Writing Great Emails
Emails are a tool for keeping in touch and following up with your supporters. You probably have a list (or lists) of emails from people who signed your petition, came to an event, and are interested in supporting your campaign. You can use email to share upcoming events, calls to action, news and other updates with your supporters.
It’s important to write a strong email that will catch your supporter’s attention and motivate them to take the action you want them to take, whether that means getting people to come to an event or getting them to make a call to a decision maker.
Core Elements of Writing Great Emails
- Have a goal for your email. Ask the people reading your email to take one action. Don’t include a laundry list of actions for them to take. Focus on just one action. Ask 2-3 times in your email.
- Use your campaign message. Your message is the basis of all of your communications, online and offline. Don’t be afraid to repeat your message in email after email. (Need help developing a message? Get help now!)
- Write for your audience. Remember that while your supporters might not want to know about all the details of your issue, they do care about your community’s health. The first line of your email should draw people in and make them want to keep reading. One way to keep people engaged is by telling a story—some groups have had each member take a turn sharing their personal story related to their issue.
- Use simple, clear language. Make your email understandable and skimmable. Write so that a 3rd grader could understand what you’re saying. Don’t use jargon. Do break up big paragraphs into bite-sized chunks. You can occasionally bold important text, but don’t go overboard with text formatting. Only use one number.
What You’ll Need
Action Network (or another email platform)
Action Network is the top online organizing tool we recommend for email. Action Network also has all the digital organizing tools you’ll need—like petition and letter campaigns—and helps you keep your list well-organized. We can help you get set up on Action Network. Learn more and get started.
Consistent Email Design
Keep your layout consistent. Decide how you want your email to look and stick with it. If you have a header on your email, make sure you always include it. Use the same greetings and sign-offs each time. Consistency builds trust with your supporters and means email providers are more likely to trust that your email isn’t spam.
Strong Subject Line
Your subject line plays a big role in whether or not people will open and read your email. Your subject line should be short (around six words) and enticing. Examples:
- The clean energy countdown is on
- Why aren’t more people taking action?
- What if next spring were pesticide-free?
- This will affect generations of Vermonters
- How one big polluter got away with it
Example: Keeping in Touch
Dear Friend of FRRACS,
We want to start this email off with a clear message: We are still fighting. We will keep fighting until we defeat Enbridge’s ill-conceived compressor station proposal.
After receiving a rubber stamp approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Enbridge wheeled into town with their construction vehicles and security crew. They began construction (or as we like to say, destruction) on Tuesday. We were there to remind them that they are not welcome here.
On Thursday, we shut them down.
A group of nearly fifty people gathered early in the morning, bundled up in the cold, surrounded by a few inches of snow. We walked over to the entrance of the construction site just as the sun was rising. As we were walking, a construction vehicle trailed behind. With signs and banners in hand, we stood in front of the gate to the site that Enbridge wants to dig up. Chanting, “Enbridge, go home!” and “No more toxins!”, we sent a strong message to Enbridge that we will not stand by idly while they attempt to dump more toxins on us.
As we stood there, a large truck attempted to enter the construction site. With our backs to the truck, holding a banner that read “Fore River Residents Say NO MORE TOXINS”, we held up construction for over two hours. Four brave community members held the space after the police told the rest of the crowd to move. These four individuals were then arrested for blocking construction. They were initially charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing, but their charges were dropped to a civil infraction. They were released later in the day. We are grateful for the action that they took to protect their community.
These four residents risked arrest on Thursday in an effort to protect the community from further pollution and destruction. The Fore River Basin is an overburdened community, as it is surrounded by ten pollution-spewing facilities. These four people had to put their body on the line because Governor Baker and our state agencies failed to protect the community. Gov. Baker, MassDEP, and their regulatory buddies turned a blind eye to this project. Their inaction has left the community with no choice but to fight.
We will continue to resist this dangerous proposal, both peacefully and nonviolently. Sign our pledge to take action to get involved and be sure to join us tomorrow night for our monthly meeting of FRRACS, which will feature a special film premiere.
The FRRACS Team
Example: Event Invitation
Hi Friend of FRRACS,
As we prepare to let summer go, we look forward to all of the things that fall has to offer: apple cider, crisp weather, a vibrant display of color on the trees, and our 2nd Annual Fall Fest! That’s right. We will be gathering in the park again this year for a fun and festive fall celebration. Bring your friends, family, and neighbors!
The Fall Fest will be held on Saturday, September 28 at the park next to the proposed compressor station site (55 Bridge Street, Weymouth) from 2-5pm.
We will have John’s famous homemade veggie soup and bread, a special bridge dedication ceremony, games and activities, tours of the site, and more. We’ll even have a special guest (thanks to our friends at 350 Mass): Charlie Baker in puppet form. It’ll be the first time he has visited the site in any form, so be sure to welcome him!
We hope you can join us!
The FRRACS Team
Still have questions? Get help now!