By Palm Neely March 17, 2022
Want to know how to write emails that your readers will like? These email writing hacks will make your job as a writer easier and make your emails more effective.
Most of us are not born writers. And yet we spend hours and hours writing every day. Text writing, note writing, slack message writing … and email writing.
We all write a lot of emails. We also read a lot of emails. On average, a person spends three hours a day checking work emails and two hours a day checking personal emails.
If we are going to spend too much time on something then let’s do it well. Because everyone knows what it’s like to read a terrible email, be it marketing email, professional email or personal email.
These are all very different types of emails, but in fact they have a lot in common Once you understand some of these email writing hacks, you’ll be able to apply these policies to any type of email. You write more confidently, write faster – and read and work your emails more often.
1. Get points
The fewer words in your emails, the more likely you are to read those words. And wasn’t that the real reason you sat down to write the email – so that it could be read and understood?
Writing short emails helps your readers because they will read less. It also helps you as a writer because the subject of your email is communication. It doesn’t rack up word counts.
But here’s a writer’s secret: Sometimes you have to write something before it’s clear what you want to say and how you want to say it.
That’s fine. Simply delete the sentences and paragraphs you had to write to make your message clear and concise. Don’t force your readers to read through your writing process. Give them only the fallen, final version.
As Mark Twain once wrote, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.”
So what is a “short” email, right? 50-125 words. This is the length of a typical marketing email.
Looks like 91 words in an email:
If you are writing a professional email or a personal email, consider that the average person says 150 words per minute.
So if the person or people you are writing for are personally with you, how do you tell them what they need to know in a minute or less? Or in 30 seconds or less? This is one of the best writing hacks of all time: write as you speak. Or, to be a little more specific, write to speak to your audience.
If you need some help deciding which words to use in your email, Liz Willitz’s article, 8 Best Words to Use in Your Next Email, can help.
2. Type for scanner
Most people do not read online. They scan. We are unlikely to change this behavior, so we have to write for scanners.
Here are some best practices for scanner email writing:
- Keep your paragraphs short
Notice paragraphs of four lines or less. A sentence paragraph is acceptable, and sometimes even desirable.
Many professional copywriters use one-sentence paragraphs because it allows them to overemphasize what is in that very short paragraph.
Bullet points are easy to read and scan. They are often easy to write. Instead of writing a full sentence, you put your basic ideas into bulletproof phrases. Any sentence with a list of three or more items is an opportunity to use bullet points.
- Use titles and subtitles
Most readers will just read the title and Subtitle An email. So if you have to write a long email, splitting the text will make it easier to scan. This will make it easier to read, which means you are more likely to read it.
The bold word pop Against the sea of normal-weight sound. So if you want people to accept only one or two phrases, make the key words bold. This is better than using all caps, which some people interpret as “screaming” through text
The example below is from a webinar inviting email that uses several email writing hacks we’ve mentioned, including bullet points, a one-sentence paragraph, and bold text. It also uses email hacking which we will talk about later.
Although this email could list bullet points as a standard sentence, the information would be buried in the content. Bullet lists are easier to read than a long paragraph.
3. Tell them what you want them to do
Well-written emails are usually the focus. They have a clear and single purpose.
For marketing emails, this usually means having a “call to action”, which is usually a big button that prompts the reader to take the next step. (In the email example above, the call to action is “Save my place.”)
Focusing the reader on a subject makes the reader more likely to take action. Often, the more calls to action, the more confusing an email is to readers. The more confusion readers feel, the less likely they are to do something.
This policy also applies to professional and business emails. Some business email writers will use a one-sentence paragraph at the end of their email to tell the reader what to do or to re-emphasize the email message.
The example of the webinar invitation above does just that. That last paragraph is a call to action – it tells people to sign up
To help your readers learn more about how to take action, check out our article, 8 Powerful Email Copywriting Strategies.
4. Embrace the ugly first draft
Do you edit yourself as you write? It can slow you down.
It’s always best to avoid mistakes, but save your editing and proofreading work once you get a good draft.
In other words: Write when you write. Edit when you edit. Don’t slow yourself down by trying to make every sentence perfect as you go. Just get down before all your thoughts.
For many writers, the struggle is not to figure out what to say, but to overcome the initial hurdle of writing something for the first time – to face the horrible “white leaf”, as some call it.
The first draft on the page is being downloaded – as It can be as disgusting as – This is an important step in writing more efficiently, and is one of the best email writing hacks. While that first draft may be riddled with problems, it’s okay. This is a start. This is a draft.
Once you get a draft, just go back and make it better
This brings us to the next point.
5. Review, rewrite, proofread
Once your first draft is complete and you’ve moved away from it for at least a few minutes, it’s time to focus on editing.
This is when you can bring clarity to what you have written before. You should make sure that your draft has the correct spelling and follows the basic rules of grammar. This is helpful when using a tool like Grammarly to make sure there are no small mistakes like any typo or double spaces.
Once your draft is somewhat clear, try reading it aloud. It can help you catch things you didn’t notice before This is a writing hack that many professional writers use to make sure their writing is flowing well and sounds right.
Also consider getting some distance from your draft. Get up and take a break after reaching a certain point. Leave it alone for even a whole day.
When you get back to it, you’ll see fresh eyes and notice things you haven’t seen before. You will be less attached to some parts of it which you can prevent from being removed or fixed earlier.
Finally, if you send a marketing email to your customers, or even if you send a professional email to your company or department, first send only a test email to yourself.
Sending a test email is considered an essential practice for email marketers. This has saved many people a lot of embarrassing email mistakes.
If you don’t want to see any bad surprises in your emails after clicking “Send” our article, here are 3 ways to check your emails before hitting “Send”.
6. Stick to what works
Really want to speed up your writing? Then look for ways to reuse your previously written emails
If you’re writing marketing emails, this could mean reusing the email campaign paragraphs or complete emails you sent earlier. Re-displaying or redistributing evergreen content published in your past is a great way to fill in the blanks on your calendar.
Business email writers can reuse paragraphs or complete emails they have previously sent. For example, do you repeatedly ask the same question? Would you close or open some of your emails with the same sentence? Do not hesitate to reuse these sentences.
Text-enhancing tools can be especially helpful if you basically send the same response to many emails. This is a strategy that can save working hours per week.
There is no harm in continuing what works.
EveIn metersHack email writing to write good emails Fast
We hope you enjoyed this email hack If you liked this article, also see what we need to write for free in your email course and guide. It has 45+ fill-in-the-blank email templates that will help you compose emails faster.