Want to Get Your Emails Read? Here Are Some Great Tips with Ellisen Wang
Help your emails to stand out from others in an overcrowded inbox. People like to read about problems when you ask them questions and list. These are some surefire way to get the recipient to take an interest in your email. Stories are also naturally engaging. You only have a few words to grab the reader’s attention. Make it count. Chances are you won’t get a second chance
Ellisen Wang is an email copywriter, author and publisher of “How to Become an Email Titan.” He also publishes daily copywriting, email marketing, and business tips on his blog. He has helped clients in many different industries including non-profits, startups, ecommerce businesses, real estate, and tech companies write engaging sales emails that their subscribers look forward to reading.
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Full Transcript Below
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (00:02):
And welcome to another episode of the business of business. Uh, I’m Roy, uh, the focus of this show is to bring, uh, professionals and experts from all discipline. To, uh, help our small solo preneurs entrepreneurs, smaller businesses to give them, um, uh, some tools to hopefully be more successful. But then also give them some resources just in case they need to reach out and get some help.
So, uh, today, uh, we have an awesome guest Ellison Wang. He is an email copywriter author publisher of how to become an email Titan. Ellisen also publishes a daily copywriting, email marketing and business tips on his blog. He has helped clients in many different industries. Including not for profits startups, e-commerce businesses, real estate and tech companies, uh, writing, engaging sales emails that their subscribers look forward to reading. Alison, thanks for taking the time out of your day to be with us.
Oh yeah. No, thank you for having me out. Yeah, you have to be here.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (01:11):
Yeah, no, you know, we, uh, we got, uh, got hooked up over. You know, you kinda stood out for me with this email writing. Because it’s become so important used to everybody open every email they got now it’s kinda just the opposite. A lot of people, if they even use email anymore, you know. A lot of people just, uh, they don’t recognize it. They ditch it or, you know, put it over in the, uh, the pile to open when they have more time later in the week. And sometimes that never happens. So, you know, writing an engaging email where people. Like you said, look forward to it, it’s such an important part of our outreach these days.
Yeah, it is. It definitely is.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (01:53):
So, uh, I guess let’s just start at the beginning of we’re gonna, is this gonna. I guess we could talk about a couple of different things. Uh, one would be a one-on-one you’re writing an email to me where maybe we’ve had some previous contact or I looked at your website. But then also, uh, more of a, you know, a bulk email type thing going out to a lot of prospects. Let’s start with that one first. Um, you know, if we’re, we got a new product, we got a new offer, so we’re gonna, uh, blast an email out to all of our, uh, you know, everybody on our email list. Where do we start with that? I know, you know, intuitively the, um, I guess the, uh, subject line is going to be the very most important thing.
Yeah. Um, well, let’s see. So, yeah. So let’s talk about assuming that, like. The people that are emailing to, um. You know, they’d been on us for awhile, is that like yeah, it was even assumptions to me. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, let’s see. So I think the first place I would start with is like. What is the problem that, uh, that your product is solving? Okay. And then what I like to do is, uh. I like to write a series of emails that really, um, pinpoint on those products, uh, that products, those problems.
Okay. And the reason why is that, you know. When people read about problems that, you know, they can relate to, it’s naturally engaging. So, and just, you know, and it’s really the whole psychology behind. Like, you know, talking about problems, listening to, uh, you know, drama and everything. Um, it really ties into a little bit of that.
That’s why, you know, people love those reality TV shows and the whole thing about gossiping and everything like that. Um, so that’s where I would start with. And then once you have those down, once you have, like, the problem’s been pointed, um, what I like to do is I like to write the email and I like to write a story that kind of relates to those problems. And, um, again, stories they’re naturally engaging. You know, where, uh, our brains are pretty much hardwired to be engaged to those stories, to storytelling.
Yeah. Um, and yeah, so once we get into the story, what I do next is just figure out how you can tie that story into the product or service you’re selling. And then once you get to the end, um, Oh, that email that’s, you know, when you do your whole, uh, your whole pitch and everything like that, and then send the paste the link that will get them to the sales page, where they can read more about it and, uh, buy our product and service. So, yeah. So that’s really the main, uh, approach. That’s how I go about how I would go about it.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (05:23):
Okay. And you mentioned, uh, in the beginning, you said a series. So what do you consider a good number for a series of outreach emails?
Uh, so let’s say if we’re doing a launch, that’s like, I don’t know, five days as long. Um, what I would do is I would do, I mean, usually I w I do like one email a day. So like, for my personal example, um, when I opened my application to, uh, to new clients and things like that, um, I usually sends one email a day, sometimes two emails a day. Um, and then on the last day, uh, you know, I do one email it early in the day, and then one, maybe like a few hours before the deadline. So, so what I’m trying to say is like, when you’re doing these launches, uh, it’s good to be, you know, a little more aggressive with emailing. Okay. Is what I’m trying to say.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (06:42):
Okay. Okay. So let’s talk about the length. Uh, you know, if we want to tell a story, some of us are a little bit wordy, you know, non-rider rider types. If we tend to think, you know, sometimes we think more is better and it’s not always the case. And, you know, there’s that debate. And it’s a little bit off the topic, but we’ll just use, um, uh, you know, blogging, for example, there’s, there’s the, the mindset that shorter’s better tension spans are shorter, but then if you look at rankings, it’s like more content, more words tend to have more eyes on them. So with emails, what is the strategy with length?
Uh, Hmm. I mean, I like to keep mine relatively short. Uh, I usually keep mine around, uh, usually 300 words because I know that people get a lot of emails a day and they’re busy, you know? So they don’t have time to read like a 1000 word email. Yeah. But there are situations where I see people emailing, um, a pretty lengthy email, like there’s, there’s one copywriter. I know who sometimes when he launches a product or an affiliate product, right.
He would interview the owner of the products and he would get that interview transcribed break into like three or four different parts. Okay. And then he would just send that out. And then at the end he would, um, paste, you know, the affiliate link. So as a result, the reader, they get a little bit education from that interview transcripts, and then they also have, you know, a lot of opportunities to buy.
So, um, you know, so it’s, I want to say it doesn’t really matter because as long as they hear from you, because that’s what really matters. It’s like the relationship you build with your readers, um, the connections you made and just the constant contact with them. Okay. You know? Um, yeah. And as long as you send, you know, relevant, interesting information, they’ll be, you know, there’ll be more than happy to hear from you, you know, regardless
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (09:16):
At one point there used to be a, um, kind of a tip, I guess you could say that you put the, the person you’re sending it to their name in the subject line. So is that still a thing, or I guess what it tried to translate was that you knew them and it made it a little more personable than just, uh, you know, cause every now and then I get emails where somebody forgot to put it, the insert, the names. And so he, you know, you get one that’s either to the wrong name or to just high with no name or the, the little symbol that you know, where you insert name. And so, um, anyway, there, it was a theory at one time, like put the person’s name in the email subject line that kind of makes it a little more personable.
Um, yeah. I, uh, when I, before I did the copywriting thing, I used to run a, a blog where I, um, uh, I taught people how to build their own computers and, uh, how to improve gaming. So it was in that niche. Okay. Um, yeah. And then, so I set up like a whole autoresponder series when people opt into my email list and yeah. So for me, when you add the name to subject learning and things like that, uh, I do it for like the initial email just to get their attention a little bit.
Um, but then once you builds, you know, the initial foundation and relationship with them and they get familiar with their name, um, and then they like what you read. Uh, I found out that what you write in the subject line matters a little bit less, and it’s really more of, Oh, if it’s from you, if they see your name. Right, right. Uh, you know, you know, they’re gonna want to open it. Yeah. You know?
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (11:30):
Yeah. And that’s another, uh, point too is, um, you know, you don’t have a choice on the top of your email or in, you know, when you set it up, you can put w this is more for like a solo preneur entrepreneur, but you can put what people see as the name, the re you know, you would see my name. W w does it matter if we put the company name or is it to put the person’s name? Can they relate more if it’s an individual than the company? Or how, how does that work?
Yeah. I always advise, uh, to put your personal name, just to make it seem, does it seem a little bit more human? You know, like people want to hear from an actual person rather than, you know, a company, uh, like, uh, I like to call it a faceless company. Right. Um, but yeah, it really adds like that human aspect to it because, you know, like, would you rather hear from, you know, a company or, or friend, you know, it’s like that whole saying, um, I remember one of the marketers, one of the old marketers, Gary Halbert, uh, he taught a seminar, um, about like mail advertising.
And he had this whole lesson about pile a pile B, where if someone gets mail that’s from like a faceless company, it would go in pile a, which is the garbage pile. And then if it looks like it’s from, you know, a friend or a person, uh, it would go into pile B and then that’s likely to get open more. So that same concept, uh, also I apply it to email as well. Okay. Okay. And, um,
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (13:29):
So on the, you talked also about OD using auto responders. What is a good, um, I guess what is the situation where the auto responders work well, versus the, the human kind of sending out more personalized emails once there’s a response?
Um, wait, can you clarify that a little bit more?
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (14:00):
Yeah. Just like the, uh, you know, if you send out, uh, I guess, uh, you know, a book and then if somebody clicks a link or something, they’ll be, that’s in the email then maybe there, that sets off a secondary email that comes back to them. And I’m just wondering, what is the, you know, if you have a huge, gigantic list, I understand that it’s a little bit more complex, but with smaller lists, uh, you know, is it better to maybe handle those individually? And I guess that would just really depend on the volume that you’re sending out.
Um, Hm. I think if you have, I mean, if you’re dealing with a smaller, you a smaller list, um, I mean, I still recommend that you do some type of, uh, like trigger automation. Like that’s the one where you’re talking about, right? Yeah. Yeah. So like the, yeah. Trigger on vision. I still suggest that you set that up. Um, just so it saves you time, you know? Um, and yeah, that’s what I used to do for my blog as well. Uh, yeah, it definitely saved me a lot of time, you know, I could just using that time. I could have just use it for, you know, other things as well, like, you know, writing, developing, um, you know, my website and growing my email list and things like that.
Um, but now I really simplified it. Um, so for me, like I, I emailed daily and there’s what I do is like when people opt into my email list, um, they get that initial email, that welcome email where, you know, I tell them what’s going to happen, uh, what, what they expect, um, and that, you know, that free opt in bribe that I promised.
And then after that, I just send them a daily email, you know, so yeah, my ways is very simplified. Um, you don’t have to do it that way. It depends on the business really. Um, but if there is a need for you to set up those trigger automations, I do recommend you do it. It does save a lot of time and it’s also, it adds to their personalization as well.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (16:40):
So you mentioned that you, uh, you have, uh, like a subscription, uh, a bribe to get people to opt in. What do you, uh, what do you typically, what do you typically offer? Uh,
Me personally. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (16:58):
Well, or, yeah, or just what would be a good suggestion? Is it just, you know, more information or is it like a, maybe a special series on some, some topic or,
Yeah, so I mean, me personally, I, uh, so my book, how to become an email team, I promote the sample chapters of it. Um, but one really good suggestion is, I mean the little one, like if you’re going to give away information, um, make sure it’s something that once the person gets it, they can implement it right away. Otherwise they’re gonna get it downloaded. And then probably it’s just going to sit on their computer forever and on opens. Um, another thing is that if it’s possible offer something that has like a real retail price tag on it, just so it seems, you know, a lot more, just seems a lot more valuable, you know?
Like that seems more valuable compared to, you know, just some random ebook you made in just like one week, you know what I mean? Right, right. So, yeah, maybe like an old discontinued product that used to sell, but you don’t really sell any more. So you’re going to give away for three, or maybe like an unpublished book, which I thought about doing as well. Um, but it’s just a matter of me sitting my butt down and actually writing it.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (18:40):
Exactly. So what about the, let’s talk about the, the form of the content of emails. Again, you know, there’s the theories of you, you write very professionally, not over people’s head, but you, you don’t write like you speak. And unfortunately, I’m one of the guys that I write just like I speak. You know, I usually that works for me because people that typically people I’m emailing usually know me. And so it’s not as big of deal, but what is the, what is your suggestion on that? Should we kind of, uh, just write it the way that we are? Should we go back and kind of clean it up and I’m not talking about grammatical errors or misspelled words. I’m not talking about that. I’m just talking about word usage, different things like that.
Yeah. So, yeah, I’m kind of like, just like you, I kind of also write how I speak as well. Uh, so my tone is very, it’s very casual. Right. Um, and you know, there’s several reasons why I do that. Number one, it’s, it’s a lot easier, right. It, um, and it helps my writing process become, you know, faster. Um, but also it’s, it’s fun to write when you like, write how you speak. Right. And my way of thinking is if you have fun writing your emails, then the person who is reading it is going to have fun reading it, you know? Um, yeah. So it’s not always necessary to, you know, be, to be super sophisticated and everything like that.
Um, I know that that’s kind of how, like, at least my college kind of teaches me how to do it, but it’s like, it’s just, it’s just plain boring, you know? Yeah. And one of the things about email is that like, it’s, it’s good to like have some educational value out of it, but it’s also important to be entertaining as well, you know? Um, because if it’s not fun to read in the first place, no matter how valuable it is, um, they’re not just, they’re not going to be able to get to the end of it, you know?
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (21:16):
Well, and it’s things have changed a lot for some old guys like myself, you know, back when, uh, when the internet first came, it, you know, everything was very formal, no emotion or no personality injected. And I think we’ve come a long way, not even designing our websites, but also our emails is that people want to, uh, you know, they want to get to know who you are. People buy from people who they like. Of course. And so I think kind of interjecting a little bit more personality, um, into emails is, you know, we don’t want to get crazy and be unprofessional. Of course, that’s not what I’m saying, but as long as we keep it professional, but we can have a little bit of personality interjected. I think that’s a good thing.
Yeah, it is. Um, and it also depends on like what you want your personal brand to be, because there’s a lot of different people I follow. Some of them are more professional. Some of them are more, uh, they’re more, they’re more polarizing, so it really depends on how you want to set yourself up in front of people. Right. Um, but yeah, I definitely agree.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (22:30):
That brings up a good point. I was, uh, you know, I was reading an article the other day about this was more about advertising, but it was, should you introduce, uh, the shock value into your ads? And so let’s, let’s, let’s kind of talk about that in emails. Uh, you know, a lot of course depends on our, like you said, our business, our brand, but does the, does the shock value of saying something, you know, kind of crazy in our email, does that have any, uh, is there, does that add any value or get us anymore, um, click throughs or look throughs then than just putting out good information?
Yeah. Um, it’s definitely gonna get some more engagements. Like I have tested it myself because in the past I’ve written emails that, uh, it’s like on the edge of controversial, you know, a little bit. Yeah. So a few examples. I talked a little bit about how the, uh, the beauty standard is, you know, it’s just unrealistic and people just should just shouldn’t even pay attention to it basically. Um, I also gave my, uh, uh, I just talked about my political beliefs so that, you know, that, you know, just politics itself gets very, it gets crazy.
But yeah, I got into it a little bit without, you know, going a bit overboard, but it does get engagement from it. And of course that leads to sales. Uh, but yeah, so the shock value thing, you kind of want to do it, you kind of want to do, do it sparingly, you know, you don’t want to do it so many times where that kind of becomes the norm and then that kind of, that effect just diminishes, you know what I mean? So
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (24:55):
I think it’s like, uh, I think you’re right on using it sparingly and just compare it to, uh, you know, we used to have, uh, like nighttime soap operas and they would be really good, like their first season, they would be good, but, but then they would do crazy stuff. And so then the next show they had to do something crazier and then the next one crazier until it got to a point that it was unbelievable. And so I think, uh, you know, I think we could do the same thing with our emails. It could just get to a point, it either you’re going to turn people off or it just gets to the absurd that nobody’s listening anymore.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (25:34):
Is your thought on AB testing? Um, you know, I’ve, I’ve always thought that it’s a good idea, but, you know, I had a guest on not long ago, that was just, you know, we were talking about the fundamentals of it and, and things like, uh, who saw it, what time of day were they in need? You know, there’s a lot of variables behind it that he, his position was, it’s just not worth it. Do you have an opinion on that?
Uh, yeah, I would, I would have to agree also that Julie, just now, where is it? Like I’ve tried it on my old blog thing and the results is just, it’s just not worth the efforts. So like it, again, it really comes down to the relationship building with your readers and the thing I said before that, as long as they get familiar with you, they like you, they like the content that you give them. Um, it really doesn’t matter what you write on the subject line or whatever you’re testing. Right. Um, if they see it’s from you, then they’re gonna, they’re gonna be willing to open it and read it, you know, and see what you have to say. Yeah. Split testing is just, you know,
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (27:10):
Yeah. I mean it just, and again, he actually, after we discussed it, it kind of changed my beliefs a little bit. I I’m, I’m kinda the same way as that the, you know, all the variables, if we took a group of 50 people, two groups of 50, all the variables, aren’t going to be the same for each one of them. So, you know, it could be very, very misleading, um, the results.
Yeah. And there’s a lot of other factors as well, that’s going to affect my results. So it was just not reliable.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (27:41):
Exactly, exactly. Uh, well, I had one more thought and I guess that has escaped me, so, Oh no. What I was going to say, talking about the AB testing, another good thing that we need to realize as email senders is we are not going to be for everybody. And so we, you know, we, if we send out a hundred emails and we don’t get a hundred responses doesn’t mean our email was bad. It doesn’t mean our product service. It just means that those people weren’t interested.
I mean, it could be bad emails, it could be bounced. It could go to spam. I mean, there are so many variables again that go into that, but we have to be very patient. And, um, unfortunately in sales we have gotten very impatient too. We want to make a phone call. We want to reach out with one email and expect somebody to hit the buy button with, uh, you know, with lower dollar items, three, four, $5. I think you have a much better chance.
People will take a chance on that. It’s not a lot of loss, but if you’re selling high ticket items, you know, five, 10, $20,000 services, then, uh, you know, we have to be patient. We have to take the old agrarian, uh, view that we have to, you know, we have to plant, we have to cultivate before that we can reap the benefits of that. So again, patience, patience.
Yes, definitely. Yep.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (29:17):
All right, Ellison. Well, thanks for taking time out of your day, uh, what is a tool that you use, uh, could be in your business life? It could be in your personal life, but what is something that you do, uh, that you use daily or a habit that you just couldn’t do without?
Hm it’s a habit. Uh, yeah. So one thing that I do, so, like I said, I, uh, I email every single day. Right. So, and because of that, I always need to have like a constant flow of new ideas to write about. So, um, what are the habits that I do actually? Yeah. One of the habits that I do is that I sit for 20, 30 minutes in a quiet room by myself. And I just think of new ideas to REITs. I always try to come up with at least three, but more is better.
Um, and I just write them, write them down, knowing just, yeah. And just do like a, just like a, just block out time to just do a brainstorming session. Okay. Um, and then another one, if I can say yes. Uh, I also, I also journal, I also journal every day, so, and I don’t journal in a way where I just put a timer for like 15 minutes and just writes, I always, uh, set a goal for myself to write at least 750 words each day.
Wow. And when you do that, uh, number one, your tolerance for writing becomes a lot higher. So writing an email every day for me now is just, it’s just effortless. Right. It just feels like, um, I dunno, it’s just light work to me, you know? So, um, and then also when you journal, you also get a lot of email ideas as well and fun facts, the cover for my book. I actually got that idea one day when I was journaling. Yeah. So yeah, journaling really helps. I totally recommend it. Um, it’s good therapy too. Uh, and, uh, yeah, journaling and then just the,
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (31:51):
You make two good points. I think first off is the creativeness. Uh, and there was a, um, I heard a, uh, professional that spoke on this not long ago and it was focused more on children, but I think we, as adults can have a takeaway from that is that when you are so heavily scheduled, you do not, your brain does not have time for that creative thought.
And so, you know, that’s, um, kind of like, you know, back in the, uh, pre-electronic date, we’d keep talking about how old I am, but, you know, pre-electronic days when kids had to think about, you know, they had to make up stuff to do on their own, but they had time to be creative and, uh, you know, like riding it, it takes, um, unless you just have a huge inspiration, I mean, you have to sit down and it needs to be thoughtful, the subject, what you’re going to say, how are you going to say it?
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (32:46):
What order are you going to say it in? So anyway, to make carving out that time every day, just to be creative and think about what we want to say is important. And then I’ve also heard, and there’s a couple of systems out there where you can, uh, they will prompt you to write 350 to 500 words a day. And that’s exactly what it is it’s supposed to kind of, it’s just like walk or running. You’re supposed to build up your endurance to be able to write easily. So those are both good tips. Now, when you journal, do you journal a pen and paper or do you journal on the computer?
Uh, I do it on the computer, the computer it’s much faster. Um, and it’s just less tiring as well. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (33:37):
All right, Allison, well, thanks a lot for taking time out of your day. Again, we certainly appreciate it. If you could tell everybody how they could reach out and get a hold of you, and if they want to get on your email list or look at your blog, how could they do that?
Yeah, so they can go to my website. It’s a Ellison long.com E L L I S E N w a N g.com. And then when you go there, you’ll see a splash page where you can, uh, opt in to get the sample chapters of, uh, how to become an email Titan, which are basically just handpicked chapters, just to get you started on like building an email list. And, um, you know, my way of my methods of writing email, um, if you don’t wanna do it, that’s fine too. You can just go to the home page and then you’ll see my blog where I have, uh, all my daily tips there. So it’s your choice. Okay.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast – Want to Get Your Emails Read Here Are Some Great Tips (34:41):
Awesome. Well, thanks a lot Ellison. We appreciate it again. This has been a, the business of business podcast. You can find email@example.com. Of course we are on a Facebook, Instagram, and a Twitter. You can also find us on all the major, uh, uh, podcast platforms, iTunes, Google play, Stitcher, Spotify, and you can also find a, uh, a video of this conversation on YouTube when it’s posted as well. So until next time, take care of each other.
Listen to another great episode of The Business of Business Podcast