The Email Expert Wants to Know: Are You Answering Your Prospect's Questions?

Think about your own behavior when you open an email, land at a landing page or head to a website. Most likely your first reaction is to ask yourself a question: “What’s in it for me?”

This is a tried-and-true marketing technique for being sure you’re communicating effectively, one used by email experts as well as direct marketers using print, website designers and others. Yet it’s also a good one to revisit on occasion, to make sure you’re applying this approach to your email marketing program.

With that in mind, we offer three—only three—questions your subscribers likely ask themselves when they see an email from you. Make sure you are answering these three questions from your customers’ point of view, and answering them clearly and well:

  1. “Who is this from?”
  2. “What is it about?”
  3. “Why should I care?”

Obviously you don’t have to be an email expert to see these are simple questions for you to be answering, nor do you have to be an expert to answer them well.

The first question is answered by your From address, so give it a lot of thought! Make sure it is recognizable to your audience in a positive way. For example, sales@ might be recognizable, yes, but isn’t necessarily appealing!

The second question is answered by your subject line. Testing will teach you how to word subject lines that appeal to your target audience, so that your “about” is something they care about…

…which leads us to the third question. Question #3 is answered in part by your From address and subject line, but also by what they see from you in their Preview Pane and, more importantly, by the reputation you have established with them thus far. If they have liked your previous emails and found value in them, they will be more likely to care about this email. If not, well, you get the picture.

Keep in mind, once they open, read and click on your call to action, they are going to have another set of questions they ask themselves. Be sure your landing page is set up to answer those too!

Published On: July 13th, 2012Categories: Miscellaneous email marketing topics

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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