How to Write an Email That Doesn’t Get Deleted


If you have email subscribers, then you’ve probably already figured out they don’t read everything you send. Heck, many of them don’t even open the email at all and simply hit the delete button. Don’t take it personally. You are vying for attention with many other businesses and bloggers in that person’s inbox. Most people simply don’t have time to click on and read everything, so try and make the title of your blog post or the subject line of your email newsletter an effective one.

It doesn’t have to be show-stopping. It doesn’t need to be flashy or zany. The main thing to focus on is creating a subject line that tells subscribers what’s in the email.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Avoid looking like spam. I don’t know about you but emails like this usually end up in my trash bin:

  • Thanksgiving Sales Event Starts Now
  • Incredible Savings on Bedding for the Whole Family
  • Help Us Spread the Word About Lung Cancer
  • Get a 100% Free No-Obligation Quote Today

Why? Because they sound like canned advertisements. The wording and the phrases are cliched and overused. Some are simply too good to be true. This type of email is a dime a dozen. You don’t want to sound like this.

Ask a stimulating question. One creative way to tell people what’s in your email newsletter or blog post is to ask a thought-provoking question. Some examples:

  • Which Office Products are Absolutely Essential?
  • Should You Bank Your Baby’s Cord Blood?
  • What are the Homeschooling Laws in Your State?

Use humor. A funny subject line can be very engaging. Pull something from the content you are sharing and put a silly spin on it.

Use the subject line to say it all. Spare them the need to wade through an email if you simply have a quick news item to share, especially if it’s time-sensitive. Some examples:

  • Top 10 Baby Strollers from ABC Expo 2014 Just Posted
  • Tula Limited Edition “Foxy” Baby Carriers Re-Stocked

Use tried and true phrases like “How to…” or “Top Five…..” or “Why I…” They serve as teasers, but not in a vague and annoying way. People know that if they want the scoop, they’ll need to open your email or visit your site to finish reading. Some examples:

  • How to Bathe Your Cat Without Getting Scratched
  • Top 5 Household Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Why I Hate Sleepovers

Simple and short is best. With everyone short on time, you’ve got to make your point and make it fast! Shooting for 50 characters or less is a standard recommendation.

Don’t bug people. Repeated reminders via email have very low open rates. Nobody likes nagging. Countdowns can be just as annoying. Don’t send a series of emails leading up to an event like this:

  • Crochet Baby Hats Stocking This Friday
  • Reminder: Baby Hats Coming in 2 Days
  • The Crochet Baby Hats Have Arrived!

Don’t repeat yourself. A politician doesn’t have to call every dispatch “Your Weekly Legislative Update.” Bloggers can do better than “See What’s New at the Smith Family Blog.” Create a fresh title each time based on the content you are sending.

Expectations matter. People subscribe to an email list with certain expectations. If they love your car repair blog, then they will expect to receive emails about car repairs. Don’t turn them off them with a subject line that screams “50% off Motor Oil at Amazon Today Only!” On the flip side, if they opted in for special offers and coupons, send special offers and coupons. Don’t try to get philosophical or share “heavier” material or you’ll likely lose subscribers.

Use your name. It can actually help to have your company name included in the subject line. It sounds more personal, and can help give you an edge over competitors who are selling the same thing. For example: “A Special Invitation From Rock-a-Buy Boutique” will have better open rates than “A Special Invitation Just for You.”

Which emails are you more likely to open? Which emails do you quickly delete? I’m REALLY curious to read your opinions!

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One Response

  1. Jennie Bryant October 7, 2014

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