How to Write Short, Sweet and Easy Emails

Written by guest contributor Nathalia Bailey

What do your customers want more of? Probably less of your emails. And that’s OK. By keeping them short, sweet and easy your emails will deliver more impact—with less words.

Short

Let’s face it: nobody likes reading anymore. Gone are the days of turning to a book in the midst of your boredom. Now, it takes effort to pull yourself out of your phone and into long-form text.

So, stop turning your email campaigns into novels. It will make your customers angry and overwhelmed. Here are a couple ways to cut out excess words.

Keep It on a Need-to-Know Basis

You put hours…weeks…months into that new product launch, or whatever it is you’re announcing. Guess what? Your customers don’t care.

I know, it’s harsh. But your customers only care about what’s in it for them. So, please, spare the details of your hero’s journey, and tell that you’ve finally released your mobile app.

Use Active Language

“We’ve noticed new trends….”

“Our engineers thought…”

These are all examples of passive or “thinking” language. Customers want to know what’s been done for them—what actions you’ve taken. When you write about seeing or thinking something, you’re being passive.

Any time you hear your stream of consciousness jumping in, cut it out.

Sweet

Help Scout, an industry leader in customer support, recently discussed research that shows using exclamation marks and emoticons leads readers to perceive the author as more friendly and competent. That’s a pretty good way to be thought of!

How do you sweeten up your email campaigns?

1. Write like you talk: That includes exclamation marks, smiley faces and “awesome!”

2. The rule of please and thank you: Include at least one please and one thank you (or thanks) in every message.

3. Keep it positive: Discuss what customers can do before what they can’t do and avoid negative language like “unfortunately.”

Easy

Usually, you send an email because you want your customers to do something. Make it as easy as possible for them.

Action Items Front and Center

Don’t bury the lede (yes, lede). Your call to action shouldn’t be buried within the third sentence of your fifth paragraph.

If you want customers to try a new feature or claim their thank you gift, make it clear immediately, and make it stand out. With tools like Mixmax or any other bulk email service, you can create call-to-action buttons that show customers exactly what they should do.

Use Headers and Short Paragraphs for Easy Skimming

Notice the title of this post says “Dying to See”—not read. Customers want to see what they’re getting into at a glance.

Break up sections with headers that outline your content and keep your paragraphs short. A good rule of thumb is paragraphs shouldn’t take up more than two to three lines.

And please remember this: Run-on sentences makes readers dizzy….

BIO

About Nathalia Bailey:

Nathalia is a multi-faceted individual who writes emails all day as a customer success advocate. When she’s not straining her neck in front of a computer, you can find her clean and jerking over 100kg. Learn more at nathaliabailey.com.

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