-end shops; they already maintain their equipment to high productivity levels. And we're not going after the low end of the market that will not spend until the machine fails. This leaves a middle ground that demands high productivity requirements from their equipment, can't afford to have machine downtime, and trust the Original Equipment Manufacturer to know what is best. They will also benefit from their own inexperienced service staff learning how to properly inspect and maintain their equipment.

We're using wildlife images in place of the client's machine tool photos to illustrate the different benefits. Leaf cutter ants are the strongest life on the Earth for their size, but they can't do it alone. Harris Hawks are the only bird of prey that hunts in packs like wolves. Chimps use sticks as tools to eat termites. Elephants nuture and teach their young for decades. Crows are very good at solving puzzles. All together they illustrate experience, team work and documentation.

First we need a common metaphor for maintaining things:

  • A stitch in time saves nine; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Benjamin Franklin
  • A penny saved is a penny earned, Benjamin Franklin
  • Low maintenance is having low expectations of others and high expectations of yourself
  • 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, 12 for growth
  • High maintenance, but worth it
  • A cell requires energy for its functions, and for the maintenance of its structure
  • Marriages may be made in heaven, but man is responsible for the maintenance work
  • The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude that you are wholeheartedly supporting them, Harold S. Geneen
  • You can't improve what you don't measure
  • Employee engagement boosts organizational performance, Gallup
  • High Performance Teams, Donald Bodwell
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Let's go with:

Your High Performance Team and Pit Crew

Inspection (blueprinting) and Maintenance Service

Professional analysis for reliable production

Regular assessments and tuneups by experienced service engineers will keep your system running smoothly and ensure that it retains its value.

Our goal is to give you a high level of productivity and autonomy.

  • Assessments
  • Tune Ups
  • Employee participation welcome
  • Accurate measurements of your tooling
  • Predictive maintenance and estimates of future performance
  • Accurate history is the best predictor of future performance
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Those are the facts, now we need to get the reader into the scene and generate a benefit in their mind.

  • You'll be proud of your verified manufacturing capabilities after a through assessment and performance report is completed on your press
  • The key to peak performance is regular monitoring and maintenance, let a factory technician benchmark your performance every six months.
  • Your staff will learn by doing the assessment and tuneups along with the OEM technician. You'll be prepared for maintenance and troubleshooting.
  • Our special measuring equipment is used to precisely record the dimensions and tolerances of your tooling and press. You can't get this anywhere else.
  • Benchmarking your performance is the best way to maintain it and improve it.

Next we'll tackle the graphic that will bring this all together and reflect the bullet points.

  • Assessment - blueprinting an engine
  • Tune up - mechanic smiling
  • Education - group conference around machine
  • Unique measuring devices
  • Future maintenance predictions
  • Chart of past performance
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We hope you've enjoyed this romp through the narrow window attention span of emails. We'll start out our email with a simple headline and image. Start the converstion with a compelling subhead. Then back it up with a set of bullet points and images. Finishing with a chart illustrating continual improvement. What operations manager can't want to see that on their wall! Finally, signing off with a "Call-To-Action."

Creative marketing communications

Download our free guide to Creative Marketing Communications,

Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads

Industrial Marketing Creative Guide by Lohre Marketing and Advertising, Cincinnati

Topics: Marketing Communications, Email Marketing and Advertising, Technical Writing, Business to Business Marketing, Advertising Design, Business to Business Advertising

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Written by Chuck Lohre

Owner of Lohre & Associates Marketing Communications. The company celebrated their 80th Anniversary in 2015, his 38th.