Listen! It’s not like we start off our email marketing journey knowing all the moving parts. Sure, we’ve written + received emails, but that doesn’t mean we know how to market with email.
And once we do start trying? It’s very clear we don’t know what we’re doing and that are lots of “parts” we need to get familiar with first.
But it’s worth the effort, my friend! I know you know that email is a powerful tool that gives us the freedom to communicate with and market to anyone in the world! So let’s learn how to use it optimally.
Here are the five key parts of an email that will help you get the most out of hitting send and make sure they reach their intended recipients.
Crafting An Attention-Grabbing Subject Line
Ah, the elusive subject line. Writing one that catches the reader’s attention and entices them to open your email can leave you overthinking for hours. Heck! I’ve even seen people throw in the towel and never send an email over the dang subject line.
I don’t want that to be you, baby boo.
Yeah, it’s important. We want our audience to feel compelled to open that email. But sometimes we go about it the wrong way. Sometimes we get so stuck in SEO or search engine optimization, we apply it everywhere. The subject line is not the place for that. Don’t think you have to write your subject line in the same way you write blog post titles or product descriptions. Google is not searching for your subject lines. So forget all the SEO stuff when it comes to your email titles/headlines/subject lines.
Another mistake we make is when we try to be overly witty or think we’ve gotta come up with something like clickbait. That’s not true, either.
When crafting a subject line make it relevant and clear. You might even try to be a little fun if the mood calls for it. Just think of your email like you’re chatting with a friend as you wait for your burgers to come out from the back of the restaurant. Write the email, and more importantly, the subject line from that perspective of a friend.
Here’s a super meta example:
The title of this blog post is Five Important Parts of An Email to Optimize.
I wrote it that way for SEO purposes.
But that would make a really boring subject line when I send this blog post out to my email list.
So I can change the subject line to something like Are you doing this with your emails?
Here are some other subject lines I might use if the purpose of the email was to get them to click on this blog post
- I wrote a new blog post for you
- This one’s about optimization
- Make sure your emails are worth sending
- How many are you getting right?
See how much more enticing these are than the actual blog post title? In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you can already imagine what kind of content I’d put in the email to get you to click on this blog post simply by the subject line.
What’s better? These subject lines are literally how I would address my friend if I was just sending this blog post to one person.
That’s how you get your email subscribers to look forward to hearing from you… and even skip past their bills and click on your emails when you hit send!
Try 5 words maximum: that way no matter which device someone is on, you’ll get them hooked Fun fact: My best performing subject line is “Can I have $9?”
Creating a concise preheader text…or not
The preheader text is often called the preview text inside your email service provider. It’s that little “preview” of what’s inside the email.
Just like the subject line, I don’t want you to stress about this. After all, if you’re following the Email Staircase, people will just see your name in the FROM LINE of their inbox and be excited to read what you’ve sent. Of course, that’s best case scenario, so what to do if you haven’t reached that type of relationship with your subscriber yet?
Use the preheader text as the appetizer to the main course – you want it to be enticing enough to get people excited for what’s to come. Don’t clog it up with a long, boring description of what’s inside the email. Instead, get creative and have a little fun with it.
Use emojis, puns, or just straight-up humor to grab your readers’ attention. Who knows, maybe they’ll even start looking forward to seeing your preheader text just as much as they do your actual emails.
Keep it concise. Keep it interesting. And watch your open rates soar.
The greeting, keep it personal
Now that they’ve opened our email, you don’t want to greet them with a generic “Dear valued customer.” 🤮🤮🤮
How unseen would you feel? It’s like getting those flyers in the mail that’s addressed to “current resident.” You toss it so fast! An email like that will go straight to the trash folder. At minimum, use their name in the greeting.
It’s also a good practice to sprinkle their name in the body of the email…but I digress.
Remember!! There are real people behind every email address. Use the personalization feature in your email service provider. One of the most important words in anyone’s vocabulary is their own name. Use it, babe.
You can also add a little bit of personality in your greeting, too. If you’d never say “Hello, Liz” to start off a conversation, don’t say it in email.
I tend to go with “heyyyooo!”
Or sometimes I’ll write a full sentence and put the name personalization at the end.
- You aren’t going to be believe this, NAME.
- I went for a walk before I sat down to right this email, NAME. Did you move your body today?
- I’m really tired and want to nap, but I couldn’t forget to write you, NAME.
Get it? Good.
Engage your audience with your content - the email body
The content of your email gives you the opportunity to show off your personality, business values, and mission. It also gives you the chance to create two-way conversations with your community.
You’ll hear me say it over and over. Conversations turn into relationships. We want to move email subscribers through the customer journey by nurturing those relationships.
What your content should be or do:
- establish your expertise
- deliver value
- create real connections
But that doesn’t mean your content has to be
- extremely long and in written form
- new every week from here to eternity
- one-sided, always free, and exhausting to create
Including A Call-To-Action
In the words of Eminem…
Let’s get down to business
I don’t got no time to play around
What is this?
^^That’s both you and your email subscriber, okay?^^
Your subscriber wants to know what the purpose of the email is…and you don’t got no time to play around.
Every email should have a clear call-to-action. What do you want your subscribers to do? Think through? Click on? Buy? Make the call to action clear. (Did I say that already?)
Whether it’s a button, a hyperlinked text, or a P.S. at the end of the email, let’s keep moving our subscribers through the customer journey. It could be to buy your product or service, follow you on social media, or read a new blog post. Heck! Sometimes your call to action could simply be for them to hit reply.
Whatever it is, keep them moving forward.
The Sign Off - aka The Signature
Your signature does NOT have to be this highly designed graphic with all the social media handles. Keep it simple!
Most people go a little further than me. They want to get the most out of their email signature in order to optimize their email market efforts. Totally get it. Here are some ideas around that.
1– Add your most active social media accounts as buttons underneath your name.
2– Add an image of yourself or your brand to create brand awareness.
3– Add 2-3 bullet points or options inside a PS that include additional links to how you can help your subscriber. Cody Burch dubs this the Super Signature, and I highly recommend it for people who “hate selling” but have stomachs that require them to sell.
Writing a great email doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. To be honest, you don’t really need to even overthink! (Phew.)
You just start with the basics – a subject line that grabs attention, preheader text that compels them to click, and then personalize your greeting. Finish strong with engaging content and a clear call-to-action. Oh, and don’t forget a simple email signature signoff to make sure you’re creating brand awareness and consistency. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to see an increase in open and click-through rates.
Happy emailing, boo!