Email Marketing: How To Write Emails That Others Will Open… And Read

If content is king and the money’s in your email list, then how the heck do you get those people on your list to open and read the content of your emails?

We all understand the importance of an effective email marketing campaign. With its high ROI and usefulness to distribute content to readers, it’s clearly a top marketing strategy.

But what really makes for an effective email?

One that others will want to open, read and act on by clicking a link? How can we up our email game plan to deliver consistent value to our audience and convert their interest into sales?

We’ve turned to the online marketing authorities to curate the best tactics and strategies for crafting outstanding emails… ones that will actually get opened and read! So, let’s get started.

Trust Me

For an email campaign to be effective, your subscribers need to establish a foundation of trust with you. They must feel secure in the knowledge that you’re not going to sell their personal information to third parties or flood their inboxes with spam. They’re looking for value in exchange for their time and attention, and an email campaign is an ideal method to deepen that relationship with your readers.

And the three steps to building trust via emails are:

  1. Establish your perceptual position as an expert in your field. This you do by providing useful, valuable content on a consistent basis.
  2. Master the art of persuasion. This is achieved by understanding the emotional needs and desires of your readers. Then you relate your understanding of their struggles with solutions. Which comes by providing useful, valuable content on a consistent basis.
  3. And finally, you need to walk the talk and provide evidence to back your claims. This comes in the forms of stats, listing benefits, social proof and testimonials. And, yes, naturally, providing useful, valuable content on a consistent basis!

Trust must be built before you try to sell. To train your readers to open your emails, you want to start out by providing great content to keep your reader’s attention and interest. So, load your emails with fantastic, relevant rewards to keep your subscribers opening your correspondence.

The Subject Line

To capture your readers’ attention, you must have a powerful subject line that will create interest. Very similar to an effective heading for a blog post, a compelling subject line should be constructed using the same fundamentals.

A good subject line needs to hold your readers’ attention and summarize your message in a clear, simple way. It also needs to:

  • Promise something of value your readers need or want, emphasizing the desired.
  • Make use of power words to evoke an emotional response.
  • Create curiosity or sense of exclusivity.
  • Establish your trustworthiness. Over-deliver on the promise in your subject line as this will train your readers to expect rewards in your emails.
  • Be specific and crystal clear. Because clarity and accuracy are crucial to getting your readers’ attention in order to read your email.
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The Body

Once you’ve managed to get your readers to open your email, you now want them to read your message all the way to your call to action. So, make it easy for them by applying the following tactics:

  • Optimize the first lines for preview panes. Take advantage of the growing number of people who use a mail app with a preview pane, and create the first few lines of text to have immediate appeal. Consider the subject line like an introduction and use it to further pique interest in reading your message.
  • Make it mobile friendly. Almost half of the emails today are opened on a mobile device. Take advantage of this growing trend by ensuring your emails are formatted to look good on smartphones and tablets.
  • Speak directly to your ideal customer. Make your tone friendly and informal while retaining common courtesy.
  • Use proven keywords your readers care about. “The same keywords that you’ve proven to work on your site should be present in your emails, because they grab readers’ attention.”
  • Make your emails easy to read. Create short, clear and concise copy that’s easily scannable to make it easy for your readers to find the content they want
  • Use a standard story structure. Follow the AIDA acronym of Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action to relate to your readers’ in a story like manner.
  • Get to the point. No one has the time or patience for long, drawn-out messages that meander aimlessly. Get to the point before they jump ship.
  • Have a clear call to action. Let your readers know exactly what they should do next to fully benefit from taking the time to read your email.

Some Other Considerations

  • Only email when you have something worthwhile to say.
  • Use an autoresponder to support a consistent delivery schedule.
  • Use analytics to determine the performance of your emails. And A/B test all components of your email campaign for optimal effectiveness.
  • Ask questions in your blog posts. Your subscribers are your most valuable resource to determine truly interesting topics, so ask lots of questions and welcome their opinion.

And there you have it. Tips on how to best craft an email that others will open and read: with an appealing subject line, an effective introduction and a message that will build trust and establish you as the authority in your niche. And that’s a pretty nice return for a simple email.

Steve Aedy is an avid blogger, content writer at Fresh Essays and passionate web surfer. He provides professional assistance to those who want to write better and write effectively. Steve will be happy if you circle him on Google+ or follow on Twitter.

22 thoughts on “Email Marketing: How To Write Emails That Others Will Open… And Read”

  1. Hello Steve,

    Just a quick note to thank you very much for really useful – in fact, essential – advice and presented in a logical and compelling style.

    I just have to put it into practice now! (I shall copy and ensure it is visible when I launch).

    Thank you again and please accept my kindest regards and, of course, the Season's Greetings.

  2. As one who is just starting to build his email list, and looking for pointers on how to structure the emails that get sent out to that list this information is very timely.

    The key takeaway for me in this was structuring the Subject Line to capture the readers attention. I also like the advice of structuring the first few lines of the email to take advantage of the email client preview pane. That's something I will be taking a look at.

    As far as the other considerations, specifically the use of an Auto Responder, this is great advice for those seasoned bloggers that can afford a service that allows an Auto Response. But what about the blogger that is just trying to establish his/her email list? Chances are they can't afford the premium service that has this feature. So in that case, there's some extra work involved to do this manually.

    Thanks for the tips Steve, and I'll be referencing this as I create my next email!!!
    Craig recently posted Blogging Aimlessly – A 7 Point Plan To Get Your Blog On TargetMy Profile

    • Craig, thank you for your comment. As for Auto Responder, you're right about newbies bloggers. Still, it's possible to find rather affordable Auto Response tools (AWeber is a good one, if I'm not mistaken). Good luck with creating your eamils!

  3. Hi Steve (and Sue).

    I've only recently begun collecting emails, and still haven't written my first newsletter yet. So I'm sure I'll find your advice helpful in making sure I get the strategy right first time.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Nathan Ambrose recently posted Does My Business Need a Blog?My Profile

  4. Thanks Sue, very relevant write up for me,some great ideas. And your so right about long winded emails. I have recently been trying to read all emails I subscribe to, as research for what I like and dislike – a critique if you will and some have great ideas but take the long way round and I lose interest before I have finished.

  5. Hey Steve Aedy,

    Amazing stuff from you. Email marketing is very crucial for bloggers or for online entrepreneur. Don't have traffic? No problem. Having a list is worth more than search traffic. No doubt, search traffic is very important to gain more attention to your site but email marketing help you to increase lead.

    Writing an eye catchy email is very crucial to grab more attention of your subscriber. The tips you've mentioned are really worth reading. Structure of email also play an important role to grab more attention.

    Thanks for writing this post!

    Mustafa Gaziani recently posted 14 Incredible Keyword Research Tools You Can’t Afford To Miss!My Profile

  6. Many thanks to you, Steve, for a useful information! I'm only starting to do email marketing, but it always was non-effective up to now. Hope that your advices help me to improve it.

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