37 Tips for Writing Emails that Get Opened, Read, and Clicked

37 Tips for Writing Emails that Get Opened, Read, and Clicked

Reader Comments (48)

  1. hi Henneke

    Good tips!

    I’m testing new email tactics and your post came right on time 🙂

    I noticed that lengthy subject lines get more engagement and click through compared with shorter ones…

    Did you experience something like this from your testing as well?

    I’d love to hear more from you…

  2. Thanks, Henneke,

    An “impeccably clear call to action” is hard for many people. I have many clients who want to give their readers options–they throw in every possible call to action they have. It’s hard to get them to believe that one clear call to action is better than lots of weak ones. I’ll have to show them your list!

    Your list is great. Thank you for putting it together.

    • Yep, I know exactly what you say.

      Also, many people are nervous about being direct and try to be overly polite, but that doesn’t work.

      Forget about “if you’d like to order”, just say “get your this or that now”.

      • You’re so right! I’ve had that discussion (probably word-for-word!) with several clients.

        I think people don’t realize the differences in social cues in writing vs. in person. We soften a lot of what we say with phrases like “if you want…” But in writing, that becomes extra clutter to get through. It doesn’t actually sound softer and it just makes more to read and hides the real message.

  3. Those are really great tips Henneke, Thnx. And the new Gmail tabs are really changing email marketing. But I believe if someone is a loyal follower they will see your emails no matter what.

    This is why I encourage double optins. Most of my subscribers come from my blog and they open my emails without hesitation because no one forced them to be there, they chose to opt-in for more info. I believe it’s how you got the email that will determine the open rate in most cases but not in all cases though 🙂

    • Exactly. When your subscribers yearn to read your emails, they’ll find them no matter whether they land in their inboxes. Good point!

  4. There are hundreds of e-books and overpriced full of hype courses teaching e-mail marketing. Many of them say so much and deliver very little. Yet this simple, short, very powerful article is all you need to be successful e-mail marketer. Makes you think, doesn’t it.

  5. Hi Henneke,

    Thanks for these reminders about writing emails that get read, opened, and clicked.

    It’s important to use verbiage your prospects will understand. Skip the jargon and be real.

    Also, please do not hard sell. It comes off as desperation.

  6. Oh My God! Henneke, you’re crazy man!

    I love the keep it short tip. People are busy, so writing long emails won’t help at all… Keep it straight, concise, and clear….

  7. Love this. Very good info. Especially the “Write Fast”. My email marketing sucked until I started writing quickly as if I were speaking to a prospect.

    That’s when I started to find my voice.

    • Yep, I have exactly the same experience. My best emails are the emails I’ve written fastest.

  8. Thanks for a standout article, Henneke.

    All of the tips you’ve outlined here are super important and relevant, but if I had to pick just one to focus on, it would be the first tip: Write as if you’re emailing one person. There are emails I get that do that so flawlessly, I almost forget I’m not the only person receiving the email!

    Then again, there are a couple of marketers whose lists I’m on who send emails that start off with “Hey Gang,” or “Hey Guys,” but it’s just me here, and not 5 or 6 people standing around my workspace reading the email with me. : )

  9. Just the tips I needed at the moment when we are testing our emails we sent to our 20,000+ list for one of our London client’s. The use of number is something we never did before, but will be testing in our next email we wend to our list next week.

    Thanks for sharing the top notch tips to get the emails opened and build more engagement.

    • Yes, good point. Catchy is good, but overly catchy can make it sound spammy. But that also depends on the ‘from’ name and the ‘conditioning’ of the reader (what has come to expect from this sender?).

  10. Good stuff, really helpful for young marketers like me who are new in the field of email marketing.

    • Glad to hear. Click the various links, and you have a mini-course on email marketing! 🙂

      Good luck, Sheetal.

  11. This is just brilliantly written, thank you so much for sharing – I do a lot of emailing campaigns, and haven’t even thought of some of the things you have mentioned. Tons of thanks

  12. Informative post !! Marketing via email is a tricky matter. It is powerful, but easily abused. It is easy, but really difficult. But these tips, tricks and secrets make it easy and powerful for us.

  13. On #13, I find it ironic that “perceived” is spelled incorrectly. 🙂 But maybe that means you should add one more item to this list, and that’s that you need to be willing to admit when you made a mistake and be willing to fix it. People love sincerity when it’s actually real and not forced.

  14. Thank you for the excellent article. Only thing that would make it better is some real live examples of email and subject lines that work.

  15. Hi Henneke, Points covered by you are really interesting. So we can assume that one should write & help subscribers as a friend . I’m planning to open my own blog website on Hotel Consultancy and my aim is to create an interested readership before I went to sales part (between 6-12 months). So, instead of posting a blog and start sending email won’t be a good strategy. I think I should wait for a dozen or 2 subscribers and then go for email circulation to the interested audience.

    • Before I started my own blog, I guest posted to generate subscribers to my list.

      I made the mistake of not emailing my subscribers and left the list to go cold for a few months. I don’t think that’s a good idea, because when I started emailing, a lot of people didn’t remember who I was and immediately unsubscribed (or worse: hit the spam button).

      You don’t have to start a blog immediately. You can build an email list before you publish blog posts. But be sure to stay in touch even if it’s just a quick email twice a month.

      Does that answer your point?

  16. Write Fast, Keep it short and make it impeccably clear with one call to action…hear you loud and clear, thats really says alot it reminds me of Ben Settle’s headline “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” Lol.

    …email marketing is hella tricky and i’m still learning alot about copywriting, permission and email marketing.

    Although, most times i do find it difficult to hard sell a pitch. But on reading through your article i definitely see your point.

    And most definitely start toning down the call to actions and organize them into one powerful call to action.

    Thanks for sharing, it was a delightful read as always.

  17. This article is by far one of the most interesting and fun articles that I have read in a long time. I say fun because the points mentioned here are simple and easy to read. They are not long passages that speak a lot and tends to lose focus. On the contrary the points mentioned here were in short crisp sentences that did not bore me but made my read a pleasurable one. Thanks!

  18. May I add this little tid bit? If your email is inviting someone to an event. Always ALWAYS include the day of the week as part of the date of the event. Everyone has days of the week that are off limits because of work or family commitments. Don’t make the prospect look at their calendar to see if the 10th is a Tuesday or a Wednesday. 🙂

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