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What Goes into an Engaging Email?

Michael McNichols
Senior Content Manager

How do you go about creating an engaging email? What does it look like and how should you write it?

All day, every day, people find themselves bombarded with a multitude of marketing messages from a variety of sources. They will be receiving more than a few emails each day. So, your emails have to stand out to get someone’s attention.

You can try to be clever, creative, and humorous to catch someone’s attention. However, as stated before, all emails need to be relevant and useful. Even the subject line has to be interesting or intriguing enough to make someone want to see the email, and this comes down to relevance and letting them know that this email has something that they want or need.

Emails have to be easy to read, view, understand, and digest. Both the copy and design need to mesh well and be:

  • Easily readable
  • Simple and not overly complicated
  • Straight to the point

When it comes to writing (for any type of content marketing materials really and not just emails), while you want to sound enticing, clarity is key. No matter how wonderful your words, if you are not clear then it will not matter.

Remember that your email could viewed on a computer, phone, or other mobile device. Your readers will not want to scroll from side to side, and in fact it is better if they can see the email in its entirety the moment they click on it. In fact, a mobile-friendly email places these four elements above the mobile fold:

  • The branding
  • The offer or asset
  • The message
  • The call to action (CTA)

All email copy should cut to the chase and avoid redundancy. You do not need to tell the reader anything they already know. Your email copy should also answer these three important questions:

  • Why do it and why do they need it?
  • What should it do?
  • How will it get done?

Consider these tips when crafting an email:

Sell Your Offer

Concentrate on selling your offer and not the product or service. It’s not what the product or service is; it’s about the benefits what they can do for someone.

Focus on Your Main Points

Make sure that you focus on one offer, one message, and one CTA. It keeps things from getting cluttered and allows you to emphasize your main points.

Drive Action

Do not just relate facts. Drive your readers to take action. Use CTAs that creative and action oriented.

Write Sharp, Concise Copy

Strive for simple, understandable copy that makes its points sharply and concisely. Shorter is better, especially for an email. It should be no longer than it has to be. Do not spend too long setting up the offer. Get into it as soon as you can. Use short paragraphs that can be easily read and scanned. Break up the text with bullet points wherever possible to add more readability.

Be Clear, Concrete, and Specific

Make sure the offer and CTA are clear, concrete, and specific.

Repeat the CTA

Though you should have only one CTA, repeat it as both a link and text.

Be Mobile Friendly

Provide CTA buttons for mobile users.

Remember There Is Beauty in Simplicity

Do not overcomplicate the design and layout. It should not be too busy, and simple images can make the most impact. Strive for readability and clear understanding. 

Create Copy and a Design That Go Together

Make sure your copy, design, and images go well together and match up what the message and offer you are making. Whatever theme you choose, stick to it and stay focused on the message you are trying to get across.

Find out about the importance of open rates and customer engagement with your emails in “The Bottom Line: Open Rate and Customer Engagement.”

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Holly Monday, April 29, 2019
    Good to have for reference.
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