Email Marketing: How to craft an email people will actually read

January 22, 2014 Updated: April 24, 2016

Emails have become an interruption to our workday, a tedious task to the never-ending list and, in some cases, a nuisance. But, they are still a crucial part of any company’s marketing platform and according to studies an increasingly successful method to obtain new business while spreading (and maintaining) brand awareness. So the challenge remains: How do you craft the perfect email marketing campaign to ensure people are reading and –dare I say it!- even responding ?

Well according to Mashable keywords within an email’s subject line can have a huge effect on a receiver’s response. In a study conducted by Boomerang emails that were loaded with words such as “confirm”, “join”, “press”, or “invite” had a poor success rate for responses. But words, such as “apply”, “connect” and “opportunity,” in the subject-line got more responses and interactions. Choose your words carefully and make sure you are expressing the true purpose of your email using “response friendly” words. Your subject line should be 30-50 words in length with important words placed at the beginning of the sentence.

When a subscriber opens an email it’s important that the subject or purpose of the email is clear and concise. What is your message about? And, what kind of response are you hoping to generate? Include an eye-catching image that will visually enhance your content. If you can, try to build credibility by mentioning other company names that have vouched for your service or product. Hyperlinks and videos are extra and a nice way to keep readers interacting with your content.

Finally, think about your call to action (CTA). For those not familiar with the term, a CTA is method that ultimately drives your desired end result. If, for example, you wanted people to sign up for a newsletter, you would include “Sign Up Now” button within your email. It’s very important that each email blast you send out has a strong, visible and clear CTA. Place your call to action several times within your email to make it more accessible to the reader.

Before sending out your email, test it out several times. Make sure you can track the links you provided within your email so that you will be able to see your response rate –vital information! I personally recommend you send the email out to some close friends, co-workers or family first to test out your email. Some fonts don’t translate well and could come up as a foreign font on a viewer’s screen.

Lastly, staying targeting within your emails –having a purpose and strong call to action for each email- will keep you in your emails out of the spam folder. Time your emails to your audience’s needs –are they reading in the morning or in the evening? And how often to they have time to read my emails? Tweak your campaign accordingly. 

For More information on response rates vs. types of content refer to the info graphic below by Eloqua.