The Secret to Writing Addictive Email Content

Top marketers use the same strategy to craft addictive emails. And it’s not beautiful email design or flawless writing. (Although these are both important!)

It’s sending valuable emails that your subscribers actually want in their inboxes.


Not sure if your emails are addictive? Follow these 5 rules, and you’ll craft addictive content your audience won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Prefer to listen to this blog post? Check out the podcast adaptation of this post or watch the YouTube video:

1. Solve your audience’s problems.

Addictive content is helpful. And the best way to create helpful content is to brainstorm topics that address your audience’s needs.

Not sure what your audience needs? Figure out their biggest “pain point” — or the problem that keeps them up at night. After all, people don’t buy a product or service because of it’s flashy features. They ultimately purchase a product because it solves a problem for them.

By understanding your subscribers’ biggest pain points, you can more effectively promote your product and write convincing marketing copy. Here’s how to find your customers’ pain points.

2. Keep your subscribers interested.

Addictive content is interesting. To create interesting content, there are a few writing principles to keep in mind.

First, choose a tone that works best for your audience. In many cases, taking a conversational tone can improve readability and make your brand more relatable.

However, if your audience expects a serious tone because it’s more appropriate for your industry, then keep it formal.

Regardless of whether your tone is light-hearted, witty, irreverent, or formal, you should treat your subscribers with respect, says John Corcoran, founder of Smart Business Revolution.

“I don’t talk down to people,” says Corcoran. “I make it worthwhile to read my emails. I even bury jokes in the ‘P.S.’ and small font at the end just to delight and surprise people who are paying attention.”

Second, organize your email content in a way that’s easy for subscribers to read and skim.

In today’s fast-paced world, you may only have a few seconds to showcase the value of your email. Structure your content so the most important information is at the top. Additionally, use headlines, subheadlines, and bullet points to break up large chunks of text. (It’s so much easier to read on mobile devices. At AWeber, we recommend paragraphs being 2 to 3 sentences max.) To emphasize important parts of your message, try bolding, italicizing, or underlining words and phrases.

Related: 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails

3. Craft unique content.

Addictive content is one-of-a-kind.

In order to make your content stand out from the rest, try taking a new angle on a topic. This will also help establish you as a thought leader in your niche.

For example, many people think that you need a ton of email subscribers to be successful with email marketing. But this isn’t the case! So AWeber’s Product Marketing Manager Tom Tate wrote a blog post which explained that a small, engaged email list is better than a huge, disengaged one. This post was extremely successful because it provided a unique angle on an important topic.

You can also try new content mediums where your competitors may not have big audiences. If your industry is flooded with blog posts and ebooks, experiment with other forms of communication, like podcasts or video.

Not sure what to write in your emails? Check out these 45+ free email writing templates to get you started.

4. Keep your promises.

Addictive content is transparent.

A big reason why subscribers disengage with an email list is because the emails no longer deliver the value they were expecting. So don’t try to get readers to open an email with “click bait” — or a subject line that’s enticing, but has very little to do with the content inside the message.

The first step to transparency with email: Explain what content you’ll send and how often you’ll send it on your sign up form.

By telling people what they can expect before they sign up to your list, they’ll know what they’re getting into. Plus, you’ll be more likely to attract the right subscribers (which are more likely to engage with your content and purchase your products or services).

The second step to transparency: Stick to your promises!

If you say you’ll send an email once a month, don’t bombard your readers with emails every two days. If you say you’ll send helpful tips and advice, don’t send advertisements. If you do, you’ll see your unsubscribes and spam complaints increase almost immediately, which will ultimately hurt your business in the long run.

Related: 9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List

5. Create connections.

Addictive content builds relationships

We enjoy doing business with people we know, like, and trust — as opposed to a large faceless corporation. Humanize your message to increase connection and engagement with your subscriber.

The deeper a connection you make with a subscriber, the more likely they are the engage with your emails, buy products from you, and tell their network about your business.

One way to do this: Ask questions. The more feedback — good and bad! — you gather from your subscribers, the more likely your business is to succeed. By asking your subscribers questions, may discover a flaw in your product that is stopping them from purchasing. Or maybe they all mention one feature that they absolutely love, and that you can capitalize on in your marketing material. Or maybe they’ll tell you their biggest business challenge, which leads to your next great product idea. Or maybe you gather a bunch of fantastic testimonials and case studies that you can promote on your website.

Feedback is fuel for your business.

Another way: personalization. You don’t need to be pen pals with each of your subscribers. But you should make them feel as if you’re sending them personalized emails.

Here’s why: 74% of marketers said that targeted messages and personalization of emails improves customer engagement rates.

Try including your subscriber’s name in your message. You can add their first name in the middle or end of the email copy instead of at the beginning, which draws your reader’s eyes downward and keeps them reading. Or you can collect your subscribers’ birth dates on your sign up form. Then send them a celebratory message or a coupon on their birthday.

The more you try to connect with your readers, the more successful your email marketing will be.

For more ideas on how to personalize your emails, check out this post on engaging subscribers with contextual emails.

Ready to learn more about email marketing?

Check out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. It’ll give you an A-to-Z plan to launch an email marketing strategy that’s valuable to your audience.

Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

Additional reporting by Liz Willits and Jill Fanslau.

One Comment

  1. Mike Gregory

    2/21/2017 3:53 am

    I am still learning how to write and this is valuable content for me! Having the right tone is important! Thank you!