LeBust! How the Miami Heat's Meltdown Can Instantly Boost Your Email and Autoresponder Click-Through Rate

So I just finished watching the NBA Finals. Fascinating stuff, even if you're not a sports fan …

Not a pro hoop fan? No worries – here's the skinny: the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in 6 games to win the championship. But that's not what I want to focus on today.

Because inside all the hype and pageantry of the NBA's season-ending spectacle, there is an important lesson to be learned … one that simply cannot be ignored when it comes to writing emails and autoresponders.

And it all started about a year ago, when NBA superstar and free agent LeBron James picked the Miami Heat to be his new home over a host of other suitors. The Heat already had an all-star lineup, so adding one of the league's best players instantly made them a top contender.

In fact, the prevailing attitude among many pro basketball pundits was, "Why play the season? Give them the trophy now. There's no other team who can match this much firepower."

But play they did. The Heat rolled through a successful season, dominated the playoffs, and reached the Finals, where they faced the seemingly overmatched Mavericks.

And what happened? Yep – you guessed it. The Heat tanked, losing in a less than inspiring fashion.

So how did this basketball mega-power transform into mere mortals before our very eyes?

Simple. They failed to CLOSE.

It's true – they had all their ducks in a row. Hall of Fame-worthy players … dynamic coach … turbo-charged offense … smothering defense … outstanding fan support.

Everything was in their favor. But in the end, they couldn't close the deal, walking away empty-handed while the Mavericks hoisted the championship trophy (on the Heat's home court, adding insult to injury).

Reminds me of what I see in a lot of emails and autoresponders these days …

The copy sizzles. The story intrigues. Every element works together perfectly, like a fine-tuned instrument, and we're sucked into the copy without reservation.

We pore over the message, mesmerized, all the way to the end. "Wow, what a great piece of work!" we exclaim as we finish.

Then we delete it without a second thought.

Why? Because the copywriter didn't CLOSE the deal. They gave us no reason to take a further step and continue the conversation. And when you're talking about closure in an email or autoresponder, you're talking about click-throughs.

You see, every message should have a unique and undeniable goal – to get the reader to click through to a specific web page. If that doesn't happen, then everything we've worked for up to that point is for nothing.

All the great copy, all the clever themes, all the sharp witticisms and double entendres you came up with are worthless unless you get the click. And if you don't achieve that goal, your copy is like a young Hollywood starlet – beautiful but without any real substance.

So how exactly do you get the click? Here are three simple ways to help steer your readers to the exact place you want them to be …

  1. Don't Put Your Links In Too Early: I see this one all the time. We're so anxious to get the prospect to the web page that we slap a link in front of their face after only a line or two. Problem is, they don't have any REASON to go there yet.

    That's why your copy needs to "set up" the link. Provide a story, highlight the problem, then deliver the solution – which, of course, is inside the link. Everything should flow naturally to this link, funneling the prospect's attention to this one line and giving them every reason to click on it.

    This all happens within the first several hundred words – not the first dozen. And if you do your job correctly, the prospect will click without even thinking.

  2. Don't Reveal Too Much In Your Copy: Sometimes we get so carried away with our brilliantly crafted words that we tell our prospects everything we can about our offer. So what do they do? They bypass the link entirely because there's nothing left that they NEED to know – you've told them everything already! And when this happens, the sale is lost.

    Intrigue is your friend here, so use it to its maximum potential. Hide pertinent details that your prospect would naturally want to know – especially price. Make them go INSIDE the link to get their questions answered, not just to the next paragraph.

    This is a sneaky yet vastly clever way to get a ton of click-throughs. I've used it many times and it works like a charm.

  3. Position Your Link As The Answer To A Question: I LOVE this tactic because it taps into our basic human nature …

    Truth is, we've been preconditioned since our toddler days to answer any question posed to us. Whether we answer mentally or vocally, we STILL answer in some way, shape, or form. We simply cannot help ourselves.

    So use this to your advantage by posing a question just before the links. Position the product as the solution to the specific want/need/desire/problem that your prospect is dealing with. Then simply "ask" them a question that leads to the "answer" inside the link.

    I've had great success with statements like:

    "Isn't that exactly what you're looking for?"
    "How does that sound?"
    "Are you ready to get started?"
    "That's what you REALLY want, right?"
    And, of course, that oldie-but-goodie, "What are you waiting for?"

    By posting something similar immediately before your link, you're positioning the link as the answer to their question. And since we all feel the need to answer questions, a click through is the next natural step. This delivers INCREDIBLE results because it's so subtle yet effective.

Add these three elements to your emails and autoresponders and watch your click-through rates virtually explode almost instantly …

Which means instead of being a "LeBust," you'll be a "LeBOOM," closing your (or your client's) prospects and creating a windfall of profits through your successful email and autoresponder campaigns.

Now go get 'em!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: June 27, 2011

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