That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
At least so said Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. He may be right about the smell, but I think we can all agree that renaming a rose to stinkweed would not bode well for chances at Chelsea.
Recently there’s been discussion of the affect names can have on the way readers understand and think about things. We covered it ourselves (see email as conversation, not invasion) and Aweber’s Justin Premick made the same point.
As web designers it is easy to slip into jargon mode. A great percentage of the people we talk with, read from and are influenced by are basically insiders, immersed in the language of nerdery. AJAX, .Net, rendering engines, DOM scripting, XHTML, selectors….to outsiders it might as well be Klingon.
When you are sending emails to ‘normal’ people though, it’s no good using insider jargon. It’s saves time for us when talking to each other, but for outsiders it is incomprehensible. Instead, we need to be careful not to assume too much background knowledge.
When we talk to our web design clients, it might mean going right back to basics, and explaining terms the first time they are introduced. I’m sure most of us are pretty used to that by now.
When using Campaign Monitor though, there is another factor to consider:Your client is an insider in her industry too. She knows a ton of jargon about event planning or car tyres or scuba diving. There is a big risk that your clients will forget that their readers don’t know all the jargon either.
So when you are putting together emails for your clients, have a thorough read of the content they are sending. You are probably not an expert in their field, so you’ll be in a great position to point out confusing and unnecessary jargon.
Your clients will be happy to hear the feedback from you, rather than have their subscribers end up confused or disinterested. Not to mention that if you can provide some content consulting as well as the technical services, you are worth paying more!
If you’d like to learn other ways you can help your clients become smart email marketers, we highly recommend reading Mark Brownlow’s The new email marketing. It’s a continuing series of great posts that aims to “explore the tactics used by enlightened marketers to exploit email successfully, sustainably, ethically and efficiently”.
How many of you offer more than ‘just’ design and technical work for your clients? How many would like to start?