How to Write Emails That Actually Get Read
Email marketing is a proven communication tool for successful businesses, but simply sending emails to your audiences – even loyal customers – is no guarantee that they will be read. What you send and how it is presented matters.
To ensure your business’s emails stand out from the rest, follow these five guidelines for writing compelling email content.
Start with a strong subject line
While there’s no exact formula to writing an attention-grabbing subject line, there are a few guidelines to follow that will help improve your email open rates.
- Make sure readers scanning their emails can read the entire subject line.
- Use action verbs to inspire readers to click.
- Clarity should trump cleverness. Make sure your subject line is easy to understand.
- Avoid spam triggers such as “Cash,” “Best,” “Save,” and “Free.”
Some email marketing services, such as MailChimp, offer tools that allow you to create A/B testing campaigns to determine whether your content is presented in the best way. If you’re on the fence about your subject line, consider first sending a small percentage of your emails using two different subject lines to see which receives the highest open rate. Then, send the remaining emails with the winning subject line to the remainder of your list. MailChimp and other email services provide automated A/B testing to make the process very simple.
Talk about benefits, not features
Even when sending promotional emails, be sure that your copy focuses on the benefits of the products and services you provide. Your email copy should focus on why it’s important for the readers to click and how it will be worthwhile for them. When possible, use language that gives your emails an educational tone so that readers aren’t turned off by an overt sales pitch.
Add a personal touch
Adding personalization to your emails will help make your readers more trusting of the content you’re sending. Many email marketing services offer automation tools that make it easy to implement list segmentation and personalization so that your subscribers are receiving tailored messages with information that is most relevant to them. It is easy to add the recipient’s name, as well as other personal information, in the email wherever you want. It may take a few minutes to upload the data, but it is often worth it.
Make your message scannable
When writing email copy, you don’t want to overwhelm the reader with long paragraphs and sentences. Instead, be concise and make your emails scannable by adding subheadings, using bullet points and highlighting vital information.
Creating email designs that break up copy is essential, especially when sending email newsletters. All of the information included in your emails won’t apply to every subscriber, so to ensure that your readers get to the information that is most valuable to them, make sure the copy is easily digestible and scannable.
Include hard-hitting calls to action
Much like the subject line, your email content should include words that drive action. Whether you’re looking to increase traffic to a certain page on your website, get customers to leave you an online review, or encourage subscribers to vote for your business in an online poll, a strong call to action is key.
Be sure to provide several prominent calls to action throughout the copy so that readers can act as soon as they’re ready, rather than waiting until the end of the email. To optimize click-throughs and conversion rates, include the same hyperlinks in various forms, such as linked photos, buttons and email text.