Clarity trumps persuasion

I am at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2010 here in Miami  soaking up the sun doing two of my favourite things – talking about and hearing about all things email.

I’ll be sharing some key takeaways with you soon. (Including research from Bob Johnson of IDG showing the difference between what content marketers think B2B buyers want – and what the buyers really want.)

For now, I will repeat keynote speaker Dr. Flint McGlaughlin’s mantra – Clarity trumps persuasion.

What does he mean by this?  Declutter your message. Remove unnecessary layers of noise that you think are persuading the reader, but are just confusing them. (And confusion usually results in NO action taken.) Offer clear intent.

Simple really.  But as with many things that are simple, it often requires a lot of thinking or re-thinking to ensure that you’ve reached that goal.

Here’s how he laid out the process to reach clarity:

External Clarity – These questions are to be answered by the marketer before crafting the email content and call to action.

  1. What am I asking you to do?
  2. Why should you do it?

Internal Clarity – This is the email message. These questions should be easily answered by the recipient of the message.

  1. What is my objective? (What exactly is being offered – and am I interested?)
  2. What is the best way to achieve it? (If I am interested – can I easily take action?)

Setting goals and reviewing Calls to Action are topics I speak and write about frequently – they are absolutely essential to a marketer’s success.