How To Write An Effective Email

Although marketing emails have become more design focused and streamlined than they used to be, the most important part remains the same. The content. You can create the most beautifully designed emails, but if the copy isn’t compelling, informative or adding value for the reader, it won’t matter.

Write effective emails

Writing emails is a skill that takes practice, and following some best practices and guidelines that will help you do it effectively. Let’s start by talking about your subject line. This is the first thing your recipients will read before they click on the email. So the most important thing is that it answers the question, what are you offering? And when it comes to your subject line, prioritize clarity over catchiness. And if you feel like it’s clear enough, add a little excitement.

Here’s an example. Let’s say my company is an emerging online audiobook and podcast company and my email’s purpose is to introduce the business to my audience. So I asked myself, what am I offering and how can I be clear about that? The subject line might say something like books for your ears, which clearly explains my company’s mission concisely.

Let’s move on to the body of the email. The body of an email is the text in the main content of your email. When you’re writing it, you want to consider the following questions.

  • How can this content help your reader?
  • What stories can you tell them?

After you’ve answered those questions you can prioritize

  • Writing in the second person
  • Personalizing the email
  • Telling about the benefits rather than the features
  • Being brief

Ensure you are always speaking directly to your readers by using second-person language. The second-person point of view is used for giving directions, offering advice, or providing an explanation. It means you are always using the pronouns you, your, and yours. The only time you aren’t referring to your audience as you, your, or yours is when you are using their name.

Email marketing automation tools allow you to use merge tags or personalization tags to make emails as personal as possible. A merge tag or personalization tag is a code that allows the writer to insert unique user data from their mailing list into emails. These tags will vary depending on which programs you were using and we don’t need to get too far into the details on them. It is as simple as below.

Typing {{ fname }} will put a first name in an email.

So if we are talking about the body text of my audiobook company’s email, I would type: Hey, {{ fname }} What’s your favorite book? We’ve got it. And if my reader was name Angelique, she would see, Hey Angelique, what’s your favorite book?

After I’ve created a clear and clever headline and I’ve personalized my first bit of body text, I’ll want to explain why the reader should care about my company. I can do this by talking about how it will benefit them rather than the actual features of the product or service.

So my body text might read something like Hey Angelique, what’s your favorite book? We’ve got it. And if you like to listen to your books rather than reading them, we’ve got you. Listen on your way to work, at the gym, or while you’re doing the dishes. Listen anytime. You deserve it.

The final thing is being brief. There’s no reason to go into very specific detail about your company, product, or service. Keeping your email short and succinct will keep your readers interested and it won’t make them feel like they’re doing a lot of work to read the email.

After your body, include a call to action of some kind. This may include a button encouraging readers to try a product now or visit your website. From the example above, you can end an email with a clickable button that reads, Try it for free now. We’ll have some activities for you to practice. But I would encourage you to practice writing emails on your own.

Remember what you’re offering for your subject line. What do you help your readers, or what stories can you tell them about the body? Wrap up the email with a call to action that clearly says what you want them to do.

More tips on writing effective emails

Crafting the perfect email can be a difficult task, no matter how much experience a digital marketer may have. It’s a skill that takes plenty of practice; it also requires you to test out what your audience likes. Let’s dive in for more tips.

The purpose of your email

When you prepare to send emails to your subscribers, you’ll need to have a purpose. Ask yourself why you are sending an email in the first place. It could be to announce a new product launch, to educate your subscribers with relevant tips and tricks, to offer a discount code or announce a sale, or many other reasons. Make sure there is a motivation behind every email. Doing so will allow you to create a context for your email. If you know why you want to send an email, you’ll have an easier time deciding what to say.

The narrative in your email

Now that you know the importance of having a purpose behind your email, you can decide what the narrative should be like. It’s ok not to be well-versed in writing, storytelling, or marketing, that’s OK. You’ll want to think of emails from your reader’s perspective. Ask yourself, what kind of narrative do my subscribers want to read?”

Announce a product launch. You might want to tell the story of how the idea came to life. What motivated them to do it? How long did it take to create? What problem does the product solve? Consider adding all of these details in your email so that the reader is engaged with the narrative and relates to it in some way.

Educate your readers with a weekly newsletter featuring tips, tricks, product uses, articles, and more. Try to develop a theme for each week. This theme will give your email a general narrative. Use internal and external resources and links that fit into this theme so that the newsletter feels cohesive.

Announcing a sale on your website, you might want to explain why there’s a sale and how it will benefit them. Are you celebrating the company’s birthday or another holiday? Are you trying to sell inventory so you can bring in the new inventory? Is it an end-of-the-season sale? Crafting a narrative about why you’re having a sale can help convert potential and loyal customers.

The tone of your email

The tone of your email will vary depending on the purpose and the narrative. As you reflect on your purpose and narrative, think about what tone aligns with them. The tone should always be courteous and helpful in some way, but you should feel free to add a few other qualities to it based on what your goal is.

Launch a new product. Consider using a bright and enthusiastic tone, and include language that gets the reader excited.

Weekly newsletter where you’re educating your readers and giving them tips and tricks and consider a professional and light tone. It might include authoritative language because you want to communicate that you are the expert on the topic.

Announcing upcoming sales or your brand’s birthday, maybe your tone is spunky and thankful. You might use language that shows your gratitude to your customers.

Note: Regardless of your purpose and narrative, you’ll want to make sure the tone fits your brand voice so that your readers feel familiar with and comfortable reading it.

Happy learning and good luck!

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