General Advice on writing great emails

Email marketing best practice

Keep it short and clear

Many people check their email first thing in the morning or last thing at night, or when multitasking while watching TV or making dinner. They may not be awake enough to engage with long, complicated prose. 

200 to 300 words is more than enough for any email, persuasive or otherwise.

You should also use clear language in your email . 

This is in part for accessibility. Simple language is easier to understand and easier to read. It is also more effective at driving people to take an action.

You can check if you are using accessible language with this tool: http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

It helps check the complexity of your writing and highlights convoluted sentences, allowing you to write clearly and concisely.

Subject lines

First impressions matter. 

Your email can be perfect,  but without an engaging subject line it may never be opened. 

You should always write 3-5 subject lines and get a second opinion on the best one. To think of some good subject line options, try the following strategies: 

  • Read through your email for a pithy phrase that sums up the email 
  • Ask an open-ended question, eg “Who do you want to be our next PPC?”
  • Add a deadline, eg “RSVP tonight for a free drink with your meal!”
  • Try a teaser, eg “Guess who’s coming to join our action this weekend?”
  • Be direct eg “Pick up an orphan delivery round this month → ”
  • Try a list eg “Four things you can do right now to help us in the by-election”
  • Make an announcement eg “The winner of the raffle is…”

And if all that fails, take the main theme of the email and try a subject line generator: https://www.activecampaign.com/free-marketing-tools/subject-line-generator 

Aim for subject lines that are short, intriguing, but do not come across as spam. 

Remember, you want to make sure that people open your email, but you don’t want to trick them.If folk feel tricked then they’re more likely to unsubscribe, so your email must deliver on what your subject line promises. 

Sender Name

Using a small number of “from names” in your emails will help build the name recognition and reputations with recipients over time - just like delivering a focus every few months does.

Therefore, it is best practice to be proactive in identifying the people you want to have as your regular email senders. 

Think about a few people in the party that it is beneficial to have regular emails go out from. Perhaps your prospective parliamentary candidate, to build up their name recognition, and some key members or activists who sit on your local party executive, or who lead campaigning for the local party. 

Think about people that will be happy to field questions that might come about from an email. People who will be flexible about approving emails to go out in their name. People who will be easy-going about mistakes that happen in their name, as this will always happen!

And think about diversity. You should send just as many emails from women or non-binary members as you do from men, and you should regularly send emails from some people of colour. 

Do not have a slate of only white, male sounding names as the only names that your recipients receive emails from. 

For people who have not yet interacted with your local party, you will create an impression that there is only one type of person who joins and is involved in the local party, and it will be more difficult for your local party to attract a diverse group of people to get involved in the future.