Email Marketing: 10 Tips on How to Write an Effective Sales Email
“Hurry! Last Chance!”
“Mega Sale! Don’t Miss Out!”
“Warning! 24hrs Sale Deadline!”
“Be in to WIN BIG!!!”
We’ve all experienced these frantic and frenzied email subject lines that stick out like sore (ugly) thumbs in our beautifully organised email inboxes.
Email marketing (when done correctly) can be extremely effective and produce a great ROI but how do you get your message across in an email? Read on for 10 tips on crafting the perfect sales email.
How to Write the Perfect Email Subject Line
First things first — the email subject line. The email subject line is perhaps the most important element to absolutely nail when you are writing a sales email. The subject line is where the battle for customer engagement begins — fail, and the email is deleted, nail it, and the email is opened. 47% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone.
But what exactly makes for an effective subject line?
1. Actionable: To Verb or Not to Verb?
The first thing to consider when writing an effective email subject is to use actionable language. Use language that cuts to the chase and alludes to what the rest of the email is going to offer. Be direct. Using verbs such as “buy”, “download” and “ask” etc. are a great way to get you point across as to what the reader is being asked to do.
However, if using verbs sounds a little too forceful you can write an effective email subject line without using these words. “Don’t miss out on XYZ” can be a great way to get your point across and it also tells the reader what the rest of the information in the email is going to be about.
2. Personalise Where Possible
Admit it, we all get a bit of a kick when we see our names somewhere. The same is true with emails.
People that receive personalised emails feel more emotionally attached to the content they are being presented with, it’s more personal and, therefore, must be relevant to me in some way (not just blasted to thousands of randoms).
According to a study by Direct Marketing Association personalised emails have a higher performance rate than emails that aren’t personalised.
“Targeted emails generated 58% of all revenue for the marketers surveyed, and 36% of revenues were driven by emails sent to specific target selections.”
3. Clarity Over Cuteness
When it comes down to writing effective marketing copy the number one rule is to always (always) write with clarity. Get your main point across in a manner that is clear, unconfused and simple. Once a clear subject line is written you can then start thinking about how you can make it funny, whimsical, cute or catchy — but only if it the message remains clear. Never sacrifice clarity for entertainment value.
4. Consistency is Key
Whatever your subject line promises, your email message should deliver.
If your subject line and email copy doesn’t match up then your click though rates (the % of people that actually click on your call-to-action) will be negatively affected.
Once your customers begin to see a trend that your subject line (the reason they opened your marketing email) doesn’t align with what the rest of the content is talking about your email open rates will plummet.
5. How Long Should an Email Subject Line Be?
If your email subject lines are too long then they will be cut off (particularly on mobile devices) meaning your message won’t be clear.
So what is the sweet spot with crafting an email subject line that is long enough to get your message across but short enough so as not to get chopped in half? With 67% of email opens taking place on mobile platforms the recommended length of an email subject should be fewer than 50 characters (characters, not words!).
Brevity is best when it comes to creating effective email subject lines and a study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that subject lines with up to 20 characters generated an email open rate of 18.5%.
If keeping your email subject lines short and punchy is proving to be challenge then think about which words matter less. This process is called “killing your little darlings” in the marketing world.
As writers we tend to get emotionally attached to every pen stroke or keyboard tap but when you’re working within very tight word counts, it’s time to get brutal.
For example, “Your Order is Being Processed 🙂 ” looks a lot better than “Your Shopify Order #15612987663 is Being Processed”.
Steer clear of words like “newsletter”, “update”, “urgent” or “free”. Including these words aren’t just a surefire way of getting your emails deleted they actually increase the chances of your emails reaching the dreaded spam folder. For more information on spam folder trigger words check out this article from Mequoda.
How to Write the Perfect Email
If the email subject line was the entree then the email body is the main course. This is where it all comes together and your reader makes the connection between the two elements. So what how do you create the perfect email?
It is important to establish relevancy early on in the email. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it should be the very first thing after “G’day”. Why? Well it addresses most of the questions swirling around in your reader’s mind.
A simple introduction as to why the email is being sent could be in the form of a sentence or a short paragraph.
“We’ve noticed you haven’t placed an order in 2 months and your stock may be running a little low. If you’re thinking of reordering again soon we’d like to let you know we have a few new products available that you may be interested in.”
This would be preceded by a clear call to action to “shop the new range” etc.
7. You, Your, Yours
The power of writing marketing emails in the second person cannot be overstated. Writing in the second person means using pronouns such as “you”, “your” and “yours” and this keeps the focus on the customer rather than the brand. Don’t think you have to totally remove the “I’s”, “we’s” and “our’s” but don’t overdo it.
Keep the conversation conversational, imagine you’re speaking with a friend or co-worker.
Write in a style that, if spoken, would seem natural, not forced or too pushy. Writing in the second person helps you to do this.
8. Benefits Over Features
The golden rule of writing effective marketing copy is to always outline the benefit to the customer rather than the features. Don’t overload the customer with features they don’t even know they need or potentially understand the benefits of. Just cut to the chase, how is your product or service going to benefit your customers?
Example 1. The Outward Bound Jacket features Gore-Tex outer, merino lining, thumb loops, drawstring hood closure and reflective pads on the back. Price $500.
The customer is thinking, Ok, what is Gore-Tex? Is it water proof? Is it going to keep me warm? What on earth are thumb loops? Why would I need reflective pads on the back of the coat? Why is it $500?
A better way of selling the product would be:
Example 2. Stay dry in the waterproof and wind resistant Outward Bound heavy duty Gore-Tex jacket. This jacket also features a naturally odour resistant merino lining that’ll keep you warm when the temperatures plummet, thumb loops that will keep your wrists warm and dry and the two reflective pads will ensure you are seen should you have to hike across roads in the dark. Price $500.
9. Write To Delight
Email marketing doesn’t have to be a boring experience for you (as the writer) and the reader. Write your marketing emails in a way that showcases your personal style, humour, your brands personality etc.
Be loveable. It will increase your click through rates, email open rates and will also increase brand engagement and, if people are really digging the stuff you’re jotting down, they’ll actually look forward to receive your emails.
And For Dessert?
We’ve snacked on the subject line starter, filled our bellies with the main copy, now it’s time to finish it all off with a sorbet.
10. Clear C2A
Your call-to-action is what it’s all about. This is the whole reason for the email. Your email call-to-action must be extremely easy to identify.
Most people scan their emails so make your C2A stand out and make sense on its own “Shop The New Summer Range Now”.
The copy on the button is also important. It should have a sense of urgency about it that encourages the reader to click on it such as “View Deal”, “Shop Now” etc.
At Quentosity we are digital marketing experts based in Tauranga (Papamoa to be precise) and Auckland. Combined with our HubSpot partnership and digital marketing techniques we can take your business from taxiing to take off.
If you’re looking to take your business to the next level then get in touch with us today on 0800 467 8932 for a no obligation chat or email us at [email protected] to set up a meeting at our beachside office.