Every year, I read an “email is dead” article without fail. Is it really?
Email has been around from even before the time I’ve been around on the internet, which is a really long time. I’ve been using the internet since I was 9. I am 30 years old now. Yeeaaah.
Social media will get you noticed. But it is also the ‘come and go’ communication, especially with the unpredictable algorithms that the corporations dangle as and how they like.
With synchronous communication tools like Slack, email gets a stiff competition, but when was the last time you muted your email or got annoyed by it huh? Email stays on, because it is personal and gets the job done.
It’s going to be 2020 soon, there will be more noise, and email is the only way to get heard. Now that I’ve said it enough times to convince or scare you about email, let’s talk… email. Here are my learnings from writing corporate, startup, nurture, hihello– all kinds of emails.
The subject line
This is where it all starts, right? Ditch the subject line generators. While we are at it, ditch the headline generators as well.
I’d say, write the subject line at the end. Do Not Use Title Case in the Subject Line. It screams non-personalized.
If you have a large sample size, you can A/B test the subject lines with emojis, shorter subject line, etc.
Just checking in
Please don’t ever start your follow up email with ‘just checking in.’ You need to drop the ‘just’, especially if you’re a woman.
Always open with the context– “I sent you tips on growing your subscriber base in my last email. I know you’re busy, but I hope you had the time to check it out.”
With most emails “just checking in”, “circling back”, or “moving to the top of the inbox”, maintaining a connection is always worthwhile.
It doesn’t have to go viral
We’re all here to solve problems. No one cares about epic, viral emails.
Remember what problem you’re solving and write to that one person about it in the most conversational way possible.
I’m sure you don’t talk “can I revert to you about not boiling the ocean on this topic?” Or do you?
Use a different preview text
Most of us do not capitalize on what could be a wonderful opportunity to make readers open the email. Instead of the same preview text as the first few lines of the email body, you can write something attention grabbing to make them open the email.
Check for mobile compatibility
More than 70% of us check email from our phones.
Always check how emails read on a mobile phone, especially if you’re inserting images and want to check for alignment. If you’re using a longer subject line, it cuts off the latter few words on a mobile phone.
Double check for [placeholders]
Every so often, I receive emails that read “Hey [first name], are you ready to slay this year with [company name]?”
Mistakes happen to the best of us. The only way to redeem and minimize the impact is to send an honest apology.
Establish your brand identity
It could be your opening/ sign off signature, it could be a funny PS line that you include in your emails.
Mine would be food references, The Office, calm tonality (I cannot do the excited, exaggerating, jumpy personality.), sappy lyrics, etc.
Make the email all about you
The ‘you’ here is not you, but your reader. While establishing your identity is important, aren’t we forgetting something visceral?
Forget about appealing to the reader’s ego, why would anyone want to read an email that is all about *your* business offering? Rather, talk about their problems and how your offering can help solve them.
Have a well-defined CTA
Lastly, tell the reader clearly what they need to do after reading the email. Or they’re going to close it and forget that you even sent an email.
If the intention of the email is to stay at the top of your reader’s minds but you do not have an offering as yet, encourage them to talk by asking questions. Your CTA could be as basic as “What’s the one (your business offering) problem you want solved, like now?”
The thing with clients who’ve been writing corporate emails for so long is that it is difficult to make them look past the rigid “Dear Sir/Ma’am” framework.
hurtful actions may or may not have been prompted this blog post. These tips are super simple to implement and attract open rates like flies.
If you are still wondering if email is a worthy investment, YES! Time to hire that email copywriter and stay at the top of your email game.