Email Formatting: For 5 x Better Read, Click, AND Reply Rates

Formatting is important for readability. It just is.

Brace Yourselves A Wall of Text Is Coming Meme email newsletter sales funnel template formatting readability styling grammar layout — Evergreen Jersey 1
So, you're keeping up with the latest trends in communication, but aren't using memes to convey emotion and build more human connections — yet? Maybe give it a try at

Let's put it to the test. Is it worth the extra effort?

Below is an email from one of the SEO experts we subscribe to.

The style and tone is relevant — and his work is undoubtedly successful.

One sentence paragraphs help — but can we do better?

Let's see if our email formatting tips can help with readability and engagement…

BEFORE our email formatting ideas

Kai's subject line

You aren't good enough at SEO

His original message


Is that how you’re going to welcome me to your list? By telling me that I’m good enough at SEO?”

Look… I know this isn’t your typical welcome series email.

There’s a huge reason behind that.

Most SEO email lists are… what’s the word I’m looking for?

Ah yes…

They’re boring!


When I started, I joined a bunch of SEO lists and – personally – every SEO expert’s email list that I’ve been on either:

One, they give you the same bland information coupled with boring case studies.

Two, they share information that could get your domain in trouble and negatively affect your SEO.

And that is why I decided to start an email list that everyone can implement and benefit from.

Skip all of the same mistakes that I made.

And be entertained at the same time.

AND make a ton of money.

Because, really, that's why we're all here.

But there’s a HUGE problem:

We really don’t know each other, so I’m curious about what you’re into:
E-com, Local, and/or B2B SEO? On-Page Optimization? Building backlinks? Blog content? Optimizing your category and collection pages? Getting a lot of matches on Tinder and Hinge?

Because I’ll be covering everything in this email list — except for the last one — but I would love to know what you’d like to hear about.
Reply to this email and let me know.

– Kai Cromwell

Thick Glasses Meme email newsletter sales funnel template formatting readability styling grammar layout — Evergreen Jersey
The average email reader by 1pm.

What do we think?

It's not terrible, it's fun, personable, and sincere.

He obviously applied the principles of short sentences and paragraphs, but what else could we do?

If you just skimmed straight past it to see what we'd do, now you know why we need to make everything easier to read online!

OK. Let's give it the Evergreen treatment.

Tell us if you find this easier, more compelling, and worthy of a reply…

AFTER our email formatting tips

Our subject

B- Could do better at SEO, but needs to prioritise

Our email optimisation treatment


Is that your welcome to the list?

I know, but this won't be your typical series.

Most SEO email lists are… what’s the word? Ah, yes… Boring.

Initially… When I started, I joined a bunch of SEO lists and every SEO expert’s email list was either:

  1. The same bland information, coupled with boring case studies.
  2. Information that could get your domain in trouble and negatively affect your SEO.

That's why I decided to start an educational series — that everyone can implement.

Avoid the mistakes I had to learn the hard way, get the real-life stories of big-brand fails, and flying turnarounds,

AND make a ton of that A+ SEO money, we all know is still on the table.

But there’s a problem:

We don’t know each other — yet — but we all learn from questions…

So, I’m curious, what do you need to optimise the most?

  • Ecom, Local, B2B SEO?
  • On-page optimization?
  • Conversion rates?
  • Building backlinks?
  • Blog content?
  • Categories and collection pages?
  • Calls to action?
  • Getting more matches on Tinder and Hinge?

I’ll cover it all, but in what order?

I'd love to know what you want to learn more about?

Nothing is off limits, all my tactics are yours.

Just reply to this email and let me know.

Kai Cromwell

(And, yes, we do still recommend he's worth a subscribe.)

What do you think?

Does it feel different?

Did you read and remember it this time?

Catch your attention?

Would you reply?

There are reasons for all our amends — nothing is accidental!

It's because we use specific techniques that make it VERY difficult to ignore; hooks, open-loops, skim-able summarisation, needs, wants, feelings, clear calls to attention, and incentives for action.

All this doesn't apply to every email — but certain letter-format broadcasts, that need to be both personable and attention-worthy, do benefit.

Don't make me think

This is why we follow the principles of “don't make me think“, to which we add, “make me feel something, and act on it”.

(This video, “Don't Make Me Think | Steve Krug | UX Design Book Review” by Jesse Showalter, gives a good summary, if you're not already familiar.)

We'll send Kai a link to this page to consider our feedback, too.

Is the effort worth the results?

Is it more work, and time for this kind of treatment?

Perhaps — but not that much when you're in the habit.

Having a few email-formatting best-practices to follow can only help you to stand out — for the right reasons.

The same applies to blog posts, web pages, and printed works.

Not all styles of writing could get away with so much bold and whitespace — but we also;

  • reduced filler words — without losing meaning,
  • used variety in the formatting — with size and lists,
  • removed exclamations — and added questions.

We don't have strict email formatting rules, but we do know that it shows when you make the effort.

Engagement rates matter

Could your email engagement rates (reads, replies, and forwards) be improved?

What kind of email and post formatting treatments would help?

There really is only one way to know — put it to the test!

Work by example

Once you've created some good examples, that work for your audience, your content becomes your guidelines — for your team to then follow.

Let's make a conscious effort to reconsider our preconceptions for writing — online is a new medium — screens need new ideas to secure attention, and alleviate content fatigue.

Did you read this whole post?

Hmm 😊

All industries (no matter how formal or funky) can benefit from revisiting their online presentation — with its new needs, beyond traditional print.

You know the script: Share your thoughts publicly in the comments below, or pop us a message if you're ready to discuss your content strategy.

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