Why is Apple so seductive? Three tips to improve your e-mail marketing

Apple announced a whole host of updates on Tuesday night. Some of these were evolutionary, with changes to existing iPads and MacBooks, others were revolutionary, like the new skeuomorphism-free operating system, Mavericks and the cylindrical new Mac Pro desktop.

By Zafar Jamati

However, what remained constant, was Apple's ability to whip up the masses into a fruity frenzy. This is unique in today's overly saturated industry, where the big fish can rise to the top quickly and get washed away even quicker.

One source of Apple's success was the late CEO, Steve Jobs. Steve was an incredibly likeable individual with an infectious personality. Part of his charm was being able to convey his vision with an almost tangible passion.

His keynote speeches became legendary. So much so that Apple withdrew from the largest trade shows, CES and Macworld. Instead they moved product launches to the invite only World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC).

Apple's intrigue was not limited to Mr. Jobs however. Every WWDC event has been preceded by a, now even more iconic, Apple invite e-mail. In this digital economy where we demand all information in the here and now, the intentionally vague wording of these invites has created an intensely seductive sense of suspense.

And here lies the key. Apple runs a tight ship where names of suppliers are kept secret, knowledge of future product specs is limited to a few senior teams, and all media leaks are blacklisted.

Product launch day then, is a genuine surprise and with Apple's history of delivering innovative products with great reliability and attention to detail, it's no wonder their promotional material creates such a furore.

So how can you replicate Apple's success in e-mail marketing? Here's three tips that can really boost your e-mail efficacy:

1. Language - You know what it's like, you open your email on a Monday morning only to find a horrendous amount of marketing and promotional material. Most of it's the same old generic jargon like "join us today" or "sign up now".

Instead, be playful with words. Try and strike a good balance between compelling and intriguing phrases whilst maintaining a friendly and intimate tone. Combine this with well made graphics and you're onto a winner! Here are some examples Apple has used over the last ten years:

"The first 30 years were just the beginning. Welcome to 2007." - Original iPhone
"Let's talk iPhone" - iPhone 4s
"It's almost here" - iPhone 5
"This should brighten everyone's day" - iPhone 5s + 5c in different colours.
"Come see what 2011 will be the year of" - iPad 2
"We have something you really have to see. And touch." - iPad 3
"We've got a little more to show you." - iPad mini
"There's something in the air" - first MacBook Air
"It's showtime" - iTunes Movies
"This year's biggest music story is about to get bigger" - iTunes launch
"One more thing..." - 5th generation iPod (and Steve Jobs' catchphrase)

2. Deliver what you say – This is harder done than said. Over time people will come to associate your e-mail marketing with genuine results.

3. Differentiate - Don't follow the masses in the way you deliver your customer service, provide a novel but effective experience. For example if you email Apple you can usually chat to a real person online within minutes and all email enquiries are backed up by an extensive help and support section on their website which contains entire communities. Developing this takes time, but if you take the first steps today you will reap the rewards later.

Take advantage of these three tips and you will be whipping the masses into an Apple like fury in no time.

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Zafar Jamati

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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