There’s no denying that we live in a fast-moving world. Information is rapid and almost too easily accessible. This change in movement and delivery of information has created a highly selective audience. The obstacles to getting to a reader’s mind, particularly in the inbound marketing universe, include relentless competition, buyer sophistication, information overload, and the well-known desire for instant gratification

So how do email marketers secure a reader’s attention beyond the subject line? It’s been said that content marketing is king. Now’s the time to keep the content pedestal shining by securing your audience. 

Step 1: Know Your Audience

Before formulating any email marketing campaign, you need to define your audience. Whether it be for leads or engaged contacts, knowing your audience gives direction. That being said, email marketers must know their target audience inside out. It’s not imperative to interview those contacts, but what’s important is thinking about how your reader thinks and feels about the topic you’re promoting. What kind of verbiage do they use? What emotion does this product give them? 

Strava, a social network and tracking app for athletes, markets to their consumers with dialogue and tone that connects to both runners and bicyclists. For example, here is a line describing their location sharing option:

“Beacon gives you live location tracking from Garmin and Apple Watch devices. Use it for safer activities and peace of mind for friends and family.”

Strava is pinpointing an audience that wears Garmin and Apple Watch, or even knows what they are! They do this because they know their audience thoroughly. That same level of familiarity should be incorporated for all brands. Get to know your audience through a content style guide. Personalize your emails. For example, start off your emails with phrases your audience are familiar with and would expect from your brand:

  • “We know you can’t pass on this white chocolate mocha donut.”
  • “Have summer on your mind? Hawaii is open for business.”
  • “Hey there, [first name], we noticed you left something special in your cart.”

Steal your reader’s attention. It’ll keep them reading.

Step 2: Get Visual

Girl In Forest

Say you’ve narrowed down your audience, and you’ve created a witty subject line that attracted readers to open your email. How do you then keep your audience from skipping to another email or leaving their inbox altogether? Visuals. 

It has been proven that social posts with images produce 180% more engagement. In fact, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. Images have an upper hand because they can exemplify the mood and or tone of your email without using words. It’s no wonder that visual-heavy social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have taken a generation by wonder. With psychology and statistics behind it, inbound marketers can have a similar response from their audiences. Provide value to your emails with visuals that capture a reader’s attention. Capture feelings.

Step 3: Compelling Body Copy

Body copy is the heart of email marketing. It’s what mirrors a brand and brings personality. It has the ability to connect and bring emotion out of its readers. But if email marketers want to provide an entryway for further engagement and conversation, the copy has to be strong. So how do email marketers do this?

Think of your body copy as a supporting actor. The supporting actor strengthens the core main story you’re trying to tell. This can be achieved through, first of all, clarity. You want your readers to read your emails and know exactly what your message is. For example, let’s look at a couple of lines of an email from Nike:

 “Last time you took a look, we were sold out. But we’ve got good news: it’s back in action. Nike Blazer Low ’77.” 

The reader can clearly identify that the product being advertised is the Nike Blazer Low ‘77. What the reader is also able to determine is that this product that was once out of stock is now in stock. The reader leaves reading the email knowing exactly and easily what Nike is telling them. 

Also, in regards to body copy, don’t be afraid to leave room for whitespace. Whitespace actually gives your reader a breath of fresh air, knowing not only that this isn’t a lengthy email but that they will have time to process the email. Don’t forget that your reader is consistently and constantly barraged with information, so less is actually more. The more space is laid out throughout your email, the stronger your words will be. 

Step 4: What’s With CTA’s?


Your reader always wants to know why you’re sending them this email. They want to know what’s in it for them. Grabbing a reader’s attention is a heavy task. But the twist is that you don’t have to do this alone. Your email doesn’t have to be the end-all. In fact, it shouldn’t! Providing additional information and resources through CTA’s (Calls-To-Actions) is pivotal to giving your audience the complete information they need from your email. 

The key to strong CTA’s is putting together language that is fun, witty, and action-based. For example, if you’re writing an email for a new staff leads campaign, with the campaign goal being that new staff applies, your primary CTA could look like this:

  • Apply Now!
  • Register Today
  • Become a Staff Member
  • Join Our Community

The point is that you want to ignite future conversations with your reader. Leave them with something that makes them want to continue the customer journey. 

Story-tell Away

As a content writer, you have more potency than you think. So, use that power to your advantage and swoop each inbound reader in with the magic of storytelling. Tell a story simply, creatively, and effectively. With strong components, it’s more than possible to get your reader beyond a subject line.

Should you need more resources or a creative partner, 829 Studios is more than happy to help!
Let’s strengthen our writing skills together.

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