Want to make a strong connection with your tribe?
Want to give them a deeper peek into who you are?
Want to feature your product or service in a way that isn’t over-the-top or hey- look-at-me hype?
Email is the #2 way to most effectively communicate with your people. In order to build your brand, good communication is a non-negotiable.
By the way, the #1 most effective way to communicate is a personal one-on-one direct message. It’s the most intimate opportunity you have, unless you treat 1:1 settings like a hawker tossing your offer at passersby.
But how do you write emails that people actually want to read? That feel like a conversation with a trusted ally (not a hawker in an alley)?
The tips below are a darned good start.
1. Open your email with an attention grabbing story
It’s been proven again and again that story is the simplest form of persuasion. It’s an entertaining, original and inspiring way to get your message across.
As a former ad exec, I can tell you that story driven campaigns in both print and television pull very well.
In some cases, the story itself does all the selling.
Emails that are written within a story framework – whether it’s your story, a clients story or an urban legend (assuming it’s appropriate for the point you want to make) – are emails people want to read.
Stories make great bonding agents so use them often.
It might feel strange at first because writing story takes some thought about the beginning, middle and end but once you learn how, it’s a speedy way to write emails so you’re not chained to your laptop or swearing at the blinking cursor.
2. Keep them on their toes
Let’s face it, with so much email being delivered into mailboxes today, and most of it as unoriginal as a 1980’s reboot, it’s easy to become bored.
When you keep your email readers on their toes by rotating your subject line categories (one week it’s a curiosity opener, the next week it’s numbers driven, etc) and keeping the body of the email equally as unexpected (hello story), you create anticipation.
You’ll be playing at a whole other level when your subscribers anxiously wait for your email to land in their inbox. It’s email gold.
3. Go easy on the teaching
A few years ago, my mentor at the time, told me not to forget to teach…a lot. In fact, edu-marketing became a pretty popular way to create videos, sales pages, you name it.
Educating is a good thing.
Especially if you’re a coach or consultant wanting to attract new clients or a course creator wanting more students in your virtual classrooms.
But if you sell art or apparel or even photography (it’s a service after all), you can still use education to teach about your process, values or philosophy and how it affects the final product they’ll buy.
What my mentor failed to explain (he was brilliant and simply overlooked telling me this one crucial thing) was that when you educate in email, do it lightly and make it interesting and/or fun.
In other words, instead of making your emails heavy, like an entire cake, make them like small, delicious slices of information covered in sprinkles.
Keep your teaching light and sprinkle in personality, humor and your unique flavor of entertainment.
This is what will make you stand out because most emails read like Ikea instructions.
4. Stagger, don’t stack your words
This may be the simplest (and best) tip of all because it relates to making your email super easy to consume.
Instead of having long paragraph chunks, stagger the size of each paragraph so that some paragraphs are only two-three words long, while others are a couple of short sentences long.
The easier on the eye you can make your email, the more likely they are to get read.
Bonus benefit: you’ll create an expectation with your readers that say my emails are worth your time.
5. Write a persuasive subject line
Okay, so maybe that one is obvious. But it still baffles me how little creativity and thought go into the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of email subject lines I read.
•Here to help you now
This is a small list of email subject lines I pulled from my inbox as I prepared to write this post. And I don’t feel compelled to open any of them – not one.
99% of the email game is played in the subject line – it’s the first move on the board that creates intrigue.
No intrigue. No open. Email game, over.
There are over a dozen different ways to come up with a subject line and theme.
I’ll share one here, curiosity.
Referring back to the examples above, would you say any of them open up your curiosity faucet? Not likely.
Master curiosity and you’re on your way to whatever board game crowns someone queen of the email prom.
Here’s how I’d re-write the subject lines I showed you earlier:
•What never to write in your ads
•Did the carriage really turn into a pumpkin?
•Disturbingly inappropriate things I did this summer
•Tomorrow’s predictions – bloom or gloom?
•An unapologetic, anti-gurus opinion
I’d wager that at least one of these subject lines would intrigue you enough to open (that’s my unapologetic, anti-guru talking).
Notice the emails that make you go hmmm. What was it about the subject line that piqued your interest?
Become a student of email.