The Anatomy of The Perfect Email

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Last updated on August 25, 2016

In case you haven’t quite noticed, we live in a world of too much email. And while Inbox Zero is as lofty a goal as the elusive work/life balance, sending and receiving email as a small business owner is pretty much required.

Look: I’m not talking about just your personal emails going out directly from your inbox either. Email is a required part of a powerful marketing plan and building your list is one hot topic.

To help you stay on top of your email-sending game, I’ve combed through thousands of emails to find the winning formula for the perfect structure for your next broadcast. And while I love the written word, I thought a perfectly-pinnable infographic would help you the most… so I made you one.

The Anatomy of The Perfect Email

What are the key takeaways?

1) Get friendly. Email subject lines, greetings, and content written like they are to a friend are more likely to be read than any other email. Would you write an email to your friend with the subject line: OMG YOU HAVE TO DO THESE 15 THINGS BEFORE NEXT WEEK! ? Probably not. So keep your emails friendly and conversational to get more eyes on the actual content.

2) Be brief. Let me quote the (in)famous Sweet Brown with a big ol’ “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” If your emails are long and rambling, your readers will click on through to the next one before you even capture their attention. Sure, say what you need to say but keep it concise.

3) Link Out. We take deliverability pretty seriously here at ConvertKit. After all, an email sent is only good to you if it actually makes it to the intended inbox. To make the most of your deliverability, leave the videos and GIFs (as much as we love them) to your blog or YouTube channel. Snag a screenshot, embed that photo, and link out so your readers can engage with you even longer by visiting your site.

4) Get organized. Use headlines and bold keywords to move the reader’s eye down the digital page. If your email has multiple parts or a few areas of focus, point them out with lists or headings so your recipient doesn’t have to decipher the clues on their own.

5) Break it up. If you write an email that’s 500 words and all one paragraph, it’s going to take a long time to read and might not ever pass the point of simply being opened. Let’s face it, we live in a world of communicating in 140 characters or less. If your paragraph is more than three sentences (five, max), it’s time to get friendly with the Return key on your keyboard.

No matter what kind of emails you’re sending, the goal is to have them opened, read, and responded to. If that’s not the goal, I challenge you to ask yourself why you’re sending the email in the first place.

It’s time to send better emails. I can’t wait to read yours.

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Val Geisler

Val is a yogi, mom, military wife, and avid podcast fan. She is ridiculously obsessed with sharing and creating content that actually makes a difference in the world, connecting with her fellow bloggers, and doing more with less effort. Val is based on Columbus, Ohio (O-H!) and can often be found oversharing on Instagram at @lovevalgeisler.

  • Good stuff, Val! Always looking to improve my email content. I’ll be combing through my email lessons and using these tips to try and improve my open & click rates. Thanks!

  • January Mae Tan

    Thanks for the tips, Val. Especially the one on linking out. Looking forward to reading more from you. ?

  • Nice infographics. Some people suggest using vague subject line to increase open rate, but I agree that it’s better to make it clear what the email is about and make them excited.

    By the way, I’ve noticed this since a week ago, someone should fix the tag on this blog. It might hurt your SEO.

  • this infographic is AMAZING and super valuable, thanks!

  • Danny M

    Hi Val,
    Thanks for the video screenshot and link suggestion!
    Will definitely do that.

  • Hi Val,
    Thanks for your good infographic..
    I will try it to build my site…. 😉

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