Have you ever been stressed about writing an email? We all have. Virtually anyone with experience in email marketing has tried to write the best email ever.
Unfortunately, knowing how to do email marketing doesn’t necessarily imply expertise in content creation. And creating the perfect email? It's a daunting task.
Maybe you can spot a good email when you see it, and you might even be able to cite the best email marketing examples sitting in your inbox. But writing a quality email takes strategy and know-how.
So, today we’ll discuss some tips and tricks you can apply to your emails each and every time. Maybe you’ll even learn how to write the best email ever.
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Start your subject line with a hook
Make your preheader text interesting
Personalize your message
Write brand-focused copy
Design a clean template
Offer clear CTAs
If you’re trying to write the best email ever, you’ll first want to hook your readers. A killer subject line could be the difference between an opened message and a trashed one.
Relevancy beats clickbait.
In order to find that perfect hook, you may consider writing attention-grabbing subject lines. Grabbing readers’ attention is excellent, but avoid writing clickbait. In other words, don’t let your subject line promise something you can’t deliver.
Clickbait-y subject lines can be tempting, especially if you’re trying to get eyes on your email. So, why do we discourage it? In short, clickbait is dishonest. For instance, what if you saw the following subject line from one of your favorite brands?
“You won’t believe this shocking secret about our dresses…”
Chances are, you’d click that email, because who wouldn’t want to learn a well-kept secret? But if the subject line was just a way to increase readership and click-through rates, you’d feel duped. The next time that company sent you an email with a flashy subject line, you might even scroll past it. Clickbait loses trust.
Instead of falsely creating a curiosity gap, use your content to create a real one. Take this email from Noe Valley Bakery:
The subject line naturally creates a curiosity gap. How do monsters fit into this bakery’s messaging? This question naturally encourages recipients to click the email, where they’ll learn about the bakery’s customizable monster cake.
You can easily make a hook with the content you have. What’s more, you don’t have to depend solely on one subject line. You can A/B test multiple subject lines and see which hook works best for your customers.
As important as subject lines are, don’t forget the additional copy that accompanies them: the preheader text. The preheader provides a short summary or preview of the message inside.
This gives you a chance to reel in your users with a continuation of your hook. Notice how Hulu combines an attention-grabbing subject line with a summary preheader.
The subject line creates a sense of urgency and mystery, and the preheader text gives a short but important summary: the most shows and movies for Hulu’s lowest price yet. The subject line makes readers curious, and the preheader text lets them know they could potentially get Hulu’s service with some sort of promo or deal.
Tip: You can also A/B test preheaders along with your subject lines. Test until you find what your readers are looking for.
3. Personalize your message.
Just a touch of personalization can make all the difference to your customers, but it can also make all the difference for your business. In fact, personalized emails can improve your click-through rates by as much as 14%, and your conversions can grow as much as 10%.
People appreciate personalization, but where do you begin? You can start simply, with automation. Send welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, thank you emails, and more.
Consider, too, integrating your email platform with other forms of information about your subscribers. For instance, you might find your high-spending customers, then send those customers promotional emails more frequently. You might even send a year-in-review email like Clubhouse did last year:
If you’re wondering how collecting and sending this data will help you create the best email ever, keep in mind that personalized emails offer 6x higher transaction rates. In other words, customers like knowing you care—so much so that they may even thank you with a purchase.
No email is complete without some copy. Quality copy is vital to good messaging, and it goes far beyond grammar and spelling. When your emails are well-written, customers have an easier time embracing your message and understanding next steps. Plus, compelling copy draws nearly 8x more traffic to your site, meaning a clear and distinct voice really does play a part in customer connection.
So, how do you actually write good copy? Begin first by considering your brand or company. What is the product or service you provide? Who are your core customers? If your company were a person, how would that person speak?
For instance, notice how health insurance company Oscar updates users in the email below. The copy is calm and helpful. Oscar is saying, “We’re here to help.” This is perfect for an insurance company trying to build trust with its clientele.
Alternatively, a brand like Dunkin Donuts doesn’t need to build trust. Since fast food restaurants often have a universal presence, their emails focus instead on getting customers into stores or drive-throughs. While Oscar’s newsletters appeal to a forward-thinking audience, Dunkin’s emails play on readers’ impulsive nature.
Notice the exciting copy in the email above. The email uses exclamation marks and positive words like, “hooray,” “celebrate,” and “love.” These words create positive associations. The copy and the free, limited time offer make a last-minute donut especially appealing.
Both the Oscar email and the Dunkin' Donuts email announce updates, but each does so in a completely different tone and style. Each embraces the brand’s voice and mission. How can the copy in your emails reflect your company in a similar way?
Similar to copy, the design is more noticeable when done poorly. Email recipients need to like what they’re seeing when they see your email. If the design isn’t user-friendly, readers are less likely to continue scrolling.
This means cutting down on text where possible, choosing appropriate colors, and making sure the flow of your design will make sense to readers.
Notice the minimalist nature of the Starbucks email above. Aside from the photo, only a few colors are used in the design palette. What’s more, the copy used is sparse and cleanly spaced throughout the image.
As a customer, you know exactly how to read this email, and you immediately know its purpose. The three most important features of this deal—the drink, the discount, and the scan code—are the three main points of design, centered for optimal visual appeal.
Perhaps one of your best visual tools is the call-to-action (or the CTA). A CTA is an actionable link you want your recipients to click. You can use the CTA for a number of reasons—even something as simple as generating traffic to your site. You can also use CTAs to encourage users to browse your shop, make a purchase, or download a file.
As you’re writing the copy and cultivating the design for your email, make sure your CTA is both clearly stated and easy to find. This means opting for a button rather than a hyperlink. Since readers will probably scan your email (rather than give it a close read), choose something easy to see and click. Plus, an actionable button statistically performs better than a link alone.
Above you can see an email from 8fit, which has a very clearly defined CTA. This CTA works because it’s one of the strongest visuals on the page. Not only is it a button with a strong color contrast, but the copy inside the button is also very straightforward and easy to understand.
Clear CTA buttons are important, but remember, all CTAs should point to the same action. Even if your CTAs are clear, if you have several with varying actions, you may create a choice paradox for your readers. In other words, your recipients may have so many choices that they will feel overwhelmed and exit your email.
The above email from Headspace is a great example of how an email can offer multiple CTAs while still avoiding the choice paradox. Because there are multiple CTAs, the reader has plenty of opportunities to click through. However, since each CTA points to the same action, the user has a clear sense of purpose.
As you write emails for potential customers, try to make the best email ever, every time. You never know exactly how your recipients will engage with your emails, but chances are you’ll see higher engagement if you follow the steps above.
By hooking your readers, personalizing content, and providing your message with a clear flow, your email will stand out. And that’s close to the best ever.
Want to make your emails perform even better? Start your free trial with Emma today.