How to Write Better Emails

When it comes to email marketing, it can be tough to know what’s working after you send messages out into the ether. Metrics such as your email open rate can be helpful, giving you an idea of which campaigns are working. Email open rates can vary by industry, with some industry open rates languishing at around 13 percent.

Open rates don’t tell the entire story, however. After opening an email, you need the reader to take action by clicking through and transforming -- over time -- from contact to bona fide client. Analytics by MailChimp reveal that even industries with a 26 percent open rate only have around a 5 percent click-through rate.

How do you ensure that the maximum number of people are not only opening your emails, but reading them and taking action? The secret is in learning how to write better emails.

How to Write Better Emails? Keep These 4 Tips in Mind

1. An Attention-Grabbing Subject is a Must

If you’re trying to grab your reader’s attention, the subject of your email is the place to start. If the subject of your email doesn’t catch someone’s eye, they’ll simply keep scrolling past it — or worse, mark it as spam. Even if you have a carefully-crafted email that’s sure to send people scrambling to learn more about the fantastic new service your company has to offer, they’ll never read it if you fail to engage them with your subject line.

One way that helps to do this is to use actionable language. “Take Advantage of Our Free Online Course” catches the attention much more than “Free Online Course Starting June 25.” You can also use actionable language to help create a sense of urgency: “Don’t Miss the Signup Window for X Corp’s Upcoming Workshop!”

2. Tailor the Message to Your Specific Audience

When you receive messages from companies you’ve signed up with, it’s nice to get emails that feel as though they were tailored for your particular interests. You can do this for your clients by segmenting your audience and targeting them according to subject matter. If you have contacts that are in the real estate community, for example, it makes sense to segment those in residential real estate from those who exclusively deal with commercial properties.

Not only is this effective for boosting your open rate; it’s also effective at boosting revenue. In 2015, the Direct Marketing Association conducted a study revealing that out of the marketers surveyed, 58 percent of their revenue was generated from targeted and segmented emails. In fact, emails delivered to specific target selections generated 36 percent of their revenue.

3. Discuss How It Will Help Them

As you create emails for each target, put yourself in their shoes (we like to call it the “Is It For Us or For Them? Challenge”). How can your product or service benefit the person reading your email? Will it make their life easier? Can it help boost sales for their company? Does it protect against cybersecurity risks that target their industry? It’s important that you discuss the benefits to a potential client rather than offering a laundry list of a product’s features.

Keep in mind that overt selling can be a turn off when people read emails. Instead, seek to inform your audience about something that interests them. Consider what they’d most like to know about your industry, service, or product. Often, knowing how to write better emails means understanding how to inform rather than to present a sales pitch.

4. Calls to Action Speak Louder Than Words

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try to sell in your emails, however. Every email should include a call to action — something that drives your audience to take one more step towards engaging with you. This could be an opportunity for them to download your latest white paper, watch a video on the topic discussed in the email, sign up for your newsletter, or to have one of your staff members contact them to discuss your services.

By learning to write better emails, you’ll set yourself up for higher open rates and begin to notice higher click-through rates … as well as better customer engagement overall.

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