Tips for Advocacy Email

What emails do you yourself open and why? Is it your favorite store letting you know what’s new in stock? Is it the news of the day? Do you trust that it will be short and to-the-point? A few often-mentioned stand-out emails are The Skimm (for timely news in a humorous tone), Uber (for infographic design and data points about my rides), and Axios (for their “smart brevity”).

If you think about it, this is what we, as communicators, are up against — consumer brands, today’s fast-paced news cycle, and workplace inbox overload. So how can you craft an email that people love to open?

Here is a checklist that will help your email break through inbox clutter.

Along with the the checklist, follow these three R’s for a better advocacy email open rate:

READABILITY
Chances are, at least half of your list is opening your email on a mobile device. Make sure your email is mobile-optimized — from the template, to the content, to the webpages you link out to. Since most people just eyeball emails on the go, you need to use visuals, pull-quotes, and bolded text to make sure key messages are seen.

RELEVANCE
You need to address the ‘What’s in it for Me?” for your reader up front. This means defying a little bit of logic (or working around it), so that your message is not just about what you want to convey, but what your reader wants to hear. There are many ways to do this, including:
• Personalized information to and about the reader
• Special access to information or people
• Inspiration about the mission
• Curation from other sources

REVIEW
Email deliverability is getting more challenging as new spam protections are increasingly put in place by top email platforms. You can keep your list healthy by:
• Using A/B tests and let the data tell you what your audience wants
• Purging bad email addresses (and always be acquiring new ones to replace them!)
• Segmenting your lists to smaller batch sends for higher open rates

Don’t forget to use this free email checklist for your next email to follow these steps and more!