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As you glance over your flooded inbox each morning, it only takes a few seconds to determine which emails demand your attention and which can go straight to the trash unopened. Sorting emails into that “unimportant” category is easy. Does it have an overblown subject line? Is it too long? Does it ask too much of you? Delete. Delete. Delete.

The system may not be fair, but you can only give so much time and interest to reading emails. Unsurprisingly, the reasoning you use to sort the garbage from the gold in your own inbox is the same reasoning your clients use to evaluate the marketing emails you send to them. Trying to stand out amidst the clutter of their inbox, can be tricky. So how do you make sure your emails make the cut? Here are a few strategies for writing marketing emails that work:

Include one clear call to action

Before you begin to write an email, ask yourself, “What do I want my client to do as a result of this email?” Your response to this question will be your call to action—the instruction you want your client to respond to immediately (e.g. Request a Consultation, Learn More, Click Here). A call to action helps your email recipient to know what the next step is and to easily take it. To make that step as simple as possible, each email should have only one call to action. Try to make it as short and clear as you can, and help it stand out from the other text by making it a bright, readable color or adding a button to click. The more apparent and easy your call to action is, the more likely your clients will be to act on it.

Write to the individual rather than the group

Rather than thinking of your subscribers as a bulk group, imagine that you’re writing to an individual. While you don’t need to write each client a separate email, you should at least use a program that personalizes each email by inserting the client’s name. When you write the email, write it as though you were talking to an individual, starting the email with a salutation and using a first- or second-person voice. Your clients will be much more inclined to respond to a message that’s directed to them personally, as opposed to a blanket statement for the masses.

Give them something

Offer your clients something as part of your email in order to make your requests worth their while. Whether it’s a special discount, a service upgrade, or something as simple as a free resource or video, adding small incentives will make your emails a win-win for you and the client.

Use simple and direct subject lines

Subject lines in all caps or with exaggerated “click-bait” titles take the fast track to the junk folder. And while hyped-up subjects can increase your email open rate, they ultimately damage your reputation when your email content doesn’t match the expectations you’ve set. Rather than making overblown claims, write subject lines that are direct, accurate, and short. Simple subject lines provide clients with a snapshot of your email without breaking their trust through overstatement.

Keep it short

Few people have time to read a lengthy email, and you shouldn’t count on your clients being among those few. The best emails are short and to the point (like your subject line), and your reader should be able to glance over the email and quickly pull out the key points. To make it easy, try to keep the email to one or two main ideas, and break the text down using bullet points and short, digestible paragraphs. Giving your readers the means to quickly scan and understand your email will make it far more likely that they’ll actually read it.

 

Email can be a useful marketing tool for reaching out to your clients but only if you know how to make your emails stand out. Understanding what makes a successful marketing email and applying those principles to your own emails can increase your client engagement and help set you apart from the masses.