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6 Step Email Formatting Checklist for High Powered Conversions

“The money is in the list!”

“The money is in the list!”

“The money is in the list!”

This phrase has likely been beaten into your head since the first day you decided to investigate the ins and outs of internet marketing. It may sound redundant after a while, but so many people parrot this adage because it genuinely is true. There are marketers all across the globe that make a healthy living directly from the promotion that they provide to their email list.

Building a list, however, is the easy part. Converting a member of that list to a paying consumer can be quite the challenge for some. The importance of continually improving upon your marketing methods cannot be overstated as it may mean the difference between someday residing in your dream home or living in van down by the river.

That is why I am going to show you the 6 step checklist for email formatting that every marketer should use in order to maximize consumer engagement and skyrocket conversions like never before. If you are NOT at least following the majority of the items on the checklist, then you may be cheating yourself out of thousands of dollars…Don’t be THAT person.

#1 Personalization

How many times have you opened up an email that simply said, “Hey (insert firstname)?” Unless the content was truly compelling, you likely clicked away because it sounded impersonal and forced. A better option would be to create your own style that ONLY emails from you will have.

Here’s an example. Perhaps you run an online shoe store. Instead of “hey (insert firstname)” you could say ‘Hello fellow footies” or something along those lines. It’s less generic and more personal to the reader as well.

A study conducted by the email marketing company MailerMailer analyzed over 100 million emails. What they found gives incredible insight into what forms of personalization actually work.

personalization email

As you can see by the graph, emails that contained personalization in the subject line only and the message line only, performed significantly better than those that had no personalization at all.

What’s even more interesting is that emails that were optimized with both personalized subject lines and messages performed far worse than even the emails that contain no personalization at all. Honestly, I have no conclusive evidence to support why this occurs, except a vague guess that perhaps emails that are too personalized come off as fake. Either way, over personalization is real and can possibly decrease your open rates by over 50% or more.

# 2 Segmentation

This isn’t a necessity, but will definitely be useful for some. We’ll use the shoe store analogy again for this example. Unless the shoes you are selling are super targeted, the niche itself is fairly broad, making it difficult to fill the needs for every person that signs up to your list.

An alternative option is to have a second page that appears when the audience members signs up through your opt in. This second page could provide boxes to check off whether they are male or female, and what sub niche they are most interested in etc. The answer that they provide will decide what list they fall under.

You will then be able to provide each list with offers that coincide with the interests and needs of the subscribers. The more targeted your list is, the higher the probability that the subscribers will convert to a sale.

#3 Creative Use of Images

There is nothing inherently wrong with a plain text email. Marketers have been successfully promoting products and services with plain text emails for years, but studies show that people positively respond to images as well.

Images could consist of anything really, as long as they are intriguing and do not distract from the intent of the email.

One popular method that I’ve seen used is to provide an image that promotes a video. For instance, take a look at the image I have added below…

email conversions

Notice that this image actually looks like a video and will likely prompt readers to click on it. The image itself will link directly to the video that you are promoting, sending the reader to the page where the video is hosted. This works far better than simply adding a textual link to a Youtube video.

Also, be sure to add “ALT” tags to all of your images. You may find that the majority of your viewers have images turned off with their email provider. Having an “ALT” tag will simply notify them that there is an image that can be viewed, prompting them to allow images to become accessible.

#4 Call to Action

I picked up this item from fellow marketer, Ryan Deiss. He always includes at least three calls to action within his sales emails. In order to utilize this effectively without coming off as spammy, it’s important to add in enough content so that the calls to action can be appropriately spread throughout the entire email.

I’d love to give you some golden rules as to where the placement of your call to action should appear, but it simply depends on too many factors. Your best option is to experiment and find what placement works best for your list.

#5 Use a Sign Off

Make it personal. Despite having numerous people that work for me, rarely will you ever see emails from us that say “Sincerely, The ImSuccessCenter Team”. Instead, they are personalized by me.

This works especially well for larger businesses that may have numerous individuals sending out emails. If you have Mark, Andy, Tiffany, etc. all personalizing their emails, then readers will quickly build a relationship with each and have specific expectations when opening up an email.

Another possibility is to use BOTH a personalized sign off and those that come from the company or team to create a “duel voice”.

The emails with a personalized sign off could be more passive, while the other can work to drive further sales by giving a time limit or a stronger call to action. This keeps the perception of the personality free of judgment while still striving for increased conversions.

#6 The P.S. Line

Oddly enough, studies have shown that the most read portions of a sales page or email are the headline and the post script, making the P.S. line absolutely integral in your marketing efforts.

The post script should be used to summarize or reiterate the point of your email and may also be used as an additional call to action. I’ve even seen marketers use numerous post script lines in the same email, which may be interesting to try as well.

What’s Coming Up Next

In Part 2 of this series, we will be discussing the 6 step checklist for the psychology of copywriting. It’s incredibly important to understand both the proper formatting and copywriting of an email as understanding only one is the same as understanding neither of them. They work together in tandem to create a highly converting email that is absolutely irresistible to your audience.  

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment below. I look forward to hearing from you or answering any questions you may have. 

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

One comment

  1. Thanks for your great advice Sean.I want to implement step #3 in my emails. However I am struggling on how best to put in a still image from a video that links out to one of my YouTube videos. If you can help me that would be fantastic.

    Should I also add a textual link below (or above) the image?


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