While email marketing is one of, if not the, most effective marketing methods today, this does not mean it’s the easiest. If you want your email marketing campaigns to drive results, you’ve got to optimize them for your audience. This involves the structure of the email, the time it’s sent, the information it contains, and perhaps most importantly, the words you use. The content of your marketing emails is a major driver of its success. This post will help you to uncover the most powerful words to use for your email marketing campaigns to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Related: Email Marketing for Business Owners (free download)
How To Come Up With Powerful Words for Your Emails
The most powerful words for emails and their subject lines will vary by industry, and within each industry will vary according to what’s being offered and who it’s being offered to. To help you identify the most powerful email subject line words for your emails, consider these guidelines:
1. Don’t Overpromise
While words like “amazing”, “ultimate”, “best”, “shocking,” and even “only” are extremely powerful, they also come with big expectations. For the most part, avoid using these words because you aren’t 100% sure you can deliver on this. After all, everyone has different definitions and perspectives. Capturing a readers’ attention only to disappoint them is more likely to cause them to engage in a negative way, such as through a blog post comment or unhappy email.
If your email is promoting an eBook on holiday event ideas, something like “Need Some Holiday Event Inspiration?” or “Holiday Event Ideas to Inspire You This Season” is more effective than “Amazing Holiday Events to Try This Year”.
Words that are colorful but don’t overpromise include:
- Ways to beat
- Guide to
- …that works for you
- Looking for
2. Pain Points Hold Power
Powerful words for email subject lines are those that capture attention—not of everyone—but of your target audience. Instead of going with “wow” words, think more specifically about what your ideal customers care about. If your email is promoting a video on DIY home decorations, a subject line of “Learn How to Decorate on a Budget” will be more powerful than “Most Beautiful DIY Home Decor”. The first subject line provides the reader with the ultimate benefit.
Words centered around pain points include:
- Looking for affordable childcare? We’ve got you covered.
- Ready to start actually following through on your fitness goals?
- Beat writer’s block with this handy guide
- Save money on holiday shopping with these exclusive deals
- X isn’t the solution. Let us help.
Some words that center around pain points and/or solutions include:
- Without the hassle
3. Speak Your Customers’ Language
Tap into your niche’s jargon to identify powerful words for your email subject lines. For example, if your target audience is that of people with severe allergies, an email or subject line containing “Tame those pesky mast cells” could pack some power. They know what you’re talking about, and they know that you know what they’re dealing with.
4. Avoid Cliches
Speaking your customers’ language does not mean using industry jargon or cliches. Your customer language includes words that stick out to them because they elicit a particular emotion or resonate with what they care about. Common terms and buzz words are more likely to blend into the noise and get skipped over.
5. Appeal to Emotions
Another approach to take in coming up with effective email content is to appeal to the emotions. Think about what emotions your customers feel as a result of experiencing the problem that you solve, as well as those they want to feel. These are the emotions that will increase the power of your email content.
- If you’re a real estate agent, you might appeal to indecision, overwhelm, or relief.
- Life coaches might appeal to discouragement, stress, or achievement.
- Event planners might appeal to pressure, scatterbrain, and excitement.
Here are some more words to help appeal to emotions:
- Tired of feeling X?
- X doesn’t have to be hard
- Make X fun again
- Fall in love with X again
- X survival guide
- Navigate X with…
In some cases, you may use the very word. In others, you will use other words that together encourage that emotion.
6. Use Urgency
Words and calls to action that inspire a sense of urgency are a tried and true way to make your emails and subject lines more powerful. You can spark urgency without using all caps or a gazillion exclamation points. Try words like:
- Save your spot
- Limited time
- Today only
- This week only
- Before tickets run out
- Limited supply
More Email Words that Work
Your customers’ and leads’ inboxes are saturated with personal messages, promotions, news updates, and more. Use the power of words to stand out in their inbox and show your value. Here are some more words that work well for emails.
- Learn how to X with this guide
- The X you’ve been waiting for
Words to Avoid
Here is a list of words to avoid—not just because they could lead your readers to suspect or mistake your emails as spam, but also because your email client might automatically flag your email as spam (in which case the message will never even make it to their inbox).
- ALL CAPS words
- Multiple exclamation points !!!!!
- Dollar signs $$$
Rules for powerful words are not black and white. What works for one industry may not work for another, and what works for one brand personality may not work for another. The key is to know what appeals to your audience and what will have the most powerful impact on them. Use these guidelines and apply them to your business, then use your metrics to test, measure, and optimize.
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