EXT Comms: Writing Effective Emails
From Judy Bingman
Here's why people aren't reading your emails.
We're doing email all wrong.
By the numbers: Only 5% of readers make it to the end of an email, so all the things you think people are learning; they're not. The average reader spends 12 seconds on each email.
In order for people to read, understand, and act on your emails, they have to be engaging.
Headlines and subject lines aren't wasted space.
- Teach the reader something even in this small space.
The first sentence should always be what is new information from the last time you wrote.
- Be direct. If it were the only thing they remember, what would you say?
The second sentence should explain why the topic matters to the reader. Sentence starters might include:
- What's next
- The bottom line
- The big picture
- Where we stand
- Going deeper
- By the numbers
- Our thoughts
To keep the reader engaged, use bulleted lists and bolds. Keep bolded content on the left side of the email. Your emails (and email marketing) should be scannable to be understandable.
Emails should be short, not shallow. Only include the most important information, and quit insulting the intelligence of the reader by repeating something they already know or have already been told. If you need to add a refresher, put it at the bottom of the email or attach a supplemental document. Keep the top of the email for what's new since you last chatted on the topic.
Research reference: Axios.