Even though every so often someone will come out and proclaim the death of it, email is still standing strong. Despite all the messaging apps, chat bots, and social media, email remains relevant, especially in the business world. If we were to take a look at the numbers, we would be able to see that over 269 billion were sent and received in 2017 alone, and that number is projected to reach as many as 320 billion emails by 2021, according to research done by Statista.
As for the number of emails your average office worker receives on a daily basis, we are talking about 121 emails, which include all the actual emails, newsletters, deals, promotion, event invitations, and other spam. With such volume, most emails end up being unread or deleted, and it seems like there are more efficient ways of reaching out to your target audience. However, because email marketing is just about the best form of marketing when you consider its ROI, it would serve you well to perfect the art of putting together an effective email.
With that in mind, here is a comprehensive list of the best email writing tips that will help you make the most out of your email marketing.
Write a Killer Subject Line
The subject line is pretty much the most important element of every marketing email out there. While your actual message is what your email is all about, it is never going to be read if your subject line hasn’t managed to persuade the recipient to click on it. This means that a poor subject can render even the most effective email message useless and decrease your email open rate. According to Jonathan Allman, who works as a marketing manager for ResumesPlanet Review, the solution to making your email subject lines more appealing to your readers would be to use active verbs and to introduce an element of urgency.
Instead of saying “Hi,” or something generic such as “Special offer,” you can write something specific like, “Looking for help with your essay editing?” This will definitely have every college student clicking. If you are trying to make sure that your email is read by your partners and colleagues, you can put something like, “URGENT: Meeting in ONE hour” in your subject line. Notice that capitals are used, which can be very effective for emphasis, if you don’t overdo it.
As for length, keep your subject line short, not just because of the short attention span of the recipients, but also because a majority of emails get opened on smaller screens of mobile device, which aren’t able to display lengthy subject lines in their entirety.
Be Personal with Your Audience
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and ask your recipient personal questions. But it does mean that you should use a tone that is personal and friendly. According to Carrie Stone, who is the head of marketing for EssayMama, they have been able to boost their revenue simply by abandoning their generic approach to email, and opting for a tone that is casual and conversational, as if they are trying to share a valuable piece of information to one of their friends. This will help separate your email from a bunch of spam messages, irrelevant newsletters, and random offers.
According Matthew Bale, who is the head of marketing for NinjaEssays, today’s audiences are looking for businesses, brands, and companies that are focused on providing them with a personalized experience. The first step would be to open your email by addressing the recipient by their name and state why you are messaging them in the first couple of sentences. It can be someone you have met at a seminar, an influencer whose YouTube channel you are following, or one of your leads that have abandoned their shopping cart on your E-commerce site. Being upfront and honest about what you want is the only real way to establish a relationship with your audience, whoever they may be.
Focus on the Recipient
One of the most common mistakes all businesses make when reaching out to their customers via email is talking about the company, products, and services. The truth is, your audience doesn’t care about how great the latest version of your application is, and they care even less about all the different features it has. According to Jordan Enfield, who works as a marketer for Nerdy Writers, instead of focusing on your brand or company, try and rephrase message so that it focuses on user benefits. Ultimately, people are going to be interested in stuff that matters to them, and products that can help them solve a particular problem they have. According to Jodie Miller, the head of marketing for DoMyWriting Review your emails will make a much greater impact if the content inside them is written in such a way.
Speaking of being focused on the recipient, you should also make it a point to use a second person. Wherever it makes sense, you should use “you” instead of “we”. For example, if you want to send out an email in which in which you are inviting your subscribers to download your new eBook, instead of “Download our free eBook on conversion rate optimization”, your copy should be “Download your free eBook on conversion rate optimization”.
Research Your Audience
Before you can start writing any of your emails, you need to have a pretty good idea of what the audience that will receive them is like. You need to know what they are interested in and what their pain points are. We have already talked about focusing on user benefits rather than features, but on top of that, you should also figure out what kind of language that audience would best respond to. If you are running a B2B company, or if you are in very technical industry, the language should be more serious and specific, but other than that, your email copy should be approachable and friendly.
For instance, if you have a business which is focused on arts and crafts, you can afford to be more casual, and you can even sprinkle in some humor in there for good measure. If you have done the research regarding your audience, you should also know the age, gender, salary, as well as the interests of your average recipient, all of which can have an influence on what kind of email you are going to send to them.
Keep Your Emails Short
If you find yourself spending an hour trying to come up with a perfect introduction to your email, you are probably doing it wrong, since you are not writing an essay. Today’s readers are impatient, and provided that they have opened your email, they are going to scan it in order to see if there is anything in it that is of any interest to them. If there is, they are going to read it, but if the message itself is too lengthy, they are going to leave it for later. Since they will receive dozens or hundreds of other emails in the meantime, they will probably never go back to your message and read it in its entirety.
Instead, get to the point and disclose why you have decided to send your email. For example, if you are trying to contact an influencer that could help you with brand awareness, you should say that you have followed their work, and that their audience stands to benefit if they were to represent your brand and endorse your products. It’s the same if you are looking to do a guest post on someone’s blog or are asking your customers to leave a review on your website.
Always Be Polite
One of the problems of email and texting in general is that it’s easy to come across as rude, or to misunderstand the other person you are communicating with, simply because of lack of visual cues, facial expressions, and body language. Being polite in your emails is essential, and there are plenty of things you can do that will make you appear as pleasant in your messages as you would be in real life. The most obvious way to do this would be to use “thank you” and “please” in your emails. Without these two words, you are risking sounding as if you are demanding something from your recipient, or as if you are giving them instructions right off the bat.
Instead of telling someone that you want to write a guest post for them, you could rephrase your request as question and say, “Would you be interested in getting a free article about on-page SEO?” This is much more likely to get a response than “I have written an article about on-page SEO that would be great for your blog.” The latter implies that you have already made the decision yourself without considering the other person. Additionally, ending your emails with something like “Thanks in advance” shows gratitude, builds trust, and makes the recipient more likely to respond positively to your message.
Become Familiar with the Specifics of the Medium
Each medium has its own unique set of characteristics, and email is no exception. That is why you need to familiarize yourself with all the ins and outs of email communication. For example, you would structure one of your blog posts using headings, subheadings, paragraphs, as well as bullets or numbered lists, but there is more room for long blocks of text. With email, however, you have much less space and time to convey your message, so the number of elements you can use and ways in which you can use them is limited.
Every effective email should contain a heading, as well as subheading(s), depending on the length of the message. The copy itself should be broken down into bulleted lists, which will allow your recipients to skim through it quickly and see what’s it’s about. Remember to use white space generously, especially given the fact that many of your recipients will open your emails using their mobile devices. White space makes your text more readable and provides the reader with a short break between paragraphs.
Make Sure You’re Legally Covered
One of the things you need to do before sending your email is to check whether or not the content of the message could land you in some hot water in a legal sense, especially in this day and age where everyone gets offended, well, for pretty much everything. Apart from not stepping on anyone’s toes, you should also pay attention to disclaimers, and be really precise when it comes to offers and discounts you provide. Why? Well, let’s you have an offer that expires tomorrow at 5pm, and you get a complaint from one of your customers and 9:30 pm, saying they have been tricked into paying the full price.
Obviously, in their time zone, the time was 4:30 pm, so from a legal standpoint, they could be right, since you haven’t specified the exact time the offer ends, including the time zone. To avoid getting into trouble due to nuances, consult with an attorney and determine if any of your emails can make you legally vulnerable.
Keeping your emails professional and injecting some humor into them are two things that are not mutually exclusive. Although making someone smile is not easy, but if you manage to do it, they will be much more likely to interact with your brand, whether by responding to your email, subscribing to your email list, or going back to their abandoned shopping cart to complete their purchase. When it comes to email, puns work like a charm, because more often than not, they need to be written down in order for them to work.
If you are having troubling coming up with your own, there are plenty of examples out there. It’s just a matter of using them at the right time. You can always follow your horrible pun with something like “We apologize, that pun was tearable”. Most would at least chuckle at that, at least at how corny it is
End Your Emails with a Call to Action
All of these tips are intended to make your emails more readable, intriguing, and most importantly, specific. If you have been very particular in your email about what you want from your recipient, it only makes sense to end on the same note. The best way to end on that note would be to utilize a CTA, or a “Call To Action”. If you have any experience with landing pages, you probably know that your CTA is there to provide your potential customer with a concise and clear instruction about what their next step should be, whether it’s subscribing to your email list or going to your online store and making a purchase.
If the goal of your mail was to schedule a meeting with the recipient so you can discuss a potential collaboration or exchange new ideas, don’t end with something as vague as, “Would you like to get together?” Be specific and set an exact time and date, “Are you free on Thursday at 4pm?” Basically, you should end your emails in a way that the recipient has only two responses and their disposal: yes or no.
Proofread Every Email
Once you have gone through all the trouble to come with up an interesting subject line, email copy, design the layout of your email, and include an effective call to action, time to send, right? Almost. Despite your best efforts, you have probably made some small grammar, spelling, or stylistic errors along the way. Yes, you have checked everything once or twice, but it’s hard to spot one’s own errors, since our brains have a tendency to correct our own mistakes.
To fix this, you can rely on a variety or grammar and spelling tools, which will not only highlight your mistakes, but some will even correct them automatically or provide suggestions. Still, they are not quite as capable as human editors, which is why you should always do one last check, after you have stepped away from your content for a while.
Although this list of tips seems pretty extensive, you will be able to implement all of them in no time. Getting someone’s attention via email is hard, but it’s worth the trouble. Be honest with your audience, ask questions, get to know them, and provide them with something relevant. That is how you earn their trust.