Do you want to write emails that get a ton of opens, great engagement, and are a joy to write? Do you want to send emails that your readers forward to other people? In this blog post, I am going to give you my best tips on how to write emails that are simply brilliant. Emails that will have your readers looking forward to receiving more.
Emails that have a call-to-action – people are happy to execute. Let’s get straight into it!
Table Of Contents
- #1 Determine who you are trying to reach
- #2 Create relevant content
- #3 Nail your subject line
- #4 Write to one person
- #5 Focus on one big idea
- #6 Mix up your content
- #7 Work on your intro
- #8 Create high quality content
- #9 Respect your audience’s time
- #10 Don’t sound like someone’s swipe copy
- #11 Don’t promote all the time
- #12 Always proof read before you send
- #13 Ask your people to interact
- #14 Don’t email too much
- #15 Don’t be sporadic
- #16 Make sure your emails are mobile responsive
- #17 Don’t overdesign your emails
- #18 Give people a real address to respond to
- #19 Get your peeps looking forward to emails
- #20 Don’t email people who didn’t opt in
- #21 Pay attention to your analytics
#1 Determine who you are trying to reach
Your first job is to know exactly who you are writing to. Who is this person? What problem are you solving? What keeps them up at night? What are their biggest values? What are some of the things they can’t stand?
Knowing this person on a deeper level means your emails resonate on a deeper level. When you know how this person thinks, feels, or behaves, it makes it so much easier to wirte emails that make sense. These emails just work!
#2 Create relevant content
You can write about anything in an email but that won’t mean that the email will be read. You have to write content that your reader is truly interested in receiving – the content they signed up for in the first place.
Focus on your reader. What kind of things they want to hear about? What do they want to learn? What kind of content will rock their world? Content can be super useful and still not relevant to your audience. When you send emails that are full of value and are relevant at the same time, that’s when you get insanely high open rates.
If you are not sure about what to send, ask them. Survey them, ask them on social media and listen closely in Facebook groups and online forums.
#3 Nail your subject line
A subject line can make or break your email. This is no exaggeration. This is not the place to be clever, okay, maybe on a rare occasion this might work but for the most part, be clear.
You can invoke curiosity or be upfront about the benefit of reading your email. But you have to be useful and show urgency when required. The reader needs to know why they should click now as opposed to next week.
#4 Write to one person
Do not write emails as if you are writing to a large group of people. Think of your best, most loyal customer, client or reader and imagine writing to them. This will make a world of difference in your tone, connection and authenticity.
When you write pretending to write to one person, every single person feels as if you have written only to them. They don’t feel like you are mailing to your ‘list’ and don’t feel like a statistic.
Try it. You will be surprised at the kind of response you receive.
#5 Focus on one big idea
Do not send too much information, you will end up overwhelming your audience. Keep it simple. Decide on one big ideal for your email.
#6 Mix up your content
Don’t send out same type of content every time. Mix it up. You might want to write a personal email where you share something about your family, for example. If you came from a family vacation, you might like to share photos or other stories that would be meaningful for your reader.
You might send content and tie it to what’s happening around the world. You might create seasonal content, or capitalize on the popularity of a song, movie or a TV show.
You can also do behind the scenes type of content where you give people a sneak preview of your product creation process.
#7 Work on your intro
Just like any other piece of content, the lead or the introduction is super important.
The first few lines set the tone for your message. They also let your reader decide if they are going to go ahead and read it, scan it or bin it. And if they clicked to open it, it would be a shame to see it get binned.
#8 Create high quality content
Every email you send should be of high quality. Whether you are writing an email of personal nature, sending out your newsletter or sending the blog post, the content must have value for the reader.
Spend some time creating excellent content and don’t rush to make it happen.
#9 Respect your audience’s time
I haven’t yet heard from someone who complained that they like to receive longer emails. Have you?
Gone are the days when people jumped up and dropped everything at the sound of a ‘you have got mail’ notification. These days, people are stressed out and have a love-hate kind of relationship going on with their email. Their dream is to reach ‘inbox zero’. This often means deleting emails without being read.
Your job to get straight to the point. Your job is to make sure your emails are as tight as possible and that every word counts. Stop rambling and remember that brevity is your best friend.
#10 Don’t sound like someone’s swipe copy
You know my biggest pet peeve when it comes to receiving email?
90% of the emails sound like they come from the same person. Meaning, people writing these emails are so influenced by the gurus in the industry that they are starting to sound just like them or they are just blindly using the templates provided by the experts. No, thank you.
Write the email only you would write. Choose the words as if you are speaking to a close friend. Inject your personality in your writing. Share your unique perspective with your audience.
It pays to have a distinctive voice so hone your skills. When somebody opens your emails on principle; when they open because they want to hear everything you have to say. Priceless!
#11 Don’t promote all the time
Don’t sell all the time (unless you are an ecommerce store). People will unsubscribe. Generally, aim to send purely educational or inspirational content for 60-70% of the time and promote rest of the time. It’s okay to include a link to your store or services page, but don’t turn every email into a pitch fest.
On the other hand, don’t hesitate to email every day when you are in launch mode. People expect to hear more from you. The email schedule changes and that is fine. Don’t promote all the time but don’t be too shy about it, either.
#12 Always proof read before you send
You want to appear every bit of professional you are. Don’t forget to edit and proof read your emails when they get sent out. Occasional typos are fine and make you appear human but do this repeatedly and people will stop taking you seriously.
Don’t be sloppy. Get someone else to do it for you if you want. Also, give people a clear call to action so people know what to do next.
#13 Ask your people to interact
Email is a medium of communication, and communication takes place between two people. Don’t act like you don’t care what your audience thinks. Don’t treat your list as a broadcast-only platform.
When you write to your peeps, write as if you are writing to a close friend, and involve them in the communication.
Ask questions and show that you are genuinely interested in hearing their thoughts. Share stories and ask people to share theirs. Encourage people to take it further and share on your social media platforms so more people can join the conversation. Remember, email is not a monologue. Turn it into a dialogue and actively invite feedback so that your readers feel heard and appreciated.
#14 Don’t email too much
I would not advise sending emailing every day. I know some people make the case that if your readers love and appreciate you enough, they will stick around, and if they don’t, then they are not true fans in the first place. I beg to disagree.
It’s like saying my favourite TV shows should be on every day. No they shouldn’t. As much as I love them, I would probably get sick of them after two weeks. I would also begin to question the quality. I mean, can they really maintain the quality if they to produce a show every day? Plus, I am not talking one show here. Who has time to watch 5 shows every day?
I think you get the idea. Your email is fighting for attention not only with other emails but everything else. Stick to a decent schedule.
#15 Don’t be sporadic
And by decent schedule I don’t mean once every two months. By that time, the reader would have moved on, bought from a competitor or simply forgotten who you are and why they subscribed in a first place.
I highly recommend sending one email per week. This can be a personal email, a weekly newsletter, simply a link to a blog post or an occasional promotional email (unless you have reason to send more). Let people get used to seeing your name in their inbox every week.
Also to make it even easier to remember who you are, keep your branding consistent. Make sure you use the same fonts, colours and tone in your emails. And it never hurts to remind them in the end why they are receiving your emails.
#16 Make sure your emails are mobile responsive
A vast majority of people open up their emails on their smart phones or a tablet. Before hitting the send button, make sure your emails look how they are supposed to.
See that everything is aligned properly, that the text lines don’t stretch across the window. You will be able to see this easily in the preview pane of your email service provider and once you get elements right, you can save changes as a template to the user experience stays consistent.
#17 Don’t overdesign your emails
Make sure your design doesn’t compromise the reading experience. Don’t complicate things by adding unnecessary flashy elements to your emails, or making them hard to read.
Use simple formatting. Choose fonts that are easy to read, if you want to add images, make sure they are compelling and add something to your message, not for the sake of making your emails look pretty.
#18 Give people a real address to respond to
Don’t you just hate it when you receive emails from someone with a do-not reply email address? When they say do not respond to this email because this email inbox is not monitored? Not cool.
You want to hear back from people. You want them to respond. Be a human and not a robot when you send emails. Give them an email address they can hit reply to. Use your real name in the sender’s field so people know there is a real person sending this email and it will be easier to write back to this person.
#19 Get your peeps looking forward to emails
One way to make sure that people click, open and read your emails is to give them a high quality, superior user experience every single time.
Consistency is key here. Consistency can be how you define it. It can be you sending your emails on the same day, at the same time, every week, or it can be consistency of exceptionally high quality content.
Do everything we talked about above. Get people used to the fact that your stuff is good and every time they click, they are rewarded.
#20 Don’t email people who didn’t opt in
Do not add people to your interest if they haven’t explicitly given you permission to do so.
This means no buying email addresses, no swapping contact details, no adding those who subscribed to a new list. Don’t add people to a different list if they signed up for a specific one. I would go as far as to say to ask for permission before you add your customers to your newsletter lists.
Sure, people can unsubscribe if they wish but it super annoying. Don’t do it.
#21 Pay attention to your analytics
Don’t get obsessed with your numbers but keep an eye on them. Look at your average open rates. They tell you what kinds of things your readers are most interested in. See when you get unusually high email open rates. Was it the topic? Was it the subject line? Note your big successes so you can replicate them.
Also pay attention to when your open rates drop. Did you do anything differently? Or, did you just pick something to talk about that your readers are not interested in. Keeping these things in mind can help you write emails that your readers are keen to open so it is definitely worth paying attention to.
So there you have it. This is what works for me. Anything you would like to add to this list? Share in the comments below!