21/10/22 • 9:30

You likely depend on email to correspond with your customers and colleagues on a daily basis, but because it’s become second nature to hammer out multiple emails each day, it’s easy to forget that every email you send leaves an impression on its recipients. We’ve compiled a checklist of some tips and formulas to keep in mind for your email writing.



  1. Identify your goalBefore you write an email, ask yourself what you want the recipient to do after they’ve read it. Once you’ve determined the purpose of your email, you can ensure everything you include in your message supports this action.
  2. Include a Subject Line With Key WordsMake sure that your subject line references the main point of your email in a succinct way.
  3. Use CC and BCC appropriatelyThe CC field should only be used to loop in an important recipient, and the BCC field can be used to include a recipient without the main recipient knowing. It’s important to use both with caution. You don’t want a CC’d recipient to feel like an afterthought or the BCC’d recipients to think you’re being secretive.
  4. Have an Appropriate GreetingAt the beginning of your email, use a formal salutation (and be sure to get the gender and spelling of their name right).
  5. Be PersonableOpen your email with a short, considerate statement unrelated to the main purpose of your email.
  6. Write ConciselyKeep it to the point and use paragraphs often to break up your writing and make it easier to digest.
  7. Clarify the PurposeBe clear about the reason for your email, and propose direct, specific questions that you would like the person to answer. If there are multiple items you can use bullet points or paragraph breaks to ensure nothing gets missed.
  8. Keep It ProfessionalDon’t use exclamation points or capitalization excessively. Refrain from using smiley faces and other emoticons, unless you have established this type of rapport.
  9. Say Thank YouToward the end of your email, make sure to thank the person.
  10. End With a Call to ActionRemind the person about the central issue of your email by concluding with a call to action.
  11. Include Contact InformationMake sure to include your contact information—your first and last name, email address, and phone number—so that the person can easily follow up with you.
  12. Proofread Your WorkThe last and perhaps most significant step is to proofread your entire email. Spelling and grammar errors can undermine your intelligence and make you seem careless.
  13. Follow-upIf the recipient hasn’t replied within two working days, consider reaching back out with a friendly follow-up email.


The primary goal of the subject line is to make the receiver open the email. The primary goal of the first sentence is to get the second sentence read. And so on.

There are proven formulas to reach your email marketing goals. Here are the top 9:


1. Before-After-Bridge (BAB)


  • Before — Here’s your world now
  • After — Imagine what the world would be like if you solved this problem
  • Bridge — Here’s how to get there

Open by describing a problem that is relevant to your prospect, and then describe how the world would be different if that problem didn’t exist. Close by explaining how your product/idea/service can help them get there.

Why it works:
According to behavioral psychologists, humans are motivated to take action by two things: pleasure and pain. The BAB formula uses this universal trigger to compel readers to respond.


2. Problem-Agitate-Solve (PAS)


  • Problem — Identify a pain point
  • Agitate — Agitate that pain point
  • Solve — Offer a solution

Instead of imagining life without the problem (the “After” stage), PAS calls out the dangers in the road from point A to B and explains how your product is the weapon they need to win.

Why it works:
Because pain is even more motivating than pleasure. People want to avoid hassle, problems, and unnecessary burdens.


3. But You Are Free


You’re looking at one of the most effective persuasion techniques out there. Make a request and then tell your prospect “but you are free” to do whatever they’d like.

Why it works:
If you give someone a way out, it will double the chance that they say yes. This practical persuasion tactic is supported by 42 psychological studies on over 22,000 people.


4. Star-Chain-Hook


  • Star — The big idea
  • Chain — A series of facts, sources, reasons, and benefits
  • Hook — The call to action

Introduce your idea with an attention-grabbing opening. Create a chain of supporting facts, sources, and benefits to build credibility and transform attention into interest. Then, hook them with a call to action that makes it easy to take the desired next step.

Why it works:
The key element in this cold email formula is the chain. By introducing proof points that lend credibility to your argument, you have a better shot at convincing someone to follow through.


5. Attention – Interest – Desire – Action (AIDA)


  • Attention — Grab the reader’s attention.
  • Interest — Make it personal to engage their interest.
  • Desire — Build desire for what you’re offering.
  • Action — Ask for a response.


6. Star-Story-Solution


  • Star — The main character in your email. It could be you, your prospect, a product, etc.
  • Story — Talks about how the star faces the same problem your market does.
  • Solution — An explanation of how the star wins in the end.

Why it works:
When we read a story, our brain acts as if we’re living it. That’s because the brain does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life. In each instance, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Used in a cold email, stories help your reader quickly wrap their head around the idea you’re to sell them. You’ll engage their attention and create an emotional connection that makes it easier to reply.


7. The Reader’s Digest Model


In 1961, legendary copywriter John Caples analyzed Reader’s Digest to find its secrets for hooking readers in the opening paragraph. He found that the most-successful articles:

  • Are fact-packed
  • Are concise
  • Are specific
  • Contain few adjectives
  • Arouse curiosity

Why it works:
A compelling introduction makes the difference whether your email gets a reply or passed over.


8. The 3-B Plan


  • Brevity — Keep it short
  • Blunt — Get to the point
  • Basic — Keep it simple

From Gregory Ciotti of Help Scout, this cold email technique is similar to the Reader’s Digest model, giving the reader a clear sense of who you are and what you want from them. He adds this key element: Be blunt.
“Being blunt doesn’t mean not being persuasive, it simply means getting to the point without trying to be clever. Stories and jokes are essential for other forms of writing, but NOT for emails. Get to the incentive on why the other person should respond right away.”

Why it works:
Studies show that shorter emails result in quicker response time. If you make someone actually think about what you’re asking, it’s just another item on their to-do list.


9. Praise-Picture-Push (3P’s)


  • Praise — Open with a sincere, respectful compliment
  • Picture — Use cause-and-effect reasoning to paint a picture describing how your product/service/idea will deliver
  • Push — Ask them to commit

Why it works:
The “3P” cold email formula is rooted in psychology.

  • Praise — To the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as receiving cash.
  • Picture — Studies show that when a person explains cause-and-effect, it builds trust and lends more weight to their argument.
  • Push — Explain some, but not all, of what the reader will get if they respond. It’s what we don’t know that makes us want to investigate, discover, and agree to learn more.

Published by Certified Origins
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