Clarity & Brevity Are Key for Successful Emails
We shared this must read post from HubSpot’s Blog about essentials for effective emails with our clients this morning, but there are a few key aspects that I wanted to highlight and provide some political context for.
To summarize, their “9 Must-Have Components of Compelling Email Copy” are
- Use Actionable Language
- Personalize when possible
- Subject Lines Must be Clear, and Might be Catchy
- Align Your Subject Line Copy and Email Copy
- Establish Relevancy
- Write in the Second Person
- Talk About Benefits, Not Features
- Be Brief
- Use Actionable Language in Your CTA
With each of my clients, I stress the importance of email subject line. It’s often the part we least pay attention to in an email even though there’s always lots of back-and-forth about punctuation, messaging, and wording in the body of your email. The subject line is the most important part of your email.
It’s the only part that most people will ever see. Think about it: If your open rate is 30% for a given email, 70% of people only saw your subject line. Any time I start to draft an email for a client, I make sure the I include “Subject:_______” and then as I’m writing the body of the email, I’ll usually come back and fill in the blank when I think of a catchy line.
HubSpot’s post emphasizes that subject lines need to be clear first and catchy if possible. I’d also add, based on our experience here at Engage, that the shorter a subject line is, the better it performs. Focusing on brevity also helps you achieve clarity.
For example, a subject line that says “The Democrats are attacking us and need your support to fight back” isn’t as clear as it could be and it’s way too long. “We’re under attack, help us” is both clear, brief, and, most importantly, actionable.
The other mistake campaigns and elected officials make is the failure to establish relevancy with their emails. Every week, I receive dozens of “e-newsletters” that tally up all of the week’s news.
These are typically long emails that are too long and have too much content. By not making the decision of what’s important, you’re leaving it to the reader. You can’t expect your supporters to complete every action or read every item in an “e-newsletter.”
At Engage, we help our clients craft concise, focused emails that have a clear call-to-action or desired outcome. If you can’t answer the question, “Why am I sending this email?” in a compelling way, you probably shouldn’t be sending it.
If you’re looking to improve your emails to supporters (and the answer should always be “yes”) then consider focusing on these nine fundamentals before you hit send on your next email.