Writing Marketing Emails: Top 5 Tips to Skyrocket Open Rates

January 20, 2017 Andy Beohar

Even with all of the other avenues that the modern marketer has to reach their target market, email marketing remains one of the best. In fact, email marketing has the highest conversion rate of any platform for content marketing. In order to optimize email marketing, you need to start by writing marketing emails that resonate with your target audience. Here are our top 5 tips for doing just that:

 

1. Learn how to craft captivating subject lines that pique the reader's curiosity

With all of the marketing emails that your target reader has in their inbox, it’s important that you give them a reason to open up yours. Much like a first impression, you want your subject line to send the right message to the reader. Though it should not be misleading, it does need to pique the reader’s interest and entice them to open up your email. A good place to start is often by addressing a common issue or concern. Questions are also a great way to get the reader interested and entice them to open up your email.  

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This marketing email from Hubspot starts by addressing a common concern for its customers – how to create an organized and effective social media calendar. By using the title, “4 Helpful Tools for Organizing Your Social Media Calendar” this email not only asks piques the reader’s interest by hinting at quick results, but it also makes it clear what the content will be about.

While writing marketing emails, consider what words or phrases can be used in the subject line that will entice your reader to want to see what’s inside. “Eye-catching” is a great example of a phrase that generates reader interest because it suggests excitement. You can also make the reader more curious by leaving a little bit to the imagination, so that users have to open up the email to learn more.

 

2. Use a stellar opening line to draw the reader in further

Though the subject line gets the reader to open up your email, your work is not done there. You need to then get them to read the email’s body content. Your opening line is vital to drawing your readers in further so that they will take the time to read the rest of your marketing email.

Many email browsers and mobile email apps will show a small portion of the email next to the subject line, allowing the reader to see if the email is worth reading before they even open it. This makes it even more important to create a killer opening line when writing marketing emails.

So how do you create a captivating opening line?

A good place to start is by personalizing the email message. This helps to create a sense of intimacy and makes it more like you are speaking one-on-one to the reader. From there, you want to make sure that you get straight to the point.

Take for example this email from Birchbox:

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Source: Hubspot

This email starts by addressing the reader by name. Pamela may be much more likely to open the email when she sees it is addressed directly to her. The word “oops!” also draws the reader in as they are most likely interested in what Birchbox has to say. The email then gets right to the point in explaining the offer they would like to share with the reader.

 

3. Break up text into shorter paragraphs that are easy to digest

Chances are that your company’s modern, on-the-go audience has their attention being pulled in multiple directions. That’s why it is important to keep your emails short, simple, and easy to read. Do not provide any extraneous information as this may confuse your readers or cause them to quickly lose interest. Use shorter paragraphs that are easy to read and utilize headings and bullet points when appropriate.

Uber is a good example of a brand that provides beautifully designed emails that are simple and to the point. Take a look at the email below:

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Source: Hubspot

Notice that the initial description is brief and leaves no doubt in the reader's mind what the topic of this marketing email is. Similarly, the email breaks down how the uberPOOL program works with short and simple descriptions of each step in the process. Not only is the email content to the point, but the design compliments this simplicity by using images to draw attention to the main points of the message. This email also has a clear call-to-action, which we will talk about later.

 

4. Learn how to create a sense of urgency

Even if the lead or customer reads your email and is interested in what it has to offer, this does not mean that he or she will act immediately. There is a good chance that even if the customer intends to act on the offer, the email may still end up lost in a sea of other marketing emails that permeates their inbox.

One way to avoid this is by writing marketing emails that create a sense of urgency. Whether you communicate this urgency in the subject line, opening, body, or closing, it can help motivate the reader to act on the offer now rather than wait and potentially forget to act.

Here is another effective marketing email from Macy’s that works to create a sense of urgency:

This email works to create a sense of urgency from the very beginning. The subject line uses the word “hurry,” which can not only entice the reader to open the email but also get them to read it sooner rather than later. The top of the email makes it clear that this offer is about to expire and will only be available for a limited time.

Consider incorporating some language into your email that creates a sense of urgency, such as:

  • Last chance
  • Ends tonight
  • Hurry
  • 7am to midnight
  • Guaranteed delivery (by Christmas)
  • Shop now

 

5. End with a clear and well-crafted call-to-action

Now that you’ve gotten the lead or customer to read the email, you need to guide them in the right direction by making it clear what they should do next. You can do this by working on a clear and specific call-to-action (CTA) that leaves nothing to the imagination. What do you want the reader to do? This is what you will address in the CTA.

Your call-to-action should be short and inviting. You can provide the CTA as hyperlinked text or use a button to help make the instructions stand out. The more specific and relevant your CTA, the more likely a person will be to click it.

Take for instance this marketing email from Warby Parker:

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This email is personalized with the reader greeting and prescription expiration date, and it creates a sense of urgency by drawing attention to the impending deadline. It also provides two separate and specific calls-to-action that lead to two different areas of the site, allowing the customer to choose the option that is most relevant to him or her.

After you have used these tips to work on writing marketing emails that capture your audience’s attention and keep them interested, it’s vital to track your success using important email metrics like click-through and conversion rates. You should also make sure that your marketing emails are mobile-friendly so that smartphone users can open and easily browse your emails from any device. With this advice in mind, you’ll be on your way to creating winning email marketing campaigns in no time.

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