Remember science experiments in school? It was so much fun, right? Especially, when we got to see things under a microscope. That experience hit me hard because it made me realize the importance of minute details that we often overlook.
Let’s carry out that experiment in a different setting: email marketing. We’ll peel the layers off a professional email, analyze microscopic details that are not apparent to many, and take a look at various examples and actionable tips. Even if you are a pro at writing emails, you might catch a few new ideas mentioned below.
Examples and tips for the subject line
This part of the email has a direct effect on your open rates. You need to strike a balance between being subtle and not going over the board with creativity. Here are some examples and tips for a great subject line:
1. Grab attention
Email marketing is becoming quite competitive these days. Making users open your emails is an equally challenging task. 47% of them decide if they want to open an email based on the subject line alone. But don’t worry, you can boost your open rates by writing a compelling subject line that resonates with your recipients. Look at the following example from Canva:
This one is a perfect combination of creativity and subtlety. They are pretty confident that if I use their video template, I would be sitting in a leadership role in no time. As a content and video marketer, this line has got my attention.
2. Keep it crisp
You might want to explain your subject line, but oftentimes, it’s too long to fit in the inbox preview. As a result, the email keeps sitting in the receiver’s inbox until it’s forgotten. No matter how good your email copy is, people generally lose interest after reading half a subject line.
Check the example given below. The subject line is too long to grasp it in one go, so we aren’t able to judge the content. Is it about a remedy? Or information about infection? Or medicine?
Remember, it’s better to keep your subject lines under 30 characters and no longer than 10 words.
3. Make a personalized greeting
Personalization practice has become quite prevalent in the email marketing industry because each recipient expects value from their sender. When a user wants to hear exclusively from you, put effort into providing them with a personalized subject line. Keeping a conversational tone can incite them to have a look at what you want to say. Watch the example below:
4. Slip in numbers and stats
A thought-provoking subject line increases the value of your email. As numbers and statistics are considered a validation factor, it’s a great approach to include them in your email subject line. Moreover, it instills a curiosity factor and helps engage the audience at all touchpoints.
5. A/B test subject lines
If you want to test which subject line works best, you may perform A/B testing (also known as the split testing). When you carry out your experiment, you are more likely to believe in results. Almost all email service providers have an option to set up an A/B test. After you test your subject line, you can move on to sending bulk emails without spamming the audience.
6. Make preview text available
As a recipient, you must have seen a preview text right after the subject line in your promotional email box text. If you leave it blank, it automatically draws the content that is on top of your email copy.
Most marketers don’t give a next thought to this tiny detail but it can impact your email performance as a whole. To enhance the professional look of your email, leverage this preview text to support your subject line. Here’s what it looks like:
7. Avoid the shouty all-caps
I know you want the attention of your leads. But you don’t want to do that by using all-caps. It seems too shouty and unprofessional. Moreover, it’s considered the typical behavior of a spammer. Most emails in my spam box are of the same nature. Here’s one example:
8. Use emojis
Now, who doesn’t like cute emojis? We use them extensively in our daily lives, so why not in email subject lines? The key point to remember is making them look subtle and professional. Emojis can bring life to your subject line and make it look more interactive. Here is an example from Duolingo:
Copywriting examples and tips for email body
Writing content for the email body can be extremely daunting if you have no idea what the purpose of your email is. This part is crucial because the interest of the user is somewhere piqued by your subject line, and they opened your email to read the contents. You don’t want to disappoint them, right? Here are some interesting tips to follow:
1. Keep your email marketing strategy on point
You are not writing a blog. Most users just skim through the content to grab the basic highlights. Use short and relevant sentences to make it a smooth ride for them. Here’s an example from Canva:
They wanted to show me 10 best templates, and that is exactly what I got. Nothing more, nothing less.
2. Provide value to your receivers
Don’t send emails just for the sake of sending them. They should be sent to interact with your audience in a more personalized and effective way. No user will read your email if there is no value for them.
If you are sending email blasts to your entire email base, then you are doing it all wrong. The key to effective email marketing strategy is directly linked to personalization and interaction. We all want to feel that the email is exclusively for us. Watch the example below:
Isn’t this email interacting with the recipient on a whole new level?
3. Avoid boasting about yourself
It’s a good practice to establish a brand identity. But boasting too much about yourself can make your emails go down the drain. You are not writing to them to talk about your brand and its features. Rather, you are writing to establish a relationship with your users and share the benefits they’ll get.
Next time you send an email, don’t use phrases like ‘We are offering…’ Instead, use phrases like ‘With our tool, you can… ’ Here’s a good example:
4. Don’t use unresponsive email templates
This happens a lot of times. You put in so much effort to write an amazing copy, but it all gets ruined because you chose a template that was not mobile-friendly. As a result, a user clicked on the email but later put it in the trash because it failed to engage them. Moreover, these types of emails are more likely to end up in the spam folder. For best results, send a test email to yourself.
5. Keep your message in sync with your webpage
This tip comes into the picture if you want to instigate the authenticity factor. Many times, the message in the email is different from the message mentioned on your landing page. This happens a lot in case you are offering a discount or coupon code.
Make sure the user doesn’t have to jump from one link to another. A good practice is to use the same media or message in your emails that are mentioned on your webpage. Here’s another example from Canva:
When I clicked on the button “Be inspired,” I got redirected to this page:
I can see the same images on this landing page as I saw in my email.
6. Focus on benefits and not the sales pitch
A professional email must have a message that is neither too direct nor too confusing. You don’t want to write a direct sales pitch, as users instantly lose interest in such emails. They are more curious about the “What I will get” part. Watch the example below:
This email was focused on the benefits that I can get and not the pricing.
7. Don’t confuse recipients with multiple CTAs
If we take a look at the example above, we can say that it was crystal clear that the email was about offering solutions to the lead’s problems. But many emails have multiple CTAs where they not only put their sales pitch but also tell us to join a webinar or an event. The intent of a professional email must be clear and concise.
For example, I signed up for an online event. In a single email, the company put the summit’s agenda, their partners’ sales pitch, premium pass pitch, affiliate program, and the list is never-ending. It left me quite confused as to what they wanted me to do.
8. Always send a test email and proofread
Although it’s not directly related to writing a professional email, this is a practice that everyone should incorporate into their email checklist. If you are using a third-party email service provider, they give you an option to send a test email to a particular ID so that you can find loopholes.
Besides, make it a rule of thumb to carefully proofread your emails before you hit the send button. You can do it manually or use free online grammar checker tools.
9. Some more things to consider
Other checkpoints that you must take care of are:
- Put the unsubscribe link in the footer of your email
- Add a fallback text for images in case they are not displayed correctly
- Optimize the time you send emails according to time zones
- Track and analyze your email metrics from time to time
Wrapping it up
Now that was indeed a microscopic experiment. All layers have been peeled, and I have put in my results above. It’s time for you to do the same in your email marketing strategy.