I Scream Social: Writing email to win your readerWritten by Kevin Cesarz | | firstname.lastname@example.org
We all want others to like us. People like us when we provide something useful and something unique. So when you send out email are you certain that it is clear, concise and full of value?
Most people have an average of 3.1 email accounts (there are 2.9 billion email accounts worldwide) so you are probably part of the group that sends out 188 billion messages each day.
Since email is such a primary contact point for most people, each day you need to make your email more effective. Don’t make readers struggle through dense, cluttered and unorganized writing. They can easily delete or ignore your email. Every reader who comes across new email asks these questions:
- Can this information solve a problem or answer a question for me?
- Is this information good enough to share with others?
- Can I quickly understand and process this request?
Four keys to email
Regardless of the desired outcome, each email message you produce should have:
- Clear, accurate and “non-spammy” subject line: Most mail servers use third-party software to scan the subject lines. Make certain that your subject line accurately describes the content.
- Summary message: Email is not long-form. Resist the urge to produce every detail. Keep your message short and on-point. In fact, repeat and boldface the subject in the first line.
- Clear formats and fonts: Use standard capitalization and spelling; avoid odd typefaces; use 10 or 12 point text (Arial, Verdana and Tahoma are professional, easy-to-read fonts).
- Complete email signature: Add appropriate URLs for your website, blog, portfolio or product. Verify that the links are functional so that the reader can find or connect to you in one click.
Don’t lead with odd, cheesy or spammy phrases. These will invariably result in your email being ignored. Keep your subject lines simple and to the point.
MailChimp prepared a study that analyzed the open rates for more than 200 million emails. Open rates ranged from 93 percent to 0.5 percent. Factors that affect how an email is viewed: personal messages, affiliations, timely news are successful with stale newsletters, requests for money and offers too awesome to be true bringing up the rear.
- Avoid trigger words: “Help,” “Percent off,” “Reminder” and “Free” trigger spam filters
- Be Local: Personalization, such as including a recipient’s first name or last name, doesn’t significantly improve open rates. Providing localization, such as including a city name, does help.
- Newsletters: Newsletters tend to start with high open rates, but all experience some reduction in time. Newsletters need fresh content. Repeating the same subject line for each newsletter will drop the open rates.
- Subject line length: The rule of thumb in email marketing is to keep your subject line to 50 characters or less.
- Promotional emails: Keep the message straightforward and avoid using splashy promotional phrases, CAPS, or exclamation marks in your subject lines. Subject lines framed as questions can often perform better.
Summary: Be consistent and build all your digital copy starting with emails for maximum readability and usability. Stand out among the 188 billion.
Kevin Cesarz is Director of Social Media and Web Project Manager at Thread Marketing Group in Maumee (threadgroup.com). He also helps create storytelling content for MrElshMedia (mrelshmedia.com). Find more ideas about social media at klcesarz.wordpress.com.