45+ powerful email writing tips: a how to guide from experts



Do you sometimes get the uneasy feeling that sending out emails is like "shouting into the wind"?

You have a valuable message that you need to get across and you know people might benefit from it, but how can you be sure that your message hit the mark without having the advantage of making eye contact or seeing their body language?

Not really interested in shouting more and louder just for the sake of shouting? Then this guide might interest you.

Why did we write "another" guide on effective email communication?

Motivated by the "shout in the wind" conundrum we set out to find all we can about how to most effectively communicate through email. We searched for and collected authoritative posts from email experts, and analyzed them in our team sessions. We did not stop our research until we started experiencing data saturation - where we did not get any new insights from reading additional material.

We wrote insights onto sticky notes to organize, categorize and trim them - all in an effort to once and for all understand how to best communicate by email: How to get people to open, to read and respond to them.

We decided to round up all of the best tips and tricks into one big, resourceful guide… And now we're sharing it with you!

We sorted these insights into seven different themes:

  1. Improve your mailing list quality
  2. Focus on your subject line
  3. Write great content
  4. Your writing style
  5. Personalization
  6. Practical tips
  7. Timing and scheduling

To help you navigate through all the tips we have tagged them according to the type of email, namely Bulk, Cold or Transactional emails. You can read all the tips or filter them on the right → to only focus on what applies to you.

Bulk emails are sent to multiple people on a mailing list. These include newsletters, notices, email courses, etc.

Cold emails are sent to prospective new customers, influencers or partners - who do not know you - and should be highly personalized and sent individually.

Transactional emails are sent to an individual based on an action taken by that individual, or their inaction. These include password resets, purchase receipts, confirmation requests, scheduled reminders, etc.



Improve your mailing list quality

Just because it's big, doesn't mean it's good. Improving the quality of your mailing list will improve your open rates, and you will have the assurance that you are reaching real people who are interested in your content.

Bulk

Use a double opt-in

In the first step the reader subscribes to your mailing list. In the second step, they click a link in a follow-up email to confirm their email address.

Yes, it will mean that you will have fewer subscribers to your mailing list. But there are two benefits to having a double opt-in: You will avoid a lot of bots and spammers, and the real people who do subscribe are more likely to be genuinely interested in your product, service and/or content - hey, they proved it by going through the trouble of getting onto your mailing list!

Thanks for signing up to receive our weekly newsletter! Please confirm your email address here
Bulk Transactional

Segment your mailing list

When people join your mailing list, prompt them to tell you a little bit about themselves. What are their interests and hobbies? What are their careers and jobs? The more you know about your readers, the more you can personalize the content that you send to them: That way, they will enjoy the emails more, leading them to open more of your emails in the future - becoming a true fan.

Prompt people to tell you a little bit about themselves.

Advanced segmentation

You can segment your mailing list by your readers' past purchases, the topic of your content, their usage patterns within your app or website, and where they are in the customer life-cycle, e.g. introduction, acquisition, retention, or up-selling. Intercom is a useful tool for sending targeted manual or automated messages based on in-app user behaviour.

Bulk

Keep that list fresh

Cull, cull, cull your mailing list. Start by looking through the emails that bounce, and see if you can fix obvious typos - like reader@gmaol.com. Next, send out an email asking if inactive users still want to be on your list - those who read and enjoy, but haven't clicked on anything recently, will be able to decide to stay; while those who don't respond to your email can be culled. A better quality mailing list will give you higher open rates and reduce the number of emails getting marked as spam.

Hi John! I've noticed that you haven't read our emails recently. If you're still enjoying being a part of this mailing list, click to confirm your subscription. Otherwise, I'll be happy to remove you from the list and stop bothering you with my weekly funnies.

Focus on your subject line

Your subject line is the most important written piece of your email. Your subject line and "from" email address are primarily responsible for whether or not people will open your email. There is some research that suggests that leaving your subject line blank improves open rates by 8%, and while that is certainly interesting, we don't recommend using that approach - it looks unprofessional, and your readers might realize you have tricked them. If you are feeling daring and really want to try it out, then we'd love to hear whether or not it improved your open rate.

Bulk Cold Transactional

Make your subject line relevant and enticing

Take your time when writing a subject line - it's the first thing that your readers will see, and is an important prompt you can use in getting readers to open and read your email. (The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer can be a useful tool for improving subject lines.)

Bulk Cold Transactional

Test out different formats

There are many different formats to choose from when writing subject lines, and the only way to figure out what your market likes best, is by testing them out. Try creating subject lines that:

Are funny

Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue...

Are urgent

60% off everything - today only!

Are simple

Your daily insight

Are personalized

John - this one's for you!

Drive curiosity

One tip for increasing open rates that NOBODY thought of

Include numbers

Top 10 ways to get a new customer

Are a question

Do you need to order your admin chaos?

Are a Call to Action

Your future writing companion [INSIDE]

Are open loop

The best way to keep customers smiling is by…

Are surprising

What Pokemon Go can teach you about increasing email open rates

Then use A/B testing to figure out what works best for you and your readers.

A/B testing is comparing two versions of something to see which one performs better. In emailing, this test is done by sending emails to a section of your mailing list - version A to one half, and version B to the other half. Then the version that gets opened or clicked on the most is sent to the rest of your mailing list. There are many services that make A/B testing easy, including Campaign Monitor, Reply and MailChimp.

Bulk Cold Transactional

Try varying lengths of subject lines

Some research suggests that using 6 - 10 words in your subject line will result in the best open rate while others suggest subject line length means nothing. Some people prefer short subject lines, others like them to be long and descriptive, and others like the happy medium.

Different lengths of subject lines will also suit various emails differently - for example, almost all transactional emails should have short subject lines to get the job done as soon as possible. If your readers mostly read your emails on mobile devices then short subject lines make more sense. Not every market likes the same thing, so give them all a go, and do A/B testing to decide which option you will go with most often.

'Today's special!'

vs

'Hey John, check out our latest special - it's only available today!'
Transactional

Write straightforward subject lines for transactional emails

Use the subject line to inform the reader, not to sell them anything - transactional emails are only sent once the reader has become active in the processes of your company. The subject line should be simple. Tell them what they need to know, and nothing more. Something to consider when writing the subject line - does the reader need to open the email, or not? If you can make that clear in the subject line, you will save people valuable time. This is one case where a low open rate may actually get the job done!

'Confirm your registration'

vs

'Registration confirmed (No reply necessary)'
Bulk Cold Transactional

Try the casual approach

People are used to receiving emails from companies, and know how to spot them… But if your subject line is casual and personalized, your readers will be more likely to open your emails. Try personalizing subject lines with your readers' first names, or with special offers personalized to their interests or previous purchases.

John has purchased ebooks about swimming in the last month. Here is a personalized, casual, targeted subject line to get his attention:

'Hi John! Our new ereader is waterproof - take a look!'
Bulk Cold Transactional

Use sentence case

If you receive an email from a friend or family member, Is the Subject Line Written in Title Case? Or is it written in sentence case? Using sentence case in your subject lines makes them look friendlier and less formal - another way to help your readers feel more positive towards your email.

Write great content

With a great subject line, you know that your emails will be opened by most of your recipients. But if your reader is impressed by the subject line and opens up an email, the content had better not disappoint them. If the quality of your content is lacking, then it doesn't matter how many of your original emails are opened... Because your readers will quickly stop opening your emails if they are boring, spammy or too repetitive.

Bulk

Quality over quantity

If the content of your email is worth reading, your readers will want to hear from you in future. But if you send too many emails, flooding your readers' inboxes with less-than-great content, your open rate will decline over time.

Bulk Cold

Make a good first impression!

When somebody signs up to join your mailing list, make sure that they receive an email straight away. The first few emails that they receive from you should contain some of the absolute best content that you have. Once they have received a few of these extraordinary emails, then you can move on to sending them regular, current newsletters.

When sending a cold email, the subject line and first few words in the first paragraph are your first impression. Make sure that everything about that email cannot be improved upon - you will be sending follow-up emails later, but that first email needs to be exceptional.

Bulk

Offer real value in every email that you send

This value can be in the form of useful tips and tricks, discounts for products, fascinating facts, etc. If your reader always feels that they get value from your newsletters, then they will be eager to read future newsletters.

Bulk

Use the open loop technique

This is one of the most effective ways to entice your readers to read more. With open loop, you start telling a story, but have the climax of the story take place somewhere else - either in the next email (which makes your reader more likely to open the follow-up email), or in an external link (which increases your Click Through Rate). Make sure that you only use this technique if there is a good reason for it - trying to get your reader's attention with a superficial open loop story will only be bad for you in the long run.

After a great interview, Tammy suggested that I have a chat with her colleague, Robert, about improving my customer reach. I took her suggestion, and Rob gave me some excellent advice! One tip in particular has changed the way that I advertise my business completely… But this newsletter is getting too long now, so I'll have to tell you about it tomorrow instead.
Bulk Transactional

Be consistent

All of your emails should have the same look and feel, which you can achieve easily by using a designed template that fits your brand. Wherever possible, use similar layouts and color-schemes. This way, your reader will always know what to expect from you, and won't be disappointed or confused by too many big changes from one email to the next. (Most bulk mailing software has a customizable library of templates you can use.)

Always send your emails from the same email address and person. Your reader can become irritated if they have to sift through multiple email addresses, especially if they like to make use of filters in their inbox.

Transactional

Make information easy to find and understand

Don't leave anything up to chance: make sure that the important information being delivered in the email is easy to find and easy to understand. For some great examples of clear, easy to understand transactional emails, take a look at this post on HubSpot.

Bulk Transactional

Don't let your emails get boring

Try to keep things fun and light-hearted by adding some comic relief to the end of your email, after the important information has been seen by your reader. This can be in the form of a funny gif, written joke, silly video, etc.

Don't try to make your reader laugh too soon. They will be more likely to enjoy themselves if they have the time and inclination to read the whole email, whereas if they are in a rush, they will just want to read the important stuff and move on. Be sure to keep your comic relief surprising, as anything that gets repeated too often will eventually become boring.

It's also not advised to include jokes in internal transactional emails, that are only seen by employees, as this could distract them or simply get annoying if the employees are very busy.

Your writing style

How you write your content is just as important as what you write about. Whether you choose to introduce yourself or not, what writing formats you go for, and the tone of voice that you write in, all have a huge impact on your readers. By ensuring that your writing style fits with your market, your readers will enjoy receiving your emails more, and over time will open more of your newsletters and notices.

Cold

Focus on one clear idea

Your email should have a clear purpose, with one clear idea. Keep it short and get to the point quickly, in the first paragraph. Thanks to the average attention span, you only have about 40 words to get your message across before most people lose concentration! So make sure that you either grab your reader's attention in the first 40 words, so that they keep reading… Or, if you are up for a challenge, try to condense your entire email into 40 words.

Cold

Use writing formats backed up by psychology

Having difficulty figuring out a format for your emails? Why not use the methods that professional copywriters have been using for ages? These techniques are built on insight from the field of psychology about what will encourage people to keep on reading to the end of the email.



But You Are Free

Make a request, then offer your reader a way out. This doubles the chance that they will say yes!

Please reply to this email, and we can have a chat! Of course, I understand if you don't have the time to get to it.


Problem-Agitate-Solve (PAS)

Problem — Identify your reader's problem
Agitate — Talk about their problem until it becomes uncomfortable
Solve — Offer your reader your solution to that problem

When you set up a conflict or problem that resonates with your reader's pain, and then show that you have a solution to that pain, you immediately get a better chance of holding their attention and influencing their decision to purchase your product.

Hi [name],

Problem: I've noticed that you're doing registrations for [event and event date].

Agitate: If your registration process is anything like [client you already help]'s was, then you're struggling with numerous excel documents and online registration portals, and you're having trouble keeping track of payments and cancellations.

Solve: [Our product] makes the registration process much simpler, by [how it helps].

CTA: Would you be open to a call on Friday about how we can help your business?

Kind Regards,


Before-After-Bridge (BAB)

Before — Your reader's world before your solution
After — Your reader's world after your solution
Bridge — What your solution is

People are motivated to take action by two things: gaining pleasure and avoiding pain. By painting a picture of your reader's pain, and then showing them how they can avoid that pain and gain pleasure instead, you compel your reader to respond.

Hi [name],

Before: If you're like most companies, you're having difficulty keeping track of your workflows and communicating effectively with your employees and clients.

After: [Our product] helps to improve communication and simplify workflow processes by [how it helps].

Bridge (CTA): If you're willing to have a ten minute chat tomorrow afternoon, I can show you how we can simplify your day-to-day tasks and help you to keep your processes on track. What time would you be free for a call?

Kind Regards,

For more ideas for writing formats, take a look at this post from Yesware.

Cold

Should you introduce yourself?

Interestingly, this is a topic that is fairly evenly split in terms of opinions. There are benefits to introducing yourself at the beginning of an email, at the end, and even not at all.

The benefit of introducing yourself at the beginning of the email is obvious if you (or your company) are well known and popular. Receiving an email from 'John Smith at ABC Consulting' would not have value for your reader.

Leaving the introduction at the end of the email allows you to get to the point sooner - always a good thing in cold emails. You are trying to grab the reader's attention as quickly as possible, and a personal introduction might not be interesting enough to make them read the rest of the email. Leaving it at the end means you can still tell the reader who you are, but that information won't get in the way of the more important message of your email.

Leaving the introduction out completely is a good way to keep your email short and to the point - after all, do people really care who you are? Or do they care more about how you can be of benefit to them? Often, it's the second option.

Everybody's market is different, so different techniques will work better for different companies. Stop and think about your reader, and what would work best for them. Then use A/B testing to find out what gets you the best results.

Bulk Cold Transactional

Write as if you are speaking to one person

Don't write as if you're speaking to a group of people. Be friendly, not too formal and definitely not standoffish. (Write like you talk - avoid using words like 'inquiry', 'correspondence' and 'herewith'. Try reading your email out loud, and if it sounds strange, change it.)

Hey John, [name] here from [company]. I just wanted to hear if you are finding your feet using [product]? Reply to this email with any questions or feedback and let me know. Thanks!
Cold

Straight talk

Acknowledge that the person you are emailing receives a lot of emails, and then motivate why they should read this one. This is a potentially risky move, as it may make you look cocky... But depending on your market, it could be the ideal way to get their attention. Give it a shot, and do some A/B testing to figure out if it works for you.

Hi John, I'm sure that you receive plenty of emails from strangers, and that you delete most of them before you finish reading the first sentence. But here's why you should read this one - hear me out…
Bulk

Play to your readers' curiosity

Entertain your readers by playing to their curiosity and/or creating tension to hold their interest. Mention something that you are embarrassed about, specifically asking them not to react to it, before leading them to a link.

I didn't know that we'd be filming last week, so I was wearing my old crocs during filming… And they wouldn't stop squeaking on the floor! Please don't laugh when you watch the video!

The desire to see (and hear) your embarrassing squeaky crocs will make your readers much more likely to follow your link.

Cold

Prove that you can deliver on your promises

Reference your biggest, happiest customers, or even better, customers that your reader is familiar with. Even better would be to get a referral from one of your current customers. If your customer has referred you to a new potential customer, IMMEDIATELY contact them. That way, if your potential customer asks your existing customer if they really did refer you to them, it will still be fresh in their memory that they did. (And how do you get a referral..? It's simple. Just ask!)

[EXISTING CUSTOMER] had similar issues, and we've been helping them for the last year!' or 'John from [COMPANY] has been our customer for two years, and he thought that you'd be able to use our services, too.
Bulk Cold

Close with a question

Encourage your reader to interact with you by answering you. If you can, personalize the question - ask something specific about them, or their company.

I've noticed you don't have a Live Chat box on your site - is this something you've considered before?
Bulk Cold Transactional

Have a clear Call to Action

Along with having a clear goal/idea in your email, you should place a clear Call to Action within the body of your email - what do you want them to do? Answer or ask a question? Click a link? Phone you? Make it obvious, so that there is no way they can miss it - for the most part, an email without a Call to Action is a waste of time.

Transactional

Order instructions chronologically

When offering support, there are times when you need to give your customers step-by-step instructions on how to fix problems from their side. Always order instructions chronologically, and if there are multiple options for them to choose from, always give them the easiest option first.

Step 1: Log out and log back in again.
Step 2: If that doesn't help, start by going to your Account Details page…
Transactional

Say thank you

When a customer contacts you, you should show that you are thankful for their effort. Did they reach out and ask for help? Thank them for contacting you instead of giving up. Did they point out an issue with your app or website? Say thank you! And no matter why they have contacted you, thank them for being your customer. People appreciate gratitude, and if they are a customer, they deserve it, too.

Hi John, thanks for reaching out! Here's what we can do about that…
Bulk Cold Transactional

Use your P.S. wisely!

Most readers start by reading the subject line, and then skip to the bottom of your email, reading the P.S. This means that although the P.S. is displayed as the last paragraph of your email… people are likely to read it first! Use your P.S. to reiterate your Call to Action, to summarize the benefits that your company can offer, or to remind your reader about how they can get in touch with you. Make sure that the P.S. makes sense as a last paragraph, and can also stand alone as valuable information, even if it's the only thing that gets read.

P.S. I'd love to have a chat about how I can improve your sales. Can I give you a call tomorrow at 14:00?
Bulk Cold

Put all of your contact info into your signature

Including your phone number and company's physical address (but not your email address!) goes a long way towards building trust with your reader, as well as making it incredibly easy for them to contact you if they need to. (Including all contact details in the signature has become the standard for bulk emailing, and is enforced by services like Mailchimp, but if by some chance you are not using a service that requires this, it's good practice anyway).

Avoid creating a signature that is one big image - if the image doesn't load, the reader can't see your contact details, and may not reply. It's safer to use normal text for your signature, and to place your company logo next-to or underneath your contact information.

Bulk Cold

Include a small image in your signature

This is a good way to improve your stats on your open rates. Many of the services that monitor open rates do so by registering if an image has loaded or not. While people are reluctant to download images from emails, they might be enticed to download a photo of you to see who is talking to them. That way, the email gets registered as having been opened. The best images to use in this case would be your company logo, or a small profile shot of you - that way your reader can see the face of the person who's contacted them, which can be a nice personal touch.

Cold

Use an AI assistant to write better emails

You may not realize it, but your tone could be completely inappropriate for the kinds of emails you are sending. Boomerang has an extension for Gmail (and other email clients, too!) that helps you to write emails that are more likely to get a positive response from recipients. Boomerang helps by analyzing your email as you write it, showing you if you have hit the ideal word count, if you have struck the right tone in your conversation, if your writing is easy to understand, and more.

Personalization

A study by Experian revealed that personalized mails had a 29% higher open rate and 41% unique click-through rate… And it's easy to understand why. If something looks like it has been written especially for you, there is a high chance that it will be relevant to you. This will make you more inclined to open the email. So use the information that you have at hand, and personalize, personalize, personalize.

Bulk Cold Transactional

Use their name!

You have their name, so why aren't you using it? Instead of starting an email with 'Hello', why not try 'Hello, John!' Curiously, a report by Mailchimp shows that subject lines with the reader's full name performed the best, while subjects with only the last name came in second place. Subject lines with only the reader's first name still radically outperformed subjects that weren't personalized at all. While this may seem counter-intuitive, it's most likely because the majority of personalized emails only make use of first names, so a reader is more likely to open an email with their full name in the subject line, because they don't see emails like that very often.

Cold

Mention something specific to show why you reached out to them

You could do this by talking about their achievements and what they do, or by explaining how you found them. For example, in the subject line, you could say:

Found you on LinkedIn.

This creates curiosity: 'How did they find me on LinkedIn? Do we have a shared connection?' Then mention who the shared connection is in the body of your email, before continuing with your email. It is very important not to lie about your shared connection, because if your reader decides to look you up and finds out that you have lied, you will be deep in the dog-box.

Bulk Cold

Put yourself in your readers' shoes

Think about what is important to your readers. Using factors like your readers' age, gender, class, location and more, you can really fine-tune the tone that you use and the content that you write. Remember that your emails are not about you! The only direction you should be taking when writing your emails should be from the interest, benefit and the context of the reader. That way you will be more likely to 'hit home' in your email. Try to avoid using 'I, we and me' too often, and focus on using 'you and your' instead.

Cold

Sell the benefits

Instead of trying to gain customers by trying to sell your features, rather focus on how your company can benefit them, specifically. Try to think from your readers' point of view, and structure your email around how your company can make their life easier.

Instead of 'My company increases sales by personalizing communication', try 'We can increase your sales by helping you to build a better relationship with your customers.'
Cold

Contact the person who will make the decision

Don't just contact a random person that works in the company that you are hoping to gain as a customer. If you are not sure who to contact, aim higher up and ask for a referral down to the right person. However, if you are contacting a very small business, the chances are that you can talk to anybody in the company, as small businesses may not have defined sales teams, or finance departments, etc.

When struggling to find the sales team in a big company, try contacting an executive instead, with something like: 'Hi John, I'd like to chat to you about how my company can improve your email open rates. If you're not the right person to talk to, would you please point me in the right direction? Kind Regards'

Practical tips

Not everything is about how great your subject lines are, and how brilliantly written your content is. In order to get accurate open rate results, there are a few things on the technical side that can help you out.

Bulk Cold

Send emails from a personal email address

Improve the chances of emails being opened by sending them from a personal email address, instead of a company address. Seeing a human name in the 'From' field is much friendlier than seeing a business name. An even better way to do this, is to send the email from '[Your Name] from [Your Company]' - this makes the email feel personal, but doesn't hide where it's coming from.

Hubspot tested this by sending emails from 'Hubspot' (resulted in a 0.73% Click Through Rate) vs 'Maggie Georgieva, Hubspot' (0.96% Click Through Rate).
Bulk Cold Transactional

Avoid spam filters

Your email will never have a chance to be opened if it gets stuck in spam. To dodge the spam filters, try a few of these tips:

Connect your sending email address to your LinkedIn profile to prove authenticity. If the recipient uses a tool like Rapportive they will immediately see who you are.

Keep your links to a minimum, and make sure that the links you do include lead to reliable websites.

Avoid common spam words and 'sales-pitch' words and phrases, like 'No questions asked', 'Limited time only' and 'They're just giving it away'. If you are using email campaign software, you can simply use their internal spam grading tools.

Ask your readers to add you to their trusted address book and whitelist your email address on their mail servers.

Don't use dirty tricks - for example, emails beginning with Re: or FWD have much higher open rates than emails without, because they indicate a continued conversation, not a fresh one. While it may seem like a good idea to start your emails that way in order to improve your open rates, your readers will quickly realize that you tricked them, and will mark you as spam manually... And if too many people mark you as spam, you will be branded as a spammer.

Bulk Cold Transactional

Optimize your emails for mobile

Over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. This means that you need to optimize your emails for mobile! Mobile devices have small screens, so make sure that your content is easily scalable, your subject lines don't get cut off, and preferably, keep the content of your email fairly short.

Bulk

Include alt. text or a web copy link

Many of the services that track email open rates rely on images loading for them to know if the email is opened or not. If the images don't load, it will register as unopened, which will skew the results of your open rate. To decrease the likelihood of this happening, you can try the following:

Include a web copy link at the top of your message, directing your readers to click on it if the email doesn't display properly.

Format your email in such a way that missing images are obvious, prompting the reader to click "display images".

Include alternative text for your images. It informs readers of what the image is about and may entice them to click "display images".

<img src='photo.png' alt='Photo of house'/>
Cold

Avoid using images

Including images in cold emails just makes them seem overly planned out and very impersonal. However, you should still keep your email in HTML format. Try placing one image of you in your signature - that way, the person reading will know who they are communicating with, and the open rate will be trackable, without your email seeming too spammy.

Bulk Transactional

Make sure that they know they can reply

People are so used to receiving newsletters and notifications from no-reply email addresses, that they will assume that yours is no-reply, too. If it isn't, make sure that they know they can reply, by leaving a note at the end of your email, potentially in your P.S.

P.S. You can reply directly to this email if you'd like to get in touch.
Bulk Cold

Resend unopened emails

Since you are able to see who has and hasn't opened your emails yet, why not resend the unopened ones? Resending unopened emails has a chance to improve their open rates by about 50%! And if you are worried that your readers will ignore it because it has the same subject line as before, try changing it.

Bulk Cold Transactional

A/B test EVERYTHING that you can

Every little detail about your email can be changed to suit a slightly different market. In order to fine-tune your emails and make them the best that they can be, you need to test which variations come out on top. Do A/B testing for your subject line, your first paragraph only, the entire body of your email, what kind of P.S. you put at the end, and what kinds of images you use.

A/B test EVERYTHING that you can. Of course, if the size of your mailing list is rather limited, there is only so much testing that you can actually do for each email. You will need to prioritize what you think is most important to refine, and focus on those things, first.

Timing and scheduling

Emailing people at appropriate times and then scheduling your emails to go out at a comfortable pace plays a big role in getting your emails opened and read.

Bulk Cold

Timing is everything

You don't want to email people while they are still in their beds, because the chances of them actually reading your email is very slim, especially if they receive more emails to flood yours out before they wake up. When sending out emails, start by finding out which time-zone your reader is in. Then do A/B testing to find out which days in the week, and what times of day, you get the best open rates.

In general, Mondays aren't the best time to send emails, as people are snowed under at work after the weekend. Multiple studies show that the best time to send email is Tuesday at 10am, but this is still completely market-dependant, and testing it for yourself is a must.

Bulk Cold

Stick to a consistent schedule with your emails

Don't send them out too often - you don't want to flood your readers' inboxes with emails, or they may start to think you are spammy, and unsubscribe or mark you as spam.

But don't spread them out too much, either, or readers may forget about you between emails, and wonder why they are receiving email from you.

Offer your readers the opportunity to change the frequency at which they receive emails - this way, people who feel they are receiving too much from you can simply decrease the frequency, instead of unsubscribing altogether.

Cold

Follow up at different times and days

When sending cold emails, it takes an average of 5 emails to get a response, but most people don't even send one follow up email! Just keep following up, and make sure that your follow up emails are valuable, not just a reminder that you have been trying to get in contact. Try offering discounts, gifts, useful information - whatever is relevant to the relationship that you are trying to pursue.

Only by your sixth or seventh email, should you 'give up' - but even this isn't giving up, because your final email can still include valuable questions that might receive answers - questions like:

'Do I have permission to stop contacting you, or are you still interested?'

or

'What would be of more interest to you? Is there some way I can improve? I would love your input!'

Phew! That was a mouthful - congrats for making it to the end of this guide!

How we use this guide at Kotive

We distributed this guide to our team members to get everybody on the same page when it comes to writing emails that get the job done. (After all, we are passionate about working smarter and not harder!)

After getting to grips with all the tips we now work with the much shorter (bulk, cold and transactional) checklists. Whenever we write an email, we scan the applicable checklist to make sure we've covered the important points.

We are finding that these guidelines are starting to become second nature, although we still need reminders from time to time.

The guide is now also part of our induction process for new team members.

Lastly, let us know in the comments if we missed any important tips.