Email marketing aims to write high-performing emails with high open and click-through rates. Several variables go into writing a great email. You rise to the top and get noticed by paying attention to all the elements that make up an email.
General Principles: Three Es of Email
Jimmy Kim of Sendlane recommends keeping in mind the three 3 Es when writing emails:
Your emails must stand out quickly, as the average person receives over 100 emails daily. The subject line and the first few words of the email (the part that is previewed in the mail client) are vitally important, as 33% of people open emails based on the subject line.
The message of your email must be clear. Your audience has a limited attention span, so make sure they can easily understand the following about your offer:
- What it does
- How it works
- Why it will benefit you
Emails should include a clear call to action to encourage subscribers to click on a link. For best performance:
- Only link to one destination within your email
- Include this link multiple times within the message
- Put the link both above and below the fold
A single call to action will increase sales by 371%, and putting that link in the email multiple times will increase sales by 1600%.
Creating compelling emails
A study by Super office gives the relative importance of different elements of the email:
The sender name
The sender name is one of your campaign’s most prominently displayed elements when it arrives in your subscriber’s inbox. It is also one of the most important, as 68% of users say they click on an email based on just the from name. Most desktop and mobile clients display it in larger text and a bold font to help users quickly identify the sender.
You should experiment with using different sender names. Depending on your business, you may find that sending from a person or brand may work best. Research from Pinpointe marketing found sending from a named person, as opposed to a generic email address or company name, can open rates increase by up to 35%.
Short, subject line focusing on benefits
After the from name, the subject line is the second most important inbox element influencing open rates. On most email clients, the subject line uses with bolder text to make it stand out.
Keep your titles short and snappy.
Although research has shown that subject line length does not greatly affect open and click-through rates, try to keep them below 30 characters to ensure they are not truncated on desktop or mobile devices.
Use power words
Include ‘power words’ in your email subject line can help improve open rates. These include:
|First word: Open % Change
|Last word: Open % Change
|[First name] – Quick Question?
|Year, e.g. 2014
|Month name, e.g. June
Personalisation (e.g., First name – Quick Question) positively affects open rates. Including personal pronouns such as Your/You is also an effective way to increase open rates.
Write compelling preheader text
The preheader is the short text below the subject line of an email is viewed in the inbox of many mail clients. It is usually for first few words of the email body
Preheader text is an important component your subscribers use to decide whether to open your email and engage with your content.
Simple, compelling body content
Good writing effective emails is helping your audience to understand your offer and the benefits it brings them in a simple way.
- Us the second person. Writing in the second person means using the pronouns such as you, your and yours. Always focus the copy on the reader, not on your business.
- Talk about benefits, not features. Relate to the reader by explaining how the product or service will benefit them. Do not write a dry list of features.
- Be brief. People only have a short time to read each email. Get your message over quickly. With longer messages, people cannot digest the content quickly and know what to click on.
- Use actionable language in your call to action. Make your email CTAs extremely easy to identify.
- Optimise call to action button. The buttons in your marketing email are the final step before a click through to your website. Therefore the words use on the button play a major part in whether or not someone will click through.