Learn How to Write Emails – The Definitive Guide

If you want to learn how to write emails correctly then read on. This is a definitive guide that will certainly help with email marketing campaigns. You can use this article not just to learn how to write emails correctly but it will help with your articles also. 

Failing To Test Your e-mail Message Before You Send It

E-mail can be displayed differently in different browsers and e-mail clients. That’s why it’s important to send a few test messages and to then read those test messages using the most commonly used browsers and e-mail clients in order to make sure that what readers see is what you intended them to see.

Not Using A Spam Checker Before You Send an e-mail

With so many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Internet users running SPAM-blocking software, it has never been more important to see how your e-mail stacks up against the electronic gate guardians that are going to try and stop your reader from receiving it.
There are a variety of SPAM checkers available. Run a search on Google using the term “spam checking software” for a list of them.

Try this email address spam checker.

spam test website screenshot

Forgetting About The Preview Pane

Most people have their e-mail clients set up so that all new e-mail messages are displayed in a preview pane. Depending upon their preferences, that preview pane may just display the To, From and Subject headers or it may display all of those as well as the first few sentences of the body of the e-mail.

This means that your e-mail may get scanned for about 1 second by readers before they decide whether they are going to open the message or read it.
Knowing that you’d better be sure that you’ve designed your e-mail so that the really good stuff shows up in the preview pane.

Failing to Use Enough White Space

If you make your e-mail message too long, or you try to cram too many words into a paragraph, your reader’s eyes are going to instantly glaze over and they are going to hit the delete key.

Keep your e-mail messages short and get right to the point. Keep your paragraphs short as well.

Don’t make your text message too text heavy, either. Do you like receiving pages of text? Probably not. There aren’t too many people who do. Because very few people enjoy reading pages of promotional copy, keep your e-mails short and to the point. If you want people to respond, be sure your message is sent at the right time and includes a compelling offer.

graph showing best times to send emails


Failure To Test All Embedded Links

What a waste of time and effort it is to send out an e-mail campaign only to discover that the link to your web site or order page was broken and it doesn’t work. Test, test and then test again before you mail.

Locking Prospects Into One Contact Method

Giving prospects only one way to respond to you will cost you sales. Just because you think that e-mail is the best way to communicate doesn’t mean that your prospect does. Some people are willing to read e-mail and click on a link to visit a web site, but they’re not going to buy unless they can call on the phone or mail in a check.

call me anytime image

The CAN-SPAM Act requires you to include your address anyway, so why not add a telephone number as well. In fact, why not add a tollfree telephone number while you’re at it.

There are plenty of places to get virtual toll-free numbers for dirt cheap. You can either program them to ring on your home or cell phone, or you can forward all calls to voice mail and return calls at your convenience.

The appearance of a toll-free number in your e-mail marketing messages is also going to raise your credibility quite a few notches in a skeptical prospect’s mind.

Ignoring Your Bounce Rate

If you’re sending e-mail, you can bet some of it is bouncing. You need to be aware of not only how many messages are bouncing, but why they are bouncing. Finding out how much e-mail is bouncing and why can be as simple as checking your mail server logs. Most hosting accounts provide them as well as a tool to view them.

If you have access to the actual bounced mail, the reason that mail bounced will usually be included somewhere in the message. Mail bounces for a lot of reasons, and knowing why yours is not reaching its intended audience can help you keep your mailing list clean and responsive

. Although there is supposed to be a uniform list of bounced mail reason codes, far too many ISPs have created their own versions. That’s why I’m going to provide you with the reasons why mail bounces and not the codes that you might find in your mail log.

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Top Ten Reasons Why e-mails Bounce.

bouncing springs and a gmail logo image

1) Hard Mail Bounce

This is dead mail. It can’t be delivered now or later. This kind of bounce usually means that the person no longer has that e-mail address or the mail server at that domain no longer exists.


These dead addresses should be removed from your list right away. If the addresses belong to customers and you have their phone numbers, there’s nothing that says you can’t call and invite them to re-subscribe. Even if that person’s number is on the National Do Not Call List, you have an existing or preexisting business relationship. That means you can legally call
the person up until the point that he or she asks you not to call anymore.

2) Soft Mail Bounce

This type of bounce indicates that the mail could not be delivered at the moment but it might be possible to get the message delivered at some time in the future. This is a common bounce message that is sent when someone’s mailbox is full.

You should continue to mail this address for two or three more cycles and monitor the progress. If it finally gets delivered, you’re all set. If it continues to bounce, there is either a more serious problem that isn’t being reported correctly by the ISP or the user has abandoned that mail account.

3) Transient Mail Bounce

A Transient Bounce is a message often generated by the sender’s e-mail server, which indicates that a particular message could not yet be delivered, but that the server is still trying. Usually, a Transient Bounce can be safely ignored.

4) General Mail Bounce

A General Bounce message could be either a hard or a soft bounce. There is no way to tell. This bounce notice is usually created by older mail systems that did not report the difference between the two types of bounces. Handle this address the same way you handle a Soft Bounce.

5) Blocked Mail Bounce

This message usually means that the recipient’s mail server is not accepting mail from your mail server. This might be because your address is on the mail recipient’s personal block list, or the ISP has blocked you as an undesirable sender for some reason.

This isn’t good news in either event. If the user has blocked you then you might as well delete the address. However, if the ISP blocked you then you need to contact the ISP directly and find out why. You might find out that you’re on one or more of the spammer’s blacklists that ISP uses to create mail filters. Or, you might find out that there is something in your e-mail messages that trigger the ISP’s SPAM filter.

6) Out of Office/Auto-Reply

This type of message is generated when a user has activated the Out of Office feature of his or her e-mail client. Out of Office messages aren’t actual bounces. They usually indicate that the receiver has your message in his or her inbox, but they’re not available to read the message right now.

7) Unsubscribe Mail Message

These are not bounces either. They indicate that your reader is no longer interested in hearing from you. Delete the address.

8) Virus Found Notification

Either the e-mail you sent had a virus, or something about that e-mail fooled the mail server into thinking you had one.

If you’re getting a lot of these from different ISPs, chances are the problem is on your end. If they are few and far between or isolated to just one ISP, your e-mail is probably clean. Investigate and take whatever action is appropriate. Keep the email address active in the meanwhile.

9) Mail Address Change Notification

This is a courtesy notification that the user’s address has changed. Even though you are being provided with the new address, you can’t automatically update it and start mailing. You’re going to need to contact the subscriber at the new address and give the subscriber a link to re-subscribe. Don’t mail a second time if the subscriber does not respond.

10) Mail Challenge/Response

This type of message means that the subscriber is managing his or her e-mail using a “white list” or a list of approved senders. Usually, a message of this type will also contain a link that you can click to add yourself to that person’s list. If one is present, click it and jump through the hoops.

Taking Down Your Landing Page Or Other E-mail-Connected Items Too Soon

It can sometimes take a few weeks for someone to get around to reading your e-mail for any number of reasons including illness or vacation. If you take your landing page down too soon or you delete any supporting graphics that the e-mail needs, you’ll lose sales. Don’t be in too much of a rush to end the campaign.

If the mailing you sent included a time-sensitive offer, leave the landing page up for a few weeks or more after the campaign ends. Simply replace the content on the landing page with content stating you are sorry they missed the offer but keep checking their mail for new ones.

This will keep you from alienating or confusing your customer. It also allows you to reinforce to your customers that your time limits are real. They’ll respond quicker next time.

Not Taking Time To Proofread

banner with notepad and pen and a laptop keyboard

Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than sending out an email that’s full of spelling and grammar mistakes. Don’t depend on your spell checker alone. Print the message out and read it carefully, one word at a time. Then give it to at least two more people and have them do the same thing.

The things Not To Do list may seem long, but you’re just fooling yourself if you think you can ignore these items and just blow out e-mail campaigns any time you want to. Well, that’s not entirely true. Nothing says you can’t blow the campaign out without following the list, but what good is doing so if you don’t make any sales in return?

Grabbing Readers Attention

What Are You Selling?

Before you can write effective e-mail copy you need to be sure that you understand what it is you are really selling. I emphasized the word really for a reason.

Let’s take a short quiz. Answer this question:

“What am I selling?”

If you answered that question with a product name or a service description, you’re only half right. Yes, you are selling a product or description ultimately, but that’s not what the e-mail should be promoting.

It’s not likely that you’re going to make a sale directly from your e-mail. Most marketers know this and that’s why they craft their e-mail messages to strike directly at the heart of what e-mail is supposed to do.

E-mail is supposed to hit one of the psychological triggers that will cause the reader to be interested enough in your offer to click on over to your landing or sales page where the real selling is taking place.

Emotional Triggers

So, the right answer to the quiz question is: “I’m selling emotion.” Here’s why:

4 smiley's with different emotions


There are certain psychological triggers or “pain triggers” that make people want to open their wallets and buy. It is important for you to know which of these “pains” your product or service targets in order for your e-mail to be effective.

Now, unless you are selling a healthcare product, the word “pain” doesn’t refer to physical pain. It refers to one of the over 50 psychological “pains” that people feel.
Although there are 50 of these triggers, they are all some variation of these six fundamental ones:

Greed or Desire For Personal Gain
Love or Affection
Self-Preservation or Survival
A sense of Duty or Honor

No matter what it is you are offering you can bet that it is covered by one or more if these basic psychological triggers.

Let’s look at each one more closely:

Greed or Desire For Personal Gain

This category covers products or services that are designed to help the reader make more money, save more money, plan for retirement security, etc.

Love Or Affection

This category is perfect for products or services that enhance the reader’s sex life or love life, or that will make someone they love to feel happier and/or more fulfilled.


This is the trigger to use when selling high-end luxury items, vacations, comfort foods, etc.

Self-Preservation or Survival

Along with the obvious choices such as self-defense products and services, guns and ammo, etc., this trigger also works well with health products, senior citizen-focused products and services, and family protection devices and services.


Pride is a very strong trigger that can also be combined with the Greed trigger for a double-whammy. The pride trigger works well with high-end luxury items when “exclusivity”  featured. It’s also a good choice for any product or service that you can use any variation of the “Be the first one in your group to own…” or “Everyone will be impressed when they see…” statements.

A sense of Duty or Honor

This trigger is all about guiding the reader to “do the right thing” simply because it is the right thing. This trigger works well when soliciting donations for charitable causes, but it can also be worked into almost any self-improvement product or service, investment product, or anything else where you can demonstrate that not doing this is harmful to yourself, loved ones or society in general.

Don’t your children deserve to live in a smoke-free home?

Once you have selected the correct trigger or triggers, you can move on
to writing the actual e-mail.

Your E-mail Message

man sat on an envelope with a mega phone


An e-mail message is divided into these three separate and distinct parts:

Headline (Subject Title)
Message Body
Call To Action

It doesn’t do any good to get just one or two parts right. You need to hit all three squarely on the head if you want to make sales. I already covered the fact that it isn’t the “job” of the e-mail to make the sale. Its job is to simply get the person to the point where he or she clicks on the link (Call to Action) that takes them to the sales or landing page. Here’s a more in-depth look at each part.

Headline (Subject Title)

The subject of an e-mail message is exactly the same as a headline in a classified ad. They both share the same properties and they both share the same goal of enticing the reader to read more. Because so many people scan the subjects of their e-mail in order to decide whether or not they are interested in reading more, you need to put as much work into writing that one sentence as you will put into writing the body of the mail.

Before you even begin writing your subject headline, stop and think about which of these headline types will work best with your offer:

Effective Headline Types

Benefit Headlines

Benefit headlines should clearly state whatever the benefit is of the product or service that you are promoting or the benefit of reading the body of the e-mail. Avoid using hype, buzz words, ALL CAPS, or lots of exclamation points!!!!! None of these tricks work and you’ll only turn your reader off.

Example Benefit Headlines:

Save 50% on most printer supplies
You can lose 10 pounds in 10 days
“Erase” Wrinkles Instantly

These headlines clearly demonstrate to the reader what the benefit of reading your e-mail will be. People who are interested in gaining that benefit will read your message. Those who are not, will not.

Problem Headlines

Problem Headlines are similar to Benefit Headlines in that they do convey an answer to the pain that question elicits can be found in the e-mail message.

Example Problem Headlines:

Embarrassed By Age Lines?
Is Your Vocabulary Holding You Back?
Does Sexual Intimacy Embarrass You?

Assumed benefit.

This headline works by asking a pointed question and then leaving the reader to conclude that the Embarrassed By Age Lines?

Is Your Vocabulary Holding You Back?
Does Sexual Intimacy Embarrass You?

Problem headlines should never beat around the bush. The reader has pain and you have the cure. All you’ve got to do is stick your finger right in the middle of that pain and give your finger a good twist. You’ll be rewarded with more sales as a result.

Question Headlines

Although Question Headlines may appear to be identical to Problem Headlines, there is one important difference. Problem Headlines are designed to make people squirm, while Question Headlines are designed to make the dream.

Example Question Headlines:

Would you like more money in your paycheck?
Want to retire in 2 years?
Need An Affordable Vacation?

Question Headlines should be structured so that a “Yes” answer is a good thing and a “No” answer is a bad thing.

Guarantee Headlines

Guarantee Headlines are designed to remove any doubt from the reader’s mind that what you are offering is the sure-fire cure for what ails them.

Example Guarantee Headlines:

Stop Smoking Guaranteed
Guaranteed Mortgages
Earn A Guaranteed Income From Home

It’s important to note here that you need to make sure the product or service you are selling really does have a guarantee that matches what you promised in the e-mail.

Offer Headlines

Offer Headlines are designed to entice the reader to take action now in order to avoid missing out on a limited-time opportunity or a special opportunity.

Example Offer Headlines:

Free Shipping Today Only
Buy One DVD get One Free
Free Upgrade To Deluxe Cabin If You Book By Tomorrow

If you make sure your offer is a strong one, you will increase your chances of getting a good response.

Below is an infographic of 74 blog titles but these can be used for email headlines also. Run the titles through a keyword research tool for maximum effect.

74 headline titles infographic

Message Body

The body of the message is the area where you build upon the emotions that you touched upon with the headline. The way to start is by repeating the exact headline at the top of the message body. When you repeat the headline exactly, it reinforces the headline and it reminds people of the reason why they are reading the e-mail.  It’s never a good idea to load the message body with a bunch of hype or too much text. Remember that the real job of the message body is to lead the
person to the landing page or the sales page which is where the actual selling is going to take place.

Balance the content of your email to be 90% educational and 10% promotional.

If you load the e-mail up with too much content you’ll simply lose the reader’s attention and if you lose their attention, you’re going to lose sales as well.

Here’s a good example of a headline and message body that are short and to the point:

Subject: “Erase” Wrinkles Instantly

Message Body:

“Erase” Wrinkles Instantly Clinically tested and Dermatologist approved, Wrinkle Eraser is a cosmetic product that instantly removes the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. Discover why over 3,000 women swear by Wrinkle Eraser and why they swear AT other products.

In the above example, we started right out by establishing the product’s credibility. It tells readers that the product has been tested in a clinical setting and that one or more Dermatologists have endorsed or approved the product for its intended purpose.

We went on to challenge readers to learn more about the product by telling them that over 3,000 women already are using it. Finally, we imply that readers will learn the reasons why these women were unhappy with the
other products that they tried before they tried this one.

At this point we already have 2/3 of the e-mail written. The first 1/3 is the
headline. The second 1/3 is the message body. All that needs to be written
now is the “call to action.”

The Anatomy of A Call To Action

The purpose of a Call to Action is to tell your readers exactly what you want them to do next. You should never assume that they already know what to do, and you should never assume that they will decide to visit your web site all on their own.
You need to design your Call to Action so that it takes them by the hand and leads them to where you want them to go.
If it’s at all possible, you should combine your Call to Action with a free offer.

This takes the pressure to respond off of them. After all, you’re not selling anything, you’re giving something away.
Here is an example of a call to action that works with the above example:

call to action template example

Image source

Now that the final 1/3 has been written, let’s take a look at the e-mail letter in its entirety:

Subject: “Erase” Wrinkles Instantly

Message Body:

“Erase” Wrinkles Instantly Clinically tested and Dermatologist approved, Wrinkle Eraser is a cosmetic product that instantly removes the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead.
Discover why over 3,000 women swear by Wrinkle Eraser and why they swear at other products.

Did you notice that the entire letter accomplished its intended purpose in just 55 words? This is proof that you don’t have to write a long sales letter in order to convey your message.

The best way you can end up with a sales letter that is short and to-the-point is to start by writing one that is as long as you have to make it in order to tell your story.
Then you take out your scissors and you start cutting and rewording the text until you have an e-mail message that’s no more than 100 words. Remember! less is better!

Writing That Captivates Readers

Writing Articles For Your e-mail Campaign

A variation of e-mail marketing that is producing good results for many involved is writing articles instead of sales copy. These articles can then be sent to your subscribers just like you would send them a newsletter. You can also use the content to start your own blog as well as to post the articles to the many public article directories that are visited by millions of viewers every year.

The best way to approach writing an article is to take a “soft sell” approach. This means that you don’t actually try to get an order directly from inside the article. You simply present readers with clear and concise information on a particular topic and then invite them to visit your website for more information.

An article has the same basic makeup of an e-mail message in that it requires a good headline, well-written body copy and a call to action. Word counts can run as high as 1500 words without causing the reader to lose interest.

Determining Keyword Supply And Demand

Your keywords are important with a black computer keyboard and a gold key

Since Google is the #1 search engine in the world, it already “knows” what keywords people are searching for (the demand) and it also knows how many web sites are using those keywords (the supply). Let’s now see how we can get Google to share that information with us.

Introducing the Google Keyword Planner

This free tool provides you with a list of keywords that are made up of the root phrase that you enter. The tool provides you with a graphical indication of how many individual searches were performed for each of the words
(demand), and how many Google AdWords advertisers are bidding on those keywords (supply).

Create an account if you don’t have one
Enter your keyword:
Make sure that the “Use synonyms” box is checked.
Choose “Keyword Popularity” from the drop-down menu labeled
“Choose data to display.”
Click the “Get More Keywords” button.

Before You Send Your Article Out

A man running at high speed

Don’t be in a rush to post your article or send it out to your list. What you need to do is to follow this checklist every single time you write an e-mail message or article. This is not the time to take any shortcuts!

1. Read and re-read what you have written several times to make sure you have said everything you want to say.

2. Make sure you do not have any incomplete thoughts. You especially want to double-check that you have fulfilled all of your “promises.” Very often someone will touch upon a concept somewhere in an article and then tell the reader that the complete concept will be addressed later on in the article. It’s easy to overlook that “promise” and forget to add the missing content.

3. Read your article out loud. You’ll immediately notice if you have any sentence structure errors or if your copy is wandering off topic, and you’ll even get a sense of how well the content flows.

4. While you’re reading (or when you’re through reading, whatever works better for you), be sure to rewrite anything that you’re not happy with. When you’re done, go back and repeat steps 1 -4 until you are satisfied. While you are rewriting you should look for ways to cut your article’s length if it’s running longer than it should.

Once you have completed these steps it’s time for proofreading. It’s not easy to proofread your own work, especially if you’ve re-read the article or e-mail so many times that you’re tired of looking at it, but it has to be done. You need to proofread the article even if your spell checker did not find any problems. Spell checkers can be fooled and they often miss common errors
such as using the word “to” instead of “too.”

Follow this proofreading checklist and you’ll do just fine:

Proofreading Checklist

proofreading image

1. Run your spell checker and correct all the errors it finds if you’re certain the word is misspelled. Sometimes the word is spelled right, but if it’s not in the spell checker’s dictionary, the spell checker will flag it as incorrect. If you need to double-check the spelling, get out your paper dictionary or look the word up in dictionary.com.

2. After that, print the copy to paper and then read it out loud. Many of the most successful writers will read their copy backward by starting at the last word of the last sentence and reading each word straight through to the first word of the first sentence. Because you know what you intended to say, your brain is likely to fill in missing words and compensate for misspellings. Reading backward forces you to concentrate on every single word individually rather than having your brain interpret the “concept” of what your eyes are seeing.

3. If you have the luxury of time, put the article or e-mail aside after the first round of proofreading and come back to it for another round in a day or so. That way, you’ll be able to look at what you’ve written with “fresh eyes.”

4. Once you think the copy is good to go, you should have someone else read it. Ask the reader to point out any spelling errors as well as any sentences or concepts that are not clear. Emphasize that you are not looking for editorial opinions.
Yes, proofreading is a lot of work but it’s a lot easier to do than suffering through the embarrassment of looking ignorant because you sent something out that was full of errors or that had even one error in it. Believe it or not, errors in your article can lessen its credibility, no matter how good it is.

Try Grammarly a spelling and grammar checker

Articles are a great way to raise your visibility and drive traffic to your web site. Once you get into the habit of writing them there’s no reason why you can’t put out one or more articles every week.

I see so many people fail in their attempts to advertise their product or services. A lot of them tell the same story. Keep this in mind. Even though the Internet offers an instant medium for reaching people all around the world, the basic laws of sales have not changed. In order to close the deal you must follow these steps:

man walking up steps

  • Eliminate any high-pressure attempts to make the sale. Stop using hype and, and use the exclamation point sparingly! Not only educated prospects more likely to buy, but they are also more likely to refer others to your site, and they are more likely to respond to future offers that you make to them.
  • Give the customer an option of saying “Maybe Later.” Some truly interested prospects just won’t be able to buy right now for a variety of legitimate reasons. Make sure you offer them the opportunity to join your e-zine or newsletter or sign up for an
    autoresponder series. Do something that gives you the opportunity to stay in front of that customer until he or she is ready to say Yes.
  • Go slowly and get your prospect in the mood to buy. Don’t rush in there and yell “Give me your money.” Take time to determine the reasons that someone will buy your product and weave those reasons into a word picture that elevates the prospect’s curiosity and enhances the buying mood.
  • Build a rapport with your prospects. People want to be talked to, not at. Show them that you are a friend and an expert in your field by EDUCATING them and not SELLING to them. You can write as long of a sales letter as you need (but not ONE WORD LONGER) without fear of losing a truly interested prospect.

Create a level of excitement over your product or service by explaining how it’s going to change their life, or save them
money, or make them look more attractive, or whatever your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) may be.

Related post…Tips for writing emails that actually get read

Here are some more useful tips for building trust when you send an e-mail:

 Tips for Building Trust

An image of little white animated men holding a letter spelling trust

  • Send only relevant information that will help your readers see you as an expert in your field. Create an online persona that sets you apart as a live person and not just some plastic corporate face. Provide anecdotes, tell people what’s going on in your life, from time to time, and give them other ways to come to know “you” and not just your company.
  • Do not constantly throw sales pitches. Some of your e-mail should simply be interesting and timely.  Create free offers that are relevant to your products or services and give them away with no strings attached.

                                                                  Always be truthful.

                                                                  No hype allowed.

  • Never recommend someone else’s product or service unless you have used it yourself and find it to be all that the manufacturer or service provider claims that it is.
  • Respect your reader’s time. Keep your messages short yet punchy. Don’t expect to build a relationship overnight. It’s a time-consuming process that will pay off well once it begins to happen. If you think you don’t have the time, think again. The fact is: The exact amount of time that it takes to build a relationship is going to pass whether you take the steps to do it or not. The only difference is going to be how profitable your business is at the end of that time. It’s all up to you.

Creating eMail Copy/Articles That Work.

Writing an effective e-mail advertisement is part art and part science. The science portion is pretty straight-forward and can be easily taught. The art portion takes a bit of practice to get right. Fortunately, there are some great ways to test your e-mail response so you can continually hone the words until you get it right.

The Science of Writing An e-mail Advertisement above I talked about these three essential parts of an e-mail advertisement:

1. Headline (Subject)
2. Message Body
3. Call To Action

You also saw examples of each headline type along with some samples. Now it’s time to go deeper into each of these three essential parts and learn how to construct each of them in order to receive maximum results.

How To Write A Headline

The hardest part of writing a headline is figuring out what it is you want to say. You can create the most grammatically perfect headline using the most proper English possible and the e-mail campaign will probably fall flat.

Saying the wrong things with the right words = No Sale.

You need to convey your point in as few words as possible and not worry about your High School English teacher grading your paper. It’s not going to happen. Your goal is not to show the world what a talented and eloquent writer you are. Your goal is to make the cash register ring!

Don’t start out focusing on “how” you are going to say something, start out focusing on “what” it is you want to convey to the readers and which of their “pain” buttons you want to push.

Give your headline the respect that it deserves. After all, it is your best salesperson. It’s your attention getter. It’s the one chance you have to get your offer out in front of your audience. If your headline fails to do its job properly, the remaining portions of the e-mail message will never get their chance to shine.

In order to write a powerful headline, you have to step out of your shoes and into the shoes of your prospect. You have to know which buttons need to be pushed. You have to know which words will excite them and which ones will put them to sleep. But most of all, you have to know how to use those words to make it impossible for them not to want to read the remainder of the message.

Related content…More tips for writing emails

The Responsibilities Of A Headline.

 Attract Attention

Your ad needs to stand out from the crowd and it’s your headline that’s going to make that happen. Unless you attract the reader’s attention right up front you can count on having it hit the trash can in about 3 seconds or less. That’s about all the time your headline has to make a difference. The only way to attract attention is to hit one or more of the pain buttons described above.

 Act As A Funnel

If you are the least bit realistic you already know that not everyone who receives your ad is going to be a prospect. Some people don’t want or need your product or service and there’s little that you can do to convince them otherwise.

Your headline should weed these people out in advance by not being deceptive in any way. A “Free Offer” should be a Free Offer. If it’s not, don’t say it. Don’t trick people into reading your e-mail; they won’t appreciate it.

A few years ago it was popular for people selling business opportunities to use a headline that read: “Notice of payment received.” That headline really grabbed attention because it was the exact same headline that PayPal used to notify someone that he had received money via PayPal.

The open rate for a message bearing this headline was nearly 100%. However, the click-through rate to the landing page was near zero once people learned that they had been deceived.

This illustrates the point that attracting attention alone is not sufficient. The headline did not act like a funnel. It did not draw the attention of potentially interested prospects. It drew everyone’s attention yet the campaign was a

It is better to let your headline proclaim the truth without giving away so much information that someone doesn’t have to read the e-mail message to learn more. Here’s an example of a simple headline that will motivate interested people to read more while still telling the truth.

Published Author Reveals How To Write A Book In 30 Days Or Less.

Anyone who is interested in writing a book is going to click to see who this published author is and how it could ever be possible to write a book in 30 days or less. Anyone who has no interest in writing a book is not going to have an interest in your headline.

Here’s another example:

100 Can’t-Fail Creamy Fudge Recipes For Free

Fudge lovers will click. Interested cooks will click. Even people who are on diets may click if they are interested in making fudge for friends or family members.

 Deliver An Entire Mini-Sales Message

If you think about it you’ll see that your headline is really a stand-alone sales message. It’s designed to sell someone on wanting to read the body of the message. If you carry this out to its final conclusion, it becomes obvious that the job of the message body is to sell the reader on clicking on the call to action so they can be transported to the landing page where the real selling gets done.

E-mail readership studies show that 80% of your prospects will read only the headline before deciding whether or not they want to know more. That means you’ll lose 8 out of 10 prospects if your headline doesn’t “sell.” That’s why headlines that simply tease a reader don’t work. Here’s an example of what I mean:

“I make $500 per day on the Internet”

Good for you, that’s a lot of money,” the reader is thinking as he or she clicks the delete button and moves on to the next message in their inbox.

This alternative headline will draw a much better response:

Discover the secret to making $500 per day on the Internet.

Actually, the chances are that neither headline is going to pull very well because everyone’s tired of getting those types of messages only to discover that it’s all about one more no recruiting required, I’ll get all your members for you get rich quick scheme.

Try this headline instead:

Earn a good second income by reading this free article.

Headline Secrets

There is no one fast and firm technique for writing a headline. If the headline works it’s written correctly. If it doesn’t work, you’ll know. There are, however, some basic headline rules that always work. All you have to do is learn the rules and then write headlines that obey those rules.

1. Keep it Short and Simple (KISS)

Don’t beat around the bush; don’t try to use clever wordplay. Just deliver your message and let the headline do its job.

Free Shipping On All Harry Potter Books Ordered By January 31.
Save 30% on Authentic Designer Purses
Lose 3 Dress Sizes In 30 Days
Learn How to Increase Your Trading Skills at a No-Cost Online Seminar
Pay Less for Valentine’s Day Flowers: Pre-Order Today

2. Keep the benefit out in front of the reader

Don’t make readers wonder what’s in it for them. State it up front and state it loud and clear.

Order 12 months of eBay News and get 10 eBay Store Templates Free!
Make $750 per week in your spare time by cleaning window blinds
Quit Smoking in 30 days WITHOUT Cold Turkey Symptoms
Learn how to profit from the coming oil shortage

3. Try writing a newsworthy headline

People love a news headline. Newspaper journalists know that so take a cue from their writing style and watch your sales grow. This type of headline skirts a bit around the “funnel” concept because it doesn’t necessarily weed out the interested from the disinterested, but it’s powerful enough to make it worth trying.

Brazilian Botanist Discovers Anti-Aging Nectar In Common Planter
Unemployed Truck Driver Finds Gold In Recycled Garage Junk
Created for his own kids, Dermatologist announces new acne treatment
Home Business Accountant Reveals 50 Legal Tax Deductions YOU Overlooked!

Don’t be concerned if the product or service isn’t brand new. It doesn’t have to be brand new to be “news” to someone who has never heard of it.

4. Use the power of “How To”

You almost can’t go wrong with a “How To” headline. People love learning new ways to accomplish things and they love to look knowledgeable to their friends.

How to Hypnotize ANYONE in 2 minutes or less
How to write killer headlines every time
How to do all the magic tricks you see on TV
How to make money in your spare time with a block of wood and a pencil

5. Give them a juicy question to ponder

Pose a question that can only lead them to read your e-mail message to get the answer. People love questions and they’ll love your product or service if it answers it for them.

Was your last raise as big as you deserved it to be?
Have you ever made THIS mistake on your resume?
What do people think when they hear you talk?
Have you ever been nervous about approaching someone you’d like to meet?

6. Give them a direct command

There are plenty of people who are waiting for someone to tell them what to do. You can be their leader if you craft the right headline.

Stop wasting time and get the promotion you deserve
Don’t let shyness stop you from finding true love
Stop losing at the poker table. Read this article now
Stop looking like you dressed in the dark

7. Offer people life-changing information

People spend billions of dollars every year on books, magazines, newspapers, and newsletters because they want to change their lives. You can tap into that huge market with your life-changing headlines.

Ten Steps You Need To Take Now To Terrorist-Proof Your Portfolio
Discover The 5 Easy Steps To Writing Your Own Sales Copy
10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Add 20 Years To Your Life
What Your Dentist Hopes You’ll Never Discover About Over-billing

8. Use testimonials to let other people sell for you

You don’t have to be an expert as long as someone else is willing to praise your product or service. You get a double bang because people want to own or use things that are popular and they want to associate with successful or popular people.

Read what your stockbroker is reading and know what your stockbroker knows.
Here are the 5 things that all successful Internet marketers have in common.
Why Oprah won’t leave home without this makeup item in her purse.
15 popular Presidents carried a silver dollar with them. Here’s why you should too.

9. Personify your headline by adding a bit of character to the subject.

People are naturally distrustful of advertising, especially when it seems a bit hard to believe or when they feel disconnected from what the headline is saying. Add a little “down home” authenticity and watch your response rate soar.

N.Y. Cab Driver Discovers Secret To Better Vision
How one Texas ranch hand wins 8 out of 10 poker hands
Swiss Jeweler rocks the world with new simulated diamond
Florida housewife bans roaches using this common pantry item

Related post…Compare email marketing services 

Failing To Obey The CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited
Pornography and Marketing Act) was passed into law by the United States
Congress to establish rules for companies that use e-mail for marketing or
other commercial purposes.
The law affects any U.S.-based company or person that sends e-mail
containing advertising that promotes a product or service.
Transactional e-mail, which is an e-mail that is used solely to update a
customer with information that is relative to his or her account or order, is
generally exempt from most provisions of the Act except that it may not
use “false or misleading routing information.”
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is charged with the
responsibility of enforcing the CAN-SPAM Act and the United States
Department of Justice (DOJ) is authorized to pursue criminal actions
against violators of the Act.

I hope you found this lengthy post of some interest on “How to write emails the definitive guide ” and will help you write your emails for maximum impact.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me in the comments area or contact form.



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