“We can make your email better.”
I can just picture the reader rolling her eyes as she immediately hits delete. It is incredibly hard to write an email intended to sell a product and not have it read like spam (of course maybe an email selling something is, by definition spam, but I’d like to think not).
What if you could make people’s work easier, but you needed five minutes of their time to do it? The answer, it seems, is that you lose. Logitech did a study that found that users typically have six applications open on their computer at any given time, and generally will only stick in one window for 50 seconds. Not that this should be surprising to any of us. As I write this I have more than the average number of applications open and I’m beginning to think my four-year-old nephew has a better attention span than I as I flit between them. Actually, I’m lucky if you’re even still reading this.
Here’s the rub. My job this summer was to try and sell Email Center Pro, which is (not that I’m biased) a great product. Seriously, it solves a lot of small business email woes (again I picture the rolling of the eyes). The problem is I couldn’t explain it well to anyone in less than fifty seconds. Does that make the product unsellable? Can we only sell products that fit our short attention span culture? I’d like to think not, but it certainly gave me lots of trouble. Hard enough trying to sell a product by catchphrase, but this one doesn’t reduce well to a simple slogan.
Are there other products out there that could solve some of our problems, and we just can’t be bothered to take the five minutes to hear about them?
If you know of any, please don’t hesitate to share. But only if I can read about them in fifty seconds.
Palo Alto Software Intern