4 Tips to Improve Your Business Email Writing

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of email marketing for businesses.

B2B companies see email marketing as their No.1 strategy, and for a bunch of good reasons. According to the statistics by Backlinko:

  • 77% of B2B marketers say newsletters are their best-performing type of content
  • 40% of the respondents say email marketing is crucial for their success
  • 59% of marketers say emails are their top channel of revenue
  • 79% of them also say email is the best channel for organic content distribution

However, you have to understand that these numbers are average. In reality, it’s quite hard to achieve these numbers, even if you have a high-quality email marketing platform, perfect audience segmentation, etc.

Sometimes, the success of email marketing lies in your skill to write emails. If you don’t know how to craft a copy that engages your audience from the beginning, no fancy software or customer data will help you achieve a good result.

That’s why, today, we’re going to take a look at a few email writing tips that cover the essentials of how to craft a good email copy that delivers engagement and boosts conversions.

1. Pay Attention to Your Subject Lines

Is the email itself more important than a subject line?

No.

An email subject line is the first criterion, according to which consumers evaluate the credibility of the email message. Reportedly, 69% of people usually report emails spam just because of its subject line.

In business email writing, crafting a convincing subject line is very important. Whether you’re writing a promotional message to your subscribers or sending a cold email to a potential client, a subject line should reflect the purpose of your email, no fluff is allowed.

So, let’s take a look at what it takes to write a good subject line for business emails.

1) Make your subject line no longer than 6-10 words

What’s the difference between these two subject lines?

#1:

#2:

It’s easy to see that the first subject line is short and straightforward, while the second one has so much information in it that it makes this subject line unreadable. It’s hard to tell what this message is about, so would you want to open an email like this?

Obviously, the second subject line is for the newsletter that contains a lot of information. But it doesn’t mean that the subject line should be this long.

The shorter and more straight-to-the-point your subject line is, the better. You can see that statistics prove it as well, showing that different subject line length has different open rates:

  • 0-5 words – 16% open rate
  • 6-10 words – 21% open rate
  • 11-15 words – 14% open rate
  • 16-20 words – 12% open rate
  • 21-15 words – 9% open rate

See how significant the drop is for shorter and longer subject lines? Try to keep yours within the range of six to ten words to maintain high open rates of your emails as well.

2) Be careful with emoji and CAPS

Regarding the use of all CAPS in email subject lines, you might have noticed that there is a love-hate relationship with it – brands love it, customers absolutely hate it, mostly because such subject lines look spammy.

On top of that, email subject lines with all CAPS have a significantly lower open rate. According to research by Boomerangapp that studied over 300,000 emails, messages with all CAPS subject lines received 30% fewer replies than other emails.

So, what is acceptable capitalization for email subject lines?

Here are two rules you need to follow:

  • You should capitalize your subject line like a title – every major word should start with an upper-case letter.
  • Keep in mind that articles and prepositions fewer than five letters don’t have to be capitalized.

Indeed, this information looks like it has nothing to do with business email copywriting, but it does. A subject line with proper punctuation and capitalization looks tidy and professional, which is important in business communications.

Tip: you can check the correctness of your subject lines using proofreaders on the best writing websites page or with tools like Grammarly. You should also run a quick readability check to make sure your subject lines aren’t overstuffed with unnecessary adverbs.

Now, what’s up with emoji?

You might have noticed that many businesses use emoji in email subject lines. However, there should be an occasion for that.

For example, if you’re writing a promotional email with a special urgent offer, you can use one-two emoji that emphasize this urgency:

Speaking of urgency, it is also allowed to use CAPS one-two words in your subject line to make it look more pronounced:

But be careful. Not every email service provider supports all the emoji, and your subject line will appear like this:

To make sure this doesn’t happen, run a quick test to see how different email service providers show your email subject line.

3) Try the curiosity gap to increase engagement

Now, let’s talk about the contents of your subject line.

What can you do to boost the subscribers’ interest in reading your emails?

One of the most effective approaches that you can include in your business email writing arsenal is the curiosity gap.

This approach stems from cognitive psychology and indicates a space between something we know and something we’re about to find out. The curiosity gap is often used in copywriting, and one study has shown that it can bring a 927% increase in clicks.

Here are a few ways you can employ this approach when writing email subject lines:

  • Ask questions. When we see a question, we immediately start looking for answers. This method is often used in email writing because it creates a transition between a subject line and a message itself:

  • Build suspense. You can also agitate the desire for more information with a simple statement:

As you can see, the curiosity gap approach is very simple, but it delivers powerful results because it addresses the basic human need for knowledge.

2. Keep the Pre-Header Text in Mind

Pre-headers are disregarded as often as email subject lines. Meanwhile, you can use them to boost clicks and overall engagement.

Consider a pre-header as an extension of an email subject line. If you think about it this way, you’ll see that pre-headers have a lot of potential and can also be used to build up suspense and increase interest.

Just take a look at these two pre-headers:

#1:

#2:

Just like with email subject lines, the length of the pre-header also matters a lot. The second image shows an example of a good pre-header that extends organically from a subject line. In the first example, however, you can’t even tell where the end of this pre-header is, not to mention that it’s completely irrelevant.

Considering the examples above, let’s take a look at a few tips to craft a good pre-header:

  • Consider the length. It’s clear that you have very limited space for a pre-header, that’s why you can’t include long sentences in it. An optimal length for a pre-header is about 85-100 characters. If your pre-header has more, then it might show up like in the first example above.
  • Use the question-answer formula. A subject line and a pre-header are the perfect combination for the curiosity gap. You can ask a question in a subject line and give an answer with a hint in a pre-header. This way, both these elements look natural:

  • Create a pre-header CTA. You can also use the space you have in a pre-header to throw a first-level call-to-action inviting the reader to open the message:

A pre-header is also a perfect space for some subliminal advertisement of your business. But beware of words and phrases that are spam triggers. Otherwise, your email won’t reach the addressee.

3. Take Advantage of Personalization Tactics

In business email writing, personalization is one of the factors that you cannot overlook. For example, if you’re writing a cold email with a sales pitch, the addressee will be able to tell if this message was tailored to their interests or if it was blindly copy-pasted.

One of the most widespread email personalization tactics is email list segmentation. For example, if a male subscribes to promotional emails from an online clothes shop, they will only receive messages with product offers tailored to their demographic:

business email writing

Audience segmentation is quite effective in terms of personalization and delivers good sales results. Reportedly, segmented campaigns can deliver a 760% increase in revenue, which proves that personalization can go a long way in making your email marketing efforts successful.

However, email list segmentation is a task that easily gets automated through an integrated email marketing platform. But if you want to personalize your emails even more, you can use the following writing tips:

1) Call your customers by name

This strategy has been known to the world since the beginning of time, and it still is quite effective.

Calling your subscribers by name establishes a rapport and serves as a perfect conversation starter:

email writing

The message you see above is a good example of a B2B email using this personalization tactic. Regardless of what your email is about, calling your subscribers by their names helps remove that robotic feature that emails sometimes have and make them feel not so detached.

2) Introduce yourself

Apart from calling your customers by name, you can also introduce yourself. You can put your name in the subject line directly to add credibility to your message:

This approach works the same as the previous one – it builds the rapport between the sender and the subscriber and turns their interaction into a meaningful conversation.

3) Build the entire email around the personal customer journey

This is the next-level personalization approach because it requires you to tailor your email in a way that describes the personal customer journey of each of your subscribers.

Here’s how Grammarly does it:

writing emails

Every week, it sends each customer personalized performance reports. This is also a great way to show how the product benefits its users.

If you want to use this method to personalize your emails, make sure you collect insights and data from your customers, for example, customer feedback and their purchase patterns.

4. Don’t Skip the Email Signature

The last thing that is as important in business email writing as all the previous ones that we mentioned is an email signature. You cannot imagine a professional-looking business email without a proper signature that introduces you to your clients or customers.

A successfully-crafted email signature does not only represent your brand, but it also can increase conversions, of course, if you do it right. So, here are a few quick tips for you to consider when you’ll be crafting your email signature:

  • Add a photo. This is a simple but effective method to show that your subscribers are talking to a real person, not a bot:

  • Include your personal signature. If you’re not a fan of logos but still want to add a personal touch to your emails, you can use the screenshot of your signature as proof of your authenticity:

  • Use your company’s logo for added branding. If both the above-mentioned options are not quite fitting for your business, but you still want to add a bit more branding to your email, you can use your company’s logo. It also helps bring more credibility to your message:

To use this tip, you don’t necessarily have to represent a company. If you’re working on building your personal brand, you can as well have a logo and feature it in your emails.

In business email writing, email signatures are important because they are perceived as your personal business card. So, when crafting your emails, keep the signatures in mind as well, and don’t forget to run a test to see that your signatures appear fully on different email service platforms and don’t slow down the loading time of your emails.

Final Thoughts

Of course, there’s a lot more to business email writing than we mentioned in this article. However, we tried to cover the basics, without which you cannot achieve a good result.

Hopefully, our tips will help you write great business emails with engaging subject lines and pre-headers, unique personalization, and professional-looking email signatures.

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