How to Write Compelling Emails that Drive More Results

Written by

Vikas Bhatt

How to Write Compelling Emails that Drive More Results

Emails are a part of most businesses today and we are not surprised.

Emails are the king of the marketing kingdom with a 4400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent.

You know what’s funny about emails that drive more results? They don’t need to be professionally designed. Plain text emails can drive as much and sometimes better results!  If you want to write compelling emails that drive more results, follow the guidelines we discuss in this post.

Must Read: The do’s and don’ts of email marketing

1.  Subject lines

A subject line is a doorman to your email. No one gets past it unless it is catchy (or interesting!) enough for readers to click on it. 

a. The content of your subject line

Remember all emails that drive more results have a subject line that is clear first and then, catchy. Also, do not over promise or excite your readers so much that your email content cannot satisfy them. There are three types of subject lines –

i. Catchy (which evokes interest or want to read)

Subject lines that are catchy and quirky have a higher rate of getting read. These emails are mostly aimed at creating brand awareness or building a loyal readership. They dont directly sell but compel visitors to take action such as visiting the website, downloading a paper, reading a new blog post etc. A few examples of such subject lines would be 

ii. Actionable (which gives direction to take an action)

Actionable subject lines compel readers to take an action but does not always use verbs. OpenTable, for example, sent an email that said “”Take Mom to Brunch”” in the subject line. Incorporating words like take, download, do, click etc are ways to give direction to readers. Another way of making your subject line actionable is by giving the exact information but without any explicit action verb. For example, if you say Grow your email marketing campaign with this free guide, it implicitly tells the readers that you can download the guide once you open the email. Another example of an implicit action of enrolling in the course.  

iii. Informative or contextual (which tells you what its about or segmented for your area of interest)

These emails are generally segmented according to your interest. AppSumo sent an email with a subject line 24 hours left to land more clients to a freelance writer. The email was aimed at selling a proposal software.   

Similarly, Tyler Lessard sends an email with subject line boost email conversion rates by 500%. Any marketers (of any business) will be interested in knowing the statistics and other information that the email may cover.

 b. Emotional balance in the content

It is important that your subject line is a mix of certain emotions, if not all. There are various tools like Coschedule – headline analyzer that tells you the right mix of uncommon, common, emotional and powerful words. All emails that drive more results focus on subject lines and emotional triggers. The right headline mix would look something like this – I ran a test for How to write compelling emails that drive more results Coschedule Headline Analyzer.

c. Align with copy

Your subject line should align with your email copy. Stay away from using click baits or writing something quirky which has no relation to the email at all. The click rates plummet drastically when readers do not get what they are promised initially.

Must Read: Why is email marketing automation important

2. Content

a. KISS your email

Not literally!  If you want emails that drive more results, keep it short and simple (KISS). You dont need to use fancy words or concepts to ensure that your email drives more results. Also, it is always better than the emails are scannable.

b. Focus on benefits, not features

If your emails relate to any of your products/services, focus on the benefits instead of features. For example, if your product has a feature that allows integration with other platforms, the benefit would be ease of analysis. Look at these two examples from an article on Hubspot  Which one focuses on the benefits instead of features or selling? If your answer is the second one, you are right. The first email throws a discount at you without highlighting any value. Second email details the benefits with features of the shorts. According to Hubspot, they allow a man to lounge around the house and then go out in the city while putting minimal effort into changing his outfit. How convenient! How easy! How versatile This is how emails that drive more results are crafted!

c. Weave a story

Not every email focuses on products/services. For other generic emails, weave a story that your audience will care about.

d. Write in the second person

Use pronouns like you,your,and yours. Read this copy. They have used ample amount of you instead of we or i. Write copy that directly talks to your audience.

e. Personalization

Emails that are segmented and personalized always perform better. According to a study by Direct Marketing Association, segmented and targeted emails generated 58% of all revenue for the marketers surveyed, and 36% of revenues were driven by emails sent to specific target selections. This is practical. The more segmented your email list, the better you are able to personalize the subject line and provide relevant content to that email recipient. By personalization, we dont mean inserting |*FNAME*| only. There is much more than that now. Lets assume you’re a realtor. Some of your clients are looking to rent and others are interested to buy. Can a blanket email work for both segments? Of course, not! You should divide the lists into categories such as:

  • Demographics
  • Interests/ Industry
  • Contest participation
  • Source of lead etc

Brainstorm the needs of each segment and keep that in mind while crafting your email copy.

3. Call-To-Action

Email should also have a strong call to action. All good ones do! Your CTA should be

  • Easy to locate
  • Clear
  • Highlighted so it stands out in the copy
  • Motivating for readers to click on it

Some of the compelling CTA words are

  • get
  • order
  • buy
  • sign up
  • start

You can also add words that highlight consumer benefits like free, customized or complementary to increase conversions further. Keep the CTA above the fold. It is important that the CTA is clear to the reader without having to scroll down. There you go. If you follow these pointers, you will always write emails that drive more results. What else do you think makes for effective email marketing copy? Are there any specific pointers for crafting emails that drive more results? Share with us in the comments.

Must Read: Best practices and examples for call to action in cold emails


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