The secret to writing engaging emails

If you read last week’s mobile post, you know how to craft a powerful call to action (CTA) for your email message.

But what about the rest of your message? How do you keep your reader engaged long enough to actually respond to that CTA you’ve worked so hard to create? And how do you do it without overwhelming them with a lot of text? Start by focusing on an old-but-good acronym: WIIFT (What’s In It For Them).

It’s all well and good to email your subscribers about new products or services, or to invite them to your next webinar or event. It’s easy to talk about how innovative your product is, or that it uses the most cutting-edge technology, or whatever. After all, you’re proud of what you and/or your company have accomplished. But your subscriber doesn’t care how innovative or cutting edge your product is if they don’t immediately see how using it will benefit them. So it’s your job to tell them, as clearly and concisely as possible–especially when it comes to creating email content with mobile in mind.


1. Think about why you decided to create and market your product in the first place. Why do your current customers use it, and why do they love it? (If you’re unsure about any of this, read the excellent Start with Why by Simon Sinek to find out how to get clear on your “why”).

2. Make a list of the most important or relevant features of your product or service. Understanding what your product or service actually does for your customers is key, but the value you provide goes beyond your product’s functionality or specs. How does it make your customer feel? How does it improve their lives or take away their pain?

To discover (or rediscover) the benefits of a product, review its features and, putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, ask yourself “So what?” as you read each one. Here’s a simple example:

YOU: Our widget works 10x faster than competing products!


YOU: It saves you time, so you can get your job done more easily and efficiently!

YOUR CUSTOMER: Sign me up!

Clearly, saving time and improving efficiency are more interesting to a potential buyer than the fact that your widget is the fastest. To make your benefit even more convincing, provide a specific detail, such as “boosts productivity by 30%” (as long as you can back up your claim!). But even without specific stats, touting benefits is much more compelling than simply providing a list of features, or using a lot of superfluous text to describe your product.

By taking the time to reconnect with your “why”, and answering the “so what?” question about each product feature, you’ll get to the heart of what makes your product or service valuable. Armed with this information, you can craft concise, mobile-friendly and powerful emails that engage and entice your subscribers into becoming customers.

So, what’s your “why?” Let us know in the comments!