Resources Hub » Blog » How to Write Email Copy That Works (Without Being a Professional Writer)

This is a guest post from Amit Jain at Broadcast SEO.

You don’t have to be a born writer to excel at writing excellent email copy.

When it comes to email marketing, your email copy highly determines whether a campaign will succeed or fail.

As a marketer, you should write email copy that acts as an automated selling machine, one that gets your emails opened and inspires readers to take action.

But how do you go about writing compelling emails for your list? Is it by writing a killer subject line or a hard-hitting call to action?

It all starts by understanding your target audience, what they like, and then writing excellent email copy that resonates with your client base while prompting them to take action.

Remember, the goal is to create an email campaign that drives more conversions.

Read on to learn exactly how to do that.

1. Know and write for your target audience.

When you understand your audience through market research, you are in a better position to create marketing copy that meets their needs.

Content relevancy is, by far, the greatest way to boost conversions. But how do you determine what content is relevant to every person on your mailing list?

Use web and social analytics, alongside personal interaction with customers to find out as much information about their market preferences. By knowing what motivates them to sign up for your list, it will be easier to write email copy that solves their problems, thus increasing your click-through rates.

2. Establish relevance through segmentation and personalization.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard pro marketers mention that personalization is key throughout the customer acquisition journey.

Your email copy is no exception. It is important to segment your list and personalize your messages rather than sending out blanket emails to your entire list.

You can write different email copy depending on your audience’s location, age, gender, business purchases, or personal interests.

Wondering how to get personal with your email marketing copy? Here is one effective email automation tool that can help you implement and manage email segmentation for your campaign.

3. Nail the subject line and preview text.

Your subject line could be the difference between readers opening your email, deleting it, or marking it as spam.

This means that, before crafting the email content, ensure that the subject line encourages the reader to open the email and check your offer.

Apart from the subject line, focus on creating a relevant preview text. The 35-140 characters preview text should align with the subject line and tell readers more about your main email copy.

4. Align your email copy with the preheader and subject line.

It is important to ensure your email copy delivers what you promised in the subject line and preheader.

You can write a convincing subject line that drives your email open rates but, without delivering on your promise to subscribers, the high open rate may mean nothing without click-throughs.

The key takeaway here is aligning everything, from your overall SEO strategy to opt-in forms, landing pages, email subject line, the preheader snippets, and email copy.

It is easier to win prospects and build trust with customers when these aspects of your  email campaign complement each other.

5. Make your message scannable.

When writing your email copy, do not overwhelm the readers with long paragraphs or content, as most people dismiss such emails. Therefore, write your email copy in a way that allows the subscribers to quickly read through and grasp your message. Ideally, you should write your email copy as if you are writing web copy. This means:

–    Following a logical structure

–    Keeping your paragraphs short

–    Bringing out one main idea in every paragraph

–    Using numbers, bullets, and subheadings to break longer paragraphs

–    If possible, use images to support your message.

A scannable email message is essential for subscribers who open your emails on mobile devices.

6. Be brief.

One big mistake you can make when writing your email copy is trying to shove an entire story into your message.

When you send a campaign with hundreds of words of email copy, you make it difficult for the readers to take action, simply because they can’t sift through the long paragraphs in your email.

Keeping the message concise is very important, and you can do this by finding a creative way to summarise the main points in a compelling way.

After a brief and friendly hello, get down to the main purpose of writing the email and, after introducing the concept, offer a few essential details and close with the call to action.

7. Choose the right words.

If you want to excel at writing email copy, remember that every word counts. You can only get more readers clicking through your emails if you sound real and authentic.

Instead of having the (boring) marketing talk, be conversational right from the subject line to your call to action. Use literary techniques like analogies in your content to stir the reader’s imagination, spike emotions, and encourage them to take action.

Words have outright power to evoke feelings, if used correctly.

8. Write in the second person.

An email marketer should keep the focus on the recipients, rather than providing unnecessary information about the business.

Your subscribers signed up for your list since they were more interested in how your offerings can meet their needs. For this reason, always maintain a customer-centric approach by using words like “you” instead of “I,” “me,” “us,” and “we” in your email copy.

This makes the reader feel as if you’re talking to them—a subtle tactic that positions your business as value oriented.

9. Focus on the benefits, not the features.

This one here is crucial to driving the point home. You should let your prospects and customers know what you have for them by talking about the importance of your products or services, rather than listing the features.

Let your email communicate about the value your readers will get upon taking action.

You might be offering a 30% discount on a certain product, which sounds great, but how exactly will the buyers benefit? Are they bundling their savings? Is the offer on a product that doesn’t sell often, but could benefit them? Let them know.

10. Use psychology in your marketing strategy.

The human brain is wired to react in a highly predictable way to different types of inputs. This is why psychology can help marketers create a high-converting email copy for their campaigns. You can do this by:

–    Using time-limited discounts since people fear missing out on great things.

–    Using the right colour choice to elicit reactions (for instance, in your CTA buttons).

–    Using social proof to show how people benefit from your offerings.

–    Creating a sense of urgency or scarcity, which prompts a quicker reaction.

–    Personalisation

These are just some of the many ways to appeal to your reader’s senses and win their attention. Check out this guide to applying psychology in email marketing.

11. Use actionable language.

When writing your email copy, use actionable language right from the subject line. It is a great way to let the reader know exactly what they should do. For instance, words such as “take,” “download,” “sign up,” “reserve,” “ask,”  or “buy” tell the recipients to take action.

One thing you always want the readers to pick up on is your call to action (CTA). The best email copy has a single, easily identifiable call to action.

The CTA should be written in a clear, succinct, and action-oriented language. If you choose to use a HTML button for your CTA, ensure it is large and brightly coloured so your subscribers will easily find it.

12. Proofread your message.

Although this may seem obvious, be careful not to distract your readers or, even worse, hurt your brand’s credibility by sending out email copy plagued with typos, inaccuracies, or overused punctuations and emoticons.

Additionally, remember to confirm that the links added to your website redirect the readers to the correct landing page. This ensures subscribers who open and click through can easily convert and complete a purchase without too much trouble.

13. The importance of split testing.

After writing your email copy, do not send out the campaign without testing its readability. Use split testing to check the effectiveness of your subject lines, preview text, email layout, design, and content itself. This will help boost your conversion rates and minimize unsubscribe rates in the future.

Next, use some email marketing automation tools to collect data (open rates, click rates, and bounce rates) on the performance of your campaigns. The information will be helpful when figuring out the best way to improve on the subsequent campaigns.

One more thing–look for inspiration.

This last tip will help you write engaging email copy even if you are not a perfect wordsmith. You can get inspiration on how to write highly converting emails from sites like Answer the Public, Reddit, or Quora.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to your competitor’s email list for weekly newsletters and see what they do to get attention. You will likely come across something that suits or, even better, improves your email marketing. Do not be afraid to do it; it’s perfectly legal.

Wrap up

Email marketing is vital for the success of any business. It is wise for you or your marketing team to invest in crafting effective and compelling email copy for your campaigns.

Writing great email copy is not hard, but it requires you to research your audience and figure out a writing style that aligns with their interests.

If you embrace the notion that every word you write has to earn a way into your email content, then you will automatically connect with the readers while keeping your copy concise.

Next time you’re drafting a message for nurturing your leads or existing customers, refer back to this guide to ensure your email campaign will deliver the expected results.

Amit Jain is the CEO of Sydney based Digital Marketing company Broadcast SEO specializing in Web Design and SEO. Amit loves to spend all his spare time with family and engage in outdoor activities.

Better insights to build winning campaigns
Better insights to build winning campaigns

Our analytics suite gives you smart, actionable insights to improve your campaigns.

Learn More

Case Study

Learn how Girls Who Code uses Campaign Monitor to change the tech world for the better.
Learn how
The email platform for agencies

The email platform for agencies

We started out helping agencies with email, so let us help you.

Learn more
This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
Press CMD+D to Bookmark this page

Get started with Campaign Monitor today.

With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.

Try it for free