How to Send Better Emails: Dos, Don’ts, and Templates

Surveys show that an average person receives around 120 emails every day. When looking at that number, 120 emails, it’s no wonder that it’s becoming extremely hard to get people’s attention or get them to reply to emails.

Consider the following best practices if you’re looking to improve your emails and increase their open and conversion rates:

  • Choose an eye-catching unique title
  • Personalize the content.
  • Keep it simple and short, but not too short.
  • Use simple words.
  • Use one idea or one question.
  • Think about: “what’s in it for them?”.
  • Be generous, what can you offer to the recipient?
  • Use humor, kind words, or eye-catching phrases.
  • Start with templates, adjust, test.

Choose an eye-catching unique title

If you didn’t spend at least 5 to 10 minutes thinking closely about your email’s title, you can probably do better. The title is your email’s first impression and has a very large impact on whether the recipient will even consider opening and reading your email. If no one opens your email, the content is just irrelevant, so make sure you put some effort into creating a unique and interesting email title.

These are several examples of non-trivial and interesting email titles:

  • “It’s all about you.”
  • “3 things we can do to assist you.”
  • “Can’t stop thinking about how to help you.”
  • “Need help from support? We reply within 7 minutes on average”.
  • “Thrilled to see you’re using our product!”
  • “Your competitors are using our product, this is why”.
  • “Wow, you shared some great insights with us, thanks!”

All of these titles are focused on creating interest with the recipient, while putting yourself in his shoes, asking “what’s in it for me and why should I read this email?”.

Personalize the content

Which of these email openings will catch your eye more?

  • Hi Dave, I just saw your blog post about cloud security in the era of DevOps. I totally agree with you, we definitely see a growing demand for such solutions, which is why I thought you may find our product interesting.
  • Hi Dave, hope you’re having a great day. Would you be interested in hearing more about a cloud-security related product?

Personalizing emails may help you make the first connection with whom you’re trying to connect with. You’re delivering a message of “I’m sending this email just to you, as you’re the best person to speak with about this matter”.

We all love to feel important, unique. If your email will make the recipient feel important and unique, you can significantly increase your chances of success.

Keep it short, but not too short

Let’s face it, none of us likes to read long emails. It’s just too boring. But is it enough to just write shorter emails? How short? Can it hurt to make it too short?

Studies have shown that the sweet spot for email lengths is between 50 and 125 words. Emails with more or fewer words than that will result in decreased response rates.

Based on a study conducted by Boomerang, analyzing 40 million emails and response rates.

Use simple words

When sending an email, we are trying to deliver a message. That message will either be clear and quick, or it will miss the point. Using simpler words will help reach a broader audience, and reduce the time needed to understand the email’s content and act upon it.

The wording is important, but paragraph and sentence structure are important as well. Keep your ideas and sentences short, and try to cut to the chase. Remember, you want to deliver the message rapidly, so people will reach the end of your email while they still have some patience to try out your offer.

Use one idea or one question

Have you ever received an email and asked yourself: “what are they actually asking me to do?”. If you’re asking more than one question or sharing more than one idea in your email, re-think the email’s content.

In most email types (excluding ‘broadcast’ emails like newsletters), you’re probably asking the recipient to do something. It can be to provide you some feedback about your product, or offering him to register for your product, or maybe buy something.

People tend to be busy, and asking them to do more than one thing may reduce your chances of getting what you wish for. Do your best to use one call to action, and see if it works better than multiple calls to action (did someone say Email A/B testing?).

Think about: “what’s in it for them?”

When you’re emailing someone, you usually ask them to do something. Before sending that email, ask yourself, what’s in it for them? What do they gain from reading your email and investing their time and efforts into the action you’re asking them to do.

Consider one of the following win-win situations for your next email:

  • If you’re asking for a customer’s or prospect’s feedback about your product, offer them a benefit in return, such as an upgraded account or a 1-month free license.
  • If you’re sending a welcome email to a new user of your product, tell them what is their next step in the process and share some interesting resources with them.
  • If you’re trying to land a job interview, don’t just send your resume, tell the recruiter why you’re different than all other candidates, convince them that they need to hire you no matter what.
  • If you’re emailing your team member about a task you’re asking them to do, explain to them what is the outcome of that task, who is the task’s stakeholders and why it’s important to meet the schedule.

Be generous, what can you offer to the recipient?

We all love generosity, especially when it comes from an unexpected place. Let’s say Netflix would send you a coupon for a 3 months free subscription, would that surprise you? Would you consider that a generous offer?
You can consider offering your time, expertise, or benefit of any kind. It may not be very profitable or beneficial at first, but your customers will have a positive experience from your service and will remember you. Those happy people can become your customers in the future, so eventually, you’ll benefit from it in the long run.

Use humor, kind words, or eye-catching phrases

Everyone likes a good laugh, so why not integrate it in your emails? Studies have shown that humor can have a significant impact on grabbing your customer’s attention and can direct them to positive thoughts and attitude towards a company.

Recently we ran into a marketing email of a clothing company which is selling shorts, using the following slogan. How would you react to it?

If you’re selling pants or shorts: “don’t be that dude with no pants on a Zoom meeting”.

Start with templates, adjust, test.

If you’re looking for high-quality email templates for your marketing campaigns, or just to email your customers, we recommend trying one of these. Don’t forget to adjust them to your needs, and test for their performance, as there is no one shoe that fits all feet.

The advantages of this email template:

  • It’s rather short and quick to read – 30 words.
  • There is one specific call to action – approving a quick feedback call.
  • The tone is positive and greeting.

The advantages of this email template:

  • The title is interesting and generates curiosity.
  • There is one specific goal – to get the product reviewed on Alex’s blog.
  • The email is personalized and shows appreciation for how and what David writes in his blog.
  • The email is not too long to read – 77 words.
  • We added everything David needs to say yes, including a quick introduction about the product and a marketing deck.

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