Email marketing is a quintessential element for a successful marketing plan – yes, even in 2020.
Email is convenient, a direct line of contact, and not super intrusive in our lives. That’s why some prefer email communications from businesses. (What!)
It’s true. 91% of shoppers actually want to hear from companies they do business with via email.
Actually, we’re a touch addicted. According to Campaign Monitor, at least 50% of Americans (in the survey) checked their email 10 times yesterday.
Those stats are pretty crazy, and they drive home one very important point: Content matters in email marketing.
It’s not enough just to send a pretty email to your readers. Literally everyone is doing that.
You’ve got to entice, enthrall, and leave them eagerly waiting for more.
A good email marketing content writer can help you do just that.
Ever wonder what our writers’ secret sauce is for dropping bombshell email copy? Here are all the beans spilled – all you need to provide is the elbow grease. Enjoy.
Do I Need a Writer for My Email Campaign? The 5 Ultimate Secrets for Powerful Email Copy (From an Email Writer) – Table of Contents
The Nitty Gritty of Email Types
- Value-Focused Emails
- Sales/Offer Emails
The 5 Ultimate Secrets for Writing Strong Value-Focused and Sales Emails
1. Nail That First Impression
2. Get Real, Get Personal
3. Keep It Simple, Snappy
4. Get Smart About Spam
5. Give the Reader Just One Thing to DoIf you're asking yourself, 'Do I need a writer for my email campaign?' The answer might be already in the question. If you're not sure, check out these 5 qualities powerful email copy should have. Click To Tweet
But First… The Nitty Gritty of Email Types
In many ways, emails are simple… but they’re oh, so deceptively simple.
If you’ve spent time studying some of the email marketing content samples out there, you might get the impression that it’s all about snappy, hip language.
Don’t make the mistake of hammering out some clever sass and firing it off to your readers. You’ll look a little clueless, if not juvenile.
Before you put those fingers to the keyboard to unleash your creative genius, take a moment to figure out exactly what type of email you’re writing.
There are two main types. Each serves a different purpose, and each will have an impact on how you craft your copy.
First, Build Positive Associations with Value-Focused Emails
Value-focused emails are interesting, informative, useful emails that alert your readers to something that’s worthwhile for them to know. That may be a new case study, educational content, or a roundup of your blog’s best content of the month.
Whatever it is, these emails focus solely on giving your readers something they’ll genuinely enjoy reading.
They’re what you should be mostly sending out to people.
Think of value-focused emails like a form of social capital. Just like you wouldn’t constantly ask your friends and colleagues for favors, you don’t want to constantly ask your readers for their money.
Remember, your readers get a lot of emails every day, from all sorts of sources. (Campaign Monitor estimates that the number of consumer emails sent and received per day is around 117.7 billion.) To win your way into your readers’ inboxes and good graces, you’ve got to show them that you’re not in there just to hassle them into buying something. Otherwise, they’ll hit unsubscribe.
Or worse, just mark you as spam and drive up that dreaded spam rate.
Emails like this one from Publix get readers excited through the use of delectable visuals and well-written, useful information. Source: Really Good Emails
Then, Spark Joy with Sales and Offer Emails
Sales and offer emails are where that selling magic happens – when they’re properly timed and worded.
These are the emails that will alert your readers to new sales, product offerings or anything else you’re selling.
Remember your Psych 101 class? The value-focused emails will prime your audience to expect good things when they see your name pop into their inbox. So, when that offer email appears, your readers will see your name and the subject line before they see the email content.
That’s called classical conditioning, and its effects are well-known in advertising. If you’ve been nailing your value-focused emails, you’ll already have an audience eagerly waiting on the edge of their seat for your next communiqué.
You won’t need to be pushy, or salesy, because your audience is already primed.
Voilà! Conversions.What types of email should you be sending? Start building positive associations by creating value-focused emails and then, spark joy with sales and offer emails. Learn more about these two types in this post by @JuliaEMcCoy! Click To Tweet
Pro Tip: Use the 3:1 Rule of Thumb
People don’t enjoy feeling like they’re being advertised to and sending too many sales emails is an excellent way to make them feel like that. Therefore, follow the Three to One Rule of Thumb: for every sale email, send three value-focused emails first.
You’ll avoid that dreaded high bounce or spam rate, getting you pushed deeper into the advertising slush pile that is the Promo Tab.
This sales-focused email funnels readers to Freshly. Note the price anchoring, the placement of a lower price next to a higher price to lowkey make the actual price look better. Source: Really Good Emails⚠️ Remember the 3:1 rule of thumb for sending emails: For every sale/offer email, send 3 value-focused emails first. ⚠️ Click To Tweet
Email Marketing Content Bootcamp: The 5 Ultimate Secrets for Strong Value-Focused and Sales Emails
Now that you’ve got an idea of what type of email you’re actually writing, it’s time to roll up those sleeves.
Wondering how marketing gurus craft those irresistible emails that are a treat to read?
There’s actually a science to them. (Sort of.) Here are the six most powerful tricks you can deploy in your email content writing to amplify conversions in both types of emails. With pictures!
(Need a refresher on how to do email marketing? Check this out.)
1. Nail That First Impression
First impressions are everything – especially when you’ve got exactly 2.7 seconds to make one.
When that email hits your readers’ inbox, they’ll see three things first: your subject line, your name, and the preview text – the first 85 to 100 characters of your email.
Exploit these features to their fullest potential.
First, your name. Want people to take you seriously? Put a professional name in the “from” tab. Don’t list something that sounds like a spam or a scammer.
Then, your subject line. Your subject line will decide whether or not your email even gets opened. There are a lot of different guides out there – including one that I wrote specifically for this purpose.
For value-focused emails, emphasize what the reader is getting. Make it short, sweet, and eye-catching. Use emojis – they’ll make a difference!
For sales emails, evoke a sense of urgency. Words or phrases like “exclusive,” “still time,” and “today only” increase opens by inciting your reader to act.
Our writers use CoSchedule’s Subject Line Analyzer. It helps.
Finally, your preview text. If your subject line catches an eye, that eye will move to the preview text. Use this to hook your audience’s curiosity.
You want them to wonder how the sentence ends.
In value-focused emails, try playing with interesting facts where the kicker is obscured just past the break off. For sales emails, consider emphasizing a pain point that you know your readers experience. In both cases, they’ll want the answer, and they’ll open your email to find out.
Which email headline in this inbox attracts the eye first, and why?
2. Get Real, Get Personal
Authenticity matters. Some 86% of all consumers say they want to do business with a brand that is authentic.
Conveying authenticity is one of the most powerful things you can do to inspire rapport in your email marketing.
In a value-focused email, creating that authenticity should be among your prime objectives. You’ll accomplish that by:
- Using reader-focused language: Use “you” and “your” when writing. Right now, you’re focusing on your readers and you should reflect that consistently.
- Sharing reader commentary or stories: Are people interacting with your emails, blog, or social media? Fantastic! Get permission to share those things in your next email to reflect your awareness of your readers.
- Inviting interaction. Warmly invite your readers to respond to your emails – and make a point of following up with them! You are interested in what they have to say.
In a sales email, you’ll want to stay real. And while you can get personal, do so with care. You may risk coming off sappy or inauthentic, especially if readers think you’re only doing so to sell something. Some tactics that might work include:
- Testimonials or reader success stories: These can help solidify credibility.
- Solution-oriented language: You’re solving a problem that readers have, which is why they need your product or service. Stress benefits, not features.
- Make only provable claims: Beware of reader expectations. While text that offers to solve a problem once and for all may sound good, it also sets up a scenario where someone might feel let down if you fail to deliver. Don’t violate your reader’s trust by making exaggerated claims.
Personal touches like testimonials improve authenticity and credibility. Source: Really Good Emails
3. Keep It Simple, Snappy
Keep your copy smart – ain’t nobody got time to read Gone With the Wind in an email.
Our writers keep emails at 400 words or less. Any more than that and you’re risking eye-glazing, disengagement, and exile to the spam folder. In both emails:
- Put your most important info first: Got something you’re dying to get seen? Position it prominently so readers see it.
- Speak your readers’ language: Unless you’re writing for a segment already in the know, don’t use overly technical jargon or big words that will confuse people. Explain it in plain English.
- Break things up: Don’t send along a wall of text. Use paragraphs, bullet points, and headings where appropriate, then support eye movement with good design.
In value-focused emails:
- Write TL;DR versions of articles and provide a link to the full thing. Don’t rehash the entire post. The phrase “Read More” is your friend.
In sales emails:
- Focus on the flow: Make sure your words flow well together. Don’t drop a bunch of one-liners and a link to your e-commerce site. That will float like lead.
Struggling to keep it short, sweet, and punchy? Pictures are still worth 1,000 words. Source: Really Good Emails
4. Get Smart About Spam Triggers
Even if you’ve nailed your subject line, have a professional name in the From box, and aren’t sending out an excessive number of emails, there are still plenty of ways for your emails to wind up in the spam folder.
Putting all that hard work into an email copy only to say the wrong thing and get flagged as spam would really blow, yeah?
Before you hit send, double-check that your copy doesn’t contain a smattering of spam trigger words. They’re a big no-no in subject lines, but some marketers like OptinMonster are starting to report that spam triggers activate if they’re in the body, too.
Then, double-check your copy for these spammy traits:
- All caps: All caps on the internet is SHOUTING. Definitely don’t do it in your email subject line and use extreme caution in your copy.
- Misleading headings or subject lines. It’s actually illegal to intentionally mislead readers with your subject line. Doing so in your copy headings will also inspire confusion and distrust.
- A lack of transparency features. Make sure you’ve got a physical address (a PO box is fine), unsubscribe link, and valid contact information. If that’s not included in your email’s design, it will need to be in the body.
These emails came from the spam folder of the same account above. Notice that some of the senders are the same as above. What are they doing wrong in these emails?
5. Give the Reader Just One Thing to Do
Many emails have CTAs – you’ve gotta have one if you want your readers to convert. However, the CTA in email copy is a little different from a CTA in content.
In content writing, your CTA comes after the content, and often functions like a thoughtful addendum – but the real focus is the content itself.
In email writing, your entire copy should revolve around your CTA.
Your CTA is the reason you’re writing your email. It’s the focusing element.
Whether you’re writing a value-focused or sales email, make your CTA clear, place it centrally, and emphasize one action.
Use simple words that evoke the fear of missing out.
What are some good CTAs? That depends. For value-focused emails, you might consider a CTA that:
- Encourages the reader to download a free resource, such as an ebook or a case study.
- Links the reader to your blog or social media to learn more about a topic.
- Invites the reader to take a survey or share his or her thoughts.
- Prompts the reader to visit the site with a coupon or discount code. (Be careful.)
In contrast, a sales or offer email CTA is much more straightforward. It may:
- Link to an e-commerce site, specific product or service.
- Invite the reader to sign up for a service, email segment, or other offerings.
- Prompt the reader to do any other number of actions to keep them engaged or drive sales.
This email has one CTA, placed centrally after all the enticing and whimsical copy. It also uses design to draw the eyes down so you can’t miss it. Source: Really Good EmailsIn creating strong emails, do the following: be sure that your email's subject line, your name, and preview text are catchy (and working), be real, keep it simple, avoid spam trigger words, and give the reader only one CTA. Click To Tweet
So, Do I Need a Writer for My Email Marketing Campaign?
That’s up to you. We’ve provided a comprehensive overview of the tips and tricks our writers deploy to craft emails that your readers will look forward to reading. We’ve also provided plenty of email content writing examples to help jump-start your creativity.
A professional writer has the advantage of frequent experimentation with all of these techniques, plus those innate wordsmithing abilities that dazzle us all. Writing email marketing content may seem simple, but it’s truly an art.
You are now fully armed with our best tips. Go forth, deliver value, drive conversions, and prosper.
Running a business takes a lot of energy. You’ve got a million things to worry about – let us worry about the email content. Hire a copywriter to craft conversion-friendly emails for your campaign!