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Email Marketing Copy Best Practices

Email marketing is a powerful way to connect with your customers and prospects. It has the ability to be consistent, direct and blunt — all things that don’t work well with other forms of communication. This isn’t surprising given that it relies on an individual person to receive, read and react to the content. In order for email marketing to be successful, you need persuasive copywriting skills. Internet marketing is changing, and online marketers must adapt with it. The digital age has brought great technological strides in the way we reach prospects and customers, but while many of us have been diligent in applying new techniques, there’s another one we’ve neglected that requires our attention: email marketing copy. Ask any marketer what is the most important piece of their marketing mix, and chances are they’ll tell you it’s their email marketing. But, what is email marketing? Is it the same as email copywriting? And how does one write copy for an email to be successful? Email marketing copy is more than just words on a screen. It’s the content that connects your brand with your customer and convinces them to take action. This is why it’s important to have a strategy instead of just creating a bunch of random emails, hoping one will stick .

There are thousands of resources out there that’ll give you specific tips on what words to use, how long your subject lines should be, and even where to put buttons in your emails. While there’s nothing wrong with those lists, they only scratch the surface of what makes great copy. In this post, I’m going to focus on some overarching concepts that can help you make good copywriting decisions. These practices aren’t rules per se—they’re the principles that underlie best practices.

Write your subject lines first.

The subject line is the first thing people see in their inbox. It’s your chance to grab the reader’s attention and tell them what you’re email is about.

Think of it like writing a book title or headline for an article—you want it to be short, clear, and descriptive so people know what they’re going to get out of it.

When writing a subject line, start with the most important information or promise you’re making in your email copy. For example: “Don’t miss our super sale this weekend!” gives readers an idea of why they should open up the message right away.

Keep your subject lines short and sweet.

Keep subject lines short and sweet.

A subject line should be brief, punchy and relevant to the content of your email. Avoid using all capital letters. Also, don’t use special characters (such as emoji) in your subject lines as they might not display correctly on some mobile devices or email clients.

The most powerful words used in emails are “you” and “free” because they make people feel like they have something to gain by opening your message. But don’t overdo it – keep things simple!

Make your subject lines stand out.

A great subject line should not just be a call to action. It should also be relevant to the content of your email. If you want recipients to click, you’ll need a strong benefit statement that shows them how they will benefit from reading your email. This could be in the form of a value proposition or even a strong call-to-action (CTA).

As an example, here’s a good subject line:

  • Subject Line: [Name], I have something important to tell you about [topic]

Here’s another example of a bad subject line:

  • Subject Line: Hey! Here are our best deals right now

Make your email easy to read.

To make your email easy to read, you should:

  • Limit the number of sentences in each paragraph. Ideally, a paragraph should consist of no more than three or four sentences. When readers see long paragraphs, they may be tempted to skim over them rather than reading every word carefully.
  • Use bold and italicized text to emphasize important points in your message. This can help readers quickly identify the most important points in your message and also serve as a way for them to know where they should pay special attention when reading through it.
  • Use subheadings throughout your message so that people will know what each section is about before they read it (e.g., “3 Steps You Can Take Today”). As with bullet points, this helps ensure that readers won’t miss any crucial information while skimming through the email’s contents.
  • Include images within paragraphs whenever possible instead of just at the top or bottom of an email; this allows you convey ideas more effectively by using visual cues like arrows pointing toward certain words or phrases, pictures demonstrating how something works (e.,g., how best practices work), etcetera).

Think of your email in terms of the promise you’re making with the subject line.

One of the most important things you can do when crafting your email marketing copy is to think about what you’re promising in the subject line. This is where the promise of your email lands and it should be compelling enough for readers to open it and continue reading.

It should also be short and sweet—think about how much information you have in mind for your reader when creating this one sentence description. The ideal length for many marketers is between five and seven words, but no more than 10 words.

The subject line should be relevant to what the rest of your message will contain, so make sure there are a few key points from inside that you can leverage into a compelling teaser (for example: “This week’s webinar: How To Get Your First 100 Customers”).

Segment your audience before you write an email.

The first step to writing better email marketing copy is segmenting your audience.

Segmentation is important because it allows you to understand your audience better and deliver the most relevant content. If you don’t segment, then you’re sending a generic message to everybody and that could be bad for business.

Segmentation lets you target different audiences with different messages — it helps you deliver the right message at the right time, which leads to higher click-through rates, lower unsubscribe rates and more conversions.

Keep it simple and straight to the point.

Avoid using jargon and complicated language.

Avoid using overly long sentences.

Avoid using passive voice.

Avoid complex sentence structure.

Avoid too many adjectives and adverbs, especially if they modify the same word (e.g., “I am a passionate writer who loves to write about writing”).

Also avoid prepositions, conjunctions (e.g., “I love writing because it helps me relax after work”), and other words that can clutter up your emails without adding any significant meaning or value to your message (e.g., “My name is John Smith and I’m a freelance writer…”).

Use personalization for a 1-to-1 feel.

Personalization goes a long way in building trust and rapport with your audience. It also helps you get more email opens and click-throughs, which improves the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Here are some ways to personalize your emails:

  • Use the first name of the recipient in subject lines. This can help increase open rates by up to 20%. A recent survey showed that 52% of people prefer having their first names used when receiving emails (via Salesforce).
  • Include their name at least once in each message body.
  • Mention their company name or position if relevant—for example, “Hi John!” or “Hi James! Thanks for signing up as our new customer!” You can also add something like “Thanks again for being an awesome customer!” For customers who’re known by title rather than nickname: “Dear [First Name], How’s it going?”

Tell a story that resonates with the reader.

Storytelling is a great way to engage your readers. It makes your points more memorable, and it helps you connect with the reader.

  • Use a story to make your point. You can use stories in many different ways, but one of my favorites is using them to illustrate a point or explain something.

For example, if I’m writing an email about getting more value out of customer service emails and how useful they can be for improving user engagement, I might tell one of my own experiences where I was able to help someone at work through their email (in this case it was related to how we were going to deploy the new version of our app). This shows the reader that there’s real-world value in this type of communication and also gives an example of how easy it is for anyone on our team—even me!

I like this story because it helps me explain what I mean by “customer service emails.”

Stay consistent with your brand voice.

When you’re crafting your email marketing copy, it’s important to stay consistent with your brand voice. Your brand voice is the personality of your brand and how you speak to people. It should be consistent across all channels—on social media, in blog posts, on your website, and in emails.

Consistency builds trust between a customer and a business. If a company is consistent with its messaging across all channels, then it’s likely that customers will feel like they know what to expect from them off the bat (even if they don’t). It also makes it easy for customers to find information about products or services because this consistency allows them to search for specific keywords when looking for new information online or within an email newsletter.

Evoke emotion from readers with storytelling.

Storytelling is an effective way to create a connection between your audience and your brand, establish trust, and evoke emotion.

Storytelling can serve several functions in your email marketing campaigns:

  • To create urgency and compel recipients to take action immediately.
  • To establish credibility by sharing stories that illustrate your expertise or authority on the subject at hand.
  • To build relationships with prospects by sharing personal anecdotes that reveal who you are as a person (that’s right—you’re more than just a name).

Focus on the reader, not yourself or your product/service.

When writing your email marketing copy, it’s crucial to focus on the reader and their needs, pain points, problems and aspirations rather than what you want to sell them.

Here are a few examples of how you can write an effective email that focuses on the reader:

  • Focus on what the reader wants. If they don’t know or care about your product or service yet, there’s no way they’re going use it. The best way to do this is by showing them how it will help them solve their problem in their life (or business). For example: “You’ll never have to worry about finding time again by using our app.”
  • Write from their point of view instead of writing from yours or your brand’s perspective. For example: “We’ve been helping people like yourself since 2007.” vs “Our team has been helping people like yourself since 2007.” This makes it easier for readers who want a solution now but might not be ready yet!

Show readers what you can do for them step by step (how-tos).

When you create content, you’re doing it to get people to take action. Whether that’s signing up for your email list or making a purchase, you want to give readers all of the information they need on one page. Instead of jumping into the benefits right away, show them how you can benefit them.

You might be thinking: “But I’m not a salesperson!” You don’t have to be. All that matters is that your audience sees how what you offer will help them achieve their goals and achieve their goals faster than if they did it themselves without your help—or without using your product/service at all.

Writing great marketing copy comes down to creating value for those who read it (your customers).

When you’re writing great marketing copy, remember that it’s all about creating value for your customers. Don’t just talk about your product or service—talk about the benefits these things will bring to the person reading your email. What problem does it solve? How will their life be better because of it? Don’t just talk about yourself—talk about how you can help them achieve their goals and make their lives easier.

If you do this well enough, they’ll be much more likely to buy from you!

Conclusion

Effective marketing copy should be simple and straightforward, but it can also have a huge impact on the audience that reads it. With these tips in mind, it’s time to start writing your own! And remember: when you keep the focus of your writing on the needs of your readers, you create opportunities for yourself as well. So go out there and get started today!

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