contact database, contact listsCan you explain some idea, proposal, or offer to recipients in your active B2B contacts list through an email message that won’t take them more than 15 seconds to read and act on? If you can, then stop right here; you don’t have to read on. For those who answered “no,” don’t worry. This post will help set you on your way to creating and sending short and effective email messages – the kind that your business recipients care about.

The ideas discussed in this entry (specifically #’s 3 through 5) are mostly based on the insights of Carmine Gallo, a business communications expert who has been serving several well-known brands as a coach. Carmine Gallo believes in delivering short, simple pitches that focus on one main point with three supporting benefits and key facts to reinforce each benefit. He proposes creating a “message map” to help develop pitches that promote anything from simple consumer items to sophisticated multimillion-dollar business software platforms.

Although focused on delivering sales pitches, Carmine Gallo’s ideas are very much applicable to B2B email marketing where selling to recipients in the contact list is typically not a primary goal. A 15-second email message can be very effective in tasks such as inviting a recipient to attend an event, announcing a new white paper, offering a free trial, etc. Here are the basic steps for you to create one for your campaign:

1. Decide on the purpose of your message.

B2B email messages go beyond simply being promotional vehicles. They’re what you typically use to communicate with your subscribers with the primary goal of building trust and establishing your credibility. That’s why each email message should serve a specific purpose in line with the overall direction.

2. Consider what the readers need/want to know.

After you’ve identified the purpose, you should then carefully take your audience into account. Your analysis should help you come up with topics/information/content that your readers are most likely interested in. You then need to apply your findings in segmenting your contact list.

3. Write a short headline.

Carmine Gallo suggests creating a “Tweeter-friendly” headline (i.e. 140 characters or less in length) that sums up the whole point (or points) you’re trying to convey. He suggests writing this down in the middle of a piece of paper and encircling it.

4. Outline three supporting benefits.

Among the most eye-opening ideas that Carmine Gallo teaches is that the human brain can only process three separate ideas in short-term memory. That’s why he proposes focusing on three benefits the support the headline, writing them down on the same paper as above, and then connecting each with the headline through a drawn line. Again, you need to keep each statement as short and simple as possible.

5. Reinforce the benefits with facts.

After you’ve connected each benefit to the headline, you then need to add supporting facts and figures for each of the benefit. You can cite cases, research findings, industry figures, etc. to further establish the validity of the three benefits. Conciseness should also be applied in this step of the process.

6. Apply the message map.

Now, you have a message map to work from. Follow the mapping of ideas from the headline to the supporting details when writing your email message. If you’ve done everything properly, you should have a concise email message that readers can digest in under 15 seconds. As always, you need to make sure to include your call-to-action as well.

The main idea behind Carmine Gallo’s “message map” is succinctness. Your email messages have to be sufficiently concise without compromising the ideas you want to convey. While this may seem like a difficult balancing act, it certainly isn’t impossible to implement. Creating a message map helps you develop email messages that get right to the point and deliver what contacts from your targeted business list need to know.