16 Tips for Writing An Email People Will Actually Read And Reply To

This is a guest post from Helga Zabalkanskaya at

Whatever awesome tactics and cutting-edge strategies you choose
in digital marketing, there’s always a place for email.

Love it or hate it, email wins digital marketing with its
simplicity and straightforwardness, not to mention its
high-performing effectiveness

But what should you be looking for when it comes to email? If
you’re not sure, it can be healthy to research what your goals
should be. According to original Campaign Monitor research, these
are the average
email benchmarks
for all industries:

  • Average open rate: 17.92%
  • Average click-through rate: 2.69%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.17%
  • Average click-to-open rate: 14.10%

Staying on top of your email marketing efforts might seem
difficult, but even a basic email marketing strategy can improve
your ROI—by as much as 4500%.

And, if you want even more return on your investment, learn how
to write emails that will be opened, read, re-read, and replied

Read on to learn how.

1. Do your homework.

Automation and personalization shouldn’t overwhelm each other.
While it’s tempting to send one generic email to all your lists,
you should
learn something about your recipients and personalize
based on
that info.

Personalization increases open rates by 26%. Personalization can help you write emails that get read.

If you want your email opened and replied to, personalize it a
little: There are a number of ways to make your messaging feel more

Add the recipient’s name or help them learn something useful.
The latter requires building buyer personas and creating thoughtful

You can go even further by learning about your audience
demographics and using data to customize dynamic content.

Not sure which demographics to target? Use surveys to determine
your customer base and research the marketing that appeals to them.

For instance, our guide discusses how Gen Z and millennials

2. Work on your subject line.

The best way to improve your open rate is by improving your
subject lines. The difficulty is in making it both interesting
enough and not too pushy.

If you want your emails opened, tell the recipient that the
content inside is interesting. Try to describe what’s inside in
just a few words. According to Retention
, subject lines containing around eight words are the

This email example uses lots of space and relevant content to keep people reading.

As engaging as your subject line should be, use less exclamation
points and caps and more action words instead (e.g. visit, buy,
get, follow).

For added personalization, use your recipient’s name in an
email subject line. People are much more likely to open an email
from someone who knows who they are.

Also, consider
using emojis in your subject lines to make your emails stand

Long story short: it’s best for your subject line to be simple
and to the point. You want to hook readers into opening, reading,
and clicking through to your website.

3. Use the preview text.

Most email clients show a preview of your email body text. Being
up to 60 characters long, it’s a huge opportunity to help people
take a glance at your email.

Watch the video below to learn about preheader text: what it is
and how to use it.

4. Make your first sentence engaging.

If your email is opened, people will spend about two seconds looking
through its content to decide whether they want to keep reading, so
the first sentence is very important.

Begin your email with some numbers like: “90% of marketers say
this tool is awesome.” Something that encourages them to read

Your recipients might be interested in what it’s all

5. Be specific in your requests.

People hate ambiguity and uncertainty. With two seconds of the
recipient’s attention, you have to be as specific as

Understanding an email’s intent from the first glance is
crucially important. If it’s not clear, subscribers are less
likely to read or reply. And people are more likely to respond if
you ask directly for advice or reactions.

Thus, if you want something from your recipient, ask right away.
And, if you send an email for educational purposes only, don’t
make any promises.

6. Keep your email as short as possible.

You may want to share a lot of information in your email, but
recipients might not need all of it. The rule here is simple: Try
making your message as short as possible.

Plain text email example

You shouldn’t cut important stuff: Just make the whole email
concise and simple.

7. Skip the small talk in your email.

To make your email shorter, avoid small talk. Don’t include
extraneous information unless it pertains to your email’s message
and theme.

Emails are built to encourage people to open, scan, click
through, and (hopefully) convert.

Writing a wordy email won’t encourage subscribers to read
more: It will discourage them from clicking on your emails in the

8. Make sure you highlight the most important parts.

You can use HTML email formatting to add headings to structure
your content and highlight important data and CTAs throughout the

Also, try to
add some white space
between logical blocks or CTAs. It helps
readers identify the most important content subconsciously and
remember it more easily.

This is a plain text email example.

9. Make your links friendly.

If you want to add links to your emails, make sure these links
look attractive and friendly. This means they’re not ambiguous
and it’s easy to find.

Use anchor texts for links that make you want to check it out.
For example, write some interesting facts and follow them with a
link to the source.

CTA buttons get more clicks than hyperlinks

10. Use bullets to make your email easy to scan.

Bullet points highlight and separate important information.
What’s more, they leave more white space between sentences, so
it’s easier for recipients to find what they’re looking

Additionally, bullet points are useful for listing your software
features or adding arguments to support a point.

11. Use the word “you.”

The word “you” makes emails even more personal. Plus, by
speaking directly to your readers, you’re positioning yourself as
a thought leader. You’re guiding them on next steps through
authoritative language.

Plus, saying, “you” in your copy is a simple way to create a
message that feels authentic—like it’s coming from a friend or

12. Use the same language that your readers do.

You want people to speak to you the way you want to be spoken
to: This means respectful, thoughtful language. (And it also means
the write language and dialect!)

Localization, paired with inclusive language, is a professional
way to appeal to subscribers and customers. Not only are you
breaking down language barriers, but you are respecting the culture
and UX of your subscribers.

Have questions about email localization? Read all about it in our

13. Add facts.

Instead of making assumptions, add facts and data to your
emails. Make sure your subscribers get value from your
content—with facts and interesting copy.

Some statistical data, research-based information, and case
studies are always valuable and interesting. Support your facts
with corresponding links and mentions to ensure credibility.

14. Add an email signature.

Any emails you send should be as personalized as possible, and
this includes a
custom email signature

Give your subscribers an idea of who is sending the email: the
face behind the name or the personality behind the brand.

Want to write emails that will be read? Create a custom email signature like this example.


Plus, you can add important content to your email signature.
HTML techniques allow adding pretty much anything to an email

  • Your name and contact information conveniently displayed in a
    logical order.
  • Your personal photo or company logo to increase personalization
    and credibility of an email or boost brand awareness.
  • Social media icons with links to your business profiles to
    increase engagement and followers number.
  • CTAs with links or even CTA buttons.
  • Promo banners linked to any kind of content, like your recent
    blog posts, calendar appointment scheduling, meeting invitations,

You can use email signature generators like MySignature.io or Newoldstamp. These allow you
to build a signature in a convenient online editor. You can
customize all the elements and choose the appearance with galleries
of templates and banners.

What’s more, online email signature generators allow
organizing multiple signatures in departments and sending those to
different users. It’s great for corporate customers, as assigning
similar signatures to all employees is a powerful move for a

15. Consider using images.

You can use images in your email. However, make sure they’re
no larger than 50 kB.

Also, people expect an image to be linked, so use hyperlinks and
alt tags that describe what’s on it. The latter is useful in case
your images don’t load.

Learn more about using images in email by reading our marketer’s

16. Double-check attachment names.

If you’re writing a 1:1 email and you attach a document, name
it correctly. Something like
looks weird and you can’t really tell what’s in it. Use more
specific words, like

Also, make sure you mention all the attachments in the email
body. Let people know how they can use them.

Wrap up

An interesting and engaging email will always get positive
attention. When writing one, think about what emails you personally
like to read and will reply to. Also, keep these tips in mind:

  • Learn who your recipients are.
  • Use a descriptive subject line with no more than 10 words.
  • Make an email interesting from the first sentence.
  • Avoid ambiguity and be specific.
  • Skip small talk and add useful information only.
  • Highlight the most important parts with headings, CTA links, or
  • Use bullet points.
  • Refer to your readers with the word “you.”
  • Try writing in the recipient’s language/tone.
  • Use an email signature to stay professional, make emails more
    personalized, and promote your content.
  • Avoid uploading images that are too large.
  • Double-check the names of all attachments.

This list isn’t at all difficult to follow. Although it might
seem restricting at first, once you start crafting your emails
accordingly, you’ll see the number of reads and replies grow

Author bio:  Helga
Zabalkanskaya is the Head of Marketing at Newoldstamp, a 500Startups-backed
startup that helps marketers to promote their services through
brand consistent email signatures with banner

The post
16 Tips for Writing An Email People Will Actually Read And Reply
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16 Tips for Writing An Email People Will Actually Read And Reply To