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Online Business Strategy

Improve Your Email Marketing – Write Better Emails

Don't let your emails get sent straight to the trash.

Email marketing is still an effective tool for reaching potential customers and re-engaging with your community. But are you taking a conscientious approach to your emails?

Brand Every Email

the good and the bad email marketing

Tenth Muse is always an advocate for keeping your content branded. But have you extended that branding throughout your emails? Every email you send affects your company brand and your personal reputation.

There are the usual arguments for keeping everything branded, like a unified identity, brand recognition, and service value, but having a branded email will also establish immediate credibility and trust. Which of the two emails below are you more likely to trust?

“A customer’s’ interaction with a brand has more impact than any product or service that the brand provides. It produces a deeper connection and the interaction is more memorable, which yields greater trust in the brand for future purchases.” (Weinberg, 2001; Murphy and Smith, 1982)

Increase Your Email Open Rates

If people don’t open your email, they don’t have a chance to click on your Call-To-Action.

The first thing they see is the subject line, so make sure it’s the best possible copy. Try to spend as much time on the subject line as you do on the body of the email.

A 2014 study by Retention Science claims that subject lines with 6-10 words get the best open rate, they also state that subject lines that reference movie titles or song lyrics are opened 42% more often than standard subject lines. This may be a tactic you want to try with your email marketing, but make sure it matches your brand voice and sounds authentic.

Use an email marketing software, like Mailchimp, which lets you track and compare open rates. As long as you continue to test your subject lines, you can find your way to greater engagement.

Write Better Emails

Your email text is the most important, but there are two common pitfalls to avoid.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

Don’t write the next Bleak House in your inbox. Nobody’s got time for that. Instead, make sure your email copy is organized into scannable chunks. Readers are consistently giving less and less attention to marketing, they’re down to 8 seconds, so keep your message clear. Get to the point.

But don’t go too short.

There’s a fine balance between concise and terse.
A study in the Journal of  Personality and Social Psychology found that we constantly overestimate our ability to communicate. Five correlating experiments found that we overestimate our ability to write clear emails by 38%. This overestimation is caused by our inability to detach from our own perspective. What you think is a clever literary reference can be misunderstood by an audience who doesn’t know who Charles Dickens is.

Increase Response Rates by 63% With One Word

You may not give a second thought to how you end an email, too often we just let an automatic email signature do the job for us. Boomerang, an email management software, looked at email closings in over 350,000 email threads and found that certain email closings deliver higher response rates.
They found 8 common phrases for ending emails, then Boomerang tested the reply rates for all of those emails, paying close attention to these closing phrases. They found a substantial difference between closing with gratitude and closing any other way.

Email ClosingResponse Rate
thanks in advance65.7%
thank you57.9%
kind regards53.9%
best regards52.9%
(all emails in sample)

Ending an email with a simple ‘Thanks’ increased the reply rate to 63%, which is a 36% relative increase in the average response rate.
Making these small adjustments to your daily emails will help build more engagement over time, but if you apply them to your email marketing and drip campaigns, you can see far better returns.