How to Craft Emails You Can Be Proud Of
Crafting emails used to be hard for us. Really, really, hard. For a long time, writing email copy that we were proud of was next to impossible and something we dreaded doing. We were always elated when we got a new subscriber (happy dance), of course, but we would then just get all shy and quiet.
What was holding us back? Why didn’t we feel confident to begin that ongoing dialog with our prospective clients?
Honestly? It’s because we thought that email marketing was sleazy. Yup, we said it. Email marketing can have a bad reputation. Everyday, we all ignore emails in our inbox and mentally label them as junk. We didn’t want to be classified in there with your junk. So, for a LONG TIME, we thought the best move was to simply not send any email at all. Whoops. Rookie fail.
We created both the Namastream software platform and the Soulful MBA training community as solutions to the expressed needs of our community. From the start, it has always been about serving and delivering value to our clients and community. If someone signs up for our email list, it means that they actually want to hear from us. Who knew?
As a company, we’ve shifted our mindset around email marketing over the past year. Although our blog and social media accounts are great platforms for engaging with our community, email is where we speak to them directly. Emails are the perfect place to #Be Kind Be Brave Be Love, share our best tips and stories, and begin to engage individually with our prospective clients.
Two weeks ago on the blog, we mentioned that getting a “new subscriber” is just the start of your relationship with them. Imagine that this stranger who is sharing her email address is virtually “waving” at you – great, now go over and introduce yourself – don’t be shy. Know that subscribers are most engaged when they first sign-up. It is crucial to start communicating with them as soon as possible. Don’t wait for weeks or months to pass by without starting that important dialog.
Over the years, we have studied how others craft their emails and tested and tweaked what works well for our brand. Here are five things to keep in mind when crafting your own emails. Focusing on these details will ensure you are proud of what you are sending out – we promise.
It’s Just You and Your Quintessential Client
Having this mindset has been such a game changer for us in our own email crafting.
Write every email to that single quintessential student or client — that one person who came across your teaching and connected with you instantly. Your work and teaching is EXACTLY what she is looking for. Write your emails to her directly. You care about her, want the best for her, and will do everything you can to help her in her life. Be real, use her first name in emails, keep things personal, skip the jargon, be friendly and fun, and sign off with your name like a friend.
Pro Tip: Next time you meet with a favorite student or client, really listen and take note of the vocabulary and tone she is using. Are there specific words that you can include in your next email that will connect with your quintessential student/client?
Focus on Your One Intention
Why are you sending an email to that single quintessential student anyway?
Every email you write should be focused on helping and serving your community – keep in mind the four levels of dialog. You need to make sure each email you are sending includes something really useful and important to your audience.
It is best to focus on giving your reader one big takeaway, lesson, or action. If you are asking your reader to do something, focus on just that one thing. Don’t ask him to watch your introduction video and sign up for your latest course. Each of those action requests requires a separate email. Both actions are important and should be treated as such.
If the intention of the email you are crafting includes a “call to action,” simply make it obvious and include it more than once in the message. Perhaps once in the body, and again right at the end of your email. (We also love the “p.s.” for this.) Make it clear that you want your reader to take action right from there, from within the email.
Everyone Loves a Great Story
In the early days of Namastream, we undervalued our own story. We initially thought that our community wasn’t interested in “the why” of our brand (powering wellness businesses to thrive online, FWIW). Wrong again.
Emails are the perfect place to share a powerful, impactful story. Academic research has proven that we all remember and process information best when it is delivered in narrative form. We connect with stories and relate with the narrator, so use this technique to strengthen your emails. Use storytelling to convey a lesson or time in your life that was memorable. Share a story from a friend, student, or client that feeds into your teaching or practice. It is even better if you can seamlessly weave the story you are sharing into the intention or call to action of the email.
Keep it Short and Simple
Keeping in mind that you are writing to that single quintessential client, craft your emails to be short and simple. You respect her time – so get to the point. Short, simple sentences are your friend – try to write as close to how you speak as possible and allow your unique self to come across. Use bold text for things you want your reader to notice (even when she is quickly scanning the email). Include italic text for words that you want to convey your personality.
When it comes to formatting, short and simple is best.
With more than 50% of users reading their email first on mobile, formatting really matters. Break up your copy to include white space that will appear on a smaller mobile screen. Try to limit each paragraph so there will be white space on either side as the reader scrolls through the message. (We like to limit ourselves to 1 or 2 sentences per paragraph since this is usually easier to read on mobile devices.)
Your Subject Line is NOT an Afterthought
The subject line is what is going to make your subscribers open up that email that you spent so much time crafting.
Do you know the secret to writing click-worthy headlines? Curiosity! Once you are done writing your email, brainstorm five subject lines that would be suitable for the email content. Your subject lines are a great chance to get creative. Why not add in some emojis or grab their attention with a question?
Just like your email, try to keep your subject line pretty short. There is a high probability that your reader is scanning over your email first on mobile. You have just 20-30 characters to reach your mobile readers (7 words is generally the perfect length).
A simple test to put each potential subject line through is to see if it finishes this statement: “My quintessential client would open this email right now because she…”
How did your subject line hold up? Are you serving the needs of your quintessential client and community with your subject line?
Pro tip: Once you have a few subject lines that could work well, send a test email to yourself with a few of the different subject lines. How do they look in your inbox? You might be surprised by which ones pop out to you first.
Each email interaction you share with your audience is one step forward in the growth of your business, and these five points will help you craft beautiful, authentic, effective emails for your community.
Want a little challenge?
Post your next draft email in our free Facebook Group and ask for feedback. We’ve got a wonderful, generous group of teachers and trainers waiting to connect and support you in this wild entrepreneurial journey.
We’re all in this together <3
If you found this post helpful, you should check out our Soulful MBA Resource Library — where we have more free tutorials, workbooks, and trainings to help you prepare to launch your online teaching business.
Friends, we need to talk about commitment. And not just committing to an idea for a business; that’s the easy part! It’s thrilling to revel in the dream, spending weeks or months plotting and planning while slowly falling in love with your hypothetical yoga studio or...
If you want to create professional looking videos for your virtual studio, good lighting is mission critical. Lighting is an art form that can seem intimidating when you’re first starting out as an online teacher. (For many of us, chatting happily into an iPhone...
Too many new Namastream teachers get hung up on the idea that they can’t possibly start marketing in earnest until they have hundreds of yoga videos or a handful of in-depth courses. This desire to have thoughtfully crafted offerings—and lots of them—comes from a good...