How to Write Email Copy

How to Write Email Copy That Resonates, Wins Clicks & Loyal Followers

It’s a technology even older than dial-up internet.

Despite its age (it was invented almost half a century ago), email is still going strong.

It’s like that aunt of yours who has seemingly been old for decades, but she keeps on rolling, as energetic as ever. She’s a standby at family gatherings and never seems to wear out.

In much the same way, email marketing has been a cornerstone for all kinds of businesses for years.

The proof is probably within your inbox right now. Most likely, you get inundated with an avalanche of promotional emails daily from various companies.

However, there’s a problem, especially if you want to take advantage of email for your own business.

how to write email copy

What’s the Problem with Email Marketing?

Think about what you do with the emails you receive. Do you open every single one? Do you read all the messages you do open? Narrowing down the pool further, which ones make you want to click-through?

If the answers are “no,” “absolutely not,” and “not many,” in that order, you’re like most people.

With that, we’ve come to the problem.

Via, this survey shows that the most common complaint of mobile email subscribers is that they get way too many messages.

There’s so much inbox competition, standing out is hard.

So, as a marketer, how do you not only make people want to open your emails, but also read them and click your CTAs?

In short, how do you write email copy that wins the day?

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The Solution: Learn How to Write Email Copy That’s Outstanding

You have to write exceptional email copy to get results.

What does this copy look like?

To figure it out, think about the emails you love to read. Think about the messages you look forward to opening.

What do they have in common? Probably one or more of these 12 factors, features, and qualities.

First off…

1. Start with a Surprising, Inspiring, Emotion-Tugging, or Eye-Catching Subject Line

In an email message, the subject line is your headline.

It’s how you initially grab a reader and hang on tight. Before any other component, the subject line has to snag their attention if you expect them to actually open it.

This means you need to cultivate intrigue or curiosity. You have to appeal to some emotion that makes your reader want to learn more.

It’s a tall order. To do it, you need to give your subject line the same care and attention you give your email body copy. To accomplish this feat, try these tips:

  • Only promise what you’re going to actually deliver – Don’t lure readers into opening your email with an enticing subject line, then completely fail to deliver. If you promise something or inspire action in your subject, make sure you follow up.
  • Be specific – Don’t be vague in the subject line if you want results. Want proof? Copyblogger tested out two subject lines for the same email. Guess which one was more successful and led to a higher click-through rate? That’s right – the specific one.
  • Use language that encourages action – Don’t hedge, and don’t be shy about your subject lines. Use actionable language that’s urgent and motivating. For instance, instead of saying “Tickets for X Events Are on Sale Now!” say “Grab Your Tickets for X Event Before They Sell Out!”

Here are a few great examples of effective subject lines that do it right. It’s not surprising that all of them use direct, active language that speaks straight to the reader:

Greetabl grabs the eye in a crowded email inbox because they make a bold proclamation: You’re in the squad.

World Market wrote an urgent subject line that cleverly makes you want to act.

Madewell crafted a subject line too tempting and curiosity-inducing to pass up.

2. Draw Them in with a Warm, Friendly, Engaging Tone

Some businesses think that making their emails personal means inserting the recipient’s name in the copy a few times. Nope.

In fact, if you use the above strategy, it’s overkill. You’ll sound like a robot.

Instead, make your tone personal. Talk to the reader as if they’re a friend. Unsurprisingly, this inspires friendliness reciprocated back toward your brand. This could inspire them to click your CTA, in turn.

This leads us to our next point…

3. Talk to Your Readers, Don’t Address Them

Sure, your email is going out to a faceless group of people. That doesn’t mean you should address them as such, though.

In fact, you shouldn’t address them at all.

Instead, talk to them. Don’t write as if you’re preparing a speech for an audience; write like you’re penning a missive to a good friend.

To this end, make sure you use second person voice. This means you talk to the reader directly through your writing, using the term “you.” Need an example? You’re reading it right now!

For a good example, check out this “thanks for signing up” email from Papa Murphy’s. They talk to the customer directly with brief but effective copy:

4. Err on the Short Side

Nobody has time to read a novel in your marketing emails. Respect the reader and keep it short, yet informative and useful. Edit your email copy rigorously and ruthlessly if you need to whittle it down.

More specifically:

  • Stick to the point – Don’t meander in your marketing emails. This is not the place to share deep thoughts, discussion, or something similar. Stay on topic.
  • Get to the point – For that matter, don’t take forever to get to the point of the email. Get there and give the reader satisfaction.
  • Stay relevant – Keep your email relevant to the reader. It’s about them, not you. Copywriting guru Ann Handley of Marketing Profs goes a step further with this – she says to make it “relentlessly” about the reader. Be empathetic and place yourself in their shoes.
  • Keep the email to one topic – You don’t have time to address multiple topics with multiple calls-to-action. You’ll lose your reader. One topic, max, is all you can reasonably address without boring anybody.

5. Be Yourself (Hint: This Is How to Write Unique Email Copy)

How do you add that human element to your email marketing?

Be you. You’re the human element.

Don’t sanitize your writing. Try to write the way you speak, with your idiosyncrasies, unique turns-of-phrase, and vocabulary.

Are you a sarcastic person? Do you make lame jokes? Are you a punster? Or, do you tell it like it is?

Don’t be afraid to insert your unique personality in your writing. Don’t keep yourself out your email copy. People will respond more positively if they can find you, a human voice, present in the message.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Wondering how to write email copy that wins? BE YOURSELF! (via @ExpWriters)” quote=”Wondering how to write email copy that wins? BE YOURSELF! (via @ExpWriters)”]

6. Focus on Value (Benefits vs. Features)

Along with your human voice, you also need to focus on the value factor in your email marketing.

This goes along with staying reader-focused. What are the benefits you’re offering that help them in their daily lives?

Don’t just list features – instead, think about what positive outcomes the features bring to the table.

For a good example, look at this promotional email from Sephora. They’re promoting “Flash,” their two-day shipping service, but they stay benefits-focused:

They tell you what you get with this service, but it also says exactly how you’ll benefit. Staying value-focused like this is how you appeal to your readers.

Once you’ve outlined the benefits, it’s time for your CTA.

7. Include a Call-to-Action, But…

Keep it crystal-clear. Your call-to-action at the end of your promotional email should give the reader an exact idea of what they need to do next.

The key word, here, is “need.” Your reader should feel a sense of need or urgency from your call-to-action: They’ve got to do X because they’ll get X as a result.

Make sure they understand the benefit of taking action – the “why” along with the “what.”

8. Get a Second (or Third) Opinion

After you self-edit your copy, but before you hit “send,” you need to pass it along to another set of eyes.

This person should have sharp attention to detail and a sense of what good email copy looks like. They’ll catch silly mistakes you might have missed, including tiny punctuation errors and the like. They’ll also see where you’re too wordy, where your tone is off, or where you’re not clear enough.

9. Test Your Copy’s Effectiveness

It’s often hard to know what will work for your particular audience unless you test it out. The same goes for your promotional emails.

For instance, write two versions of the same email and send them out to different, distinct groups. Then measure the response to each. A slightly different tone of voice or a reworded call-to-action might be the key to more email conversions. You’ll never know unless you test it out.

10. Don’t Keep Using a Formula That Doesn’t Work

If one road map for how to write your email copy isn’t working, you can’t expect to see any difference in results if you keep going in that direction.

To use a cliché, don’t beat a dead horse.

To find success with email campaigns, you can’t be afraid to reinvent, revise, and experiment with your approach. That has to include the way you’re writing to your audience.

11. Focus on Copy First, Design Second

The writing is the foundation of your email marketing. It’s your message. The other stuff, including the layout and design, is just the vehicle.

If your emails don’t work without the fancy graphics and pretty visuals, you need to take a step back.

Your email copy, the content and structure of your message, comes first. If you can’t send it as plain-text and get good results, you’re focusing on the fluff, not the substance. It needs to be the other way around.

Take a look at this promotional email from Boden, a British clothing retailer:

It showcases a sleek, styled image of fashionable people. However, take away that image, and the copy still works by itself. These are classic, beautiful, durable clothes for everyone in your family. The brand got that across, without sounding salesy, in one sentence.

12. Find Ways to Delight Your Readers

One of the purposes of your email marketing is to continue to cultivate trust with your audience.

You managed to give them enough reason to hand over their email addresses – now you need to build on that.

A great way to do it? Delight them.

The great part of this is, if you genuinely want to delight your audience, it will come through in your email copy naturally.

“Delight” can mean a lot of different things, too. It can mean positive surprise, joy, humor, glee, and pleasure. It can come from a simple moment of genuine warmth, a surprise special offer to say “thanks,” or some heart-to-heart talk.

In general, it means getting personal for a moment, stepping off your soapbox, and being real. The best part? It won’t just increase trust – it will also humanize your brand, making you seem more relatable.

For an example, look at this email from Poncho. HubSpot loves this company’s email marketing precisely because it’s so delightful:

From their happy, poncho-wearing cat logo to their humor in the copy, it’s an exercise in all-around delight. In a world of bad news, how refreshing! Now that’s good email.

Learn How to Write Email Copy and Start Resonating with Readers

If your email marketing isn’t resonating with your readers, maybe you need to get your copy in gear.

The words, after all, are the foundation of the whole shebang. Without exceptional email copy, you’re left with nothing but a bunch of fluff. And, let’s face it – fluff never convinced anyone to do anything.

When your emails are just one more needle in the haystack, you need more than fluff to stand out. You need more to convince people to open your messages, actually read them, and click on your CTAs.

Follow our tips for exceptional email copy, and see if they don’t make a difference. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.


Need more “oomph” for your email copy? We can handle that. Express Writers has the chops to give your emails all the “write” stuff. See for yourself!cta great copy

email content marketing

An Up-to-Date, Nutshell Guide to Your Best Email Content Marketing

Have you ever wondered how effective your emails are?

Do they leave an impression, or just end up in the trash folder?

It may be that you measure email success by the amount of people who open it and then click through. Which means that the email first has to be opened, then read, then clicked.

Not to mention it also has to be the appropriate length and interesting enough to engage readers and move them to action.

How much does email length matter? Can your tone shine through, and does anyone really read the subject line, anyway?

We’re here to break the answers to these questions down, and give you an updated guide (with a recent Boomerang exclusive!) all about email content marketing. Boost your email results when you put these into practice. Keep reading!

guide to email content marketing

Email Marketing 101

Email is still critical to our content marketing efforts today.

Take a look at these email marketing stats for a better understanding of the impact email has in the industry:

  • Marketers have seen a 760% increase in revenue from segmented email campaigns.
  • Automated email messages average over 70% higher open rates and over 150% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” messages.
  • Email is 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Twitter or Facebook.

Email is the connection between us and our prospects.

When content marketers invest their time and resources into powerful emails, the reach potential is limitless.

While technology has changed and social media has emerged over the past decade, email has stayed as a constant. Sure, we may not be using the same domain we did ten years ago, but the truth remains that when we need to send information, we email it.

When we want to be connected to our favorite brand, we join their email list.

Need a receipt for your store purchase, but don’t want a paper copy? Have it emailed.

For these reasons and more, content marketing efforts can be enhanced when we learn to take the best email marketing practices and use them effectively.

3 Best Email Content Marketing Practices

Back in the early 90’s, email hit the scene. Remember those AOL disks that were available through the mail and at the grocery store checkout stand?

And how we communicate has not been the same since. (Letters? What are those?)

Fast-forward to 2017, when 93% of marketers now say they use email for content distribution and consider it an important channel for their marketing success. And while it does remain an effective tool, it doesn’t mean we always use it in the best way.

Emails have a wide range of possibilities in reaching an audience, including:

  • Newsletters
  • Product updates
  • Transactional emails (after one has taken action on your website)
  • Deals and promotions

There are some qualities that make email an effective tool for your content marketing efforts. We have to learn the best way to increase the open rate, how to craft a subject line, how to create quality content, and how to choose the best time to write.

1. Learn How to Write a Great Email

You may be thinking, “Wait a minute. I’m a content writer. I know how to write.”

Isn’t it true that if we all knew how to write effective emails, there would be a higher response rate and we would be inundated with conversions?

Especially since over 200 billion email messages are sent every day.

So, yes, we can all use reminders from time to time about how to write effectively, and specifically, how to craft an email that engages the audience and encourages action.

A. Craft a compelling subject line

This seems like an obvious one, but if the subject isn’t engaging, few readers will want to click through to the actual content. Start by incorporating language that tells the reader what he or she can look forward to in the email.

Words like “take,” “don’t miss,” and “reserve” are goods one to start with.

B. Use personalization, if you can

Shaping email content to fit a reader’s needs by using customer segmentation has the potential to increase revenue.

In a study conducted by Direct Marketing Association, emails which were segmented and targeted generated 58 percent of the total revenue for marketers surveyed while 36 percent of revenue came from emails sent to specific target selections.

direct marketing association

C. Create relevant and honest content

No one wants their time wasted, so coming up with a catchy email subject line that has nothing to do with the content inside is unfair and irresponsible. While you are crafting an engaging and personalized subject line, keep in mind that it should align with the content in the actual email. This not only keeps everything relevant, but sets you apart as an honest authority who isn’t out to trick anyone into clicking.

D. Continue to offer relevancy by expressing to the reader right away why you are writing

What is your connection? How are you providing a solution to the need? Our reach will go much farther when we highlight the benefits rather than the feature.

E. Get to the point

Practice writing concisely so the end result is powerful, tight sentences.

Too wordy, and you’ll lose your readers. Too short, and they could miss the point.

Content marketers must find a way to summarize a catch for the reader and encourage a click-through.

Everywhere we go, we see content – in just one minute, there are millions of Facebook and Instagram likes, hundreds of thousands of Tweets, and hours upon hours of YouTube videos uploaded.

We are consumed by content.

The last thing we need is more unusable information, interruptions, or sales pitches coming through our inbox. A long, drawn-out copy won’t cut it here; readers must be able to sift through quickly in order to make a decision about whether or not they’ll click through.

Try keeping emails between 50 and 125 words, which can increase the response rate for your efforts.

Suggested tool: SmartBlogger’s list of 317 Power Words

2. Learn How to Close Out

After we learn how to craft email content that engages the readers, it comes time to find the most effective closing methods.

Email closings matter. How we wrap up that fantastic content determines the response rate for our readers, and a few words can make the difference between clicking through and sending an email to the trash.

Boomerang conducted a study on more than 350,000 email threads and found that certain email closings were more effective at delivering higher response rates.

boomerang findings
Graphic from Boomerang

The best way to close an email?

With gratitude.

Those closings that included a variation of “thank you” saw a higher response rate than those that included words like “best” and “regards.”

Some of the most popular closings included a simple “thanks,” “cheers,” and “kind regards.”

Thanks in advance received the highest increase based on the average response rate.

In addition to the closing greeting, a CTA will tell your audience what to do. Simply adding a button that says “click here” may not be as effective as a call-to-action that clearly spells out what will happen when they click.

Here are some examples:

  • “Take the Survey”
  • “Learn the Secret”
  • “Get the Free Report”

Each email should be backed by something you want them to do, one central focus. The call-to-action always revolves around that one goal, even if there are multiple CTAs in one email.

Tools: 380 High Emotion Words, 80+ Marketing Words to Improve Email Campaigns

3. Learn When to Send

When is the best time to send an email out? Is every day too often, and is once a month not often enough?

Opinions on the best day and time to send emails will vary across the industry, but there are some general guidelines we can follow that will contribute to maximum impact. In fact, analysts looked at billions of emails in order to gain insight into the best times to send emails, and the results are a bit different across the board.

Best days: Tuesday came in first place, according to data collected. In a close second was Thursday, followed by Wednesday.

As a side note, there were high click-through rates on Saturdays and Sundays, but since those are also the days when the fewest emails are sent, it kind of balanced out.

coschedule email tips

Graphic from CoSchedule

Best times: That same research had some interesting findings when it came to the best time to send email content. In first place was 10 a.m., followed by 8 p.m. – midnight, and then 2 p.m.

Email 4

Some of these times might be surprising, but they also make sense; for example, many of us check our emails before bed, so the 8 p.m. timeframe fits that habit.

While this collection of data is not a one-size-fits-all for every brand, it is a good place to start.

Begin by sending out email content on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday at one of the times suggested. You may be surprised at what you find.

Grammar, Typos, & other Things We’ve Forgotten Since High School

Did you know Mondays are the worst days for email subject line errors?

And the more errors in an email’s subject line, the less likely it is to receive a response.

Grammar misuse and typos don’t scream “authority.” Instead, mistakes convey the message that the sender didn’t quite care enough to check and double-check the content.

It reduces our credibility as content marketers, interferes with the user experience, and pushes down the response we could get if only we had been more careful. If emails with an error have a response rate of only 29%, it’s worth our time and effort to read over everything carefully before hitting the “send” button.

If you need some help in this area, there are some effective tools you can use to boost your grammar and spelling.

  • After the Deadline: Paste in your content and get feedback that includes spelling errors as well as grammar and style suggestions.
  • Grammar Checker: This tool catches spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, and misuse of words.
  • StackEdit: Create professional-looking content and use the inbuilt spell checker to fix errors.
  • Write like a third grader: Emails written in this way saw a 36 percent life over those crafted at a college-reading level as well as a 17% higher response rate.
  • Read, then read again: Do a thorough read of your email content, take a short break, and then read it again. Check for sentence flow, clarity of thought, and grammar mistakes. Click any links you’ve included to make sure they work and go to the right place.
  • Send it to yourself: Remember writing speeches for high school and practicing them out loud? The same idea can be used here; send your email to yourself or one colleague to make sure all is good to go. This step can help to minimize typos and gives you or someone you know one more chance to proofread.

Get Awesome in Your Email Content

None of us want to spend time on emails that ultimately don’t get opened (boring headline) or get opened but lead to no action (boring content).

For truly awesome email content, your focus must be first on an engaging subject line, then on relevant and attention-grabbing content which is followed by an effective CTA. See more great email practices.

When we combine these practices with a focus on sending at the right time and on the best day, we can be on our way to crafting high-quality email content that everyone will want to share and be a part of.

Need help writing fantastic email content? Check out our email copywriting services!

The Marketer’s Nutshell Guide to Effective Email Copywriting

It’s time. You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect email.

You’ve agonized over the words you’ve included, written and re-written every sentence, and considered your reader at every fork of the road.

You give the work of art you’ve just crafted one last read-through, then you take a deep breath and click “send.”

You close your laptop. Your work there is done.

A few days later, though, you check out the stats for that work of art you were so proud of and they’re, well, disappointing.

How could this possibly be?

If you’ve ever found yourself in these shoes, don’t fret. This is a very common problem, and many marketers struggle to figure out why the content they work so hard on isn’t as effective as they thought it would be.

Luckily, you’re not doomed to live in this place of email marketing limbo forever. By learning the keys to stellar direct email copywriting, you can craft outstanding marketing emails that rake in the clicks, opens, and conversions.

Read on to learn more.

email copywriting guide

Great Direct Email Copywriting: The Basics

While many people brush off direct email copywriting as a skill that died along with the early 2000s, the fact is that it’s still very, very relevant in today’s marketing environment.

While email marketing might not have the universal appeal of social media or podcasting, it’s still far too important to overlook, and marketers that do find themselves missing out on a large segment of traffic and engagement.

If you’re one of the many people who wonder what’s so great about email marketing, here are a few of its most winning qualities:

#1. Direct email marketing is effective and cost-efficient

While every company wants a cheap, efficient marketing strategy they can count on, this is especially important for, small business owners, who are always looking for efficient marketing solutions that will provide results on time and under budget. Luckily, email marketing fits the bill.

According to one 2013 report conducted by Direct Marketing Association, marketers who use direct email marketing earn a 4,3000% ROI.

How’s that for incentive?

#2. Email marketing provides real value

Every day, customers around the world take time out of their busy schedules to read through the emails that land in their inbox. Unfortunately, many of these emails are junk. Luckily, marketers who master direct email copywriting can set themselves apart from the crowd by providing real value to readers.

According to CopyBlogger, brands that are truly successful at direct email marketing are those who position themselves as companies truly concerned about the happiness and well-being of their readers.

This, in turn, helps readers feel as if they can trust your brand, which makes them more willing to share personal information and convert on your offers.

#3. Email marketing opens up a reliable line of communication with customers

Where else do you get unparalleled access to your customer’s pocket or inbox? Nowhere but email marketing, that’s the answer. When you provide valuable, unique, and interesting direct email copywriting, you succeed in opening up a valuable dialogue with clients, the likes of which isn’t seen anywhere else in marketing.

#4. Email marketing is a powerful tool for word-of-mouth and shares

According to DuctTape Marketing, quality content is one of the only things that will produce reliable sales results every time. With this in mind, it’s clear that people who master the art of direct email copywriting are uniquely qualified to make more sales and produce more positive word-of-mouth advertising within their customer base.

Despite all of these benefits, many people are afraid of writing marketing emails, assuming it will be challenging or unproductive. Luckily, crafting good email copy doesn’t have to be a challenge. With that in mind, check out our top tips for writing effective marketing emails your customers will love.

10 Steps to Craft Stellar Email Copy That Can’t Be Ignored

If you’re ready to incorporate great email marketing into your content strategy, follow these ten steps:

1. Remain relatable in all of your marketing copy

Let’s get one thing straight: nobody wants to read a stuffy marketing email. Would you?

Of course the answer is no.

That’s why it’s so important to keep your voice relatable and approachable in your direct email copywriting. Here are three good examples of brands I love that do just that:

Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday email always feels like grabbing a quick coffee with a friend. It’s approachable, casual, and informative. Which may be why it has a few million subscribers:

tim ferriss email

Another blogger who has always done a great job of maintaining a relatable approach is Mark Manson. Here’s one of his most recent marketing emails that decidedly does not feel like a marketing email:

Mark Manson Email

Finally, for reference, here’s a marketing email from GroupHigh, an influencer marketing startup that always kills it with the copywriting:

GroupHigh Screenshot

With those examples in mind, strive to keep your email copywriting in the same tone that you’d use to talk with a friend. It will benefit you in terms of conversions, clicks, and engagement down the road.

2. Personalize your emails as much as possible

A personalized email is a successful email, so take steps to make them as individualized as possible. This often means using your reader’s name in the subject line, using your name as the “From” address, and inputting a personal email as the “Reply to” address rather than allowing it to fill in with an auto-generated email from MailChimp or whatever service you use.

While personalization may not seem like a big deal, Aberdeen reports that personalizing an email can improve click-through rates by 10%.

3. Make clarity your main priority

Too many marketers try to be too gimmicky in their email copy, which only drives users away. Instead of focusing only on hooking your readers, think first about how you can provide clarity and value.

Once you’ve got those two things down, you can move onto being catchy.

4. Write a compelling email subject line

When it comes to email marketing, subject lines are critical. By using action words, posing a question, or personalizing the subject line (which results in a 26% spike in open rates), you can ensure that your email copy won’t be left sitting at the bottom of a trash bin.

5. Make sure you’re delivering on your promises

If you promise free tips, useful information, or shocking data in your email subject line, you need to deliver in your body content. While most people assume that being catchy in the subject line is all that matters, even users who open your emails will head for the hills if the body content doesn’t support the claims the subject line makes.

6. Write in the second person voice

Whenever you write email copy, everything you pen should be in the second person. Notice how all three of the examples listed above use “you” liberally. In addition to helping you connect with your readers, this is also a great way to drive the reader to action.

7. Stress the benefits, not the features

In email, as in all great marketing, you need to focus on stressing the benefits rather than the features of your product. In addition to the fact that features are more compelling than benefits, telling a story about how a service, good, or product will change a consumer’s life is much more emotive than simply including a bulleted list of features.

8. Keep your email brief

Few people have the attention span for a long marketing email, so it’s in your best interests to keep it short, succinct, and to the point. Offer relevant information toward the beginning of the email and resist the temptation to stuff the body full of filler language.

9. Make your call-to-action prominent

To enhance the effectiveness of your call to action, highlight it at the end of the email. Be sure to set it apart from the text, consider tinting it a different color, and install a button for added effect. While these are simple fixes, they can go a long way toward improving the effectiveness of your email across the board.

10. Automate your marketing emails with better management tools

While not technically a writing tip, automating your emails with the right management tool will save you a huge amount of time and money.

Services like MailChimp have long been the standard, but today more powerful tools like ConvertKit are beginning to rule the roost.

ConvertKit is a tool we use in our email campaigns here at Express Writers, and it has rapidly become one of the most indispensable in our belt. In fact, as soon as we switched to ConvertKit we saw a whopping 200% increase in the clicks on our emails!

While ConvertKit is a super-efficient tool for sending better emails, it’s much more than that. What sets ConvertKit apart is its highly responsive opt-in forms, multiple incentive options, subscriber gifts, custom opt-in features, and custom landing page options.

Plus, they’re known for the awesome reporting tools you get. Check out our dashboard, with a report detailing everywhere our subscribers came from, what days they came in, etc:


ConvertKit is based on simplicity. They believe that less HTML, links, imagery and “stuff” makes sure your email gets read and out of the spam folder – and they’re onto something, based on our email results! However, that does mean you don’t have a lot of options in designing an email. But, the simple template we’ve been using works well.

Here’s a quick peek of ours:

convertkit broadcast

You can customize text colors with a handy visual editor, add custom CSS codes for social media icons and more, or create and host a landing page and forms. You can even grab their WordPress plugin for more accessibility with subscribers to and from your website.

Ideal for brands of all sizes who want to boost the conversion rate of their email marketing, ConvertKit is by far one of the best tools on the market right now. Get ConvertKit here: starting at $29/1000 subscribers per month.

Better Direct Email Copywriting Starts Now

By the end of this year, experts are projecting there to be 4.3 billion active email accounts around the globe.

This is a huge number, and it’s just one of the many things that demonstrates the importance and timeliness of email marketing.

On average, 57% of email subscribers interact with marketing emails for 10-60 minutes each week, and if you can master direct email copywriting well enough, you’ll soon find that your brand is one of the few they choose to spend their time with.

While direct email copywriting is a difficult thing to learn, the tips in our post can help you develop, target, produce, and dispense marketing emails that truly drive results–rather than just sitting in someone’s inbox.

And while connecting with customers in a meaningful and lasting way has always been a difficult pursuit, email marketing is one of the most efficient ways to make it happen in today’s world. Today, 83% of B2B marketers use emails for marketing, and that number will only grow in the coming years.

By developing a copywriting style that brands you as personable, polite, and engaging, you can easily connect on a deeper level with your customers and improve your brand across the board.

Stumped on how to create powerful email headlines and copy? Our email copywriting services might be just what you need! We’ve written successful email content for brands of all types.

Email Marketing Tips for 2016

15 Hot Email Marketing Tips For 2016

Right now, more than 144 billion emails are sent each day.

In light of that, it may seem unlikely that anyone who does email marketing is ever going to get noticed. Fortunately, this isn’t true.

Get your free PDF, 25 Proven Email Subject Lines for Your Email Marketing.

There are several fundamental tried-and-true ways to win at email marketing you can apply this New Year to start boosting your email marketing ROI. Keep reading.

Email Marketing Tips for 2016

15 Key Ways to Win At Your Email Marketing This 2016

Here are a few sure ways to help you get started sending out great emails this year.

1) Think about prime send times

Depending upon your unique subscriber list, content, and company, you’ll have a prime send time that varies from everyone else’s. According to an email report by Experian Marketing Services, most emails performed best when sent between 8:00 p.m. and midnight. This block of emails boasted a 22% open rate and a higher-than-normal clickthrough and sales rate.

These results may be on account of inbox crowding: if you send your email While this is a great baseline to start from, it’s important to remember that each company’s prime send time will vary, so it’s important to look into your analytics to find your best sending time.

2) Give something away

People love free stuff and it’s just as true in email marketing as it is anywhere else. Recently, Bluewire Media ran a test on their 6,300 email subscribers. They were wondering which types of content earned the highest click and conversion rates. What they found was, overwhelmingly, that emails giving away templates and tools were opened at a much higher rate.

For example:

Download your free copy of 25 Proven Email Subject Lines for Your Email Marketing

To get more engagement from your customers and produce higher levels of conversions for your company, offer to give something away every now and again. Whether it’s a template or an eBook, freebies keep your users interested and help you produce great email marketing results throughout the new year.

3) Optimize for mobile

We can’t say enough about this. Mobile is a huge deal right now and if your email marketing content isn’t optimized for mobile platforms, you’re missing out. Mobile traffic makes up 47% of the average email open rate. That said, it’s hugely important to make sure that everything you send out via email looks and performs great on a mobile phone.

This means converting your content to one column templates, increasing font size to make it more readable on a small screen, ensuring that buttons are at least 44 pixels x 44 pixels, and making CTA buttons obvious (above the fold) and easy to click (by placing them in the middle of the screen).

4) Make use of weekends

Earlier we talked a bit about your prime send times but what about your prime send days? According to the aforementioned Experian study, emails sent on Saturday and Sunday outperformed emails sent on weekdays. That said, consider whether sending your marketing emails on the weekends is something that will work for your clients and company.

5) Keep your whole list active

Say you have a list of 1,500 email subscribers. Great! The problem is that only a portion of that list is likely to be active. In fact, some studies have found that most lists have an inactivity rate of 63%. That said, in order to make the most of your email list, you’ll have to figure out a way to engage the entire list rather than just a portion. One of the most effective ways to do this is through what marketers call a “Re-engagement campaign.”

Re-engagement campaigns look a little different for every marketer, but essentially they involve testing different subject lines to find out which ones earn the highest open and click rates from the highest portion of your list. Keep in mind, though, that any re-engagement campaign you run should offer value, as well. Once that inactive 63% of your list clicks an email, they’re going to want to see something good.

6) Write to one person

Nobody wants to be just one person in a crowd of subscribers, so help your readers feel unique by writing every email as if you were writing to them and them alone. This approach makes your emails more personal and provides a higher level of value for every reader.

7) Be respectful

Remember how we said earlier that 144 billion emails are sent every day? Most consumers feel like all of them wind up in their personal inboxes. For this reason, it’s hugely important to be respectful of your readers’ time. To put this another way: don’t spam anyone. Spam is one of the quickest ways to get yourself booted from the inbox and companies that don’t send spam are generally more well-regarded by their customers.

That said, only write an email when you have something valuable to say and be careful to get to the point as quickly as possible. This will keep you in your customers’ good graces and allow you to maintain your inbox privileges.

8) Remind your readers that they’re not alone

Why do people sign up for email lists? To get great content, information, and offers. But what’s one of the easiest things marketers can do to ensure that their readers are anxiously awaiting the next email?

The answer is simple: remind readers that you’re on their side. This takes a variety of different forms, including polling readers for content ideas, offering surveys, letting readers know you sympathize with their struggles, and then offering them actionable solutions to deal with them. This tip should pervade your content and, when done correctly, can take your emails from “blah” to “wow!”

9) Reward readers

So you’ve got a faithful list of readers. How do you keep them that way? You give them a reward! By rewarding your readers for faithfully opening your emails, you inspire them to continue doing so in the future. Rewards can be anything from access to a super-secret sale to insider info, industry tips, or inspirational content that’s not shared anywhere else.

10) Make use of power words

When you get 20 emails an hour, nothing much stands out. Until, that is, you see a subject line that includes emotive, exciting power words. Incorporating sensory phrases into your email marketing can go a long way toward improving your open rate and ensuring that your emails are well-received by readers.

11) Keep headlines simple

If your readers have to puzzle over the meaning of your email headline, they’re going to hit “Delete” in no time. Trust us on this one – when it comes to email marketing, the simple path is almost always the right one. Emails shouldn’t be brain twisters – they should simply provide valuable information in a quickly digestible package. Enough said.

12) Automate it

One of the easiest ways to make email marketing easier for you is to automate it. Services like MailChimp and Constant Contact both offer automated email marketing with simple drag-and-drop template layouts. Utilizing an automated service like this can help ensure that your emails get out when they need to as well as giving you a place to monitor your analytics.

13) Make the most of your CTAs

If you’re going to include CTAs in your email, they need to be clear, concise, and compelling. You should be telling your readers exactly what you want them to do and reminding them what they’ll get if they do. CTAs aren’t platforms for guesswork and when you lay it out clearly for your subscribers, you’re likely to produce better results.

14) Keep body copy short

You’re writing an email, not a novel. Long, bulky, text-dense emails are going to lose your readers’ interest in a hurry, so you’re best off keeping your body copy short and concise. The next time you edit your email, challenge yourself to cut your body copy in half before you send the email out. This will distil your points to the most important ones and ensure that your readers are getting only the information they need.

15) Be natural

Now more than ever, consumers want to interact with authentic marketers and companies. To help this come through in your email marketing, avoid using strict formulas, be conversational in your tone, and ensure that you’re interacting with your readers like you would interact with real people. This will help make your emails something readers look forward to.

Download your free PDF, 25 Proven Email Subject Lines for Your Email Marketing.


When done right, email marketing can be more effective than other types of marketing, including social media marketing. To get it right, though, you’ll need to keep these 15 tips in mind. Doing these things ensures that you’re sending valuable, exciting, actionable emails that your readers will love to engage with.

15 of the Hottest Email Newsletters & Why They Are So Successful

Alecs is our Client Accounts Manager and a ten-year-veteran copywriter.

Email newsletters have been around for a long time, as a successful means of helping businesses communicate with their customers.

When email introduced a new dimension to the traditional newsletter, it instantly became more marketable in the twenty-first century.

Not all newsletters are great, entertaining reads, however. As someone who enjoys reading and learning from what I read, a newsletter gives me a valuable resource. Sadly not many companies that create newsletters do that with information in mind.

Be inspired from the greats.

Developing a Great Email Newsletter: 15 Keys to the Castle

One of the key things about creating a great newsletter is that the information contained therein should be mostly informative. The content in your newsletter is an extension of the content that you create for your blog or website. This content has to be entertaining and engaging. Newsletters that don’t perform as well as they should forget this one overarching idea: that content is value and value is what sells.

Let’s take a look at some of the more impressive email newsletters that have managed to make their way (and keep making their way) into my inbox.

the skimm1. The Skimm: Having information given to you in easily readable, bite-sized chunks is the aim of most content marketing. Less is more, since content seems to be downsizing. The Skimm builds a newsletter that embraces this trend by giving you all the news you need to know about in short, concise bursts. You don’t even need to click out of the email to be fully informed about what’s going on. As a newsletter, it brings immense value to the table in a nice, simple, clean layout that doesn’t distract from the story elements of the news. The stories make for viable inspiration for your own blog posts as well.

2. This newsletter tries to fit into a number of molds at the same and time and manages to do so pretty well surprisingly. As a newsletter that is designed to “put people at the center of their work”, they have a wide and varied audience. Their unique combination of short, medium and long form content appeals to their different demographics really efficiently. This allows their newsletter to be properly organized without seeming confusing at all. When you’re trying to hit such a wide audience, that in itself is a task, but this newsletter accomplishes it easily.

3. Food Safety Update: A B2B email newsletter doesn’t need a flashy title and Food Safety Update’s title is relatively bland. When you take a look at their layout and content, however, you realize that the title is misleading. The content is organized into easily digestible chunks that are well-labeled, ensuring that you can find what you’re looking to read up on. Interspersed throughout the journal are thumbnails that help to break up the text and add flavor to the layout itself. Handy social sharing options allow for easy dissemination of articles you like and unsubscribing is pretty simple as well, although after you’ve read it you’d wonder why anyone would want to.

kleon-200pxx14. Austin Kleon: Minimalistic design has always been something that appeals to a lot of modern users. Austin Kleon’s newsletter goes into the minimalist design with great intentions and manages to be successful with its mix of simple design and informative writing. The thing that is most impressive about it is the tone. Reading this newsletter has a quaint, almost homey feel. It’s almost like getting a letter from a friend you haven’t seen in a while. This is probably the most impressive accomplishment of this newsletter, making the publication seem more human.

5. Litmus: Named after the chemical testing paper, this email marketing testing company has a newsletter that is unique in its design. Swathes of color are used to break up the sections into easily readable bits. You never feel as though you’re staring at a field of monotony with the color scheme. The colors are muted and give the sense of a background without being too outstanding to distract you from what you’re reading. The content is interesting as you would expect from a marketing testing company, and it’s definitely one you should look into if marketing and analytics are your thing.

6. NoshOn.It: If you’ve ever tried making something from a recipe book and the book doesn’t have a helpful, full-color picture of what it’s supposed to turn out as, you’ll realize the struggles of many aspiring foodies out there. NoshOn.It is a newsletter that is designed for foodies and gives them helpful hints along with recipes and included pictures to help their readers visualize what they’re creating. Combining them with simple red text-boxes that stand out over the images and announce what it is you’re looking at helps readers to go directly to the section they’re looking for. Innovative design, to say the least, and quite useful for someone who cooks.

7. InterDrone News: Since drones became commercially available, there’s no shortage of people willing to throw a few bucks at them. InterDrone news is a pretty informative newsletter that encapsulates information about commercial and industrial uses of drones. As is to be expected from a B2B newsletter, its design is simple but effective. The entries are easy to read and give you all the important information about drones and their usage. If you’re a drone owner or are just curious about how this new technology benefits us overall, this is a pretty good addition to your reading list.

8. Very Short List (VSL): The idea behind VSL is simple in its premise, but powerful in its delivery. What Very Short List does is give you a selection of three “cultural gems” every day into your inbox. These gems differ from day to day as does the style and variety of the pieces. This is because VSL tasks a different contributor each day with doing the editing and compilation of their newsletter daily. This ensures that their content is always fresh, and that it might differ vastly from one day to another. VSL’s design is fun and playful as is to be expected from a blog that is fluid in its content style and delivery.

9. NextDraft: Another minimalist production, NextDraft gives you insight into a variety of topics without being too overbearing on presentation. The content delivery is simple, concise and effective. Social sharing opportunities abound throughout each of the pieces that make up the newsletter making it easy to get it out to your friends. NextDraft utilizes social media to grow its readership and with good reason. It’s one of the most effective ways of attracting people who like to read these types of articles to sign up to his mailing list. Simple design and informative news make a killer combination when it comes to a newsletter.



10. Hacker Newsletter: No, it’s not a newsletter for hackers. They don’t utilize this type of medium.
Hacker newsletter is a curation of the most interesting social media stories that is delivered daily to your inbox. The simple design can be misleading because the information it contains is informative. It’s a no-fluff newsletter, but uses sections to its benefit by breaking up potentially confusing stories and arranging them in a way that makes sense. It’s quite a lot more entertaining than trying to find out what’s going on over at Twitter by simply searching hashtags and far more efficient at delivering that information in a readable way to you too.

11. Chemical Processing Weekly: You tend to notice after a while that B2B newsletters are not very imaginative when it comes to titles. But in a professional publication, you have less creative freedom with your title. Chemical Processing Weekly makes up for the bland title with writing that’s definitely not what you’d think you’d find in a newsletter like this. The tone is friendly and cordial and makes you want to read more, even if you’re not into chemical process plants. Polls and reader questions help to build engagement with the audience and the writing is very well done, building your interest in the topic but staying true to its scientific roots. It’s not often you find a scientific writing enterprise that appeals to the layman.

12. Muck Rack Daily: In journalism, a “muckraker” is someone who digs up dirt on public figures in muckrackorder to raise circulation of a newspaper or magazine. Muck Rack is certainly not that. The writing is fun and witty, and the tone is casual. It invites you to read more and the design is well put together, making reading easy. Bold headers separate sections so that you don’t have to worry about facing a wall of text. It’s simple yet effective at engaging the audience, and the information it presents is delivered with just the right amount of humor to make it readable.

13. General Assembly: Professionals that want to expand their skill sets should look into General Assembly as a newsletter to subscribe to. The header is entertaining with a simple GIF at the top to attract attention. Normally, when you see a GIF in a newsletter you usually prepare yourself for an onslaught of them throughout the publication. Gladly, you don’t encounter those in General Assembly. Rather the design is minimalist and gives you a content in a format that is easily scannable. Since this is a newsletter designed for professionals, being scannable is one of the major things that it must cater to since the core audience doesn’t have that much time to spend on sifting through newsletters. It’s an impressive publication nonetheless.

14. SD Times Featured Resources: If you’re a software developer, you must know how hard it is to get relevant information about what’s going on in the industry. SD Times caters to a niche by developing informative articles that address a lot of the issues within the industry. Strangely for a B2B newsletter the design is both and artistic. The calls to action are easily located at the bottom of the snippet for easy following. The layout of the whole newsletter is well done and the content is both appealing and relevant to the industry.

medium15. Medium: Medium is a blogging platform that came out in 2012. From the initial launch it has steadily grown momentum, providing informative articles and opinion posts on news, views and issues that affect a number of different industries. The newsletter they send is a compilation of some of the best posts on the Medium network and more often than not you’ll find yourself reading at least a few Medium posts per day. The minimalistic design is highlighted by the different colors and section division to give a feeling that you’re reading a more substantial publication. It’s simple, scannable and doesn’t hit you with information overload. What else could you ask for from a newsletter?

Your Email Newsletters and Outreach

Why should a company invest in a newsletter? The answer is simple. A newsletter gives you marketability. It helps you to be more prominent to people who want to read your content. Most of all, it allows you to develop a rapport with your core audience. Email marketing is alive and well in the twenty first century, but the face of how it interacts with the user has changed. Newsletters that are professionally designed take center stage with layout elements being as important to the email newsletter as it is to the blog or website.

Ideally, the email newsletter is a medium through which you can bring more readers in to your blog or site. More than one of those I’ve mentioned have easy sharing options for their articles and posts. The aim here is to reach out to the people that exist on social media and that find these kinds of posts interesting. By opening up your content to a wider audience you might even get more subscribers which turns into more views for you and a higher level of authority when it comes to Google.

At the end of the day, email newsletters can do wonders for spreading awareness about your site, but only if done the right way.

See our email product in our Content Shop.

setting up blog and email

How To Set Up A Successful Blog Email Subscription To Engage Your Reader Base

If you run a blog, one of the most important things you can do to boost your reader base is to add a blog email subscription so readers can keep up with your flow of blogging.

By sending regular subscriber emails directly to your readers’ personal email inboxes, you can ensure that you stay on the forefront of their minds, even after they’ve left your blog’s home page.

setting up blog and email

Time to get your blog hooked up to the power of it’s very own email subscription. Learn how here.

5 Steps to A Great Blog Email Subscription Setup

Fortunately, adding a blog email subscription is easy and can be completed in a series of easy steps:

1) Find a Subscription Service You Like

There are many free or low-cost email subscription services available to blog owners, the most popular of which is probably MailChimp. MailChimp offers blog owners a way to automate and personalize their blog’s subscriber emails and gives blog owners control over when the email is sent.

The service is available in both paid and free versions and the paid version offers convenient analytics that can help blog owners understand exactly how each email they send is performing.

Additionally, MailChimp allows users to access cool features like send time optimization, which allows users to send an email within 24 hours of a selected delivery date based upon engagement data for a specific list of followers.

Other features include a “discover” feature, which allows blow owners to build new subscriber lists, and the Twitter Tailored Audiences feature, which allows blog owners to target and mail to their Twitter followers.

For those who prefer to use a different email subscription service, applications like Constant Contact, AWeber, Vertical Response and Campaign Monitor will work well. Once you’ve found a service you like, install the needed Widget on your blog and get to work on deciding how exactly you want your subscriber form to look.

2) Decide on a Format

Regardless of which subscriber service you choose to use, you will still have to decide how you want to form to appear to your followers.

One of the most popular formats is the popup opt-in form. Unlike many popups, which open in separate windows, opt-in popups appear in the same window as the webpage you’re visiting. These popups can be timed to appear 10, 15, or even 30 seconds after a visitor has been engaged with your content and often result in high sign-up numbers.

An alternative to the plain popup is the smart lightbox popup. Unlike an opt-in popup, a smart lightbox popup appears right before a user is about to leave a page. These popups have been shown to result in many more new email subscribers than other types of popups.

If popups aren’t your thing, consider other high-converting formats like feature boxes, which ask a user to enter an email address before moving on to the featured piece of content, sidebar boxes, which simply provide a stationary place for people to enter an email address and header boxes, which are often known as Hello Bars, and serve to grab visitor attention and provide a platform for thinks like “click here: wording and redirections to other pages of your blog site.

3) Diversify

Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to pick one email subscriber format and stick with it. Blogs that see the highest conversion rates generally employ more than one subscriber form and you should, too.

Insert a Hello Bar to grab reader attention and a few feature boxes on your best pieces of content. Install a smart lightbox popup to grab readers as they leave and place a stationary sign-up form in the sidebar of your site.

Although this might seem excessive, the best way to get people to sign up for your email list is to give them plenty of easy opportunities to do so and providing several different subscriber forms allows readers to pick the one they’re the most comfortable with.

Additionally, placing several forms around your site will help you analyze your site traffic and determine which forms are drawing the most subscriptions.

4) Place a Box at the Bottom of Your Content

Imagine that a reader has just landed at your site and read a piece of content that they loved. Doesn’t it make sense to offer them a subscriber form right then and there? Placing a subscription form at the bottom of your blog content can go a long way toward increasing email subscribers and encouraging more reader interaction.

Additionally, doing this will help you get an idea of how many people are signing up after reading specific pieces of content rather than just landing at your site. Most email subscription services have easy copy-and-paste options for inserting footer signup forms, so this can be easily be done after every blog post you write.

5) Write High-Converting Sign-Up Copy (CTA)

It’s not enough to simply have a sign-up box (or even several of them) if your readers simply aren’t interested in entering their emails. In order for readers to want to give you their emails, you’ve got to give them something of value. Relevance and incentives are king, here. For many readers considering signing up “free updates” just means “I’m going to spam your inbox.”

In order to add a blog email subscription and really get readers to subscribe, promise them something valuable, by saying something like “Enter your email address to receive your free eBook.” Offering incentives like how-to videos, podcasts, free Q&A’s or exclusive content can really boost your sign-up rates, as this image from contentverve proves:

content verve

Free tips, tricks, articles or how-to’s are much more enticing to subscribers than spammy content and it’s important to offer your subscribers something of value in order to receive something of value (their personal email addresses) from them.

Why Everyone Else is Using Blog Email Subscriber Forms – And You Should, Too

Email subscriber forms are one of the most effective ways for bloggers to build their email list and implementing a subscriber form can spell huge success for your blog. Add a blog email subscription and exponentially grow your reader base.

Email subscriber forms come in many shapes, sizes and formats and can be completely personalized to advertise your product, service or incentives to your readers. By adding an email subscription to your blog, you expand your subscription list and gain valuable access to an important content marketing advantage: consistent readers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

We’re using it, too, see it below this post? 😉

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How to Write Emails That Will Astound Your Readers

Writing emails seems like an easy task, for some.

For those of us who actually care that our emails get read, there are rules to live by, unfortunately.

There are tips on how to write emails that will ultimately get our message across to our readers. And when we say across, we mean that they will digest every bit of the content of our emails and not just the parts that strike them.

Read more