We’ve been talking a lot over the past two months about how to add subscribers to your email list the right way—that means no renting, purchasing, or sharing lists. So far, I’ve shared some tips on how to promote your email list and how to optimize your opt-in pages.

Now, I want to talk a little bit about the content of your emails, because no one will want to sign up for your list if you don’t have anything interesting to say, right? So, here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re crafting your next email.

1. Write Addictive Subject Lines: Have you ever seen a subject line you just had to open? The answer is probably (and unfortunately!) rarely, but that’s exactly what you need to create. Remember that your subject line’s one and only goal is to encourage an open.

A general rule of thumb is that the subject line should be no more than 50 characters, but you’ll have to test to see what’s right for your audience. But, no matter the length, write a subject line that captures attention and accurately reflects the content of your email. Nothing is worse for your reputation than a bait and switch, so stay true to your email content while being absolutely captivating in its introduction.

Recently, Carly shared a few examples of subject lines that missed the mark a bit, so take a look and see how yours compare to those that she shared.

2. Get To The Point: Keep your content short and straightforward. Introductions to longer articles are fine, but emails should be just a few short paragraphs with a main call to action. Also, be mindful of what devices your subscribers are reading your content on—if mobile is a primary device (like we found is true in our recent study) ensure that you’re limiting the amount of scroll needed in your emails by keeping the copy short and precise.

3. Dress Your Email to Impress: How your email looks is just as important as what it says. Some may argue it’s even more important. A well-designed email will ultimately be more appealing to your subscribers, so make sure your email is responsive to accommodate all devices and don’t forget to have a text version in addition to HTML.

4. Personalize Your Messaging: Before you press send, make sure that what you’re saying is something your subscriber wants to hear. Segment your email by location, demographics, and past purchase behavior to give your subscriber the most personalized experience possible.

5. Send a Welcome Email: There’s no better way to welcome new subscribers to your list and to get them engaged right off the bat, then by sending them a warm and inviting welcome email. The welcome email sets the tone for every email delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes thereafter. So be sure to start off on the right foot by keeping your email well branded, friendly, and helpful. Carly shares some specifics here.

6. Establish a Preference Center:  An email preference center is a tool that helps you establish a healthy communication cadence with your subscribers. It provides an easy way for your subscribers to manage their email by giving them a centralized portal to control what they receive and how often they receive your messages. Establishing this transparency and respect early is a big key to keeping your subscribers loyal and engaged.

Finally, as you’re developing the content for your emails, remember that it should always be focused on how best to fulfill your customers’ needs. So make sure every email you send provides value. Remember, an email with no value add to your subscribers is considered spam (even if they subscribed!).

For more tips on how to grow your email subscriber list, download our free guide, How to Authentically Grow Your Email List, and if I’ve missed any tips in this post, share what you think should have been included in the comments. 

Jillian Wohlfarth
As SendGrid's Director of Content, Jillian is responsible for ensuring that SendGrid provides valuable thought leadership content through the blog, whitepapers, webcasts, and more. When not writing and editing, you can find Jillian frequenting Denver restaurants in search of the best queso.