How to Get Your Emails Read

by | Apr 24, 2013 | Best Practices, Blog, Blog Archive | 0 comments


Email marketing, when executed properly, has been known to deliver impressive results. One important factor in email marketing is that it is not very expensive when compared to traditional mass marketing means. The CMO Council notes that email marketing accounts for 15% of SMB marketing spend. Small to medium sized businesses often have limited budgets, so they need to choose marketing communications mediums where they will get the best return on marketing investment.

With email having the potential to be a cost effective medium, what are some ideas that brand marketers can use to get their emails read.

Earlier this year, The Harvard Business Review featured a blog post entitled “Write Emails That People Will Read”. The focus of the article was more comprehensive than just marketing communications, but it did offer some relevant insight for marketers.

Three suggestions from the article that resonated were:

  1. Stick to standard capitalization and punctuation. This seems intuitively obvious, but sometimes errors are made. Re-check copy frequently to make sure that mistakes are not made.
  2. Get straight to the point. This is especially relevant in a time of shorter attention spans. It is vital to be captivating to get read. The purpose of certain email messages is different than others.
  3. Be brief — but not too brief. Brevity is a good thing. But leaving out pertinent details that can be difference between closing the sale and not closing the sale is not recommended. There is a limited window to keep someone’s attention. Keeping them reading key details in a short time span will always be a winning combination.

Two additional keys from me:

  1. Compelling Content: Compelling content is the king of all marketing communications messaging. Why should I keep reading? What do you offer that is worth my time? Your content needs to address these concerns. Plus, if there’s language in the emails that creates an emotional reaction, even better. Compelling content is memorable, and we can often remember the way that we feel.
  2. Calls to Action:  Marketing communications usually have a purpose. Before and during the writing of email marketing pieces, you should really be thinking about why you are communicating with your audience. What do you wish to accomplish with communication? Make sure that there is a alignment with the goals of communication and the calls to action. Do you want people to like/follow you in the social media space? Make it clear in your communication. Do you wish to ask for the sale? Ask for it. Be clear with what you want your audience to go and have clear metrics for measurement progress towards the goal of the communication.