I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking to improve our content marketing. Especially when it comes to learning how to write a great email that gets opened and read.
Like many of us have been taught, I learn by testing.
For example, when we send email marketing campaigns, we like to go into our contact management system to check out our open rates, click-through rates and unique clicks. Then, we look to see who clicked on our content. And, we check the list of recipients who completely ignored our email.
After several instances in which a couple of important webinar email invitations received poor results, I realized we were doing something wrong.
- Our email content was a bit long-winded; we tended to repeat points over and over.
- The subject headers were, simply put, boring. And we used too many characters, so the content got cut off in the subject header preview area.
- We weren’t focusing on the recipient’s needs. Instead, we were promoting our needs. (I bet you’ve seen this a million and one times.)
So, based on these three observations, I’ve put together a few simple tips that we now use when crafting emails campaigns, to ensure they get opened, read and clicked!
Write Fast and Keep it Short
If it’s really an important topic that you want every recipient to read, write down everything you know. Don’t put a lot of thought into every single word and sentence. When you write fast, your true personality and (hopefully) enthusiasm shine through.
Then, copy and paste the text into a blank Word document, check the number of words and edit it by 50 percent. That’s right, trim your content in half.
Create a Compelling Subject Header
Let’s face it: we all get too many emails. That’s why we must be more inventive in grabbing someone’s attention with a really creative subject header. For example the name of this blog is “How to Write a Great Email that Gets Opened and Read” – instead of using this blog title we went with “Open, Open, Open – Writting Emails That Get Opened.”
You might ask, why bother? Well, because it’s the only opportunity that stands between a recipient’s decision to open and read it, or delete it without even opening it.
Here are a few subject header tips that actually improve read rates:
- Use an unusual number (like 7 or 43) because eyes are often drawn to digits more than letters of the alphabet.
- Add a word or phrase not often seen in today’s vocabulary. This, too, will draw a reader’s attention.
- Use the word you in the subject line. As we all know, that word is one of the most impactful and powerful words that exist in any language.
Only Send to Those Who Need to Know
If the concept of database marketing and segmentation has been around since the 1990s, why are we still blasting messages to everyone and their mother?
Sending the same message to everyone on your list will earn you a reputation you don’t want. People will begin to see your emails, realize that you haven’t done your homework to send them an email targeted to their particular interests, and move on.
A lack of segmentation will make your unsubscribe rates soar.
Instead, make sure that every recipient on your list will benefit in some way from seeing the content of that email. When writing content that targets multiple groups of people, try your best to tip toe the line and write it as if it were for that one special person in the “to” field alone. Oh, and do your best to sound human.
So those are my three super-simple tips, offering you a great place to start the next time your boss asks you to write an ‘email blast.’ But, as I’m sure you can guess, there are countless best practices online. In fact, Henneke Duistermaat shares 37 tips for writing emails that get opened, read and clicked on Copyblogger.com.
I encourage you to check it out. That is, if you don’t have tons of emails to read!
Do you have any tried-and-true tips to get people to open your emails? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comments section below.