The Email Marketing Formula that Won’t Get Your Messages Deleted

You already know that whenever you send an email to your subscriber base, your messages are mere seconds away from being deleted. So how do you keep them engaged and turn your email into something that is kept and not deleted?

Be the Reader

Before you do anything else, it’s vital to put yourself in your subscriber’s position. If you were them, you’d not only want to know what the email is about, but also what’s in it for you and what you should do after you read it. If your email doesn’t quickly answer the above for your reader, then it is much more likely to be deleted.

A quick way to check whether your email is worded for the reader is to count how many ‘you’s and ‘we’s your message contains. A message that contains twice as many ‘you’s as ‘we’s is one that’s worded for the reader.

An Effective Email Formula

When attempting to create an email that grabs and holds the attention of the reader, the “3 C’s Formula” is an easy method to follow.


Before anything, you must capture the attention of the reader. The time limit for capturing the reader’s attention is 3 seconds. However, if you can do it, you have bought an additional 15 seconds of the reader’s time, and can move to the second phase of the formula.

The ‘capture’ portion of the email includes the subject, top banner, headline and the initial one or two lines of the email body. Asking the reader a question in the subject is a good way to pique their curiosity about what may follow.


Once you’ve captured the reader’s attention, you have 15 seconds to convince them that they should take some sort of action. The best way to do this is to illustrate the benefits of your product or service. However, it’s also important to be concise. You can provide a lot of information to the reader in a very short amount of time by using bullet points for your benefits, and keeping paragraphs and sentences short.


The closing portion of the email is the last piece of the puzzle. Here, it’s important to understand that there are objections the reader may have that can cause them not to take the action you want them to take. But there are ways to eliminate them.

Urgency and scarcity – cautioning the reader to act now before time runs out, seats are filled or tickets are sold is a great way to ensure they don’t put off taking the desired action.

Keep it simple – instead of trying to get the reader to do several things at once in your closing, concentrate on a single item. This could be clicking a link, downloading a brochure or another similar action. Trying to get the reader to buy right away may not be the best tactic unless you are sure they are already ready to buy.

Be repetitive – the call to action can be repeated throughout your message, but in varying ways. This will allow those who are ready to take action sooner to do so.