Writing Emails People Want to Read

People get tons of emails every day. They don’t read a whole lot of them. Stuff from unknown senders, junk mail, and all kinds of stuff get sent straight to the recycle bin or junk mail folder. In order to avoid that same fate, marketing emails need to be short, clear, and worth your customers’ time. Here are some tried-and-true techniques to help your messages get attention and actually read.

The good news is that people are more willing to fork over an email address if they think they are getting exclusive offers or valuable discounts. Use the “fear of missing out” to your advantage. Promise people something to make mailings worth their while. Gone are the days of expensive and glossy seasonal catalogs, and not everyone has time to check your website frequently. But sending people messages can bring traffic to your site on a regular basis. The trick is to send them often enough that they stay a regular customer but not so often it annoys them.

If you don’t have a good subject line, your message won’t be read no matter what, so be sure you have a good one. A subject line needs to both explain why you’re messaging your customers and to let them know there’s something in it for them. “Your gift for being a great customer!” “Exclusive sneak peek at our new collection” or “We miss you, please come back!” will definitely get a customer’s attention. Even if it is only a few percent off or free shipping, you’ve lured them in and back onto your site. If you send out 100 of these messages a week and 10 of those people buy something, that’s ten people you would not have made a sale from. It’s a form letter sent automatically, so how much work are you actually doing?

Next, avoid crazy fonts, lots of colored text, and large, high-quality images. People usually read messages on the go so easy-to-read text and smaller images are the way to go. Black text on a white background is still the easiest to read for most people. Stick with it. You don’t need to overwhelm your customers with everything at once – the goal is to entice them to the website. One or two popular product images should do the trick, at a small enough size that it will easily display on a data-using cellphone. Company logos are fine images to include, but again – make sure it is a small enough file size that it loads quickly and clearly.

Finally, have a clear and consistent message. Keep the text short and to the point. Make sure there are no spelling errors or grammatical problems. Select images that go with your message and are properly labeled. Ensure that any products highlighted in the message are easy to locate on your website. Verify that the links work correctly. If people can’t understand your message or find the products you want them to buy, they are going to give up rather quickly.

The goal is to increase traffic to your website and convince people to buy something or to use your services. A smart email campaign will help you do that, and following these tips will ensure that you do it right!