Master the Art of Effective Emails With These Three Writing Styles

Connecting to your readers takes a special blend of finding the right voice, forging an immediate connection and offering unbeatable value. 

Easy peasy, right? 

Unfortunately, not. Writing effective emails can be extremely difficult if you’re not sure what works, what doesn’t and why.

But luckily, we’re here to guide you. So wipe off those sweaty palms, take a deep breath and keep reading!

In this article we’ll share 3 writing styles that can help you get really great email marketing results!

1. Storytelling

We all love a good story, right?

One that is easy to retell and evokes emotion inside of us!

Just think of the last time you heard a hilarious, heartwarming, or crazy story from a friend or colleague. The highs, the lows, the characters, the drama and excitement… all of it played into how you felt, right?

That’s because storytelling is a way of relaying a compelling message in a memorable way, which is perfect for your email audience!

How can you use storytelling to create an effective email?

Storytelling is especially useful when you take memorable pieces of a story and relate it back to the product or service you are offering.

For example, you could use storytelling to introduce a new product, share a customer success story, or even spotlight a charity or community event!

This process needs to be seamless in order to be effective, so, be sure you include:

  • A character your audience can relate to
  • A problem or hurdle that is familiar
  • A real-life solution that allows your readers to put themselves into the story
  • A call to action that makes them want to do something

Take a look at how Charity Water has harnessed the magic of storytelling in this Father’s Day campaign: 

You can quickly see that this story is easy to connect with. It’s a heartwarming one that you’ll remember for a long time to come.

Why? Because you just walked Tadese’s journey with him!

Another excellent example is how Hootsuite tells the story of a world-class museum breaking records on social media. 

In this story, you learn about how the museum is making every effort to bring their curated collection to those who may not have the opportunity to visit.

Now you want to go, don’t you?

That’s the power of a compelling story!

2. Listicles 

Listicles are a highly popular format for emails (and other marketing materials) for good reason.

Think Buzzfeed style articles like, “8 Unique Ways to Propose in 2019” or “5 Dangerous Foods to Avoid.” They’re just too enticing to look away from!

But why?

Well, because as a hybrid of lists and articles, listicles are designed to be a quick and easy read.  Which means they’re entertaining but also full of valuable information.

How can you use listicles to create an effective email?

First things first, a great listicle should include:

  • A numbered list…anywhere from 3 to 101!
  • Eye-catching photos, gifs, and memes
  • High-quality information written into easily digestible segments

Then, try looking back to the questions that you often hear from your readers. What kind of skill could you teach them, in the form of a listicle?

Check out this example of how Moment created a compelling listicle to educate their audience:

Guides are also great listicles for when your reader needs ideas… fast!

Swoop in with information that will help your contacts make a significant and informed decision, like Ugmonk’s holiday gift guide for their readers:

Or, maybe you want to send an email with links to the best restaurants in your city, like Resy did here:

By compiling a listicle of helpful information, you’re showing your audience that you want to make their lives better and easier.

And what could be more valuable than that? 

3. Pitching

Pitch-based writing presents ideas to your audience in a way that positions a sale. It is perhaps the toughest of all 3 writing styles to master, but a very impactful one. 

Now, it’s important to remember that pitch-based emails are best used once a relationship has been established with the reader.

So, when should you write a pitch-based email?

When announcing a hot new item for customers who previously made a similar purchase.

Or to retarget a segment of warm leads that recently visited your website. Just like Snap Kitchen did in this short and sweet pitch they sent:

How can you use pitching to create an effective email?

According to Oren Klaff’s Pitch Anything method, there are a few steps which you should build your pitch on:

  • Set the Frame
  • Tell the Story
  • Reveal the Intrigue
  • Offer the Prize
  • Nail the Hookpoint
  • Get the Deal

This example from Adobe is a perfect pitch-based message:

Let’s break this down just a bit further so you can really see what they’ve done here:

  • S: Adobe has found ‘A better way of working together,’ and you need it.
  • T: Adobe focused on the pain point. Sharing creative assets across your team is difficult, it slows down work and can affect branding consistency.
  • R: With their solution you can ‘Work up to 10x faster.’ This means (gasp!)…you must currently be working 10x slower!
  • O: Click the CTA button to watch the video. It offers more compelling reasons why you need this business solution.
  • N: The last line says it all…’Make it.Every business wants to make it, right?!
  • G: It’s simple: Join now or call.

Adobe took their audience through emotions such as pain, urgency, and need, all in under 75 words! That’s the art of pitching.

As you can see, pitch-based writing is a touch more aggressive than the others so be sure to reserve this strategy for occasions when your readers are already primed to buy.

Which Writing Style Will You Try First? 

Next time you sit down to write an email, keep these strategies in mind.

If you have a remarkable story to share, be sure you’re including a relatable character, a familiar problem, a real-life solution and a strong call-to action.

If you’re looking to share something really helpful in a short period of time, pull together an easily-digestible listicle.

Or, if you’re working with a warm audience, hit them hard with a well-built, compelling pitch!

Need some more resources for mastering effective email marketing? Check out these other articles right now to learn more!

 

 

Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!
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