Is your email communication “intimate enough?”
In other words, do you put yourself in your audiences’ shoes and dig in deep to figure out the actual frame-of-mind of your target audience before writing your email copies?
If yes, good for you. Why? Because your emails opt-in rates could climb.
If your answer is no, be sure, your emails would get buried alive under the mountains of other emails that tend to litter the audiences’ inboxes these days.
Like it or not, emails are the heart of eCommerce these days. And, marketers should make sure that websites get the best click through rates through emails than tweets or other social media. According to Mario Veloso’s book “Web Copy That Sells,” websites make 90% sales through emails. So, it’s really important for them to be intimate, immediate and in-the-face.
Long story short: If you want to fuel conversion rates of your website, make sure you tap into the users’ frame-of-mind before writing a single line of your email copy.
Putting yourself in recipient’s shoes will help you craft an email copy that perfectly resonates with the target audience.
Here are a few formulas that would make sure your email copy is in tune with the frame-of-mind of your target audience.
Formula #1 Lock in on Fewer Options
In the book Quit Your Job in 6 Months, Book 3: Your First 10,000 Email Subscribers (How to Get Them, and How to Treat Them), the author Buck Flogging uses the acronym MDR. It stands for “Most Desired Response.”
When a visitor comes calling to your “Lead Capture Page,” your Most Desired Response would be that users opted-in by entering their email address in the subscriber box. But then, it’s not that easy.
The best bet is to offer them as fewer options as possible.
For instance, see this Lead Capture Page by LeadPages – a lead capture page company. There’s no extraneous matter to clutter the page or the mindset of the user.
It offers just two options: Click Here and No Thanks. That helps visitors arrive at decisions quickly.
According to Flogging, it’s really important to present as fewer options as possible because it helps them make decisions quickly, given that they’ve only a few options to consider.
Choice Overload is not a fictitious problem, it’s real. When you offer a series of options, people tend to get confused and leave. On the other hand, by offering them fewer options, they are sure to hang around and leave only once they have bought something.
In an interesting Ted Talk, Sheena Iyengar, a business professor, and psycho-economist, emphasis on the need to offer clients fewer options to accelerate sales of their products. It’s an interesting video; do watch it.
Formula #2 Speak the Language Your Audience Speaks
As an email sender, you need to work your mind in tune with that of the target audience and foresee their reactions while receiving your emails.
Generally speaking, their thoughts would run like while giving a fleeting glance to their respective inboxes:
OMG! Too many emails, today. Let me delete the needless ones first.
Okay! (You bring your eyeballs to full attention here.) Which emails should be read first?
Okay. I need to read this, anyhow! Not now, however. Will come back to it later
You need to keep these thoughts in mind before you embark on your email copywriting mission – be it the body copy or the subject line.
By connecting your emotions with that of the audience, your language will automatically mirror your audience’s language, and, in no time, your audience would accept you as one of their own.
This would make sure that your emails are not deleted at the first go, and your audience would read it, no matter what.
Formula #3 Keep the Tone Conversational
Keep away from brochure speak or corporate speak when writing emails. It would only make you sound pompous ass.
Adopt conversational tone, whether you are addressing a Prime Minister of a country or a General Manager of a big company, it doesn’t matter.
I know what you are thinking? Won’t it make us sound frivolous and flippant?
Sure, you need to appeal to their intelligence, but in my opinion, you could do the same by keeping the tone conversational and friendly. Hope, you got the drift.
Formula #4 Make it a Two-way Love Affair
Your email subscribers like you. Cool.
But then, do your audience/subscribers know, you like them too?
Yes, it makes sense to make your audience realize that admiration is mutual. That you happen to like them too.
Now, how does that help? Allow me to explain.
Mutual trust and admiration, between the seller and the buyer especially, build a loyal customer base, which in turn builds blind faith among your customers, for your products and services.
Blind faith is no ordinary phrase. Having blind faith means the customers will buy anything and everything from you, probably for ever, because of the trust factor involved.
So put in efforts to make sure your audience knows about your liking as well for them.
But then, how to make your email recipients realize that you like them as well?
Keep your conversations one-to-one and in-your-face. Make it seem that you are addressing them personally and not a group of 10,000 or 1,00,0000 email subscribers.
This is will help you create a loyal follower base. When your recipient’s know that the liking is mutual, they would trust you to send only the stuff that you have opted in for in the first place and not abuse their trust by sending product pitches and all.
Remember: Email inboxes are sacred places of users. Don’t turn them into dumping yard of junk emails.
Formula #5 Focus on Word count
The content length is equally important if you want your emails to be read. If it’s too long, there’s a risk of losing your reader mid way itself. If it’s too short, you run the risk of not justifying the message you want to put across.
Disadvantages of long email content
- Are sent directly to spam or junk folder
- Overwhelms the readers, leading to unread content
- Display issues
The ideal email length is 750 words. Granted, that in itself is way too text. But then, you could make it visually appealing.
- Keep paras short – 100 to 200 words. That’s it. However, use strong call-to-action with direct links to your landing page or website page. This will lead to increased web traffic.
- Use visually appealing text. Play with different font sizes to highlight keywords and trigger words. A visually compelling text makes it easily scannable and easy to read.
- If your text is more visually compelling, it’s also more likely to be scanned and even fully read.
- Use headlines and images to break down chunks of text. However, use images to the minimum.
Formula #6 Leave Offensive Words Aside
While you may be losing sleep thinking about the open rates of your emails, but then, the thing you need to really worry about the most is the delivery part of your emails.
Like it or not, spam blockers are quite active these days. And if you really don’t watch what you say, be assured, your emails will never reach the inboxes of your recipients. Instead, it will directly reach the spam folders.
For your information, popular email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Mail and also email applications such as Eudora and Outlook come with built-in filtering services. So, if you use offensive words such as SEX or girls in your subject line or body copy, your emails may get blacklisted by the senders, and consequently, land in trash bins.
Following are the list of words that could be labeled as spam by email service providers. So use them sparingly and if possible avoid them completely.
However, if you can’t avoid including some of these words in your email copy, then better play safe and insert symbols such as fr^ee or fre% or something in similar lines, according to Maria Veloso in her book, “The Web Copy That Sells.” But then, whatsoever the case may be ensure your copy is comprehensible enough.
Formula #7 Latch on to Editorial-Style Subject line
You could try adopting an editorial style in the subject line of your copy. Why? It’s because it tends to resonate well with the information-seeking mindset of the users.
Examples of Editorial Style Subject Line:
Subject: Inside: Exclusive Interview with Mick Jagger
Subject: One of the most inspiring people you’ll meet (from Tim Ferriss’ series of emails)
Subject: 3 Signs Your Content Is Boring The Life Out Of People (from Jeffbullas’ series of emails)
In case, editorial-style subject lines are proving to be a bummer, might as well try adding a dash of personalization. Who knows, it could make your subject lines more click-worthy.
By the way, subject lines that are personalized tend to perform better than subject lines that are in ad formats or are bland in appearance.
Examples of Personalized Subject Line
Subject: Here’s what I had promised you
Subject: Be there at 10 pm at Hotel Hyatt
You could either make your subject-lines personal or editorial. Whatsoever the case may be, ensure that it’s in sync with the sender’s name. If sender’s field reads something like “Spoke Intelligence” and the corresponding subject line reads “Dinner is on me,” the readers would at once realize it as a ploy and would never open your emails.
Also, you could try repeating the same subject lines again and again. It activates your Reticular Activating System (RAS device) lodged in your brain. RAS has the power to turn on your brain and makes you pay attention to repetitive stuff. So, the point I am driving home is here is that repetition of subject lines sometimes help. Not always, though
Formula #8 Incorporate SIG File
A signature file, also known as a SIG file, is your digital signature. It’s important to incorporate them in every email that you send because it helps build credibility. More than that, it helps you to advertise your company and product at no cost.
Formula #9 Tackle Single Messages
Avoid dealing with different subject matters in the same email, because it will only confuse the reader, and will not take the recipient down the intended sales path. Too many messages backed by the fact that readers have short attention span won’t work in favor of your email marketing goals.
Formula #10 Focus on Discounts and Offers
You need to offer your subscribers something that makes them excited every time they receive an email. It could be a special offer, discount or even free goods.
Formula #11 Call to Action
Many e-mail marketers are good at creating well-crafted emails. They go all the way convincing the readers why their products or services are good. But when the reader reaches the penultimate stage, when he or she is actually ready to place the order, the CTA button is not there. And this not only true for your emails but also for your website copy as well.
As such there are no hard and fast rules in email copywriting. What’s working for you may not work for me. What was true yesterday won’t be true today? Things change pretty fast in the internet space. Even if you test your email campaigns often, the test results should not be taken at face value and applied blindly.
So it’s always better to take the services of email marketing service providers who’d help you track the open rates of your emails, replies, links clicked, bounce rates, unsubscribes and so much more. This is will help you come with better email copywriting tactics that are in keeping with the frame-of-mind of your target audience.
So, that brings us to the bottom line. So, tell me, has your company ever indulged in frame-of-mind email marketing or something of a similar sort? If yes, how was your experience?
Images: Author’s Own
This is Jennifer Warren, a Content Consultant with Goodfirms.co, a review and research platform for software development companies. I enjoy humanizing technology through inspirational content, devouring best sellers, watching war movies, and running behind my sons.