Lesson 8 – The Email Body
So people are opening your emails.
But that doesn’t really mean anything unless they actually READ the emails after opening them.
To make people read, you want to make sure your email body is interesting and exciting.
But it’s not just about “content”.
Yes the content itself matter, but the same content can be presented in multiple different ways.
A piece of content presented in one way may lead to disastrous results (boring, unappealing, unattractive) while that exact same piece of content presented in a different way could lead to completely opposite results (great, interesting, exciting).
So in this chapter, we’re going to take a look at what makes a great email body.
It should have these elements:
Great writing style and presentation
Big enough text to be easily read
“Mini Skirt” experience
CTA (call to action)
Great Writing Style & Presentation
1/ Talk About THEM THEM THEM
Humans are selfish.
We only care about ourselves.
We want to have fun.
We want to enjoy life.
We want to eat.
We want to look great.
We want to have lots of money.
We want to look good in the eyes of others. Dave Ramsey said: “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like”.
Now it’s time to switch your narcissistic mindset, and put the focus on THEM THEM THEM inside all your emails.
How can this email benefit them? Why should they read your article?
What’s the benefit (WIIFM) if they view your videos or buy your course?
Don’t just say: “Click here to take part in my survey”. Instead say: “I want to cater better to your needs, please tell me your preferences”.
2/ Use Short Sentences & Paragraphs
Many of my emails deliberately start with a short sentence.
No more than 10 words.
People don’t read. They scan.
This applies to emails, blog posts, lead capture pages, articles, books, and everything they read.
If, upon opening your email, they were greeted by this:
What do you think their reaction will be?
If it were me...
You want to make it easy for your subscribers to scan and digest your email.
Short sentences and paragraphs do the trick.
This is especially true for the opening sentence of an email.
I put extra effort in making sure the first sentence is ultra short.
When they see a short sentence, their brain inadvertently thinks: “Ha! This looks easy. I can glance through the first sentence in 2 seconds...”
Then their eyes continue down the next sentence, which is also short…
and down to the next, and to the next…
and before they know it, they’ve scanned the entire email.
It’s like a “snowball effect”... you want to make the first step for the reader so easy that they can’t help but continue to the next step, and the next step, and the next.
For the most part, I suggest making a sentence into a separate paragraph by itself.
To introduce variety, you can occasionally fit 2 sentences into a paragraph. Like what I’m doing here now with this paragraph.
Be sure to also use a bigger font size (h2 or h3) for your paragraph sub-headline. This helps scanners get an idea of what the main sections of your content are, and if they’re more interested in a specific point than another, they can easily explore further.
Last but not least… sprinkle bullet points in your emails for even better readability. Everyone loves these!
3/ Make Your Emails Personal
Next, you want to write your email as if you’re talking verbally to a friend, face-to-face and one-on-one.
That means you want to write in a personal and casual tone, like you would when talking to a friend.
You wouldn't be formal with your friend, so don't be formal with your subscribers (unless you're in one of those industries that require you to wear a suit and tie).
You want to impersonate this “personal” feeling when writing emails.
We want to open emails from friends, but not necessarily from businesses.
Case in point, this was one of the emails I received from PayPal:
The tone of the email is too formal. You’d never write to a friend like that. Don’t ever write something like this to your subscribers.
This is also the reason why BirdSend provides a simple WYSIWYG email editor that feels “personal” without fancy “drag and drop” email templates you find in most email automation platforms.
This has an added benefit in that the html code for all our emails are cleaner and leaner, which helps in inbox placement.
Since BirdSend focuses on serving infopreneurs and service-based businesses, most of the time these types of businesses place a heavy focus around content and not on fancy email templates.
Not to mention that using this kind of WYSIWYG simple editor allows you to crank out emails SUPER FAST, compared to traditional “drag and drop” emails.
4/ Make Your Emails Fun
Infuse humor into your emails.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.
Using humor is a very very effective way of engaging with your subscribers.
Since most businesses and email marketers don’t use humor in their marketing and presentation, they are boring.
And then you come along and start to injecting humor into your edutainment emails.
Who do you think is going to stand out and get the attention of your subscribers?
To use humor in your edutainment emails, here are a few ideas:
- Use annotated images instead of just images
Annotated images, compared to non-annotated images, are more unique and appealing. This is especially true if you’re using stock images (that thousands of other people are also using).You get to add your own comments and thoughts by using annotated images, too.Here are a few examples I’ve used in my emails...
Be careful not to insert too many images inside an email can lower your email deliverability.
- Use interesting/funny stories or happenings and tie them to your emails
Like how I connect this post with David Beckham eating at Salt Bae’s steakhouse. The more “mainstream” the story, the better. Everyone knows who David Beckham is... and because he is so famous, we want to know what interesting thing happened when he visited the restaurant.
- Create your own funny/interesting slang
I created “email mahhhnneeyy” which plays on the word “email money”.Quuu used “ThankQuuu” to replace “thank you”
- Purposely write broken English
What!?!? Is this some kind of joke?
Though you should be using proper English to write… once in a while (sparingly) try using “imperfect” English to “break the pattern”, stand out, and recapture your audience attention.
Try starting a sentence without proper capitalization, or using incorrect sentence structure, etc.
Like what I’ve done:
“me no like”
“what say you”
Starting a sentence without a capital letter. Starting a sentence with “because”, “and”, “so”, “but”.
5/ Ask Them Questions
People want to feel appreciated and taken care of. They want to know that the host (you) care about them.
A great way to let subscribers know that you care about them is to ask them questions.
In my “Top 7 Email Mistakes” guide, I encourage email marketers to ask questions in their very first email.
The purpose is threefold:
1/ To show that you care about them.
2/ Depending on the questions asked, you get to know your subscribers better (e.g. Which specific area do you need help with email marketing? What is your #1 problem with trying to teach your child math? What are you hoping to achieve when you sign up to our newsletter?)
3/ To let inbox providers know that there is ongoing communication between you and the subscriber -- this will increase the chance that your future emails land in their inbox.
6/ Use P.S.
In point #2, we’ve covered that people don’t read word for word.
When they scan, the Postscript (P.S.) is almost always read.
They say that the Postscript is like a second headline.
That is why I almost always use a P.S in all my emails.
So what do you cover in this P.S section? Summarize the gist of the email and put another call-to-action (CTA) of what you want the reader to do. Always tie the P.S back to the goal of the email.
If you want them to check out your training video, remind them again the benefits of what they’ll learn/get when they checkout your video.
E.g. If you want to know how to correctly do these simple 5-minute exercises that can reduce your weight by 10lbs next month, click here to watch the workout video.
Big Enough Text To Be Easily Read
Make sure the text size you use in your email is big enough to be comfortably read, especially on mobile phones which have smaller screen than desktops and laptops.
16 pixels is a good size, not too big and not too small.
Here’s how it looks on my mobile:
And this is how the same email looks on desktop:
Also use a common and popular font type to make sure your emails render nice on the different devices.
Some common ones are: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana. Here is a list of the 15 best web safe fonts.
Mobile responsive means your email body content dynamically adjusts to the viewing screen of your subscriber, regardless of whatever device they are on.
This not only makes reading your email easier, it also makes your email look nice.
For the longest period of time, I noticed most emails sent by email marketers are presented “as-is”.
What does that mean?
That means their email content is very ‘logical’ and ‘factual’. Okay, you can get your gift here. Then they give away free content, then more free content, and more free content.
We’re not at a shortage of content. Google your topic and there are thousands upon thousands of websites talking about your content.
This indirectly means your content is boring --- it’s just like everyone else’s content.
I first heard this from Terry Dean, the ‘godfather of internet marketing’. He said ‘constipated content doesn’t sell’.
And boring breeds constipated content.
However it doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your content even though other websites may cover the same content as you.
What you need to do is to make consuming your content interesting and unique. This means you need to have a unique voice to present the content so that it’s not boring. And you do that by telling stories…
But not just any story…
You want to tell stories that relate to your offer/niche.
Why are stories important? Because humans have always been fascinated with stories since forever. We can’t get enough of stories.
It’s just plain curious and fun to listen to a good story. It’s what the entire movie industry is built around.
Plus, our minds also remember and learn better if lessons are connected to stories.
Don’t tell me you don’t have stories to tell. You always do. Everyone does. It doesn’t always have to be your story. You can also use other people’s story.
The important thing to make sure is that the story is real. Please don’t make up stories for the sake of telling stories. Your audience will see right through it immediately.
But what stories do I tell?
This is too long to list here, but it’s one of the topics I cover in my Free Email Mahhhneeyy PRACcourse. When you get the course, not only will you get the course itself… you’ll also be able to see and experience for yourself how I include stories into almost every email I write.
Create A Mini Skirt Experience
I’ve talked about this in Chapter 5.
To refresh your memory, let’s revisit this once again:
The human brain does not like an information gap or cliffhanger, and we
can should use this to our advantage to get more people to opt in.
I prefer to call this a “mini skirt” experience.
You want to make the skirt long enough to cover the bare essentials, but short enough to induce curiosity and make it interesting.
Movie trailers are absolute experts at this. How many times have you watched a movie trailer with a cliffhanger ending? Why does Batman and Superman end up fighting each other? Aren’t they supposed to be the good guys joining forces?
If you’ll pardon my analogy, it’s like you’re having intercourse with your spouse and just at the moment of climax, your 2-year old comes into your room and you have to stop everything.
That’s the kind of emotions we’re talking about. You crave for the ending, but to get to the ending, you have to get access to my Freemium, and to do that, you’d have to give me your email address first.
When creating your lead capture page, take this into account and try to create emotions that lead to a “mini skirt” experience.
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