Customer Experience News & Trends

How to write email that customers actually want to read

Do customers read your email? Odds are they don’t, according to research. But here are ways to increase your odds. 

Customers only open about a quarter of the business email they receive, researchers from Experian found.

So if you want to give customers information, discounts, updates or free stuff, only one in four bother to look at the message. For those who do, a large portion don’t even read the whole message.

10 tips to make your messages better

To improve your messages to customers, plus the possibility they’ll read and act on them, here are 10 fast and effective tips from our friend Matt Heinz, President at Heinz Marketing:

  1. Keep the subject line short, concise. You aren’t going to sell your idea or information in the subject line. The objective is to write something that will get customers to open it.
  2. Build intrigue. Use the subject line like you would an Elevator Speech – a few words or simple idea that makes customers think, “That’s interesting. Can you take a walk with me and tell me more?”
  3. Consider the depth of the relationship. The less established your relationship is with customers, the shorter your email should be. In a newer relationship, share just one simple idea. In an established relationship, you’ve earned the privilege to exchange more information via email.
  4. Keep their fingers off the mouse. Ideally, the body of the message should be in one screen. You don’t want to make customers reach for their mouse, which they’ll use to delete faster than they’ll use to scroll. You can embed a URL for more details.
  5. Skip attachments. Customers don’t trust them. Instead, and again, embed URLs.
  6. Focus on customers. Use the word “you” far more than “we” and “I.” Customers need to feel there’s a lot in the message for them.
  7. Send clean copy. Read your copy out loud before you hit send to make sure it doesn’t sound awkward. And if it sounds awkward to your ear, rest assured it reads awkward to customers – and needs to be changed.
  8. Avoid or limit anything that distracts customers from your message: That includes any typeface that’s not standard, irrelevant images and HTML.
  9. Create white space. Don’t write bulky paragraphs – three or four sentences within three or four paragraphs max.
  10. Take the test. Before you hit send, ask a colleague or friend to look it over and answer: “Is what I’m sharing interruptive or irresistible?”

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