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Email Writing For Startups: How To Get Heard

Mike Hanski
Mike Hanski

Most startups do their best to cultivate a strong user base via social media. As a marketing venue, it's their key point of focus.

What if we told you social media marketing shouldn't be your main focus, but instead should complement your email marketing strategy?

People get and send emails every day. It works. According to McKinnsey&Co, emails are 40 times more effective than social media as a way to get customers. Being a startup devotee, you should find and use the right approach to email marketing and make it work for you.

Why is your approach so important? Check out these crazy stats:

  • 22% of sales emails never go to users' inbox but enter spam inboxes
  • 68% of users delete commercial emails without reading them
  • 58% unsubscribe
  • 49% mark these letters as spam (according to HubSpot's Science of Email 2014 report)

Just imagine how many customers you lose because of ineffective email writing when you could acquire them all if you knew how to write sales emails to get heard.

That's exactly what we have for you here. After reading this article you'll know the right content for your sales email, the right time to send it, and the right people to target.

Related Article: 6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing

General Rules of Email Writing

The first and main rule to remember: do not expect your email to do your selling for you. If you send your initial email, it does not mean a person will go and buy your product or service once they've heard from you.

Make people want to know more about your offer. Here are suggestions to follow:

  • Send your emails on Tuesdays. Yes, it sounds weird, but the research by Experian explains this trick with the highest open rate (18%) of Tuesday's emails compared to other weekdays.
  • Before sending your email, answer the questions: “Would I open it?”, “Would I read it?”, and “Would I know what to do after reading it?” There are three steps of good email marketing: a potential customer opens an email, reads it and takes some action.
  • No attachments. People do not like to open attachments from unknowns for fear they'll get viruses; plus, letters with attachments often go to spam folders.
  • Watch your online reputation. People won't get your emails if you are on a blacklist.
  • Always respond to customers' emails and answer all questions they might have. Make sure you solve their problem, not just send a reply.

Email Structure

And here the most interesting part comes: how to write an email to get heard; it's not very difficult to do if you know and use the below tricks right.

The Subject Line

64% of people say they open an e-mail because of the subject line, so make sure it's short and catchy. Statistics says, the highest open rates come from emails with 6-11 word subject lines.

The subject line makes customers want to open your email, so make it about context to setup the rest of your email. According to Joanna Wiebe from CopyHackers, there is always a little psychology behind a good subject line:


Make customers believe you wrote this email for them only: address them by name. You may include a name in the email body or the subject line, whatever. Most studies say personalized messages can bring about a 20% uplift to your business.

Related Article: Lessons from the Trenches on Responsive Email Design

Make it Mobile

Almost a half of emails are opened on mobile devices today, and 69% of users will delete your message if it's not optimized for mobile. Bearing this in mind, make sure you use a responsive-design template to engage your users effectively.

By the way, as for templates, custom email templates can improve your email marketing; do not hesitate about using them.

Related Article: 4 Rules for Mobile-Optimized Email Marketing


Focus on context and trust to make writing your emails simpler. Here are some details to take into consideration:

  • Hook a reader (share info or a story to catch their attention);
  • Speak the same language with your audience (avoid professional jargon, use short sentences and examples they will understand);
  • Avoid spam words;
  • Provide some useful link, some discount or coupon. Encourage people to become your customers;
  • Add social sharing buttons to your email (according to SocialFresh, they increase click-through rates by 158%);
  • Use a three-line signature (name, position + company name, data to contact you).

Call to Action

Together with a good subject line, a CTA (call to action) is the most important element of your email to get conversions. As Peep Laja from ConversionXL says,

Make your CTA relevant, colorful and actionable to get some profit.

10 DON'Ts of Email Writing

Writing your email, you should not forget about some taboos of email marketing. You do not want to fail here, do you? So, read and remember:

  1. DON'T spam
  2. DON'T hide unsubscribe links
  3. DON'T use “I” or “we” in your email
  4. DON'T use emails to deal with angry clients (a phone call or meeting would work better)
  5. DON'T use all CAPS in emails
  6. DON'T just send a pitch
  7. DON'T send offensive content
  8. DON'T send an email without testing it
  9. DON'T write a company name in subject lines
  10. DON'T send your emails too frequently

So, Let's Check It!

To make a long story short and help you write a good email that lets your customers hear you, here is a checklist to use: 


Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Mike Hanski
Mike Hanski,
business.com Writer
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Mike is a content strategist and a blog writer for Bid4papers. When not writing about marketing and elearning, he enjoys Classic American literature and traveling in far countries. Feel free to check out his blog and contact him on G+ or Facebook.