Email is still very much alive today.
59% of marketers find email to be their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.
Plus, for every $1 spent on email marketing, $44 is earned back (study by Campaign Monitor).
But, successful and professional email writing today all boils down to how well you optimize your email for more reads, clicks, and bottom-line ROI.
It takes a ton of work to create standout email today…
Which probably has something to do with the fact that nearly 105 billion emails are sent daily (and this number is expected to reach over 246 billion by 2020).
So… What’s the difference between effective and ineffective email marketing?
One gets read. The other doesn’t.
Of course, getting read is always easier said than done.
How do you get your emails opened and read?
To start, get inspired by taking a look at the professional email writing examples I’ve listed. This is the easiest route to see proven emails that successful companies have used – these actually got opened, read, and acted upon.
So, check out the examples we’ve listed, and be inspired to boost your email marketing for the better.
Then, after that, follow my easy-to-implement tips for writing and crafting emails with a high probability of being read.
Ready? Let’s go!
How do you get your emails opened and read? Here is @JuliaEMcCoy's ultimate list of professional email writing examples + 5 email writing tips. Click To Tweet
4 Professional Email Writing Examples That Make You Give a Sh*t
If you want people to give a crap about what you have to say in your emails, look at how other businesses have done it.
Here are some top examples for your perusal:
1. SmileDirect Club
The folks at Smile Direct Club use a clever subject line and an inviting message to encourage you to review their service and website.
The click-worthy subject (“Did we make you smile?”) is friendly, cheerful, and personal, and plays directly into the company’s service, which is helping people get straighter teeth with no-fuss invisible aligners.
The play-on-words continues with “Please leave us a glowing review” and “We’re all about making people grin.”
At the end of the email, you even get a little push from the social benefits for others: Leaving a review will help them “as they get started on their new smile.”
The mixture of cleverness, distinct tone-of-voice, and authenticity rings true and makes you want to click.
This email from gfJules, a purveyor of gluten-free flour blends, hits a major pain point of their target audience – when you can’t have gluten, good bread is hard to find.
This email hooks you right from the beginning with the plea, “Please don’t go another day without really great, moist bread!”
At this point, the gluten-free customer is leaning in and thinking, “Believe me, I don’t want to! Tell me more.”
After that hook, the email draws you in with a tempting promise: Learn how to make yummy, easy gluten-free bread without a mixer, a bread machine, or a bread pan. A little social proof (a positive user review of the method/recipe) sweetens the deal.
Sold! Sign me up.
Usually, “come back!” emails are annoying, but Dropbox manages to be cute and non-intrusive with their own attempt to get back on your radar.
This quick message is both to-the-point, informative, and a little funny:
“Recently your Dropbox has been feeling kind of lonely :-(“
Plus, the inclusion of the text emoji somehow manages to add to the charm of this email, rather than making the company seem unprofessional.
This is an effective email that is persuasive without even trying.
In their email, Roku hits the snappy copy bullseye.
They drive their point home by riffing on their featured free movie, There Will Be Blood, which is about a struggling man and his son who hit paydirt and find an oil field. (“Strike it rich this week…”)
The intro text is compelling, too, and makes you want to read more: “Passion and danger. On the house.”
All told, this email is a fun way that Roku promoted its free streaming channel.
How to Write Emails That Get Read: 5 Sure-Fire Tips
Ready to improve your open rates, get people to read your emails, and invite more clicks?
Take the professional email writing examples from above, gather inspiration, then apply the following tips.
Many of these have worked for me personally. Let’s get to it!
1. Limit Your Links
Here’s an interesting fact:
Great email copy that gets read and opened is not stuffed with links.
For me, I’ve found that limiting the number of links I include in my emails has boosted my open rate by 5%!
This is a HUGE tip – and can immediately help improve your success with email marketing.
Need extra proof?
Look at the professional email writing examples above – each of them has less than two links at most in the entire body of their message.
The truth is, adding more links just seems spammy, which can turn people off.
Look at this email from a rubber stamp company that went straight to the spam folder:
According to Google, it looked similar to other spam messages:
Reading the email, it’s clear that it isn’t spam. In fact, it’s perfectly legit and well-intentioned, but too many links and a strange sender address made Google get suspicious.
Don’t make this mistake, and you’ll improve your open rates and ensure your messages aren’t instantly relegated to the spam cemetery.
'Great email copy that gets read and opened is not stuffed with links... limiting the number of links I include in my emails has boosted my open rate by 5%!'- @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
2. Optimize Your Email Subject Line with Free Tools
Tip #2: Do NOT neglect your subject line.
I find that optimizing my email subject line helps nudge my open rate up another 2-3% (5 words or less seem to perform well).
The easiest way to do this is to use a free tool, like the new CoSchedule Email Subject Line Tester.
This tool is based on best practices for crafting subject lines, which were proven by 20 studies from Experian, Campaign Monitor, ConversionXL, MailChimp, and more.
How does it work?
First, simply type your work-in-progress subject line into the text box and hit “Score My Subject Line:”
The tool will give you a score and a general overview of how well your subject line works:
Keep scrolling, and you’ll see every aspect that affected your score (measured against best practices):
- Number of words in your subject line that increase opens
- Number of words that decrease opens
- The case of your subject line (whether all words are lowercase, uppercase, etc.)
- Whether you included numbers
- The number of characters
- Word count
- Emoji count (surprisingly, including an emoji can increase your opens!)
For example, the character count of my proposed subject is a little high at 39.
The tool recommends that I remove some characters to get more opens:
As you can see, I was able to improve my score by adding a number and another word that has been proven to increase opens:
The “Words That Increase Opens” and “Words That Decrease Opens” sections are particularly helpful.
For example, just by playing with this tool, I’ve learned to keep heavier words like “marketing” out of my subject lines.
The tool shows you a history of the subject lines you have tested, so you can see where you’re going with the final phrase:
'Do NOT neglect your subject line. I find that optimizing my email subject line helps nudge my open rate up another 2-3%.' - @JuliaEMcCoy on writing emails that get read Click To Tweet
3. Break Up Text into Bite-Sized Chunks
This third tip will look familiar because it’s one you have seen for producing content like blogs and articles.
It’s simple. Break up your text!!
On a glowing screen, a big chunk of text with zero line breaks is really hard to read, not to mention headache-inducing.
Walls of text will make your readers’ eyes glaze over. They won’t be able to move fast enough to click away or hit “delete.”
Instead, make your emails easy-as-pie to read so people will actually want to read it and follow your call-to-action.
Just say no to text walls. Just say yes to white space and breathing room for your words.
'Walls of text will make your readers’ eyes glaze over... Instead, make your emails easy-as-pie to read so people will actually want to read it and follow your call-to-action.' - @JuliaEMcCoy on writing emails that get read Click To Tweet
4. Include Images, But Don’t Forget People with Images Disabled
Where relevant and appropriate, a few images in your emails could induce people to open, read, and click.
However, keep in mind that many people choose to disable all images. If you want the most people to see the body of your message, provide text and image-friendly versions.
Here’s a great example Litmus provides from a pizza company.
Their promotional email looks like this in an inbox with images enabled:
And like this for someone with images disabled:
Note the hilarious rendition of the pizza-slinging guy using only colored boxes as stand-ins.
Either way you slice it (yes, that was a pizza pun), both email versions are totally readable for all kinds of users. Fail to provide a non-image-dependent view, and you’ll be missing the mark with a huge swathe of potential readers/clickers.
'Keep in mind that many people choose to disable all images (in emails). If you want the most people to see the body of your message, provide text and image-friendly versions.' - @JuliaEMcCoy on writing emails that get read Click To Tweet
5. Be Informative/Useful, or Get to the Point Quickly
You and I both know that our email inboxes are flooded with messages daily.
When you’re trying to sift through the pile, do you have time to read somebody’s random thoughts? Do you care if they wax-poetic without saying anything meaningful?
No and no. Those types of emails are usually sent to the trash immediately.
Email readers need at least one of two things to get something out of an email message:
- The main point broadcasted loud and clear
- Valuable, useful, or enlightening information that leads to the point quickly
That’s the key here:
The main point.
You must have a main point in your email. What are you ultimately trying to get across? What do your readers need to know?
Say it. Don’t take too long to do it, or you can kiss your readers goodbye.
'You must have a main point in your email. What are you ultimately trying to get across? What do your readers need to know? Say it!' - @JuliaEMcCoy on writing emails that get read Click To Tweet
Learn from Professional Email Writing Examples and Improve Your Email Game
Improving your email marketing can begin with writing better emails.
How do you write better emails?
Start with looking at examples of successful campaigns for inspiration. Examine what these brands did right, plus the things they avoided. In particular, note:
- Their subject lines – What makes them clickable?
- Their use of text and wording – Why is the email readable? What about it draws you in?
- The images they use – or don’t use!
- The tone of voice – How does it fit with the brand?
- The call-to-action – Is it irresistible or tempting? Why?
Follow in their footsteps with your own email writing, but remember these keys:
- Don’t include too many links in the body. It looks spammy, and email servers might throw it in with spam.
- Always, always optimize your email subject line for more opens. Use tools to make it easy to do.
- Don’t overwhelm email readers with giant text blocks the size of China’s Great Wall.
- Optimize your emails for two types of readers: people who enable images, and people who don’t.
- Don’t dilly-dally or think you can shoot the breeze in your emails. Get to the point.
Email writing is an art, but practice makes perfect. The more you tinker with your emails, test them, and measure your success, the better you’ll get.
Now, go forth and conquer those emails.
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