Each morning, I wake up and check my emails. Usually, I have over 40 new messages, most of them marketing for some product or service.
Like many people, I skim the subject lines quickly and decide which of the emails are better off ignored.
There are only two real circumstances when I’ll open an email:
- When I trust the sender. Some emails I’ll always open because I know there’ll be something important or useful inside. I know my time won’t be wasted.
- When a subject line is tantalizing enough that I just have to click. My curiosity gets the better of me.
Keeping both of these things in mind when you write your email marketing will define your success.
Writing A Compelling Subject Line
Nobody on the planet opens every single email they receive. Most of us scan the subject lines like I do.
You could make the case that an email’s subject line is the most important thing to focus on. For the majority of emails we send, that’s literally the only thing that will be read.
So failing to write a compelling subject line means your entire email is a failure, even if the content of the email is amazing, it’s a waste of time if nobody reads it.
Here are a few tips to get you started in writing a compelling subject line:
- Personalize. Know who you’re sending your emails to and what they want to read. What interests them? Don’t send an email to somebody if you know they won’t want to read it.
- Make an offer they can’t refuse. Tease some valuable information or a special offer that lies within.
- Or just tell them what’s inside. If you wrote something that they’re interested in, simply telling them so can be enough.
- Ask a question which demands to be answered. The more important the question, the more they’ll want to know that answer.
- Be original. Look through every email you’ve received in the last week. To make your email stick out it needs to beat all of those emails. It’s not easy, but writing an original subject line will make your email stand out.
When all else fails, do some research. Sign up to email lists for your competitors and others in your industry. This will give you some inspiration, but also help you to see what you’re up against.
Just remember, your subject is only the first step. Once they open your email, you then have to make it worth their while.
Making It Worth Their While – Writing An Effective Email
You’ve written an amazing subject line for your email. Something that makes everybody open it. Now you need to keep the momentum going.
If your subject line makes the reader hungry, then the email itself should act like an appetizer. Enough to leave the reader wanting even more.
Your email shouldn’t satisfy their curiosity completely because you want them to continue on to follow your Call To Action.
Using these best practices will ensure your readers want to follow that Call To Action:
- Keep it short. Remember, it’s an appetizer. The more you write in your email, the more inundated with information the reader is. The less they’ll want to read more.
- Personalize. We’ve already said it, but we’ll say it again. Write an email that your mailing list wants to read!
- Develop a personality. If people enjoy reading your emails, the content doesn’t matter as much. A little personality goes a long way.
- Treat the reader like a friend. How would you write an email to your friend? Write your email marketing the same way. Don’t overthink it, write with an energy and speed that feel natural.
- Tie in with your subject. If your subject makes a promise, you need to fulfill it. Otherwise, you risk losing the reader’s trust forever.
- Be consistent. Writing inconsistent content means fewer opens in future. People are judgemental. Waste their time once and they won’t give you another chance.
The importance of Call To Action.
Your killer subject pulls the reader in and inspires them to open your email. The email itself satisfies their curiosity but also builds up a larger curiosity. Now what? Where does the reader go from there? Do they just close their email and forget everything?
The main goal of an email will be to have the reader follow a Call To Action. Whether it’s clicking a link, a button, calling you up or doing something, anything. It’s useless to write an email that builds up momentum to then have the reader do nothing. You need to keep that momentum going until the reader becomes a customer.
Just as the subject of your email was aiming to inspire your reader to open, your email should inspire them to follow your Call To Action.
Your Perfect Email In Three Steps
The best advice I can give is that your email should work in stages where you always leave the reader wanting more. This is basically how every marketing funnel should work. Keep the potential sale wanting more until the thing they want is the thing you’re selling.
For an email, this would work in three stages.
- Subject Line: Create a hunger or curiosity that inspires your email to be opened.
- Email content: Satisfy that original curiosity while creating further interest.
- Call to Action: An action that when followed promises to satisfy that further interest.
These three steps tie in with the rest of your marketing strategy. Where does your customer go once they follow your Call to Action? How will you keep the momentum going?
Just remember, whatever you do, it should fulfill some ultimate purpose. It should be a goal that takes your reader closer to a sale.