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Steps to Writing Phenomenal Customer Emails for Email Blasts & More

One-hundred billion emails are sent every day. Yes, that’s 100 billion, with a B. With all that noise, it’s no wonder that analysts estimate only 16-24% of emails are opened. Only 3% of recipients actually “click through” the email, which is the typical measure of email success.

You are more likely to win a game of roulette 4 times in a row than to send an email your customer “clicks through,” the measure of email success.

#1 Send email from a person, not a company


Customers delete most emails and email blasts. To break through the noise, follow these steps:

Executives regularly say that “People are our best asset,” and the research proves them out. Clients and prospective customers are much more likely to open an email received from a person they know than a general company account. Your account managers, sales representatives, and brand specialists have built relationships with your client base, and you can leverage those relationships to make sure your message is received. Make personal emails a part of account management.

A note of caution: Be sure not to exploit your sales team’s relationships…you don’t want customers to stop reading emails all together!

Another tactic, if you don’t have an existing relationship with a contact, is to leverage any mutual connections. For example, a subject line such as, “David Garcia suggested that I contact you,” is read more often than, “Contacting you about our products.” Again, be careful not to exploit the relationship.

#2 Subject lines are first impressions


Typical email recipients spend less than 1 second skimming each subject line…that’s not much time to make an impression. Less than one-quarter of all emails are opened, and the open rate is based on only two things: author and subject line. There are a few things you can do to create more compelling subject lines:

  • Use Verbs – Action movies are hits for a reason – we love it when cool stuff happens. You can apply this same action-oriented theory in your subject line. For example, “Spring to action with better customer service,” is better than “April Monthly Newsletter.” The benefit of using verbs is two-fold: you can highlight some of your wonderful content as well as motivate your customers to read the email.
  • Ask Questions – Humans have a natural habit of answering questions; we’re just programmed that way. Use this to your advantage by writing a subject line that says, “Would you like to meet for coffee?” rather than, “Touching base.”
  • Line Baiting – Line baiting is a controversial practice because sometimes it works and sometimes it makes people mad. Line baiting is the practice of using a vague subject line to intrigue readers. For example, one of the most successful presidential email marketing campaigns of all time used the subject line, “Hey!” Other examples of line baiting include, “$10 of Awesomeness” and, “Wait ‘til you see what we’ve done with the place.” While line baiting sometimes out performs more descriptive subject lines, be careful and tread lightly. Ask yourself, “Will customers be angry after they open this email or will they be happily intrigued?”

Does the length of the subject line matter? Well, the answer is…we don’t know. Industry research is conflicting — some say that shorter is better and others say there is no correlation between subject line length and open rates. Try a few approaches and determine what works best for you.

#3 Identify what you want people to DO


A common mistake people make is putting a TON of information in the email and burying the call to action at the end. Always make it painfully easy for people to read your email and figure out what you want them to do. Do you want the recipient to call you? Do you want the recipient to visit your website? Figure out what you want people to do, and then write your email with this end goal in mind. Give the audience specific reasons to take this action and make sure the request stands out from the rest of the email. Sometimes it’s even appropriate to…

Format Your Call to Action Like This!

#4 Get Personal


You’ve already figured out what you want the audience to do, now you have to figure out why they should do it. This is a great opportunity for you to analyze your audience – what do you know about them? What motivates them? What do they want? What do they need? I call this listening to my favorite radio station WIIFM, What’s In It For Me.

Something that motivates everyone is personal consideration. Your audience is more likely to read an email from a personal source and they’re more likely to take action when their own interests are considered. Use first and last names, hobbies and interests — strike up a common bond whenever possible. (“I can’t believe the Cowboys won last night!”). Most importantly, if you understand and deliver on people’s needs and desires, now you’ve got them hooked.

You can personalize messages even when sending mass emails and email blasts.

A great way to get personal is to include information such as first and last names, company and more. Check out these videos on how Claritysoft incorporates personalization into mass emails.

#5 Formatting, Formatting, Formatting


Even when we “read” an email, we often just skim – we don’t read it word for word. We tend to use visual “signposts” like titles, headers and bullets to quickly consume the information. You can use this to your advantage by organizing your content in easy to read, “bite size” chunks of information. For example, you can format your email like this:

Dear Lee,

I heard that your fall season is going well. With your recent growth, you might be interested in a product that we are releasing next month. Our new product is specifically designed for growing companies like yours: Upcoming Product Release

I heard that your fall season is going well. With your recent growth, you might be interested in a product that we are releasing next month. Our new product is specifically designed for growing companies like yours: Upcoming Product Release

  • Feature #1
  • Feature #2
  • Feature #3


I’ll call you later this week to follow-up.

Take care,
Melina, Account Manager

Large enterprises have full-time professionals whose sole job is to avoid spam filters. While I can’t cover everything these professionals do in one blog article, I can tell you about one thing they do — contact management. Every business, small or large, can benefit from using a contact manager to remove “bad” email addresses. Dedicate someone on your staff to clean your email address list and update email addresses as they bounce. Better yet, use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to keep track of all this information.

Sending phenomenal customer emails is just one part of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). If you’re new to CRM, check out our blog, What is CRM?

#6 Contact Management & Avoiding Spam Filters


Finally, but perhaps most importantly, be yourself. Machine generated messages drive me crazy, and I bet they drive you crazy, too. We are human and we should celebrate that fact. Add some personality to your email and allow a bit of you to shine through! Share what makes you tick, whether it’s your passion for golf, your love of coaching youth sports or perhaps most importantly, your dedication to your customers.

#7 Be Your (Best) Self


One note of caution: Try not to alienate readers with information that is too specific and/or overly irrelevant.