6 March 2014
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6 tips to write and send compelling emails

Email can be an effective way to connect with your audience, but only if your emails are compelling. Email marketing has become very competitive in recent years. This makes it more of a challenge to get people to open your messages, not to mention read them carefully and respond to your calls to action. With this in mind, let’s explore some tips to make sure people pay close attention to your emails.

  1. Keep your emails short

    No one has time nowadays to read long emails. Remember that your email is only a means to an end. You are trying to get the reader to take some action, which usually means clicking on a link. Most emails are not meant to sell anything directly, so you should only be providing people with a brief introduction to your product, service or brand.

    For this reason, a short and captivating message is best. You want to make people curious enough to seek further information but you don’t have to try to tell them everything about your company in one email.

  2. Make your call to action stand out

    The call to action is the most critical element in any email. This is the link that takes readers to your website or landing page. You want this to be clearly visible. There are a few ways to make your call to action stand out.

    • Use a banner or button that contains your call to action.
    • Use text of a different color for the link.
    • Repeat your call to action in at least two places in the email.
    • Phrase your call to action using action words that grab the reader’s attention. For example, a very common action phrase is “click here”.

    Email call to action

    As for repeating your call to action, it’s a good idea to include it in the middle and end of the message. That way people who have been persuaded early on to check out your offer don’t feel compelled to read till the end. On the other hand, those that need more information can read all of your copy and then click on the link at the end.

  3. Make your subject lines compelling

    The subject line is probably the first thing your recipients are going to notice. Without a good subject line, your message will never even be opened. This is another area where you’re competing against lots of other messages. That’s why you should avoid subject lines that are too cliched or familiar.

    Email subject line

    Subject lines that sound like typical marketing pitches are not only boring to readers, they are likely to get your emails sent straight to the spam box. So it’s best to stay away from messages that contain words or phrases like “make money”, “free”, “home business”, “special offer” and so forth.

    The best subject lines are creative, catchy and make the reader want to know more. These can be questions or contain unexpected words or ideas. At the same time, you should keep the subject line relevant to the topic of the email. It’s not always easy to do all of these things at once, which is why some marketers spend more time thinking about their one sentence subject line than the entire email itself!

  4. Messages should be time sensitive

    When people read your email, you want them to feel compelled to take action right away. That’s why some marketers will say “Urgent!” or “Time Sensitive” right in the subject line. I would advise against doing this for reasons discussed in the above section. These sound too much like stereotypical marketing messages. However, you can still use language in your email to convey urgency.

    If your offer has a definite time limit, you can mention this in the email. There’s also the tactic of limiting an offer to the first 50 (or whatever number you prefer) people who act on it. You should only do this if you really mean it though, as fake scarcity is something that takes away from your credibility!

    Even if you aren’t planning to pull the offer by a specific date or after a certain number of people respond, you can mention that it will not be around for long.

  5. Point out how the reader will benefit

    One principle that hold true for all types of copy, including emails, is that the reader must understand how he or she will benefit from the product or offer. It’s not enough to brag about your company or to simply state the features of a product. You must make it clear to readers why they need this.

    Focus on the main problem that your product solves for the customer, or the primary advantage it provides them. Remember that product features are only interesting to people if they can readily see how they can personally benefit from these features.

  6. Personalize your emails

    This is not a new strategy, but it remains one that’s worth sticking to. People cannot help but react to seeing their names, whether in the subject lines or in the body of the message. You don’t have to overdo it, but it’s a good idea to set up your email marketing software or autoresponder so that it uses the recipient’s name at least once.

    Check out Thunder Mailer’s email personalization feature.

Write compelling emails

Email marketing is far from dead, despite what some people are saying. What is true is that it’s becoming increasingly important to stand apart from the competition. If you send out messages that look identical to dozens of others in your recipients’ inboxes, they will simply get deleted!

You also have to be aware of the ever more aggressive spam filters, especially if you’re in a popular niche like online marketing, credit cards, debt relief and others that are highly competitive.

Email marketing is likely to go through some major changes in the coming years. What these are will depend on technological breakthroughs and shifts in how people use the Internet. No matter what happens, though, it’s unlikely that email is going to go away anytime soon. As long as people are using this medium to communicate, there will be rewards for those who know how to create compelling email messages.

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