Your marketing emails are definitely one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers and build a stronger relationship with them but many business owners write it off because they’re not getting the results they’d hoped for. If this is the case for you, here’s some good news! You can significantly improve your chances of getting your emails opened and encouraging your subscribers to do as you hope by implementing these best practice tips to make your emails a more effective marketing tool. #1. Build Trust Before the Big Sell Before you write a single word of your next marketing email, think about the main purpose of your communications with your subscribers. Many businesses look on it purely for sales but using this approach from the off can be very short-sighted. Of course, you want to sell and stay in business but your subscribers don’t care much for this; they only want to know what is in it for them. Your main goal in any marketing email should, therefore, be based around being useful for your readers. That isn’t to say that sales emails won’t be effective but you can’t do the big sell every time and expect subscribers to stick with you. Email marketing offers a brilliant opportunity to build a relationship with your subscribers that goes over and above social media and this starts by building trust with them. After this, you’re in a much better position to attract sales but it isn’t something that is likely to happen straight away. You’ll need to “warm them up” first by sending emails that aren’t pushy or “salesy” and genuinely offer value for readers. This can be in the form of useful content and tips, for example. When you do go down the sales route with emails, your subscribers should be more receptive to it. Rather than being little more than a sales tactic, look on your email marketing as a way to build long-term relationships with subscribers and turn them into repeat customers that love your business. #2. Nail the Subject Line You can spend as much time as you like on the main body of the email but if your subject line doesn’t grab attention, it’s likely to be deleted without the recipient ever actually seeing what’s inside. The subject line is often your only chance to impress and if you don’t get it right, the rest of the email is basically a waste of your time and energy. This is why getting the subject line right is one of the most important and challenging aspects of email marketing. It needs to be interesting and intriguing enough for subscribers to feel compelled to open the email but at the same time, it needs to give them a clear idea of what to expect in the email itself. Don’t be tempted to come up with outrageous subject lines that have no relation to the email content to fool subscribers into opening emails. This might work once or even twice but in the longer term, subscribers are likely to hit unsubscribe due to the double whammy of overpromising and under delivering. So, what makes a great subject line? This is something that flummoxes many businesses and even the big names don’t always get it right. Really good subject lines have a few things in common, including: Simplicity – Bear in mind that most people only scan through their email inbox to decide which messages seem worthy of their time and attention. Make it easy for them by telling them exactly what they’ll get if they open yours. Brevity – Most great email subject lines are short and sweet and get to the point. A total length of 50 characters or less works best for the most part and there is less chance that a subject line of this length will be cut off if subscribers are reading on mobile devices. Inspiring Action – “Action” words can make people sit up and take notice, rather than scrolling by. They also create a greater sense of urgency or interest. Use of Numbers – List articles are always popular and emails that are along similar lines tend to see good open rates. This won’t work for all types of emails but where it’s applicable, it can help you to stand out against other subject lines. Questions – Asking a question in your subject line can grab attention. Appeal to Their Fears – Most people are afraid of missing out on something and creating a sense of urgency in sales emails can work wonders for making subscribers feel compelled to open them. #3. Keep Your Copy Short and Punchy Lots of people read their emails on smartphones and tablets these days so you’ll need to think about how the main body of your email comes across in both desktop and mobile formats. Making sure that your email copy is ultra scannable is key. Once a subscriber has opened your email, you need to keep their attention long enough to get to the call-to-action. Keep your paragraphs short, with only one to two sentences in each one so that readers can scan through quickly and still get the gist. Subheadings and bullet points help to break the text up and make it more scannable too. Every word counts in email copy and you can’t afford for readers to lose interest and attention because it’s not focused enough. When you’re writing marketing emails, tie them in with your brand’s voice and don’t be afraid to be fun. A casual, conversational tone works best. #4. Don’t Neglect Your Preview Text It isn’t just your email’s subject line that shows up in inboxes. With most email providers, there will usually also be a short preview consisting of the first few lines of the email, which gives readers another brief insight into what it is about and whether they want to open it. This is yet another reason why you need to be laser focused with your email copy from the very first word and write with the preview in mind. #5. Stick to Just the One Call-to-Action You’re sending emails to your subscribers because you want them to take action, such as clicking through to a landing page or downloading a free guide. Have one clear purpose in mind when you create a marketing email. Don’t confuse your readers by including multiple calls-to-action in the same email. Most people will react by not taking any action at all because they’re not sure what they should do. It helps to have an obvious call-to-action button that is highly visible and leaves your subscribers in no doubt as to what action they should take after reading the email. Over to you – what are your additional tips for writing killer marketing emails? Images: ” Email marketing on blackboard. Email marketing handwritten on framed blackboard / Shutterstock.com“ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.