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How To Write Engaging Emails People Actually Want To Read

Written by: Hanna Hermanson, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Of all the things you have on your plate…is it even worth it to send emails to your list? Do people even read them? Good emails? yes. People read them. In fact, email marketing is predicted to be one of the hottest marketing trends in 2023! Seth Godin will tell you: “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.” – and emails are an ideal place to do just that!! (especially compared to social media, where only 10% of your followers see anything you post – depressing right?) I like to say: “If you’ve got an email list, you’re sitting on a gold mine.” Because sales happen in the inbox, my friend. Want in? Keep reading.

woman typing on her laptop sending emails

How does email marketing work and why your email list is important

OK, do you want the deets on email marketing? Here are the quick and dirty facts. Imagine hearing about someone. A coach. Maybe she was a guest on a podcast or a speaker at an event. She told the best stories. And her vibe was “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman meets Carri Bradshaw.” You have a bit of a coach crush on her. And you’re pumped because before she goes, she leaves you with a link to a free thing. You click on it. Enter your email address. And boom, you’ve got this amazing resource. You win because you’ve just received hella value. And the coach wins, because she now has you on her email list. This is the first step in email marketing – getting people into your world…so that you can build a relationship with them.

Doesn’t that happen on social media? Sure, to some extent. But social media = borrowed land. Your email list = yours. Meaning you get to control who sees what, and when. Having a good “lead magnet” will help you build your list, and can include things like a free coaching session, an open house, a template, a workshop, a workbook, a fully-loaded PDF, a quiz, etc. Bonus tip – don’t ever stop putting effort into coming up with new and exciting lead magnets. It’s not a “one-and-done” situation. Many coaches get “stuck” and don’t see a good return on their emails, because they’re talking to the same people over and over again. It’s important to put consistent effort into continually growing your list so that you get new eyeballs on your stuff…on the regular.

Good emails lead to sales

OK, so how does someone go from “email list subscriber” to “client?” Once someone joins your list, they should receive a smokin’ hot welcome sequence (here’s a free customer engagement email example for you). This series of 3-5 emails will roll out the red carpet for your new subscribers, and help them feel “at home” in your digs. From there? It’s about consistency!

Because think about it. When you make a new friend, do you immediately ask them to help you move? No. You don’t. You go for coffee together. Maybe you even go glow-bowling, or something. You “bond.” And you develop a relationship.

Good emails aren’t just about sharing “value.” Or promoting your next workshop. Good emails build rapport. And get people excited to hear from you. In fact, a good email should be the highlight of your audience’s day. People are craving connection. And real relationships.

And in a world that is oversaturated with “overnight experts” it can be difficult to know who to trust.

But when you consistently show up in your audience’s inbox you easily set yourself apart from the fake sleaze bags. This means, when you have something to sell, people are way more likely to invest their valuable time/energy/money in you. Because they genuinely like you, your energy, and your entire philosophy. People buy from those they know, like, and trust...but more on that, in a bit.

How to start your email marketing strategy

Maybe you’ve been nodding your head, and you are ready to fire away. If this is your first time jumping on the email train, you’ll want to research the best email provider for your needs. There are plenty of them out there. And I’m not about to play favorites. If you’ve been around the block with emails, but it’s been a while since you’ve sent anything, don’t worry. You haven’t shot yourself in the foot just yet. In order to successfully launch (or re-launch) an email marketing strategy, you want to start out gently. Keep it light, and lead with: “Here’s what I’ve been up to!” Make your first few emails about you and your brand. It’s a good time to share your “why” story, and the meaning behind your mission. You’ll also want to map out a schedule for yourself and set some targets. Aim to send out an email 1-2x per week. And shoot for an “open rate” of about 20% (this is the average across all industries).

Don’t settle for a subject line that feels “good enough.” Because even if you’ve got a stellar email no one will open it if it’s got a ho-hum subject line. My best advice: Don’t go “salesy” or over-promise in any way (“$10k in 30 days!). Instead, lead with emotion, keep it casual, and hint at an incoming story. Something like: My *mortifying* artichoke dip story.

Awkward – my class president campaign.

Welp, almost missed our flight.

Want something that speaks more to your offer? Keep it real, and don’t be afraid to throw in some humor. Something like: Your 2010s website is the problem.

How to fall in love with your business again.

My fav trick for building a brand people love. And heck yes to emojis in the subject line btw.

How to engage customers with email

Got everything up and running? Congrats! Now, the question becomes: how do you keep your email list engaged over the long run? The 3 C’s! – Clarity, Connection & Credibility. These 3 ingredients make the most magnificent marketing pie. And when you deliberately cycle through each “C” in turn (not all at once in the same email)…you are left with a confident consumer who is ready to buy! What does each type of email “look like?” – take a look!

1. Clarity

An email that focuses on clarity should provide your audience with a deeper understanding of your offer. Way too often, coaches send emails without communicating what they’re actually selling. Show people “3 ways to work with me!” and actually articulate your job title (“as a Sustained Success Coach…”). This type of email helps your audience get to know you.

2. Connection

An email that focuses on connection should build rapport, and create a sense of “she gets me!” Tell stories about your dog, your childhood, or going out for dinner…and invite people to connect with you on social. Humans remember things when they come in story form – so capitalize on that! This type of email helps your audience like you.

3. Credibility

An email that focuses on credibility should give people a reason to believe that you can help them. This often comes in the form of testimonials, but it can also look like a feature of your podcast or blog. Talk about your credentials, and let people in on the fact that you’ve accomplished the journey they want to achieve (“I’ve built several 6-figure businesses!”). This type of email helps your audience trust you.

Final Thoughts: How to do email marketing the right way

My dad always used to joke around and say: “my job would be so much easier without customers.” – and obviously, he wouldn’t even have a job, without customers. But for real. It’s the same with your business. Growing your audience = growing your business. And hopefully, by now, you can see that a healthy email list is a really good way to do that.

Feeling like an email list Power Ranger? I don’t blame you. You’re ready for this! Know you want to implement an email list strategy, but pretty sure it’s not yourzone of genius?” – just a quick reminder that plenty of copywriters out there do a happy dance every time they sit down to write emails. Including me! Reach out if you’d like to chat about working with Done For You Copywriting. I’d love to chat!

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Hanna Hermanson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Hanna Hermanson is the founder and CEO of Done for You Copywriting for Coaches. As a life and business coach for years, Hanna gained deep insights and intuitive knowledge about what motivates people to take action. Hanna and her team of expert copywriters combine these insights with creative copy strategies to scale coaching businesses and help transformational leaders get back into their zone of genius. Hanna's work can be found in Forbes, Thrive Global, and her book “Dream Life is Real Life” on Amazon.

When she’s not writing or strategizing, she can be found carbo-loading for half marathons or frolicking on the beaches of Mexico with her husband and labradoodle.



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