How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks)

How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks)

How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks)

How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks)

How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks)
How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks)
How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks) How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks) How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks) How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks) How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks)

How to Write a More Effective Email (15+ Best Tips & Tricks)

Writing effective emails can be a challenge. You’ve written
an important message that you know your audience could use. But they seem to
ignore your emails. It may be time to step up your game.

In this tutorial, we’ll
take you through the professional email writing process from start to finish.
We’ve got over 15
helpful email writing tips for writing an effective email. 

You’ll start by learning to identify the goal for your
effective email. You’ll end by
learning the right closing and the importance of an email signature template.
We’ll also discuss the use of images and animations in email, as well as the
right time to send a business email.

Learn how to write more effective emails with professional tips
Are you ready to learn how to write more effective emails? (graphic source)

Now jump into these killer tips for how to write an effective email: 

1. Set a Clear Goal for Your Email

Start by deciding what results you want from your email.
Then, write your email with that goal in mind. Your email can’t achieve its
purpose if you don’t know why you’re writing it.

When choosing a goal for your email, it’s best to keep the
goal simple. It’ll be less confusing for the audience.

For example, which email do you think would be more likely
to meet its goal?

  1. An email with the goal of getting the reader to
    click through to a landing page (one goal).
  2. An email with the goal of getting the reader to
    click through to a landing page, share information on social media, and watch a
    YouTube video (three goals).

The first email is more likely to be successful because
there’s only one simple goal. While the second email might succeed in getting a
reader to perform one of the desired actions, they’re unlikely to do all three.

2. Use the Right Email Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing your reader sees. A poor
subject line could get your email deleted or even worse, sent directly to the
Spam folder.

Keep your email subject line concise, but be specific. Don’t
mislead your reader either or you’ll leave a bad impression.

Your subject line should also be relevant to your recipient.
Everyone hates getting a generic email that has nothing to do with them. If you
can, take it a step further and personalize the subject line.

Here’s an example of a bad email subject line:

Important Email. Get

This a bad subject line. It’s vague. The words
important email” don’t tell the reader anything about the email. Also, it’s misleading. If the reader opened the email, they’d see
that they won’t get $100 unless they win a contest. Finally, the three
exclamation points at the end of the subject line make this subject line look

Here’s a better email subject line for the same email:

Discover your new XYZ
features (register to win a $100 prize)

Rather than the vague phrase, “important email,” the second
subject line tells the reader that this email lists new features for XYZ—a
product they own. And the phrase in parenthesis makes it clear that the $100 is
a prize.

Note: The XYZ software
app described in these emails is fictitious. It is used only to illustrate
these examples and isn’t based on any real software tool.

For more information on creating powerful subject lines,

3. Use the Best Email Opening

Even if your reader opens your email, the first few lines
could be such a turn off that they stop reading right there. Pay extra
attention to the salutation (email greeting) and the opening sentence to make
sure your email is effective.

When it comes to email greetings, use the
proper degree of formality. To know how formal to be you must know your audience.
Will your audience be offended by an informal greeting, or will being informal make your
business seem more approachable? You can’t know the answer unless you’ve done your
homework about your readers.

Regardless of whether your email takes a formal or informal
tone, some openings are simply too unprofessional for a business email. Look at
this email opening:

Yo XYZ User!

Your XYZ software has
been upgraded.

Even if your email is written in a casual tone,
Yo” is practically never a good email salutation. Contrast the
opening above with the following, more effective (and professional) email opening:

Hello Laura,

We’re glad you’ve
chosen XYZ software. As mentioned in your maintenance agreement, XYZ has been
automatically upgraded to version 4.2.

The email tone is still casual (“Hello“), but
notice the personalization of adding my name. For more details on how to create
an opening for an effective email, review the following tutorial:

4. List Your Main Points

Once you’ve created a strong subject line and chosen a good
email salutation and opening line, get to the main point of your email message
quickly. Stay concise. If you’ve got more than one point, use a list so your
reader can scan it easily.

Continuing with the previous example, instead of putting all
the new software features in a long paragraph, use a list to make them easily scannable. Like this:

1. Integrates
with smartphone or tablet

2. Increased
cloud-based storage

3. Auto-fill
for common phrases

4. In-software
spell check now includes foreign phrases

Your reader can see the features at a glance. But listing
features isn’t quite enough. Explain why those features are important to your
email recipient.

5. Explain Benefits in Your Email

Many business professionals don’t understand the difference
between features and benefits. Features describe what your product does. A
benefit explains how a feature helps your reader.

Don’t assume that your email reader already knows why
something is important to them. Make sure your email explains how your reader

Let’s upgrade the list of software features we created
earlier and include the customer benefits of each. The list now looks like

1. Use the software anywhere. Integrates with a smartphone or tablet.
2. Plenty of space to save everything you need. Increased cloud-based storage.
3. Fill out forms quickly. Auto-fill for common phrases.
Reduce errors in foreign words. In-software spell check now includes common
foreign phrases.

The list now shows how each feature upgrade helps your
reader. They’re much more likely to be interested in an email that clearly
explains the benefits.

6. Write to Your Audience

We touched on this earlier, but tailor your email to what
you know about your reader. Use the tone and terms they’ll relate to.

Too often, business people put as many technical terms into
their email as they can fit in—mistakenly thinking that using lots of industry
jargon will impress the reader. Actually, unfamiliar terms are more likely to
irritate and alienate your reader than they are to impress them. Also, avoid
using uncommon abbreviations.

Write your email at a reading level that your readers can
understand. Several studies show that most adults in the U.S. are comfortable
with material written at a seventh through ninth grade reading level. So, if
this is the audience you’re trying to reach, gear your writing to that grade
level range.

To find out what level your email is written at, use a
readability checker. Some authoring tools have a readability checker built in,
or find an online readability checker like the Hemingway App.

7. Use Subheads in Your Email Body

Subheads and other formatting makes an email more scannable
and helps your reader absorb your message. Remember, your reader is likely in a
hurry. With a subhead, they can grasp your main points without too much effort.

Let’s add a subhead to the email example we’ve been working
on. This time, let’s look at the whole email that we’ve written so far. Here it

Subject: Discover your
new XYZ features (register to win a $100 prize)

Hello Laura,

We’re glad you’ve
chosen XYZ software. As mentioned in your maintenance agreement, XYZ has been
automatically upgraded to version 4.2.

XYZ Software 4.2 Upgrades

1. Use XYZ anywhere. Integrates with a smartphone or tablet.
Save everything you need. Increased cloud-based storage.
3. Fill out forms quickly. Auto-fill for common phrases.
4. Reduce errors in foreign words. In-software spell check now includes common
foreign phrases.

Notice how the
subhead leading into the list, XYZ Software 4.2 Upgrades, is one of the first things that catches the
reader’s eye.

8. Use Images in Your Email

As with any type of content, images in an email draw a
reader in and capture their attention. Don’t overdo images in your professional
email. One large or two small images are enough for most business emails.

Some drawbacks to using images include:

  • Size. A
    large image could make your email load more slowly.
  • Filters. Some
    email filters and email systems block images.
  • Wrong
    Adding an unprofessional image makes your email less effective
    instead of more effective.

Make sure any images you use are professional.
And of course, you need the intellectual rights to use whatever image you use.

Where can you find effective images to add to your emails?
Once quality source of royalty-free professional images is Envato Elements. For a small
monthly fee, choose between over 200,000 professionally curated photos.
And you’ll have access to lots of other professional graphic assets as well.

Envato Elements images

9. Or Use Animation

If you really want to capture a reader’s attention, consider
using an animated GIF. Animated GIFs add motion to your message, which draws
the reader’s eye.

Be careful when you add GIFs to your emails though. A simple animation
works better than a complicated one. And emails with animated GIF files do face
some problems, including:

  • Larger file size
  • Slower load time
  • Not supported by some email systems
  • May distract the reader if used improperly

For a more in-depth look at using animated GIFs in email, read:

10. Include a Call to Action

Your reader won’t know what to do next unless you tell them.
Include a clear call to action to get the results you want.

In the email, we’ve been creating for this tutorial, we’d
like the reader to subscribe to our newsletter. By signing up for the
newsletter, they’ll also be registering to win the $100 prize. Here’s what our
call to action looks like for our example email:

Discover more about
how to use XYZ software (and register to win $100) by subscribing to the XYZ weekly

Notice how the call to action includes an underlined link. In a live
email, that would be a clickable link that the reader could click on right

11. Make Your Email Closing Effective

If your reader has read all the way through your email, it’s
important that you leave them with a good impression. Adding an effective closing
to your email is the best way to make sure your reader leaves with a good feeling about your company.

Make your email closing sincere and appropriate. Just
as you took your audience into consideration when you wrote the rest of the
email, think about your audience when you write your email closing.

An effective email closing includes a closing phrase and
identifies the sender. Just as there are formal and informal email salutations,
there are also formal and informal email closings. The type of closing you
choose depends on the target audience for your email.

To close the example email we’ve been working on, we’ll use
this simple email closing:

Thanks again for
choosing XYZ software to meet your software needs.

Best Wishes,

Jane Jones
CEO and Founder, AnyTown Consulting


[email protected] Consulting

Note: In this example, AnyTown Consulting is the company that developed the
fictitious XYZ app in the example email. AnyTown Consulting is a
fictitious company used for the purposes of illustration. It isn’t intended to
represent any real company or organization.

For more details on how to close your effective email, refer

12. Use a Pro Email Signature Template

For an extra degree of professionalism, add a signature
template to your email. A professional signature template includes your brand
and your contact information. This  design element makes your email stand out,
which makes your email more effective.

Here’s the email we’ve been working on with a professional

Effective Email with Signature Template
Make your email more effective by adding a signature template.

Note: The
professional template illustrated above uses the
1127 Email Signature template from Envato’s GraphicRiver, which is a great source for professional email
templates like the one used in the example above.

Find more examples of professional signature templates in
this article:

13. Add a P.S.

A little-known fact is that the P.S. (postscript) is one of the
most read parts of an email. If you’re not familiar with the term, P.S. refers
to a sentence, phrase, or short paragraph added after the signature block. The
idea is that the postscript is a last-minute addition to the email.

In emails, the P.S. may include an extra call to action, or
even a special offer. Adding a postscript to your email can make it more

Here’s an example postscript for the email example we’ve
been working on:

P.S. I nearly forgot
to tell you. If you sign up(link) for our newsletter by the
end of this month, that’s November 30th, we’ll add a free month to your support

If your reader was debating about signing up for the
newsletter, the added incentive in the P.S. may be enough to make up their

14. Give It a Once-Over

Errors and mistakes reduce the effectiveness of your email.
They also give the reader a bad impression of your business. It’s up to you to
make sure that your professional email is as clean as possible before you send

Review your email carefully. Check for:

  • Spelling errors
  • Punctuation errors
  • Word usage errors
  • Incorrect information

If you can, have someone else proofread your email. Once you’re
sure that your email is error-free, you’re ready to send it.

15. Send It at the Right Time

When you send your email is important. The best time to send
an email varies, depending on your target audience for the email.

For example, you might not want to send a business person an
email at 5:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. They may have left the office and by the
time they get in on Monday morning your email will be just one of many that
came in over the weekend—making your recipient less likely to read it.

Most studies agree that Tuesday is the best day of the week
to send an email to a business person. Of course, the best day to reach your
target audience may be different. So, learn all you can about your email

16. Don’t Forget to Follow Up

For your email to be effective, it’s important to follow up.
Your follow up can take two forms:

  1. A shorter reminder email to those who didn’t
    respond to the first email
  2. Answers to any questions or other responses you
    receive because of the first email

Follow up can often be the difference between getting a sale
and not getting a sale.

To answer any responses you receive, your own email inbox must
be organized and clutter-free or you may overlook the response. In the example
we’ve been using, imagine that an email recipient responds asking whether the
XYZ newsletter subscription costs money. But, you don’t see their response due
to email inbox clutter. There’s an opportunity lost.

To learn more about how to manage your email inbox and keep
it clutter-free, study our FREE eBook on email inbox management: 
The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero

Free PDF guide to effective email inbox management tips


Effective email writing isn’t difficult once you know how to
reach your audience. Use the professional email communication tips in this tutorial to write more effective emails.

For additional information on how to write a persuasive email,

To learn how to format an email and business writing tips
for emails, refer to:

What email writing tips do you have for writing effective emails that engage with recipients? Let us know your best tips in the comments.