In the age of short attention spans, we all struggle with getting the maximum number of our emails read by the recipients, whether these are personal emails, regular business emails or newsletters. We have to get past super aggressive spam filters as well as the low attention span of the users and these email best practices can give you an unfair advantage.
Users check emails with one hand on the Delete button and if they cannot clearly recognise the sender and the purpose of the email, boom. The email gets deleted and there goes our all important message.
Mobile First design
Where do you read most of your emails? I won’t be surprised if you said – your mobile. Most people read theirs on the mobile or smartphones as they are constantly on the move and the mobiles are with them all the time. Get up in the morning, check your email. On the way to meet someone – check your email. Going to the bed – check your email.
You must format your emails properly so that it can read on a mobile device without any problem. If the mail is very important, consider sending to yourself, read it on your mobile and then only send to your final recipient.
Here are some important components of the email that you should format correctly for increasing your read and response rates:
The sender name is one of the most vital elements of our email that can help in avoiding the DELETE button. Use something that the reader will identify easily. I prefer to use “Arun Agrawal – Ebizindia” so that the user can identify me either through my name or my company name. When I send emails on behalf of WedPlan, I use “Arun Agrawal- WedPlan” as they may not identify Ebizindia so easily.
Always use meaningful subject lines and put some text at the beginning that they can easily identify. You can try simple & short subjects or intriguing subjects that arouse curiosity. I prefer to avoid getting too smart as that is what the spammers do. Clarity beats smartness in my experience. The primary job of the subject is to make sure that the receiver opens the email and reads the body.
A typical subject for me might look like: “[WedPlan] Demo login details as requested by you”. Or: “Order confirmation for Acme web design project”
The body of the email is again very important. Get straight to the point and convey the important part of the message as quickly as possible. I recommend that you greet the reader (Hi Mark) and then mention the main news in the 1st paragraph. You can provide supporting information or further details in the following paras. Keep all the paras short. Bullet points work great if you can use them in your emails.
When sending a longer email, sub-heads can break up the wall of text quite nicely and avoid reader fatigue. End with a note about the next steps (will you send more information later or are you expecting a response?). Sign-off with your name and co-ordinates – company name, website URL and phone number if appropriate.
Naturally, all emails cannot follow this template but this will give you enough idea about how to compose your email to get maximum reader engagement.
Firstly, if you are attaching a file, you must mention this fact in your email outlining the purpose of the attachment (invoice, whitepaper etc). People are very skeptic about opening attachments nowadays (rightly so) and you do not want them to miss your valuable information.
You must name the file properly (file1.docx, writeup.pdf are not great names). The name should give enough hint about the content (ex: Proposal for Acme Website redesign.PDF).
Adapt these email best practices and get much higher open and read rates thereby resulting in more business and closer connections.