So you wanna write an email eh? Bet you want it to be read, too! And, I bet you really don’t get the responses that feel like you should be getting. After all, you’re offering such a good deal that you don’t know why everyone doesn’t respond and call you right away. Or email you. Or download your attachment. Something! Anything!
You wanna know you aren’t getting responses to your emails? More likely than not, your email is full of buzzwords, it contains every detail you think they need to know, and it gives them the option of getting back to you when they have time. The long and short of it is that your email is too long and it’s boring because you littered it with your own industry language. Put yourself in their shoes by asking yourself these 3 questions:
- If I got this email and I didn’t work here, would I understand the acronyms, buzzwords, and the lingo in the email?
- Does your email include a call to action? You should be telling them what they’re supposed to do and when to do it. Giving them an option to respond when convenient is the same as telling them that you don’t expect a response.
- Does your email give them any value in responding? What’s in it for them?
Remember, you only have 2 goals when writing an email:
- Your email gets read
- You get a reply to your email
To accomplish that, you need to make your email easy to understand, it must be brief, there must be a call to action. You also want to apply some best practices so your email doesn’t land in spam folders. We’ve gathered our own Factor 8 data plus data from MailChimp, Adestra, and DigitalMarketer to help you get the response that you want from your emails:
Compel the reader to open the email
How are you going to get a response if they don’t even open your email?
- Try words like “urgent”, “announcement” and “freebie” (“freebie” had a better test response than “free” almost tenfold more opens – MailChimp)
- Use a story – “How Jo Blau became an email Goddess” (DigitalMarketer)
- Mention a specific benefit or value the customer will find in the email such as “Streamline your communication platform now” (Factor 8)
- Capitalize the first letter of each word and limit punctuation. (Factor 8 customer)
- Avoid these words: cash, quote, save. According to Adestra these words are spam offenders.
- Avoid “newsletter” in the subject line – Adestra found an 18.7% fall off in opens when newsletter is in the subject line
Don’t Send Attachments
Spam filters love attachments! If they ask for it, send it. Otherwise, how about a link to it? The same rule applies to videos. Besides avoiding spam filters, there are other reasons to refrain from adding attachments:
- Attachments consume bandwidth and most companies limit the allowable file size of attachments that come in or out of their email server
- Attachments can carry viruses. What a way to wow your prospect!
- Attachments are not mobile friendly.
The Structure Of Your Email Matters
If your email is easy on the eyes and quickly scan-able, you’ll increase the odds of your email getting read. Some of the structure elements to keep in mind are:
- Make the purpose of your email immediately clear. Be direct! Really, they’re not interested in your chit-chat.
- Avoid addressing your email with strict formalities like “Dear Mrs. Jones,”or closing with “Yours Truly.” That’s not how we really talk and it disengages your reader.
- Provide clear direction on what you want them to do. Readers will often get partway through a complex message and hit “reply” as soon as they have something to contribute. The rest never gets read. Organize your email so that they can quickly scan and understand what you want from them.
- Include a call to action preferably in the 1st paragraph. What do you want them to do? Click on a link, go to your website, respond to the email?
- Give them a deadline: “Please respond to me by close of business Friday, the 18th”
- Number your points in your message. Use numbers instead of bullets. Bullets get jacked up, especially when opened on a mobile device.
- Split unrelated points into separate, purposeful emails. No one reads past the 2nd paragraph in an unsolicited email.
Write Your Email With The Receiver In Mind
As the sender, we tend to:
- Spend a long time crafting long and detailed emails
- Believe that our request is original, unique, and special
- Think that it’s unimaginable that anyone would turn us away
- Desire to tell the whole story, explained from every angle, so that the listener can understand and grab something of interest
The receiver on the other hand:
- Gets a lot of email (What? I’m not the only one?)
- Does not have a lot of free time
- Does not mind answering you if it is fast and relevant (even if the answer is NO…at least you’re not spending time chasing someone that doesn’t want your stuff)
- Make the email about them or people like them. For example, when writing to CIO’s, say, “Other CIO’s are finding that….”. It’s immediately relate-able to them.
- Include appropriate links to info or actions
- Include a call to action with a deadline (I know, I already said that. It’s that important.)
- Tell them what you want them to know in bite sized chunks and do it early
Write Better Emails
So, are you ready to revamp those emails? Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to implement every point outlined here. Pick two or three and see what kind of positive improvements you get in your response rates. Over time, you’ll perfect those emails and you’ll learn subtle nuances in your email construction that will work specifically for your prospects.
For more info on writing compelling emails, click on one of the following links: