I got a question about what the four elements that comprise a “professional email”. I don’t know why the questioner thought that there were four parts. My best practice has three parts:
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them
- Tell them
- Remind them what you already said
Good email message structure
Slightly less flippantly, the structure of a good message is based around short sentences, simple sentence structure, short words and a clear indication about what you want the reader to do next.
If you can achieve all those things, that’s a great start.
More sophisticated messaging can come through with brand tone of voice, longer messaging plans over months / weeks and a mix of brand, educational and product/service messages. [Ask me how to plan your email marketing.]
Drafting and editing email messages
My personal method when creating EDMs is to work through these steps
- What is the key message?
- What is one thing I want the reader to do?
- Then I start writing…. beginning with the LAST paragraph
- Add in any context that explains the message (in case they are new to my list)
- Remind them of benefits
- Ask for the money / action
- Add a PS.
Then I sleep on it overnight. Always.
Because most of my messages can be improved and that only happens after time passes. I think my brain matures the message and having a bit of time after having written it means I can move into editing mode. That is a very different brain space and a different skillset.
Now I’m not a visual specialist so I get someone who is good at images to contribute here when I can.
And then you just need to do it many times to improve your skill.
For examples of best practice copywriting for B2B marketing read on.