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What makes a good email

Posted by David O'Sullivan

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If you wake up in the morning, splash water on your face, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes to write an engaging email?!” you’re not alone. 

The average businessman sends and receives 120 emails a day. Standing out in the heap of information transmitted daily is a matter of implementing an email marketing strategy. Here are a few marketing tips to help you become king of the email information mountain.  


Discuss One Specific Topic

Online attention spans are short. The most popular YouTube videos today are less than  3 minutes long. 32% of website visitors will leave a site if it doesn’t load within 1-5 seconds. Hook your email recipients with a joke, an action-packed story, or a question in the first paragraph of the email. Then go on to answer the question you presented, or succinctly explain the inconsistency you brought to the reader’s attention. 

One of our indispensable marketing tips is to ensure an email focuses on a single topic. If you skip around, your readers’ attention will too, and you’ll risk losing them. Structure your email around one idea and only include paragraphs that support it. Keep industry jargon to a minimum. Finally, eliminate redundant phrases. For example:

RedundantPR Professionals who work in media relations must be able to use words effectively. 

SimplifiedPR Professionals must be well-spoken.

Write in Second Person

An email is a digital letter. You’re writing a letter! 

Recall the last time you opened an envelope from a friend. You were probably excited to receive personalized mail. When writing emails, use second person and speak to individuals.What makes a good email

Personalize emails by addressing the recipient by their name and proceed to use the pronouns, you, your and yours throughout the message. You can further personalize emails by segmenting your prospect and customer database. Send emails to groups with specific interests and needs that speak directly to their situation. You can increase the open rate of an email by A / B testing for the best times of day to send. If half your customer base lives in a different time zone, it may be beneficial to send their emails at a different time of day.


Strategic Subject Line

President Obama achieved a record breaking email open rate with the simple subject line, “Hey.”  A subject line can make or break your email. According to most marketer's marketing tips, a subject line's purpose is to give readers an idea of what to expect in the email, and to convince them to read it.

A successful subject line does several things at once. Most importantly, it takes context into account. Obama’s email subject line was casual. Who expects to receive an email from the president of the United States addressed like personal correspondence? Obama’s subject line employed shock effectively, but a simple, “Hey” won't have the same effect for every email.

Align your subject line with the topic you will discuss in the email. While doing so, tell a joke, say something shocking, intriguing, or direct. The subject line should be succinct. When writing it, do not start a sentence that you finish in the body and don’t write in all caps. Do use verbs and aim to punctuate an inconsistency between something that is, and something the reader hopes for.


Present Valuable Information

No one likes the person who shows up at social events and dominates the conversation by bragging about themselves. Emails that don’t add value to the lives of it’s readers function in a similar way: they demand attention without giving any reward for taking it. 

Exceeding expectations is generally a matter of giving more than what is expected. One of our fail-proof marketing tips for emails is to focus on educating your readers. In doing so, your email will surprise and reward them.

Only 10% of the email should directly reference your sales offer. Promotional aspects of an email should be presented as an organic progression of the main topic. Ideally, you’ll present your offer at the end of the email as a call-to-action. 


Include a Call-to-Action

Interesting people at cocktail parties aren’t only listeners; they listen, and when the time is right, they insert a simple brag about themselves. You get to do the same in your email with a call-to-action (CTA).

A successful CTA employs action-oriented words that prompt the reader to DO something. CTAs are written in first person, and they imply urgency. They may ask a reader to make a purchase, request a demo, or take action.


If you’re thoughtful enough to ask for email marketing tips, you’re on the right path. Hold your writing to the highest standards by keeping it simple, focused, relevant, and thoughtful. Good luck!


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