Use these 5 maxims as guidelines to write engaging, and profitable emails
Here's the thing.
It doesn't take much to write a damn good email.
But it takes practice to understand what works and what doesn't.
I've been writing a daily email for over 250 days...
And I was able to understand which type of emails resonate the most with my audience.
How? Because people compliment these types of emails.
I'm not telling you this to brag, but to show you that I have skin in the game.
My experience can be boiled down to these 5 maxims, which I hope will be helpful for you.
Let's dive deep into each one. 👋
1. Maxim one - Don't be boring
The worst sin you can make in your emails is to be boring.
Now...I'm not telling you to be a comedian.
But have some fun writing and demolish the pre-conceived walls of "good writing".
Your writing doesn't have to be polite, formal, or follow conventional rules.
Be witty, be mysterious, be playful, be frontal with your opinion, be whatever you want...but not boring.
✍ Example of non-boring writing
An email from Robert Allen
2. Maxim two - Cut it with a knife
Having extra words for the sake of having extra words is no bueno.
Sometimes I send emails with 700 words.
Others, I send them with 200 words.
The point is...I try to never add fluff that's irrelevant.
Don't write this:
I've talked to tons of people who believe that there's some kind of elusive magic trick to successful content marketing. As if there's some secret formula or algorithm to hack into and get it just right.
Let me tell you a secret: during my time as a private content marketing consultant, I worked with a lot of powerhouse companies, who on average brought in tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue. I helped them with their content strategies; blogging, email marketing, you name it.
From this, I learned one key takeaway: there is no elusive magic trick to successful content marketing.
"Many people seem to believe there is a magic trick to successful content marketing. However, throughout my many years of experience within the marketing industry, I've found there is no magic to it."
Example from blueleadz
3. Maxim three - Have relevant content
People subscribed to your list for a reason.
Don't send them completely unrelated information.
I'm not saying you can't dabble around with stories and non-related content...
...but make sure it always points towards the niche you aim to help.
One of Gary Bencivenga's copywriting maxims is to make the advertising valuable itself.
That's what you should aim for.
And value doesn't have to shape itself in the form of boring information.
You can mix in stories, examples, or statistics.
Example from Matt Bockenstette
4. Maxim four - Fix your writing
Write to one person.
Write like you speak.
Write short paragraphs.
Write easy words.
Leave the ego at the door.
Good writing should be easy to read because if people get stuck in any section of your email, they'll want to quit reading.
From one of my emails.
5. Maxim five - Make it readable
This is something I've been focusing on a lot lately.
Right now I'm using a #3F3F3F color, Helvetica-font with 16px.
We have to take into consideration not everyone has perfect sight, or reads the emails on a big screen.
That's why 16px should be the bare minimum.
I also make sure I bold important text for those who like to skim the emails...
This way they can "catch" the meat of the email simply by reading the bolded text.
...and I sometimes add highlight text to make it ever more skimmable (although some people use dark themes which causes the highlighted words to be unreadable).
The most important takeaway is to:
- Have sections when it makes sense
- Have different attention-grabbing patterns like bolded text, underlined text, color changes, and different text alignments.
From one of my emails
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