It’s no secret that images draw in and retain a viewer’s attention more so than words. However, the call to action associated with an image can be more effective than the same words replying in a plain text email.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to harness the power of imagery in your emails to engage and activate your readers? You can with the following techniques. Just bear in mind that these suggestions require a bit of a shift in your mindset, so you might want to consider whether or not they’re right for you.
1. Change the Way You Write
When you’re writing your email, replace words like “to” and “from” with “cc” and remove “replyto” from the subject line.
Writing an email to someone rather than sending it to someone means they don’t have to worry about missing out on your message. This is especially useful if you want to get an important point across but don’t want to bore the person you’re writing to with your rambling thoughts.
By removing “to” and “from” from the subject line and using “cc” for recipients, you give the person you’re writing to the ability to forward your email to others without being scammed by email spammers. You also give them the option to respond later as opposed to now, so they don’t miss out on what you have to say.
More importantly, you have to remember that the person on the other end of the email is a human being rather than a robot or a digital avatar. For that reason, they’ll likely forgive a few quirks and typos. So, take the time to write an email that’s as close to perfect as possible before you hit send.
2. Add Some Humor
If you’re writing to someone who you think has the same sense of humor as you, adding a few chuckles will make your email more endearing and therefore more likely to be read. You want your reader to feel like you’re genuinely trying to entertain them rather than just push an agenda.
Even better, you could add a few jokes of your own to highlight a particular feature or advantage of your product or service. For example, if you sell wine, you could write something like:
“Dear [name]: Here’s a bottle of my favorite wine, which I think you’ll like. It’s from my favorite Argentinian winery [insert name here], and it’s on sale for $14.99/glass. Just click on the following link to learn more: Purchase Now.”
Not only is this a great way to add a touch of humor to your email, but it also provides a bit more incentive to the reader to click through to your product or service. Because your email is more entertaining, they’ll be more inclined to finish it rather than delete it as unimportant. Plus, the little smileys and other emoticons that you can utilize will make your readers more comfortable relating to you.
3. Personalize The Experience
Your email clients will never be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t, so take the time to learn from each individual perspective. If you want to increase your click-through rate, you’ll want to consider what makes your email stand out to the reader.
The first thing you should do is make sure you’ve got a subject line that’s relevant to the person you’re writing to. If the person you’re writing to works in a specific industry, you should tailor the subject line to reflect that specific context. For example, if you’re writing to a contact at a law firm, you could write:
“Re: [contact details]: Hi, [name]. I’m writing to follow up on our [research topic] regarding [industry].”
Then, you can go on to provide the relevant details about the research you did for them.
Along with that, you can also add in additional information that could be useful to them. If you have a blog article that you think would be of interest to the person you’re writing to, you can attach it as a bonus.
Even better, you could put a link to a specific area of your blog on your website and encourage them to explore more content there.
4. Keep It Short And Sweet
If you follow the first three tips listed above, you’ll have written an email that’s not only interesting but also easy to understand and entertaining. That, in turn, will make your email more likely to be read and, as a result, increase your click-through rate. The key is to keep it short and sweet. If you want to write a longer email, consider breaking it up into multiple segments.
As the saying goes, “shortsies rule” in social media. The same concept applies to email marketing. If someone opens up your email and doesn’t have the time to read through it in its entirety, you’ve lost them as a customer. Not to mention that if they don’t have the time to read through it, they’ll probably just delete it without a second thought. So, keep it short and sweet.
5. Include An Actionable Takeaway
One of the most important things you can include in your email is a call to action. While you want to keep your email entertaining, you also want to ensure your reader knows what you’re asking them to do. Just like in a traditional advertising campaign, you want to be sure they know exactly what you’re offering and how to get it.
To begin with, you can ask the reader to call you or visit your website for more information. You should include all the necessary information for them to make this call or visit. As an example, if your product is a website development service, you could write:
“We’re happy to help! If you’d like, we can setup a free account for you so you can retrieve the password and login to [site].”
Then, you can follow up with the login info.
On the subject of call to actions, if you want your readers to do something regarding your email, make sure you tell them exactly what it is. For example, if you’re using an email marketing provider and you want your readers to join your email list, you could write:
“Hey [reader]: Sign up here to receive regular updates on new products and trends in the industry. Click here to sign up.”
Include the necessary information in the form of a sign up button connected to a URL or online form that sends the information to your marketing provider. This ensures the person you’re writing to knows exactly what you mean when you say “click here to sign up.”
6. Add Some Links To Attachments
Images are great for drawing in a reader’s attention, but sometimes you need to provide additional information that’s only available in text. Attaching something to your email that’s relevant to the situation at hand will make your email more compelling.
It’s best to use smaller images for these “text-only” attachments. This makes them easier to consume on a small screen. However, keep the file size as small as possible while still maintaining a high-quality image.
Having additional information and links available for the reader to explore makes them more interested in what you have to say and willing to learn more. Even better, some email clients provide a preview of the linked material, so the person you’re writing to does not have to wait until they open up your email to see what you have to say. Instead, they can glance at the first few paragraphs and decide whether or not they want to click through to the rest of the information.
7. Use Bullet Points
As we mentioned above, sometimes you need a break from the text to keep things interesting. If you have a lot of information that you want to include, you can always use bullet points to make it easier for the reader to understand. Just remember: keep it short and simple.
Use an underline to separate the bullet points from the main text.
Just a few well-placed bullet points can make a huge difference in terms of readability. In fact, some people prefer to read and respond to emails with bullet points rather than regular text.