We’ve all been there: faced with dozens or even hundreds of unread emails and having to decide which get opened and which will be deleted without ever being read. The emails you’re sending to your customers have important information inside; information you want and need them to read. But if your emails aren’t compelling, they will end up in the virtual trashcan without a second thought. Make sure you’re drafting emails your customers will open by following these tips.
Who Is Sending the Email?
The first key to drafting an email that people will open is to pay attention to who the email is coming from. Let’s say a new spin instructor is sending an email to every client that has ever attended a spin class at your gym. The email is packed to the brim with important information, including new class offerings you know your clients will want to hear about. The spin instructor sends it off and, to your surprise, the response is underwhelming. It takes you days to figure out that no one opened the email because it came to their inbox from an instructor whose name they didn’t recognize. When sending marketing emails, make sure they come directly from your organization or from someone within your organization that has name recognition.
Write a Compelling Subject Line
Every journalist knows not to bury the lede. In layman’s terms, that phrase means that the most newsworthy and compelling information in any story (including email) should be presented first and not hidden inside less interesting text. The same holds true for drafting compelling subject lines. Don’t make the mistake of sending an email with the subject line “Happy Holidays from XYZ” when the purpose of the email you’re sending is to let customers know about a holiday deal you are running. Instead, lead with the subject line “Holiday Sale at XYZ Happening Now.”
Consistently Write Great Emails
If you want people to open your emails, you don’t need just one killer email, you need to consistently send killer emails. If experience teaches your customer that the emails you send are not worth their time, they’ll hit delete when the email they actually need to read lands in their inbox. Make sure every email you send contains useful content and you’ll have a much better chance of ensuring the emails you send are opened and read.
Make Note of Important Emails on Social Media
The beauty of sending emails to your clients and customers is that you can directly speak to the individual, unlike on social media channels where you are reduced to sharing tiny snippets of information to a mass audience. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make social media work for you by using it to direct customers and clients to sign up to receive your emails and/or to open them for the amazing content they’ll find inside.
If you have a big announcement or a rocking deal to share with customers, share it only in your marketing email yet use social media to announce its arrival. For example, a Facebook post might read, “Check your email today for a 50% off coupon on your next class enrollment. Not signed up to receive our emails? Join our mailing list here.”
Email Directly to the Customer or Client
If you’re trying to specifically reach the 12 people that consistently attend your Tuesday night spin class, sending a mass email to everyone on your mailing list will fall flat with the smaller group of people you’re actually trying to reach. Instead of writing something impersonal, take the time to draft an email that will resonate with each person you want to connect with. You can do this by referencing a funny moment that happened in class or by drilling down even deeper and opening your email with a personal greeting, “Hi Laura, I hope your son has recovered from that nasty cold he’s been battling and your household is healthy once again.”
Personalizing an email with the name of your client and a quick anecdote will keep your clients engaged and ensure they continue to open and read the emails you send.
Use a Casual Greeting
In emails written to clients, friendly and approachable greetings are almost always the way to go. Instead of using a formal “dear” or “hello,” use a less-formal “hi.” The softer tone makes the email feel as though it is coming from a friend (it is, after all) and feels more personal and warm. Of course, if the content of the email or the relationship with your clients calls for a more formal tone, don’t hesitate to go that route.
Write as Though You Are Having a Conversation
Your subject line and past stellar communication have convinced your clients to open your emails—what now? No matter what you have to share in the emails you are sending, make sure they are written as though you are having a conversation with your clients. An email that’s written with a dry, robotic tone will get skimmed and dismissed at best. An email that feels friendly, fun and has worthwhile content will be one that gets opened and read carefully every single time.