Writing an email that stands out and causes someone to actually take action has become an increasingly difficult task. According to the latest studies, the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. Standing out in an increasingly noisy inbox is tough.

And yet, email remains one of the most effective marketing channels. According to the direct marketing association, for every $1 you put into email marketing, you can expect to get $40 back in revenue.

So how do you write an email that stands out and generates the kind of 40-1 ROI other brands are experiencing?

4 Keys to Writing the Perfect Marketing Email

Here are four keys to writing the perfect marketing email:

  1. Create a subject line that creates intrigue or a guttural reaction. The subject line is the most important element in your marketing email. It’s your one chance to capture someone’s attention. Without a compelling subject line, the rest of your email is useless—because the recipient never reads it. When thinking about your subject line, ask yourself… Is this going to capture the attention of your audience in one second when they’re checking their email driving down the interstate? Because we all know that’s when people check their email already.
  2. Create a strong connection in the very first sentence. If someone actually opens the email, then your first sentence is going to determine whether or not they continue reading. Your first sentence should be straightforward and compelling. The reader needs to know that you’re like them, that you can identify with them, and that you know their problem.
  3. Use plain, simple language. Whenever we write, we tend to use verbose language we’d never use in normal conversation. But the most effective emails are ones that are conversational, personal, and human. Avoid the temptation to use complex language in your email. Instead, write your email as if you’re sitting across the table from someone.
  4. Build tension and then provide a release. Write the email in a way that creates tension at the beginning of the email and then releases it with the call-to-action. Identify a problem that resonates. State the way they currently think about their problem, then shift the paradigm to the way you do business. The framework “You’ve probably tried ________ before, but have you ever tried it __________?” is a great way to position your product or service as a solution to the pain point they’re experiencing.