What is Email Copywriting? How to Improve Emails with Killer Copy

What is email copywriting, and how does it affect your marketing campaigns?

Email is a powerful part of any marketing strategy.

According to Campaign Monitor, emails generate around $44 in ROI for every $1 spent.

However, not all emails deliver the same level of value.

If you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your campaigns, then you need to send the right messages to your audience. That’s where copywriting comes in.

Email gives you a direct line to your customer’s inbox. Since most people carry their email with them wherever they go through internet-connected smartphones, that means that you can reach your customers wherever they are. However, all the effective email marketing tips in the world won’t get you far if you’re not saying what your community wants to hear.

77% of people in all demographics and age groups say that they prefer email to other permission-based advertising. But these people will send your content straight to the trash folder if you don’t speak their language.

Fortunately, the following email copywriting examples and tips will help to ensure that your campaigns don’t get lost in translation.

1.     Strategize with your Subject Line

Your email subject line is your opportunity to convince customers that they need to click on your message. Fail to inspire your audience, and they’ll just ignore you, or worse – send you straight to the trash can.

Just like a compelling blog headline or the title of your latest article, your subject line needs to intrigue your customers and push them into action. Since only 24% of sales emails are opened, make sure you take these factors into account when creating your next subject line:

  • Keep it short: Research suggests that shorter subject lines deliver the best open rates. This is probably because most of your customers are reading their email on their smartphones. Longer subject lines will get truncated and lose their value.
  • Keep it personal: Using the names of real people in your subject line, or the word “you” will yield higher open rates. People want to know immediately that your content applies to them, and their needs.
  • Ask questions: Spark your customer’s curiosity by asking a question you know they want to answer. Not sure what kind of queries your clients have? Try looking at Reddit, Quora, or Answer the Public for inspiration.
  • Use psychology: There are various ways you can use psychology in subject lines. For instance, telling someone that “time is running out” taps into their “fear of missing out.” Check out the “Hurry! Buy 1, get 1 50% off” email from Long Tall Sally below. Once you click through to the email, there’s even a timer in the body to further drive FOMO.

Long Tall Sally FOMO countdown email

2.     Perfect your Preview Text Too

Worried you can’t get enough information across in your subject line?

No problem, that’s what the preview text on your email is there for. The preview text in an email appears just after your subject line and gives you a few characters in which you can pique interest. If your subject line draws your customer’s eye, your preview text will help them to confirm that your content is worth reading.

subject line examples

Remember, if you’re making a promise in your headline, you’ll need to follow through on that promise in the preview text. For instance, in the example above, you can see that EMP provides the code you need for your 15% off straight away.

This helps to build trust in your target audience and confirm the value that they’re getting from your content.

Whatever your email content is about, use your preview text to give your audience a sneak peek into what they can expect from you. If it’s intriguing enough, you can rest assured that they’ll open your email to find out more.

3.     Solve Customer Problems

This is one of the most essential effective email marketing tips you’ll ever get.

If you want to capture your customer’s attention and make sure that they act from your email, then you need to give them something valuable.

Whether you’re hoping to drive people back to your website, encouraging them to make a purchase, or just building relationships – value must be at the heart of all your email copywriting examples.

So, how can you put this concept into action?

First, make sure that you know your audience. Who are the different kinds of customers you’re speaking to? What type of buyer personas are you using to inform the segments of your marketing campaigns?

When you know your customer, you can write email marketing copy that’s more likely to speak to their needs. For instance, if you’re aware that one segment of your audience is interested in saving money, look at how your products or services can help them to do just that. If another part of your audience is interested in speed and convenience, make those things the heart of your marketing message.

When in doubt, talk about the benefits of whatever you’re introducing in your email. For instance:

  • Tell your audience how your latest blog will answer their burning questions about a specific topic.
  • Explain the benefits of enrolling in your loyalty scheme and the money that people can save with VIP vouchers and coupons.
  • When you announce a new product, highlight why you’ve built this item, and what kind of solutions it can deliver.

For instance, even when promoting a new blog post, Buzzfeed makes it incredibly easy for customers to see the value they’ll get from clicking on a link to visit the content. They even use images to make their message more attractive.

Buzzfeed email example

4.     Use the Right Language

Around 61% of customers say that they prefer to be contacted by brands through email.

However, if you fail to use the right language, you’ll immediately lose your customer’s attention.

For instance, if your subject line is full of jargon that your contact can’t understand, then they won’t recognize the value of your email, and they won’t see any reason to click on your message.

Remember, with email marketing; you’re not trying to show people how much you know about your industry – that’s what your blog and website are for.

Skip the industry jargon and speak to your customer’s imagination instead. For instance:

  • Use sensory words to help people visualize what you’re offering. For example, in the food industry, words like “mouthwatering” and “succulent” instantly capture attention.
  • Try power words in your copy, subject line and call to action to drive action. Power words can include terms intended to inspire curiosity like “Sneak peek” or words that appeal to your customer’s search for convenience, like “On Demand.”
  • Use emojis, slang, and even humor if it appeals to your target audience: Find out what kind of language your customers use by tracking them on social media, or evaluating your competition, and echo their dictionary. This will create a sense of affinity between you and your audience.

Check out the friendly and informal language in this email from Dropbox. The content focuses on the use (your) and creates a more personal experience with the use of emojis, like the sad face. What’s more, the sentences are short, simple and easy to read:

Dropbox "We Miss you" Email

5.     Get to the Point

Another thing to consider with your email copywriting examples – people don’t have a lot of time to waste these days.

While email does give you a way to get into your customer’s pocket wherever they are, at any time, you’re competing with a lot of distractions. For instance, employees spend about 13 working hours a week in their email inbox, but they’re under a lot of pressure during that time. They can’t waste minutes on emails that include several hundred words.

One of the most effective email marketing tips we have when it comes to copywriting is this: get to the point.

Think about what you want to achieve with your email, and let your subscribers know why you’re getting in touch as quickly as possible.

Remember what we mentioned above too – don’t focus on the value of this correspondence for your business. Let your people know how you can help them, and what you’re offering to make their life better.

For instance, check out this smart formatting strategy from Uber. They include all the details you might need in the body of their email, but they’ve highlighted the most crucial words to save scanners time too.

Creative formatting on Uber email

6.     Show some Personality

Personality and tone of voice are two things that marketers frequently overlook when it comes to managing their email marketing.

You know that you need to get a crucial message across, and you know you have to say things fast. When many of the most effective email marketing tips focus on brevity, it’s challenging to find space in your email copy for wit and humor too.

However, the more you let your personality shine through, the more likely you are to generate real value from your email content.

There are plenty of ways that you can show your unique character in an email without overwhelming your readers. For instance:

  • Use pictures and emojis to break up the content and highlight your sense of style.
  • Combine sales emails and promotional campaigns with fun content that give your customers a chance to get to know you better.
  • Look for ways to make your customers smile with humor, playful language, and informal copy.

Harry’s, the shaving company, offer some excellent email copywriting examples. They don’t focus exclusively on the “hard sell” with their copy. Instead, they’re all about delivering value and having fun with their audience. Check out this Happy St Patrick’s day message:

Harry's St Patrick's day email

7.     Learn as You Go

Finally, the best way to make sure that you’re getting the right value from your email marketing copy is to learn and grow over time. Before you send your emails, make sure that you have tracking strategies in place to determine which of your subject lines deliver the best open rates, and which calls-to-action drive the most conversions.

The more information you can collect on your email marketing performance, the easier it will be to improve your copy as your business grows.

There are plenty of tools out there to help you develop your insights. Just make sure that you know exactly which metrics you want to track when you get started. KPIs related to your email copywriting often include:

  • Open rates
  • Click through rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Conversion rates

Effective Email Marketing Tips: Killer Copywriting

Ultimately, the key to creating incredible emails is understanding your audience and what they need from you. If you can figure out what your customers need, then you can write copy that speaks to them straight away. Combine the right value with the appropriate language and tone, and you’ll have a strategy for amazing email copywriting in no time.

Remember, email marketing isn’t just about automated messages and selling. It’s about building relationships with your audience. Learn how to use copy to your advantage, and watch your email results soar.

 

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