8 Top Brainstorming Techniques For Writing Killer Emails

Never waste time thinking on a topic when you should be writing!

I can't think of anything to write about.

Sound familiar? Of course it does. This is one of the main reasons our customers allow us to use their email marketing flatline. They are simply running out of ideas or topics to write about.

Even professional writers have a huge chunk of email. Ann Handley, co-founder of Marketing Profs and the popular book Everybody Writes, only sent two emails to her subscribers in 2017. (In fact, the lack of communication was what triggered the overhaul of their entire newsletter strategy.)

However, if your email freezes, you will not be able to connect to your subscribers. You can't sell. You can't get feedback from your audience. You're leaving money on the table!

Never waste time thinking on a topic when you should be writing. Here are 8 brainstorming techniques you can use to create a list of topics for future emails.

Short notes for brainstorming

First things first, let's make a few quick notes about brainstorming.

  1. It's serious about coming up with ideas for your content, but don't get too involved in producing the perfect idea right away. If you are too critical, nothing will be written down. You never know what to think of later when you hear a random word. Keep a positive attitude and be open to all ideas.
  2. Don't worry about following the rules. Brainstorming is all about creativity and finding the method that works best for you. While one person can do just fine with a structured brainstorming process, another person can thrive with a casual, free-flowing idea session.

The most important thing about brainstorming ideas for your email campaigns is that you want to stay open-minded throughout the process. . . no matter what it looks like.

Next, let's look at some specific brainstorming techniques you can use to try to get the ideas flowing.

Brainstorming techniques for great email ideas

Brainstorming technique # 1: word association

Start with a word or two related to a broad topic and write down everything you think of. Let your inner editor rest a little and write down any ideas and words that come to mind. If you need help, try a tool like Visuwords to get the process started.

Don't overthink things or worry about how the words are related (at least for now). Instead, let the ideas flow and see what interesting concepts come naturally.

Image source: Suchmaschinenland

Brainstorming technique # 2: Mind mapping

This is a similar concept to the word association technique. Start with a word in the middle and draw lines outward to the ideas that word triggers. Mapping helps you visually process your ideas and decide which are the strongest.

Image source: CoSchedule

Brainstorming technique # 3: The Medici Effect

If we can find out how things are connectedSometimes we can borrow solutions or ideas from another area to solve our own problems. Look for parallels to the problems you face in different areas – for example in your personal life or at work.

For example: Did you recently master a challenge at work that taught you a lesson or opened up a new perspective on a subject? How can you share this experience as a story that can help your audience with their biggest pain point? You may have found a solution that results in a brilliant email campaign.

Brainstorming technique # 4: blind writing

Just. Not. Stop.

You don't need a plan of attack or an outline to do this – just write words, whatever they are, on a blank page. You never know what will spark an idea, and writing anything is the first step in writing something good.

Set a timer and challenge yourself to write for as long as you want. You will be surprised how much you can get on paper in a short amount of time.

Brainstorming Technique # 5: Challenger

Make a list of your assumptions (about your customers, your content, your format, etc.) and then challenge them one by one. You may think you already know the best way to do something, but we don't make progress by never questioning things.

This is also why split test emails are so important. You might think one subject line performs better than another, but without testing, you never really know.

Connected: FREE Course: Learn How to Write Better Emails

Brainstorming technique #6: SWOT analysis

A … create table to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of your current approach to email content. That way, you can look at your process more analytically and logically decide if there is a more effective way to write, share, and learn.

After completing your SWOT analysis, be sure to see what your main competitors are doing and take notes on how you may (or may not) keep up with your current approach.

Image source: Wordstream

Brainstorming technique #7: Reach out to your readers

Conversations with your subscribers can lead to a wealth of email ideas. Ask your subscribers questions and try to find out as much information about them as possible. What do they want or need from you? What are your biggest obstacles, goals, or main pain points?

The feedback from your subscribers is invaluable to your business. You can use it to write your next email and other types of content like blog posts, videos, and social media posts. You can go a step further by using the feedback to properly position your product, build loyalty, and / or develop brand new products.

Brainstorming technique # 8: start with the subject line

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Then come up with a list of subject line ideas that you would be dying to open if they got to your inbox.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is the key point in this email that a subscriber would like to learn more about?
  • Did I write about something in the email that would surprise the reader?
  • What do readers need to know now?

The subject lines you write can even spark some entirely new content ideas.

Connected: Your guide to writing the world's best email subject lines

Always brilliant email ideas

Sending email consistently is a wonderful way to retain subscribers. But don't forget that no one wants to open an email that doesn't contain new or useful information. Having a constant supply of new email ideas prevents you from being marked as spam and sent to the junk mailbox, never to be opened again.

Regularly brainstorm new topics through these different approaches and keep a swipe file of your best, smartest ideas. You'll never run into email campaign ideas bottlenecks again.

Ready to send killer emails to your list? Then register with AWeber Free today!

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