Writing customer comms on secret subject matter

Rob Dalton - Copywriter ,

When you’re trying to grab people’s attention and let them know that something big is on the way, there are plenty of tactics you can use – shocking straplines, big official announcements, PR stunts that cost an arm and a leg, etc. But what do you do when you want to also keep that something big a secret until the very last second? How do you reveal something while keeping that thing under wraps when talking to your audience?

The answer: you do it very carefully.

As part of our work with Zentia, formerly Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, and their rebranding reveal via virtual launch event, we crafted a number of email communications to send out which would help to build momentum and gather attendees. The main catch being that the client wanted to keep the rebrand secret until the event itself, allowing them to give the announcement the proper context and detail needed to position it as a landmark moment for the business.

This present one big challenge when writing communications of any sort, as the central subject needs to be alluded to and signposted without ever directly mentioning details that could give the game away. While this can work when passively teasing something to your audience, require no direct interaction, it can be a lot harder to convince people to sign up to something where they don’t know what it is – a bit like a music festival with no line-up or details about the acts.

However, when something is a mystery, you can use always that unknown to your advantage. You’re no longer having to include content about what something actually is, but can talk about the characteristics of the event instead. Rather than an email about a rebranding event, you’re receiving an email about a virtual event that will reshape what to expect from the business and a new proposition for customers. If you’re an existing customer, that’s something you’ll likely want to tune in for. This is where the care element comes in though, as the content of your communications still needs to feel relevant and have enough tangible weight to make it worth paying attention to – being overly vague risks your audience being overly disinterested.

There are still some concrete elements which you can hang all your details off though that give what you’re saying weight, namely the time, date and location of the event. Even better is the fact that the location is pretty much everywhere, given that it’s a virtual conference. There’s no real inconvenience here other than the hour of time given to an intriguing mystery announcement from a big player in the industry.

As things draw closer to the big day, you can tease little bits of extra information that might sway those who initially didn’t see the value in attending. Highlighting the advantage that those who’ll be first in the know might get will heighten the fear of missing out on that advantage – and as they say, knowledge is power.

Effective email marketing comms are a great set-up for the main event, so you need to make sure that what comes next is a well-executed pay-off for your gathered audience. If your business is looking to change course and need some help plotting out how to make it have a noticeable impact within your industry, why not drop us a line?