7 Sure-Fire Human Ways To Write Engaging Emails

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.”

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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.

WHY?

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:

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#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.

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Here’s a personalized email which I got from James Blackwell (Co-founder of BuzzSumo):

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#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:

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And I got this positive response:

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#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:

“I”.

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.

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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…!

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#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.

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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.

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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:

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#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”

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Meera Kothand also uses storytelling in her emails:

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#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.

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?”

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I got one more email from Robbie Richard who was asking for my feedback on how to improve his blog.

Take a look:

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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!

Cheers,

[Your Name]

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!

Cheers,

[Your Name]

BONUS 3: Email Outreach For Marketers

Hello [Name],

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:

[Your Question]

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 🙂

Cheers,

[Your Name]

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:

Don’t forget to share this post!

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Authored By
I'm Inbound Marketer and Content Creator. An introvert storyteller and movie freak who loves writing. I’ve been featured on Jeff Bullas, MarketingProfs. Social Media Today, Entrepreneur, SEMrush, Shout Me Loud, Customer Think, Addicted 2 Success and many more. Want step-by-step roadmap to understand email marketing and create strategy for your blog/business? Download Free eBook: http://prepawan.com/email-now-ebook/

26 thoughts on “7 Sure-Fire Human Ways To Write Engaging Emails”

  1. Vishwajeet Kumar

    Hey Pawan,

    Very informative post. personalized emails definitely increase bonding with users and also increase user engagement. I personally preferring to personalize my emails. This is the key factor and a major step to connect with your networks and subscribers.

    1. Hello Vishwajeet,

      You’re right. Personalization is the most important factor in email. Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.

      Thanks for your words. 🙂

  2. Hi Pawan, It’s an amazing post. I enjoyed while reading it & didn’t find any robotic lines. Learnt things which is really important for sending an email. Keep sharing such knowledgeable post…!
    Your knowledge & Posts are Appreciable….!!

    1. Hi Ritika,

      Glad to know that I could help you. Thanks for your inspiring words. I will definitely entertain you with my posts in future. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Appreciating Blog IN terms of Engage Email Marketing , story telling can be a perfect lime light for any email or to make it interesting for a reader as well. Its not at all a single option we have that we can express our feelings by our face expressions or voice only , Email writing can do same thing in good manner .(For an example when couples are living in long distance relationship so in busy life they can only express them or about themselves via Emails only 🙂 ) so Not about business only , email marketing with emotions, greetings , joy , happiness , can be helpful for an individual also.
    According to Meera Kothand yes I agree we should take care about reader (words used by her in email like – “you’) you is the indication for that particular reader or this can be the reason to tell them that they are special, precious or deserving , thats why they are getting this Email .I have learned this thing via this blog that we should create a scene with the help of effecting email writing so user will be curious , excited to read it .

    1. Hello Garima,

      Storytelling has enormous power to engage with your target audience. Everyone loves stories. We must use relevant story in our writing.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your valuable thoughts. I’m happy you find this post useful and interesting. 🙂

  4. It’s good to be here and read some interesting posts , i got very useful information over here thanks for sharing it .

  5. Thanks for the post Pawan. Addressing someone by name in an email is a big one for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ignored an email because my name was misspelled.

    1. Hey SAM,

      Yeah, Your name is the best sound in any language 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views.

  6. Hi Mr. Pawan,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this useful information. Well, through my comment, I would like to give you just a small piece of free advice that perhaps you will like. I want to say that don’t assume anything about your audience publicly. In this article you bet that all of us will open the mail from our friends first while the fact is that most of us will open mail from business first, then colleague and then friend!

    Thanks!

    1. Hello VGCHARTERED,

      Thanks for your kind advice. You’re right, it’s a personal choice- which email we want to open first.

      Thanks for coming by and sharing your valuable thoughts here. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  7. Good points, Pawan to show subscribers they’re important through being conversational, sharing what appeals to them and appealing to their emotions -through stories, humor, personalized style.
    Have you had greater success getting your engaging, personalized emails read and replied to more often than following a template?
    ~Keri

    1. Hey Keri,

      I am happy that you like this post. Yeah, I use personalization in my email campaigns and I get really nice results from these emails. I just want to say one thing – Personalization works!

      Thanks for stopping by! Have a nice day 🙂

  8. Good points. Personalization in emails is really a excellent point mentioned by Pawan. Thank you for the good article.

    1. Hey Tanooja,

      Yeah, personalization is very important in email. I’m happy to know that you like these tips. Thanks for sharing your views here. 🙂

  9. This idea is Good…… but it takes too much time to send mail with everyone’s different name. Is there any tool which change the name automatically according to the Mail Id ?

  10. Dear Pawan,

    Thanks for sharing very informative information on writing email with human touch .I am trying to practicing this in my daily work .

    Keep sharing the good information !!!

    Regards,
    Stella

  11. Nitesh Ranjan

    Hello Pawan Kumar

    Thanks for sharing very informative and amazing post for writing emails with human touch.
    Keep sharing the good information. Bye!! tc

  12. I am a big fan of your blog. I had read many of your great articles and learn great techniques and methods to do proper research. This information again is very interesting and all case studies are very inspiring.

  13. Very useful info,

    This article important the for me is.

    Keep it up and thanks to the writer.

    Amazing write-up,

    Thanks!!!!!!!!… 🙂

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