Every time you sit down to write an email to your list, there are certain things to always keep in mind. You want to write emails that your audience looks forward to opening & that they can actually relate to. I'm not talking about the technical aspects (like, metrics, what to put where, or how to design a campaign); I'm talking about the quality of your actual words. There are critical parts every email should have.
#1: Have an ideal reader in mind.
Who are you writing to?
Who is on the other end of your emails? I don’t mean that you must intimately know each individual, personally. However, it is important to know your audience.
Who is your ideal client? (You may call them your ideal client avatar or your ideal reader. There are a number of terms to describe this methodology. Any will do to get you started.)
If you do not yet know this intimately, consider getting to know who you are writing to before you get too invested in email composition. Get an ideal reader checklist here to go more in-depth.
Then, every time you write an email, keep this ideal reader in mind. For example, if he/she likes raunchy humor, include it here & there, but if your ideal reader prefers dad jokes or wants less embellishment & more facts, check your funny stuff at the door before sitting down to write.
#2: A reason.
What is the purpose of this email or email sequence?
What do you hope is the end result of the email (or email sequence) you are composing right now? What do you hope to accomplish?
If you are sending your first email(s) to a subscriber, you probably want to welcome them to your world, confirm their decision to trust you with their email address, get them excited about the emails you’ll be sending, & help them know what to expect from you.
If you are sending an email to subscribers who haven’t been opening them in a while, you probably just want to see signs of life! You want them to just open the email & maybe click something or reply to you. Not much. Just anything, right?
If you have a product that just dropped, you probably are seeking sales or reviews.
All emails are NOT created equally. And you do not want to have MULTIPLE calls-to-action (things you want your reader to do after reading your email).
Pick ONE desired outcome. What is the ONE most important thing you want your reader to do after reading this email?
#3: An eye-catching subject line.
How will you get your reader’s attention once your email hits their inbox?
Choose an attention-grabbing subject line that will make your email stand out from the sea of other emails in your reader’s inbox.
Cater to their unspoken needs & the problem your email can solve for them.
How will their life be easier by knowing what is in your email? What will pique their curiosity to the point of no return? What will make them feel like the email is written to THEM, rather than them & everyone else in the world willing to read?
#4: Fulfillment of your promises.
Are you keeping your promises?
Once your reader opens your email, is he/she going to see that you’re a person of integrity? Did you promise something in the subject line of the email? Or, did you promise something as a condition of subscribing (like a lead magnet of some sort)?
Are you adhering to how often you said you’d email & acknowledging any time you do slip up?
Your readers don’t want to feel sold to, conned, or flat out LIED to. So, make sure what you are writing in the body of your email fulfills any promises you made — directly or indirectly.
There is a difference between enticement & click-bait; satisfying curiosity & tricking people; & persuading & lying. Find that line & do not cross it. It’s NOT worth it.
#5: Individual personalization.
Are you writing to the masses?
To be clear: You shouldn’t be.
No one wants to open an email & take their valuable time to read it when it has SO OBVIOUSLY been composed for just ANYONE!
Instead, if you were to peruse your own email inbox right now, which emails captured YOUR attention the most?
I am willing to bet your most-read emails are those that feel like they were written specifically to YOU!
So, take that into consideration when you’re writing your own emails to send out to your list.
#6: The right length for its purpose.
Is your email an appropriate length?
There is no ONE right answer to how long an email should be. There is a time to keep it super short & a time to be as long as necessary to tell your story & get your point across.
But, there IS a simple way to decide how to measure what an “appropriate length” should be for your email.
Go back to the PURPOSE of your email. Is it a BIG ask? Is your reader going to have to read a lengthy blog post or make a few clicks or spend more than a few seconds doing what you’re asking of him/her?
If YES, keep your email BRIEF, totally clear & to-the-point, & REALLY compelling to click through to where you want your reader to go.
However, if the purpose of your email is simply for your reader to OPEN the email, click SOMETHING, or to go to another page that will take just a few moments, that’s less of an investment for him/her, right? You have A LOT more freedom in how long you make your email.
Tell a good story in the body of your email. Entertain. Persuade. Make your reader laugh or cry or whatever it is you need them to feel to take the action you desire.
#7: A captivating narrative.
Are you telling a story?
Sure, every email you send has a purpose. But, if your reader isn’t being entertained, why will they keep reading? Why will they keep opening your emails, regardless of how enticing your subject line might be?
No matter what your call to action is, if you can entertain & turn your email into a story to read, your readers will keep coming back for more.
Begin your email by putting your reader right in the middle of a problem he or she wants to solve. Just like you would write a fictional story by beginning in the middle of action, you want to open your emails that way too.
#8: A call-to-action (CTA).
Are your intentions crystal clear?
What do you want your reader to do after reading your email?
Did you ask him/her to do it? Or are you just assuming that what you want will be evident to your reader?
It is important to ASK or even TELL your reader EXACTLY what you want him/her to do.
Make it SUPER easy even. Two clicks & two seconds.
Is the purpose of your email to gain more Facebook followers? Then make sure you tell your reader to follow you on Facebook — AND provide a link or a clickable button that will take them directly to your Facebook page.
Is your email’s purpose to generate sales for a particular product? If so, make sure you link directly to where he/she can purchase said product.
This is one of the most crucial parts of your email’s anatomy. Make your reader’s “job” as easy as possible.