Emails provide an excellent outlet for reaching out to clients who have subscribed to you via a contact form or newsletter. You can also, just as easily, reach out to prospective clients (cold emailing) who haven’t contacted you yet. Today we will tell you strategies for writing effective emails.
However, persistently sending emails to prospects over and over again could cost you. Your standard consumer’s inbox is probably already flooded with marketing messages and attention-seeking emails. It’s why email providers like Gmail and Outlook have created a separate section called “Promotion” or “Focused” to filter such emails.
How then, can your email stand out while being unobtrusive? We’ve narrowed down 7 must-follow strategies for effective email marketing.
1. Use Caution When Addressing Clients by Name
In the earlier days of email marketing, it was considered a huge plus to send personalized emails to clients by directly addressing their names. The prevalence of ransomware attacks, cybersecurity crimes, identity theft, and credit card fraud has killed this trend. It’s not a viable marketing strategy anymore if you haven’t already ‘earned’ familiarity with your consumers.
When a business tries to force familiarity too soon, it sets off all kinds of alarm bells and scares prospects away. This kind of familiarity can’t be forced – it has to be earned by means of mutual correspondence – probably through a little back of forth between your sales team and the client.
Worse still, you also run the risk of ‘faking’ familiarity with subscribers. It’s the easiest way to push skeptic subscribers away. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use personalization at all. Your email works best when it acknowledges your client’s individuality (usually through their purchase habits, demographics, and other interests). Most e-commerce businesses often do this.
A few good examples of personalization (that most of us are already familiar with) are email alerts for abandoned carts, new discounts, promos for a favorite product, and new stock.
2. Choosing the Right Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing your reader will see. A poorly thought-out subject line could get your email deleted, or worse, sent to the spam folder.
Try to keep the email subject line concise and to the point. Don’t write anything misleading or you’ll leave a negative impression. The subject line should be relevant to the client. People don’t like reading generic emails that have nothing at all to do with them. Here’s an example of a bad email subject line:
“Huge alert! Buy this product and get $50 off!!!”
This is an example of a bad subject line because it’s not clear. The word ‘huge alert’ doesn’t send the right vibes to clients. It’s probably misleading too. If the reader opens the email for the $50 discount, they’ll realize they won’t get it unless they win a contest (which means it was a bluff all along). Finally, the number of exclamation points at the end of the subject line appears too spammy.
Below is a better alternative to the email:
“Unraveling the new XYZ – sign up to win a $50 discount”
Rather than being vague, the subject line tells the consumer that the email contains a link to their favorite product, and they could win a discount. The phrase also makes it clear that they will have to sign up to win a discount.
3. How to Use an Email Opening Line
You would think that an email opening with a simple greeting such as, “We hope you’re doing fine” would suffice. But, we’ve found that landing the perfect email opener that seamlessly takes the reader into the rest of the email is easier said than done. It’s a powerful art form that a professional email writer spends years learning and perfecting.
When it comes to writing email openers, you have to use the proper degree of formality. This awareness comes with the knowledge of your audience. Will your audience appreciate the informal greeting, or will they feel offended? You won’t know the answer until you’ve learned more about your readers.
Regardless of your email’s purpose, there are a few obvious things you can do to avoid sounding too unprofessional. Here’s an example:
“What’s up XYZ user? We’ve made a few changes to your software”
Even if your email is written I a casual tone, “what’s up” is practically never a good email greeting. Contrast the above opening with the following, more professional-looking email opening:
As mentioned in our terms of service agreement, we have updated your software to version 2.3.”
The email maintains a formal tone while informing the user about changes made to the product/service they purchased.
You can use different kinds of tones to address various events. For example, if you need something formal, a simple “Hello” would do fine. If you’re following up on something, try something like, “As promised, we’re…”
There are more variations of email openers here.
4. Get to the Point Quickly
In hopes of being catchy with our marketing slogans and buzzwords, we often miss out on clarity. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: write your email with clarity first, and catchy second – in this order. When writing an email copy, clarity should be your main priority.
This actually saves time because you already have a body of text to work with right away. Marketing teams spend too much time thinking about catchy slogans and then forcefully fitting them around their actual message. It’s like a square peg in a round hole. By the time they send their email, the true message of their email is lost in translation.
Here’s a cool subject line by The Telegraph:
“4 Whole Months. Just £3. Subscribe now.”
And this promo email by Wish:
“Laptop Liquidation? Get a faster laptop for 77 € today.”
These subject lines either are creative enough to pique your interest. But they’re clear enough to set the right expectations for when you open the email.
5. Address the Reader in the Second Person
You can address the reader in the second person by using pronouns such as, “you”, “your”, and “yours.” Here’s an example, “Before you take your furry friend for a walk in the morning, remember to bring your water bottle with you.” It means you’ve oriented the email towards the reader, and not yourself or your business.
It’s a clever psychological tactic that pulls the reader into action and makes them the center of your attention. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use ‘we’ and ‘I’ and ‘Our’. The goal should be to create a healthy balance between the first person and the second person.
6. Discuss the Benefits Instead of Listing out the Features
You know the value of your features, but your readers have no idea what to expect. This is why it’s your job to explain it to them.
However, most emails only give surface-level explanations (usually textbook definitions) of what they’re offering. Leaving it up to the reader to put two and two together – now that’s just lazy.
What do your products, discounts, or features do for your client’s goals? How do they translate into benefits for the client? If your email doesn’t explain the benefit of redeeming a generic feature, it won’t be endearing to the reader.
7. Don’t Write an Entire Story – Be Brief
This one is easy. Simply put yourself in your reader’s shoes. When was the last time you read through an entire email message? Even if the email truly piqued your interests and got you hyped up about a product or discount – did you bother reading the whole message? Probably not. You got the gist of it and scanned through the email for important points to decide whether it’s worth converting.
Most of your readers operate the same way. They quickly sift through the information to make up their minds.
That’s why instead of trying to fit an entire novel into your email message, try to summarize everything in a clear, concise, and if possible, compelling way.
Email writing doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to get the basics right, keep your message clear, and concise, and that’s usually it.
What email marketing strategies do you use? Let us know in the comments below.