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email writing

VIEWS: 118 PAGES: 27

A best practices guide to email writing and sending

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  • pg 1
									EMAIL
ISN’T
DEAD:

YOU
JUST
HAVE
TO
BE
SMARTER
ABOUT

HOW
YOU
USE
IT

                    Lauren
Miller|
Director
of
Email
Programs,
Blue
State
Digital
|

What
can
email
do
for
you?



 Enhance
what
you’re
doing
offline


 Quick,
cost
effecGve
communicaGons
to
supporters


 Rapid
response
to
breaking
news


 AcGvate
and
empower
your
members


 Raise
money





                                                     2

A
Few
Key
Principles



 Email
is
part
of
a
larger
communicaGons
strategy


 It’s
about
telling
a
story
over
Gme


 Plan
ahead


 Email
is
results
driven





                                                      3

OK,
ENOUGH
TALK.

HOW
DO
I
WRITE
AN

EMAIL?!
Basic
Structure
of
an
Email


                       1st
Sentence:
AVenGon
Grabber

                          Try
to
keep
it
to
one
sentence
‐‐
one

                           line,
if
possible


Basic
Structure
of
an
Email


                       2nd
Sentence/Paragraph:
Summary
of

                       why
you’re
sending
the
email


                          Don’t
include
too
many
details,
facts,

                           quotes,
etc
‐‐
that’s
what
the
rest
of

                           the
email
is
for


Basic
Structure
of
an
Email


                       3rd‐4th
Paragraph:
Take
AcGon


                          Explain
what
you
want
people
to
do


                          LINK
(before
the
fold)

Basic
Structure
of
an
Email


                       Links


                          Links
should
be
stand‐alone
links
(not

                           as
part
of
another
paragraph)


                          Should
you
use
hyperlink
text
or

                           wriUen‐out
url’s?
It
depends.


                          Use
hyperlinked
text
when
you’re

                           using
sloppy
looking
links


                          Don’t
just
have
picture
links

Basic
Structure
of
an
Email


                       A\er
the
First
Link
(if
needed)


                          2‐4
paragraphs
with
more

                           background
informa[on,

                           blockquotes,
details,
etc.


                          Another
explana[on
of
why
it’s
so

                           important
for
people
to
take
ac[on,

                           and
another
link.


                          Repeat
if
necessary.

SO
HOW
OFTEN


CAN
I
SEND

THESE
AWESOME


EMAILS?!
Well,
it
depends….


How
o]en
do
you
have
something
urgent,
important
and
interes[ng
to
say?



        Quarterly
    Monthly
                 Weekly
        Daily





                            TYPICAL

     Almost
                                             Probably
too

  certainly
too
                                            much

      liUle





                          Credit:
Idealware





                                                                         11

10
TIPS

FOR
BETTER
EMAILS!
1.
Keep
It
Short


 People
don’t
want
to
read
a
long
essay.
They’re
skimming

 what
you
write.

2.
Think
about
your
subject
line


         It’s
the
most
important
part
of
your
email.

       

Be
concise
(5‐7
words)


       

Grab
aUen[on,
but
don’t
cry
wolf


       

Be
crea[ve


       

Mix
it
up

Good
Subject
Lines

 
Reality
2,
Bush
0
(John
Kerry)


 
I
agree
with
George
W.
Bush

(Howard
Dean)


 

Did
you
get
my
email?

(MoveOn.org)


 

I
have
a
confession
to
make

(Courage
Campaign)


 Spill
baby
spill
(Brave
New

Founda[on)


 Pathe[c
and
Puny
(Change

Congress

Bad
Subject
Lines


 
The
McCain
Update
(John

McCain)


 Tell
your
Senators
to
vote
NO

on
S.
2191
(Eagle
Forum)


 

Urgent
FEC
Deadline
(Mitch

McConnell)


 

Maryland
GOP
Calls
for
end

to
new
poll
tax
for
absentee

ballot
voters
(Maryland
GOP)

3.
Keep
it
conversaGonal


How
do
you
sound
when
you
write
an
email
to
coworkers?

      

Snarky
is
ok.
A
formal


     leUer
isn’t.


      

Have
voices,


     personali[es
in
your
emails.


     It
keeps
things
from
gegng


     stale.

4.
Never
send
an
email
without
an
acGon…


                  All
people
can
do
is
unsubscribe.




      

Sign
a
pe[[on
                   

Call
Congress


      

Write
a
leUer
                   

Make
a
dona[on


      

Tell
a
friend
                   

Give
us
your
feedback


      

Watch
a
video
                   

AUend
an
event

4.
Never
send
an
email
without
an
acGon…


  …But
try
not
to
have
more
than
one
acGon
per
email.
Don’t

                       confuse
people.

        

Mul[ple
ac[ons/links
overwhelm
people



        

Splits
the
returns
of
your
ac[on


        

BeUer
solu[on:
Daisy‐chain
your
ac[ons


        

Excep[on:
PS
Message

       5.
Ask
people
what
they
want






































Surveys
are
good
for
you
and
your
list

       

Find
out
who
your
audience
is,


      what
they’re
interested
in


       

Solicit
new
ideas
without
hiring


      a
new
staff
member


       

Make
your
supporters
feel
like


      they’re
a
part
of
the
team

6.
Treat
new
supporters
differently


                 Make
a
good
first
impression.

       

Send
an
introduc[on/auto‐response
email,
describing
the

      group/org
and
what
they
can
do



       

Trying
to
raise
money?
Don’t
ask
immediately
–
but
don’t
wait

      too
long
to
ask

       7.
Use
images
sparingly
&
avoid
fancy
formahng























Don’t
use
images
just
for
the
sake
of
using
images.

         

Simple
buUons
that
clearly
explain
the


        ac[on
can
help
ac[on
rates


         

Compelling
images
can
help
grab
aUen[on


         

Don’t
hold
up
your
email
just
for
an
image


         

Don’t
make
your
whole
email
an
image



       7.
Use
images
sparingly
&
avoid
fancy
formahng



















Avoid
Fancy
Formahng

         

You
are
not
wri[ng
direct
mail


         

Fancy
formagng
distracts
from
links

       8.
Timing
is
everything



















SomeGmes
it’s
beVer
to
be
the
first
than
be
the
best

        

General
wisdom:
Tuesday
–


       Thursday
late
morning
send
best


        

More
important:
Gegng
an
email

       out
when
news
breaks,
something

       happens


        

If
you’re
wai[ng
3
days
for
policy

       experts
to
fact‐check
your
brilliant

       email,
you’re
too
late.

9.
Checklist
Your
Emails


One
bad
mistake
will
ruin
your
otherwise
excellent
email

     

Ask
someone
who
didn’t

    
write
it
to
proofread
it


     

Ask
someone
to
look
at
a
test


    message
to
read
every
sentence,


    click
every
link,
and
take
every

    ac[on.

10.
TesGng
and
SegmenGng

              Figure
out
what
works
best
for
your
own
list

     Test:
                                                    Segment:


•    Sender:
name/format

                                •    Donors/non‐donors

•    Subject
lines:
long/short,
punchy,
snarky,
          •    Highest
previous
contribu[on

     ques[ons,
current
events
themed,
“invite”
or

     “video”
                                             •    Geography
(including
stories)


•    Time
of
day
(tough
to
implement)
                    •    Past
ac[ons


•    Images:
yes/no,
upper
right
vs.
across,

            •    Signup
date


     
header
or
no
header,
simple
vs.
ar[s[c,
colors,

   •    Whatever
info
you’ve
got!


     
language

•    Email
length:
full
email
vs.
up
to
1st
link

•    Link
style:
hyperlinked
text
vs.
urls

•    Landing
pages


THANK
YOU.


QUESTIONS?


								
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