6 minutes to read

How to Create Emails Your Customers Will Actually Read

Email marketing often presents businesses with a frustrating situation. While emails are still the number one form of communication in the world, it is often difficult to get contacts to open and read marketing emails. The amount of marketing emails a typical person gets in a day desensitizes them to this type of message. However, this doesn’t mean you should stop emailing your contacts; you just need to get creative!

The most important factor that plays into getting your customers to actually read your emails is to be sure you are sending the right emails to the right person. By developing a buyer persona, you will know what information your ideal customer wants to receive at each stage in their buyer’s journey.


The key to a successful email is a well thought out buyer persona for your ideal customer. Download our free Buyer Persona template here to create your own!

Once you have determined what your ideal customer wants at each stage, use lists to break your contacts into different groups. Each list should take into account where your contact is on their journey and what they are looking for at that stage. You can then send the right emails the the right people.

The second step in creating emails that your customers will actually want to read is to make sure your email stands out. While this may sound overwhelming at first, you shouldn't worry!

We’ve come up with three areas to focus on to ensure your email stands out so your customer actually wants to read it.


1) Make your reason for emailing clear and upfront

Make it simple to get to what you’re offering

Every email you create should have a goal in place that ends with your customer clicking on your email to head back to your website. To accomplish this goal, your emails should be very clear on what you’re offering or what action you would like the contact to make.

For example:

  • If the reason for your email is to encourage the contact to make a purchase, be sure your links lead to the item in the email. Don’t make them search your site once they click on the email; you want to be as clear as possible and make the transaction frictionless for the customer.

  • If you are sending your customer an offer they requested or following up on a download, state that up front. Don’t make them search through the entire email to find the purpose for the send, Include clear and concise calls-to-action and tell them what they will receive when they click it.


By being clear about the purpose for your emails, you will create a sense of trust between your customer and yourself. They will know that when you email them, they are receiving straightforward content and be more inclined to open your future emails.


Re-engagement for lost or unfinished users

Re-engagement emails are a great tool for following up with customers who have put items in a cart, visited a certain page on your site, or requested a downloadable offer.

However, with these emails you must be very clear on the purpose for your email, otherwise you may lose them as a customer completely.

One of the most important things when sending out emails like these is to remind the customer who you are and why they contacted you in the first place.

Remind them exactly what they put in their cart, what page they visited, or what download they requested. Then let them know you are just following up to see if they wanted to continue or had any additional questions.

By stating these two facts up front, you are sending a clear and concise email that has a higher chance of getting an action from the contact


2) Be Creative

Grab interest with exciting copy in subject lines, preview lines, and email body

Just because you need to be clear and upfront in your emails doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with your email copy. Messages that have exciting and interesting copy grab the attention of your contacts and are more likely to be opened and read.

The goal of your emails should be to generate leads or close customers, so you want to be as interesting as possible! Use your buyer persona to really tap into your ideal customer’s mind and try to create copy that will speak to them.

This could be a joke or a pun, something sentimental, or hard numbers and facts. Whatever route you choose to go, just be sure that you don’t get so creative that your copy is misleading or confusing.

You want to be creative but still clear on what your email is offering or asking of your customers.

Some great ways to grab attention with email copy include:

  • Subject lines that ask questions
  • Alliterations or repeating words in a phrase
  • Emojis or personalization
  • Statistics or numbers
  • Copy that draws on emotion


Good use of media in your emails

Another great way to stand out is by including media in your emails. Animation is always a good tool to use, especially if it is interactive. For example, you could create an animation that a contact would need to “slide” to uncover a fact, coupon code, or sale discount.

Other ways to use media would be to include:

  • Product photos
  • Photos of people using and enjoying your product
  • Call-to-action buttons that are a photo

One thing to remember when including media in your emails, not every email client will automatically download photos or animation. Be sure your email is still readable and clear even if your contact cannot see the media.


3) Make Your Customers Feel Wanted

Exclusive or limited time offers

Exclusivity or urgency is another tactic that is effective at getting customers to actually read your emails. This is especially true if the offer is a discount or sale.

A good way to make customers feel wanted or like a VIP is to offer them a private or member-only sale. This will grab their attention by making them feel as if they were specifically chosen for the sale event and encourage them to take action and make a purchase.

Another way to use this tactic is by making your offers run for a limited time. This not only creates a sense of urgency to make a purchase, but it also makes your customers feel as if you are helping them out. You sent a specific email to them to make sure they didn’t miss out on any discounts you are offering.


Manage preferences, personalization, or personal style

Another way to make your customers feel wanted is to allow them to choose what they want to receive from you. This will show them you don’t want to bombard them with unwanted emails - you want them to receive information that is relevant to them.

This can be done in a few ways. You can:

  • Send an email asking them to choose which mailing lists they would like to be in. This allows them to receive information that is relevant to them and allows you to tailor content to that specific list.

  • Send them a survey asking for their preferences. This is a great idea if you sell products since you can use their preferences to send recommended products that are tailored to their specific likes and interests

  • Send them other options for personalization like choosing a specific location, store, or brand to receive information about. This allows them to tailor their own preferences so they are always interested in what you are offering.

Try to update your contact’s preferences every once in awhile. Just because they were interested in something when they first signed up for your mailing list doesn’t mean they will always be interested in receiving that information. By keeping their preferences updated, you can ensure they will actually read your emails and you won’t lose a subscriber.


Final Thoughts

Sending emails that customers will actually read is essential to a successful email marketing campaign.

By tailoring your emails to your customer’s exact likes and dislikes through a fully developed buyer persona, you will have a higher success rate with your emails and be able to create specific lists to match the individual interests of your customers.

Email marketing should be a part of an overall Inbound Marketing strategy. Learn how to use the correct metrics to measure your Inbound Marketing campaign with our free Marketing Metrics Calculator!

Learn How to Calculate Marketing Metrics That Matter 

Written by Amy Silberman

Client Success Manager