Under normal circumstances, Dylan Boyd believes email copy should be clear and concise. He explains his straightforward rationale in a post at the Email Wars blog: "[I]f I get 500-700 emails a day in my inbox, then I need to know WHO, WHAT, WHY and What's in it for me. End of story." But a recent long-form email message from beleaguered automaker Saab exemplifies an exception to Boyd's rule. When customers become aware of corporate woes and wonder what will come next, he argues, it's better to talk a bit longer.
The multi-paragraph note signed by Mark McNabb, GM's premium channel vice president, puts Saab's uncertain future in perspective by stressing its unconventional history and products—in essence, positioning change as a traditional element of the brand.
McNabb then responds to the basic questions most Saab owners will have: "So what exactly does this all mean?" he asks. "To current Saab owners and loyalists, be assured that all warranties on Saab vehicles remain valid. The warranty for both new and Certified Pre-Owned Saab vehicles are provided by GM and remain intact. GM will support continued availability of parts and service … "
This clarity impressed Boyd. "When a situation [is] as serious and confusing as a major automotive brand facing challenging times, [with] car owners not sure what to do about it … giving them [this] … approach … works for me," he says.
The Po!nt: Sometimes it's best to just talk. "[T]here are times when copy and emails in letter format are VERY important," Boyd concludes.
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