How to Write Effective Emails that Your Subscribers will Open and Read
If you write emails to a subscriber list you want them to perform for you – help you establish yourself as an authority or expert, build a relationship of trust, and be able to make offers that your subscribers will buy. Let's look at emails and how to do that.
One of the easiest things to get right is the timing of your emails. I often see emails from large companies that arrive after the date of the sale or special is over, which causes those companies to lose sales.
- If you are offering specials make sure your emails give your subscribers at least a 24 hour notice, and mail about that special 3 to 4 times. Click To Tweet
- Don't deliver emails to inboxes so that they arrive in the middle of the night. They will just got lost in the barrage of emails that everyone gets each morning.
More ways to make your emails effective
- Use email subject lines that are interesting or cliffhangers. Cliffhangers are those email topics that end with …. and the purpose is to tease your subscriber and get her interested about what the rest of the sentence is. There's a technique to writing cliffhangers. Here's an example. Don't use, “This is the best eyeliner…” Instead use, “This is the best….” Do you see how the second version piques your curiosity more than the first? In other words, don't give the answer in your cliffhanger title.
- Expand words to give them more emotion. Your goal is for your email title to emotionally connect with your reader, so that she will want to open your email and read it. Click To Tweet So now and then you can use an expanded word to convey emotion. TIP: Make sure that it reads correctly. For example, if you say, “I loooooove this….” that makes sense. If you expand the word to read, “I lovvvvvvvvve this” it doesn't read as well. Match up your expander words with how we actually speak.
- Make your emails super simple in wording. This one annoys me, to be honest. But the sad fact is that if you are talking to a primarily US market, our reading level has steadily dropped over the past 20 years. It's now hovering somewhere between a 7th to 8th grade level. (We should be ashamed, but that's a whole other topic.) This means that you do best using words that are not advanced or complex words. Your goal is to engage and sometimes to sell. People click away or trash what is too complicated to read.
- Some email marketing specialists advise always using short emails. Things like “Hi, are you interested in bananas? Let me know.” Personally, that's not too much my style and I resist making my emails 20 words or so (can you tell, ha ha ha?). But I'll tell you when this type of email is effective. If you are planning a new product or offer, and you want to gauge interest, you could use a short email. Something like, “Hi, it's Sue. I'm planning to take 10 people to Africa in the spring of 2023. What is your thought about this?” (You would also make the “what is your thought about this” clickable to a link that gives the trip details.) In email marketing terms this is called “controlling the environment of your email.” In other words, shorter emails leave much less to interpretation. Longer emails can be interpreted depending on how the subscriber is feeling that day, or her knowledge level, or her interest level.
Try these email techniques to see if they work for your subscriber list
I'm a certified email marketing specialist. I know that opinions on what makes an email effective vary a lot. The thing for you to know is that tips for effective emails depends somewhat on your subscriber list – the type of people who are on your list. This is one reason why it is so important to flesh out a detailed description of your best, most ideal customer. The following email strategies must be tested with your particular subscriber list.
- Some email specialists advise to write in one sentence paragraphs. This is usually because they already believe in sending very short emails. You could try this and see if your CTR (click through rate) increases in shorter emails.
- I've seen suggestions to not include a clickable link in your emails, but I do not believe this is wise. After all, you are there to build relationships and to make offers. What I do recommend, however, is to use a clickable phrase instead of simply posting the link. Posting the link raw will often not get through SPAM filters. So, as an example, if I were selling potatoes I would write “you can see all the potatoes we have for sell here” and make that a clickable link to the potato sales page. I would not say, “Here's the link to buy my potatoes. Go to buymypotatoes.com.”
- Make sure your emails are useful to your readers. Avoid cramming every email with multiple sales links. For instance, you might want your emails to be set up where you are offering a tip or a resource in 3 sequential emails, then the fourth email is an offer.
- Always do this one thing. Send your email to yourself as a test. Open it. Look to make sure codes aren't in there that have been transferred from other documents. Click to make sure your link works. This is important! No matter how many times you send emails please always check your links from the test email directly. In fact, this is so important that I recommend you create a very short email list of 2 or 3 of your own emails, and send the test emails as a broadcast just to this list. Open them. Check them. You may see something different than when you use the “send preview” feature in your email system.
Related article: Email Marketing – 5 Tips for Creating the Best Email Subject Lines
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