How To Create Emails That Hook Your Subscribers and Drive Action

How to Write Effective Emails That Hook People

In this post you will learn how to create highly effective emails that are opened, read and acted upon by your subscribers.

This is a guest post by Jawad Khan.

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to connect with your target audience, build relationships and use them to grow your business.

And if you want proof that this stuff works, take a look at these statistics

  • 91% of consumers in the US check their email every day
  • 66% of online consumers in the US under the age of 15 have made at least one purchase in the last year because of a promotional email
  • More than 90% shoppers in the US admit that they’d be likely to act on a well-targeted email

Compared to social media being seen on websites like Facebook and Twitter, making it directly into your subscriber’s email inbox gives you their undivided attention. And this makes email much more effective than social media, or almost any other form of online marketing.

However, the effectiveness of your email list depends primarily on the quality of your emails. If you’re unable to create engaging and compelling emails, which can drive action from your subscribers, there’s no use of having an email list.

Thankfully, though, with so much research on email marketing available now, you can make data driven changes to the structure of your emails to make them engaging for your subscribers and ultimately drive more action from them.

1. Optimize Your Email Subject

Nearly 34% of all emails are only opened because of their subject line. Now, have a think about that point: that means that if you don’t create an engaging email subject, your emails are likely to be ignored by your subscribers.

Writing effective email subjects is just like writing blog post headlines. It needs to be clear, specific and interesting. You need to make a specific promise in your subject line and then deliver it in your email content.

Research shows that certain words increase the effectiveness of email subjects and drive higher open rates. And making them a part of your email subjects can help you increase user engagement.

Words like:

  • Alert
  • News, Bulletin
  • Daily, Weekly
  • Sale, New
  • Video, Surprise and Free

usually attract higher open rates. At the same time you need to avoid words that can get your emails spammed by email services. So be careful of those too.

It has also been found that personalizing an email subject line (with the person’s name) can have a huge impact too. But use this one sparingly.

2. Always Use the Same Sender Name

The sender name (ie. your name) on your emails is your first point of contact with your subscribers. If the sender’s name is familiar and trustworthy, people usually open the email. But if the email comes from an unknown or unfamiliar source, they think twice before opening it.

According to GetResponse, a leading email marketing and auto-responder service, almost 43% of emails are marked as spam by users based on their sender name. In their research, GetResponse analyzed the email marketing campaigns of leading bloggers, internet marketers and businesses, all of them customers of theirs, and determined that campaigns which stuck with one sender name achieved much higher open rates as compared to multiple sender names.

So the other lesson here is that you should be consistent, and always use the same, recognizable email address.

Moreover, they found that asking your subscribers to add your email to their address book (aka. white listing it) can significantly decrease your email spam rate too. So don’t hesitate to ask your subscribers for that one small favor too.


3. Use Effective Personalization

Interestingly, 4 out of 10 emails are marked as spam because they are irrelevant. Successful modern day marketing campaigns are tailored according to the needs, demographics and profiles of their prospects. To make your emails more effective, you need to use effective personalization.

The same GetResponse study I referred earlier, also mentioned interesting findings on how marketers perceive email personalization.

Email Marketing Personalization Infographic

Small things such as wishing birthday to your subscribers and congratulating them on their national events can help you get closer to them. You can also use their past email engagement patterns to develop customized campaigns. All this can be done if you intelligently gather information from your subscribers after they sign up for your email list.

4. Optimize the Email Body Content

Your email body content is an extension of your email subject. It needs to be specific, have a clear direction and it must be easy to digest.

In fact, when you think about it, it is just like writing a short blog post. It should be:

  • written in a conversational tone
  • using small paragraphs of 2-3 lines
  • along with relevant subheading, bolds, italics and underlines

Remember, people are in a hurry! And if you make their consumption of your email easy, they will read it all and thank you for it.

The average attention span of an adult is around 8 seconds. If your message is not easy to skim through, you’re likely to lose the reader’s attention (read this post to learn more about writing engaging copy).

To make it easier for your subscribers to understand your message, use images and visual content in your email body.

5. Use Prominent Calls to Action

A clear and well defined call to action is the heart of your email message. It is the action that you want your subscribers to take. It can be anything from asking them to read your new blog post, to signing up for your new training program.

To increase the clicks on your CTA (call to action), keep your email copy focused on only one point. Discussing multiple ideas within an email can greatly reduce your click through rates. Keep your call to action above the fold so that your subscribers can see it immediately, before the email gets too long.

Create a sense of urgency with your email copy and use words that create interest in your CTA. Also, make sure you add multiple versions of  your CTA throughout the email body content (above the fold, in the middle, at the end) to increase the chances that it will get clicked.

Check Your Emails are Mobile Friendly

6. Use Mobile Friendly Design

Users are no longer limited to just desktops and laptops. Almost 65% of decision makers read their emails on a mobile device, while 89% of marketers lose leads because their emails are not optimized for mobile devices.

To optimize your emails for mobile devices, you should use responsive email templates. Your text size should be easily readable and the size of your link text should be larger than 45-57 square pixel range. Also make sure multiple links are not placed close to each other in your email body content.

7. Test Your Email on Different Platforms

Just because you’re using a responsive email template doesn’t mean your message will appear properly on all platforms. You still need to test your emails on different browsers, webmail, tablets and mobile inboxes. Most marketers somehow ignore this step, and as a result their email open rates and CTA rates suffer.

Wrapping it Up

Collecting the email addresses of your subscribers and building an email list is just one part of email marketing. You also need to develop engaging and compelling email messages that grab the attention of your subscribers and drive them to action. By using the optimization strategies I’ve discussed in this post, you can ensure that your email messages are opened, read and understood by your subscribers. Not only that, but they will take action as a result!

Now it’s time for you to get out there an implement at least one of these strategies this week, and let us know in the comments how it goes.

Capture even more emails on your website with simple to make optin forms – check out Thrive Leads. It’s the best plugin in town.

About the Author Jawad Khan

Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant, a WordPress enthusiast and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blog Writing My Destiny, Twitter and Google+

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