If you send email marketing campaigns, chances are you find yourself writing a lot of copy.
We’ve previously written about a few copywriting formulas to help you out with this, but those formulas aren’t always appropriate for the message of your email campaigns.
So in this post, we wanted to present 5 techniques for making your email copy more persuasive that can be applied to any kind of email marketing campaign you may be sending.
1. Use sensory words
Email copy that evokes the five senses creates a lasting impression. Whether it’s via sight, smell, taste, touch or sound, any time you can use language that taps into those faculties, it makes the description of your product more realistic and tangible.
Plus, it creates a reaction in your reader’s brain. Neuroscience research conducted at Emory University showed that words related to texture activated areas of the brain associated with touch (even when their use had nothing to do with physical sensations.) The researcher also noted that words that activate the sensory areas of the brain are “more likely to be memorable and impactful.”
Let’s look at an example of using sensory words in email copy from a fictional tea company.
Without sensory words: Because our teas are good for your mind and body, they make thoughtful gifts for friends and family.
With sensory words: When brewed with hot water, our teas fill the room with notes of florals, fresh herbs, and sweetly ripened fruit. Send a cup of tea to your friends and family to give the gift of a healthy mind and body and fill their homes with the scent of relaxation.
Employing sensory words helps you write better email copy that creates a stronger, more interesting mental picture.
2. Evoke imagination
Using imagination in email copy helps your readers picture themselves using your product. It makes them think about how they’d look and feel if they owned the product and gets their mental wheels turning.
In fact, one study demonstrated that simply touching or holding an object helped foster a sense of ownership with a potential buyer. For this very reason, employees at a clothing store want to help you to try on as many items as possible. They’ll help you find complete outfits, get you the perfect size, and make suggestions on item pairings.
But what if your customer can’t hold the item you’re selling?
Helping them imagine it is the next best thing. As an example, say you’re writing email copy for your business which offers a tool for cloud-based project collaboration.
Without evoking imagination: You can work from anywhere, anytime, with any team member via our cloud-based collaboration tool.
With evoking imagination: Imagine a workplace uninhibited by location or time zone where you store information, keep track of project deadlines, and communicate with team members wherever you may go. With our cloud-based collaboration tool, your remote workplace can become a reality.
Encouraging the customer to imagine the improvement in their lives (from using your product or service) is significantly more powerful and inspiring, and compels them to take action.
3. Add the word ‘because’
The word ‘because’ in email copy creates a sense of ethos for your business. You’re not only telling potential customers how your product or service is unique and wonderful–but you’re telling them why and giving them a reason to believe you.
In Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, he discusses a Harvard study where a person tries to cut in front of a line of people waiting to use a copier
In the first instance, the person pushing in simply asked “Can I use the copier?” and 63% let them cut in line and go first.
In the second instance, the person asked “Can I use the copier because I need to make copies?” and 94% let them go first.
Despite the person’s reasoning being nonsensical (everybody was in the line because they needed to make copies), there was a significant increase in the amount of people who let him in just from adding the word ‘because’.
Let’s take a look at how the word ‘because’ helps a fictitious vitamin company write better email copy.
Without because: Vitamins help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and get the nutrients your body needs.
With because: Vitamins are a key part of any healthy diet because they help your body get the nutrients it needs to maintain an active lifestyle.
Adding in the ‘because’ helps reinforce the necessity and logic behind the purchase.
4. Formulate sound bites
Sound bites are short bits of email copy that stick with the reader.
Two of the main elements of sound bites are rhyme and repetition. Not only do they sound good, but they help messages become more memorable.
It’s proven: Copy that rhymes makes statements sound more believable, while repetition creates a “form of mesmerism.”
You’ve seen strategy this in action time and time again: Commercials use rhyming for jingles or repeating phone numbers over and over in the short span of the ad.
As an example, we’ll use this tactic on email copy that’s promoting a special type of pen.
Without sound bites: Your pen doesn’t just write messages, it showcases your personality.
With sound bites: Your pen. Your personality.
Notice how the sound bite uses repetition and alliteration and becomes punchier? You can write better email copy by leaving your reader with an impactful, memorable message.
5. Create mini stories
Telling stories in your email copy helps break down the sales barrier, fosters a sense of connection and helps sweep the reader into an alternate world.
Why is that important? Research shows that when readers can picture themselves in the story we create within our copy, sales messages can finally begin to stick.
Think about it: Storytelling has been part of the human experience for many, many years. It’s how we pass along lessons, cultural heritage, and important events. It resonates with the human experience. Because of the value we place on stories, it’s important to incorporate narrative form into our email copy.
Let’s look at an example from a fictional candle company.
Without storytelling: Candle Coop tested their custom wood wick candles outdoors to ensure they would stay lit and provide a powerful scent in a variety of different environments.
With storytelling: Candle Coop sent candles to testers in six different states with varied climates and weather conditions to study the level of fragrance they produced in different outdoor environments. Testers burned the wood wick candles on open porches and at outdoor gatherings. The result: Even on windy days, candles from Candle Coop provided a powerful scent and burned for hours without blowing out.
When the case study becomes a story in your email copy, the reader can imagine themselves using the product and can picture it in action.
Using these research-backed persuasion techniques can help lift the quality of your email copy and increase your click-through rates.
However, trying to remember all of these techniques and build them into your writing process is a tall order. There’s a lot to remember and not every technique will apply to every email campaign you send.
So instead, bookmark the post and come back to it after you’ve written the first draft of your campaign. Use these techniques and examples as inspiration to rework your copy and watch as your email goes from good to great.
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