For most people, creating effective emails that convey their true intent can be a challenge. Unlike everyday texting where there’s practically no pressure to meet standards, emails come with their own personalized etiquette rubric. Miss any, and your message, tone or intent runs the risk of being misunderstood or worse, have the entire messaged dumped in the trash folder.
According to a 2013 study conducted by Sendmail, at least 64% of business professionals say emails could be a cause of confusion and tension. To ensure your email doesn’t fall among this value depreciating email group, we’ve summarized the top writing strategies to deliver effective emails for your reading pleasure.
1. First, understand what you want to communicate
Creating an email without a clearly defined goal is similar to driving a car without knowing your destination. In both instances, even though there’s an effort, the effort is unlikely to yield a valid result. Your goal serves as a focal point to center your message.Keep in mind that when defining your goal, you’re better off keeping it short and simple. A single email can only contain so much without crossing the lines of clumsiness. So, let’s say your own a marketing company, a short and focused goal would be to get your reader to click through to your landing page as opposed to one that tries to get a click, a social media share and maybe make sales.
2. Get your readers hooked with the first line
The first line (as you might have already guessed) is your subject line. It is what attracts the reader and when done right, it captures their attention. Again, the formula here is short and simple but this time with a side serving of “catchy”.That said, never make the mistake of misleading your audience in an attempt to sound catchy and exciting. That certainly leaves a bad impression, one that many readers will find hard to shrug off. Consider these two subject lines
“Avoiding sunburns just got easier.”
“The best way to prevent sunburns and protect your skin from damage.”
While the second certainly sounds informative, the first undoubtedly comes off as simpler and catchier. Everyone loves the easy way out, and you’re going straight to the point while also making the subject sound appealing to the user.
3. Start bright and sharp
After catching the attention of your readers with your subject, the last thing you’d want to do is bore them off with a dreary intro. Your intro should communicate the intent of your email as soon as possible, in a language and tone that speaks to your users. Get creative if needed, but remember that there’s a limit. Emails, regardless of the audience, should retain a shade of professionalism.
4. Outline your points
Like virtually everyone else, your readers have a short attention span. No one enjoys going through email inboxes, so it’s best to present your points in an itemized format so readers can simply scan the email and get a picture of the message you’re trying to pass across. Remember also to highlight key points and all the relevant info you don’t want them to miss.
5. Finally, content is key
Is there a better way to present the information you want to pass across? Can you perform additional research to include eye-catching stats? Or perhaps you could tune your tone to better appeal to your audience demographics. Delivering value creating content is the best way to ensure your email gets read, archived and put on a priority list. It also means your reader will look forward to future emails from you – that’s a simple case of guaranteeing the future with a small effort in the present.