Alas, poor email, we hardly knew you. Not quite. The obituaries on email marketing come fast and furious. With the constant tweeting, pinning and Facebook posting, PR pros can be forgiven if they think that email is starting to go the way of the woolly mammoth. But the reality is that email remains the workhorse when it comes to getting a message out and boosting awareness.
But not emails are created equally. There are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences in what is going to make reporters and other stakeholders open up an email message or immediately nuke it.
With that in mind, here are some questions to ask before launching an email campaign, compliments of Ken O’Quinn, a professional writing coach and founder of Writing With Clarity.
> Is the subject line specific enough to give the reader a sense of what the message is about?
> Do the opening two or three sentences state the purpose of the message and capture the highlights of what is significant in the entire message?
> Does the reader know quickly what he or she is supposed to do and when the deadline is? (Not all messages tell the reader to do something, but it’s worth asking.)
> Does each paragraph talk about one topic?
> Do sentences contain surplus words? See if you can recast the sentences and remove a few words without changing the meaning.
> Is the wording clear? See if there are any concepts or language that need to be simplified.
> Who else is likely to read this? Make sure there is nothing in the email that you don't want unintended recipients to read.
> Are there any embarrassing usage or grammatical errors?
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Follow Ken O’Quinn on Twitter: @KenOQuinn
Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1