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Killer Copy: Writing Emails that Drive Results

Email has evolved significantly over time. Naturally, brands are quick to adopt all the latest bells and whistles in an effort to grab the attention of subscribers. But the fact is, if an email lacks well-written copy, the results from a splashy campaign will still be lackluster.

Copywriting can be a daunting task. Some find it challenging, others just find it boring. But writing doesn’t have to be tedious or a chore. Any qualified email marketer can draft a well-written message with the right tools and tricks.

For email marketers putting the pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard), ask yourself these writing questions to help overcome writer’s block, stale emails, and mediocre results:

  1. Is my language actionable? Offering your readers a clear sense of direction or instruction is often one of the most successful drivers of action. The copy here is just reinforcing the value for the user in a clear, tangible way. This language can be very direct, such as “Purchase your tickets for the show before they sell out,” or suggestive, like “Don’t miss what is going to be a sold-out show.” Remind subscribers what they can do with the information you’re providing – whether it’s in the subject line (recommended) or in the body!

  2. Write for the web. Always consider how and when your readers are opening the email. These days, they are likely opening it on a mobile device, often on the go or during the workday. Paragraphs and sentences should be short, incorporating bullets and subheadings to help break up information, and avoiding the use of industry jargon or technical terms. Your email copy should ultimately be scannable and easy to digest.

  3. Provide clarity before adding flair. Can your grandmother, co-worker, or teenager that is unfamiliar with your brand or service understand your marketing email, or do they get lost in the flowery language? Marketing copy should be exciting and capable of inspiring action, but it’s important to never trade clarity of information for entertainment. Find ways to incorporate humor, emotion, and a sense of urgency without confusing your subscribers, especially those most unfamiliar with your offerings.

  4. Avoid yelling! Marketing emails are exciting, but let’s be real, they aren’t worth SHOUTING over. Avoid turning on the caps lock button or using too many exclamation points in your emails, otherwise your language might read as too aggressive. Let the details of your marketing email do the heavy lifting in getting your readers jazzed.

  5. Keep the focus on recipients. Using the word “we” in email marketing could mean you’re giving too much unnecessary information about your company and not enough tangible details about how it can improve the lives of your subscribers. Become more customer-centric by keeping the focus on how your business can best meet their needs. Remember, you’re not selling power drills, you’re selling easy and precise holes.

  6. Visual or copy? While you may be an excellent writer, some things are better left unspoken – or shared as a visual asset! Are you staring at a paragraph of percentages, statistics, or simply too much text? Consider what copy might be better represented by a pie chart, graph, or even a photograph.

No matter what you end up writing, copywriting is never complete without copy-editing. This may seem obvious, but diligently checking your copy is necessary to ensure all your hard work pays off. Typos, factual errors, and broken hyperlinks can hurt your brand’s reputation over time, so avoid trouble in the first place by ensuring you have a reliable quality control process in place.

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