How many emails do you get every day?
My guess is a lot.
Do you know that more than 205 billion emails are sent every day?
You will get a tiny fraction of that number, but frankly, even the small amount we get, we often don’t have the time to read them all.
An average office employee receives 121 emails a day. Just have a look at your mailbox and you will see that you have a huge list of unread emails.
According to Radicati Group Email Statistics Report:
- “In 2015, the number of business emails received totals 88 emails per user per day.”
We usually only read emails which interest us or pique our attention. So the real question is, how many of them grab your attention?
Why The Human Touch Is Important In Email
Did you know that average attention span of a human is less than a goldfish?
I’m not kidding… Take a look at this surprising fact:
- The average attention span of an average adult is 8.25 seconds, and the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. (Static Brain)
Email is the most popular way to connect with people in this digital age.
It’s a great way to start a conversation with your users/customers/prospects, and add some value into their lives.
Let’s take an example:
You’ve got three emails – one from your friend, one from your colleague, and one from a business.
Which messages will you open?
I bet you will quickly respond to the messages from your friend and colleague, but you’ll probably ignore the one from the business.
Because we have a genuine, physical relationship with our friends and colleagues. We know who they are. We’re emotionally connected with them.
The ’emotional connection’ thing applies to all relationships. When you’re running a website, you need to emotionally connect with your readers in order to improve the quality of that relationship.
I asked marketers, sales executives, bloggers, and business owners:
- What is your biggest challenge with emails?
The number one answer was:
“I don’t know how to write an engaging email which recipients want to read. I don’t know how to build a human relationship via the internet.”
We can easily show emotions with verbal communication and physical gestures. But it’s tough to write an expressive email.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive formula to writing a perfect email.
But there is one thing to keep in mind:
There is a human on the other side of that email with feelings and emotions. People only talk to other people; they don’t talk to abstract concepts (like a business or a company).
Here are 7 ways to write emails in a more engaging way to connect with your recipients on a more human level.
#1. Address people by their names!
You must address your recipient by his/her name.
“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie
You may be thinking:
- What’s so important about using a person’s name?
Here’s a real life example…
Jim Farley (May 30, 1888 – June 9, 1976), chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Postmaster General of the United States, was known for his ability to remember names.
After his father died suddenly, he had to work at the grocery store to support his family. And he never went to high school.
What was the secret of his success?
“He can call fifty thousand people by their first names.”
Remembering and using names works for all of us.
Take a look at this email that Harsh sends to his new subscribers. He uses the subscriber’s name in the subject line and also greets them by name in the email copy:
#2. Make your email more personalized.
Personalization is not just addressing people by their name. It’s about addressing specific characteristics of a person’s personality.
Use the data you have & the details you know so you can tailor your message based on the specifics of a person.
Highlight a mutual connection in the email body. Use the recipient’s name more than once (I suggest you use the name once in the subject line, and twice in the main message).
Send the email from an individual account, not your corporate account.
Here’s a real email that I sent to Preeti Dubey of Strive High. See the underlined text; I used her name 3 times (1 time in the subject line & 2 times in the email body) and mentioned a mutual connection.
Here’s a personalized email which I got from James Blackwell (Co-founder of BuzzSumo):
#3. Make them feel important.
Everybody likes a compliment.
Dr. John Dewey said that “the deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.”
Remember that: “…the desire to be important.”
If you want to make people like you, never forget that phrase.
Let’s take a real-life example…
Suppose you’re in line at Pizza Hut and you see a girl at the counter who is taking orders. You ask yourself, “What should I say to her to make her feel important?” So while she’s taking your order, you remark with an energetic smile, “Your hard work is really appreciated. Thank you.”
We all know the golden rule:
- Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Pay very close attention to the words you use in your emails. Make your recipients feel important, and do it honestly & sincerely.
Show your appreciation rather than just talking about your products.
I created an infographic post (an expert’s insight on email marketing) in which Chad White is featured (Research Director & Email Expert), so I sent him a message.
Here’s what I wrote:
And I got this positive response:
#4. Be genuinely interested in people.
When you see a group photograph which you are in, who do you look at first?
Of course you know the answer… yourself!
People are not generally interested in you or me, they are interested in themselves.
Which word is the most commonly used in conversation?
You guessed right:
If you want to make your emails engaging, you have to be interested in the recipient.
See this email which I got from Neil Patel. It’s a great example of being interested in people and making them feel special.
So, talk to people about themselves and use the word “you” more often in your message. If you do this, they will listen.
Meera Kothand does a great job of this in her emails. Here she’s using the word 26 times…!
#5. Make Them SMILE!
SMILES are contagious!
Imagine you’re waiting for your bus at the bus stop, and you’re a little upset because you’re late. Then a young lady comes over with her nine-month-old baby and sits down next to you.
The baby looks up at you with a great big smile. What do you do? Just what everyone else would do…
You smile back at the baby.
A smile simply says, “I like you. You make me happy. I’m glad to see you.”
According to Frac.tl’s Viral Emotions study: The top 10 most common human emotions are related to smiling or happiness.
Don’t write your emails like a robot or a machine. Add in some humor and make your emails sound natural.
Your “smile” will come through in your words.
See how Ramit Sethi uses the humor in his emails.
I sent an email to some of our clients asking for their feedback, but I didn’t get any response from most of them.
Then I sent a simple follow up email which got more than a 70% response rate.
Here’s that email:
#6. Be a storyteller.
A story works much better than facts and figures.
Don’t just tell a story, dramatize it and make it compelling.
Have you ever noticed how television commercials use drama in selling their products?
One brand of soap gets a greasy shirt clean, while the other brand leaves it gray.
Another example of drama:
When a guy proposes to his sweetheart, does he do it casually? No!
He goes down on his knees. He makes it dramatic. Sometimes there are even elaborate schemes involved. That level of drama is how you know he really means what he says.
See this email which I got from Jon Morrow:
The subject line says, “Newbie Blogger Gets 56,334 Visitors in 60 Days”
Meera Kothand also uses storytelling in her emails:
#7. Be a good conversationalist.
What is the biggest secret of successful business people?
They give exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to them.
Learn to listen to people. Listen to them like you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
Listening is the best compliment we can pay anyone.
If you want to be interesting, be interested. People will respond to you because they can see that you care.If you want to be interesting, be interested.Click To Tweet
Encourage people to talk about their interests, their wants, and their problems by asking questions that they will enjoy answering.
If you want to be a smart marketer and increase your skills in human relationships, always see things from the other person’s point of view as well as your own.
Take a look at part of this message I got from Neil Patel:
Subject Line: “Pawan Kumar I need a favor…can you help?”
I got one more email from Robbie Richard who was asking for my feedback on how to improve his blog.
Take a look:
BONUS: Templates To Write Better Emails
BONUS 1: Email Outreach For Sales
Hello [First Name],
Hope you’re doing well 🙂
My name is [Name] and I’m working with [Company] as the [position]. I got your contact information from [Source].
I’m writing you today because I did some research on [Company]. [Write two or three sentences about the company. Talk about pain points and offer them a solution. Show how your product or service can be beneficial for them.]
[Name], let’s schedule a quick 10 minute call. When works best for you?
If you’re not flexible for a chat, I’d be more than happy to drop you an email to get your opinion on how we can make [Company] better (and see if it would make sense for us to work together).
Looking forward to hearing from you!
BONUS 2: Email Outreach For Bloggers
Hello [First Name],
Hope you’re doing well 🙂
I stumbled upon your article [Post Title] and found it very interesting. It was so good that I tweeted it out to my followers. 🙂
[One sentence about yourself].
Just wanted to give you a heads up that I updated an article on the same topic on my blog. I would love for you to take a look and let me know if you have any feedback.
You can check it out here – [Your Post]
I’d love to hear what you think. 🙂
Either way, keep up the great work!
BONUS 3: Email Outreach For Marketers
Hope you’re doing well 🙂
I’m a great fan of your work and I always enjoy reading your content in emails, articles, & webinars.
I really enjoyed your recent report on [Topic], and it was so good that I shared it with my network 🙂
Just wanted to reach out and let you know that I’m conducting a survey to create a report on the [Topic Name] & I’d be honored to get a little blurb from you that I could put in the report.
[Name], my audience would absolutely love to get your take on the topic.
The question is:
It would be great to have your input and, of course, I’ll link to your website.
Let me know if you’re interested. Either way, keep up the great work 🙂
Writing Emails With A Human Touch
When we write emails in a way that connects with our readers, we can create better relationships and have more success in our personal and professional lives. Businesses can thrive, conversions can skyrocket, and relationships can flourish.
Simply by treating our readers as human beings, and following these 7 tips, we can take our floundering email campaigns and turn them into something truly wonderful.
Now it’s your turn! What other points would you add to this list? How do you “humanize” your emails?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!
Here are some more articles to check out:
- 8 Email Etiquette Mistakes Even Smart People Make
- Why Are Your Email Subscribers Inactive? 12 Solutions (with Downloadable Templates)
- 9 Social Media and Email Marketing Power-Ups for Better Conversions
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