how to write better email copy

10 Email Copywriting Best Practices That Catapult Conversions

This cacophony of email copywriting tips was initially intended as notes to myself.

Realized you might be interested in them as well.

(Sidenote: read to the end for a bonus.)

So, here they are.

1. One email, one offer.

Email is much like warfare.

But one thing’s different. Shotguns are worthless. $0.

Precision bolt-action rifles on the other hand…? Difficult to use, expensive, and rare. But laser-focused.

Shotgun approach is just blasting out a newsletter with all of your offers in one. “With enough offers we’ll get someone.”

Sniper approach? One target, one offer, one purchase.

Write your emails with one goal – and CTA – in mind.

2. Shorten your sentences.

Eddie Shleyner is a copywriter. And a great one at that.

His best exercise tip for aspiring writers?

Shorten Wikipedia articles.

Says Eddie:
“Because — and this is almost always true — if you can rewrite something to say the same thing in fewer words, you’ve made the work better.”

3. Transform your content into stories.

Pick up a non-fiction book.

If it’s well-written, it teaches through parables. Stories.

Stories help us relate. Stories help us understand. Stories help us remember. And ultimately – learn.

Without stories, you position yourself as a third-grade teacher and your audience as kids who’d rather be anywhere else.

The best non-fiction reads like fiction.

4. Use open loops.

Hollywood’s perfected this.

A 2-minute movie trailer.

Action, mystique, an eery feeling that something’s wrong.

But we never get answers.

Not in the trailers.

Trailers open loops.

Want to close the loops? Watch the movie.

So how do you use open loops in emails…? Read to the end… 😉

5. Write in your list’s language

Is it internet marketing or online marketing?

Is it copywriting or content writing?

Should the email be funny or serious?

And what is funny, anyway?

And how serious should you be? Because there are levels…

Consult your audience. And you’ll know.

Note: You’ll find objectively correct answers to some of the above questions. You’ll also find that objectively correct answers seldom matter. Not in persuasive writing (sales, copywriting, etc.).

6. Encourage replies. Then, reply to them.

Why? 2 reasons.

Technical reason: it informs email clients that the subscriber wants your emails in the future as well (“why else would they reply?”). Meaning, you’ll see fewer deliverability issues down the line.

Marketing reason: it informs your subscribers that you’re not above them. Building rapport, nurturing the relationship, it ties them closer to you, and strangely enough, it makes them like you more.

We trust people whom we like. We buy things from people whom we like. Engage in a conversation with your subscribers. Turn your casual readers into true fans.

7. Utilize underlines, italics, emojis, and bold paragraphs.

Email marketing should feel like a rollercoaster. A wall of text is anything but.

Underline, italicize, and bold texts to keep your readers attention.

Energize your copy with well-placed emojis.

Your reader is constantly looking for a reason to stop reading. Don’t give them one.

8. Increase your font size.

We’re not in school anymore. No one is paid to read your writing.

Therefore, make it easy to read. Easiest way to do that? Increasing your font size.

You don’t want anyone to search for their glasses, lean in, or squint just to read your email.

9. Write for mobile.

A mobile device beats a clunky computer every time.

Write with mobile users in mind. Make sure the copy is easy to read. Check for line breaks.

Does the text flow?

10. Done writing? Read it out loud

This works even better if you get someone else to read it for you.

Notice where you pause. Pauses are bad.

They break the flow.

Remember tip #2: Shorten your sentences?

Do that now.

Then read your email out loud, again.

Wrapping up

If you’re as lazy as I am and just skimmed through this post, here are the 10 tips in bullet form:

  • One email? One offer
  • Shorten your sentences.
  • Stories > Facts (so turn facts into stories)
  • Use open loops
  • Write using your target audience’s words
  • Encourage replies to your emails. Reply to them.
  • Good emails should feel like rollercoasters. There’s almost someone trying to drag your readers away from your stuff. Don’t let that happen.
  • People shouldn’t need glasses to read your emails
  • Mobile > PC
  • Done writing? Read it out loud

These were 10 email copywriting tips. But I have more to share…

So.

Do you want to get similar tips daily to your inbox?

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