Last week, we discussed why email copywriting is so important to your success online.

In short, email is the most widely used ‘app’ and is needed for virtually all aspects of a digital life: social media, e-commerce, and connecting with others.

Yet, it seems that for many businesses, building up a list of email contacts to regularly communicate with is a bit too much to chew. Newsletters get started, then abandoned as marketers can’t keep up with the pace of content development.

Let’s help solve that.

The stepped approach to email copywriting

Good email copywriting focuses on the needs of the reader. Your potential customers need to trust you. They want to hear from you.

But they are wary.

As with everything, I advocate you plan your approach, and map out how to create value at every step of the customer journey:

  • Convince them to share their email address
  • Entice them to open the email
  • Reward them for reading the email by providing value
  • Help them to do something (buy, share, shop, browse, whatever!)

We’ll cover each of these in turn, beginning with today’s topic: building your list.

The top of the funnel

The reason to build your own email list of leads and customers is that once you have their email addresses, you have them in your funnel. New leads get to know your business and over time they receive valuable communication and offers that help to convert them into a paying customer – a sale.

The very first step in the experience to get right is to convince that reader to share a small (but very significant) piece of information with you. Their email address.

I do not believe that getting an email address is ‘low hanging fruit.’ It is an important bit of personal information and it deserves to be treated with respect.

When writing about website copywriting, I discussed the anatomy of the email sign up box and how to construct a decent hook to get people to start a relationship with your business.

Offering something of value, an incentive, gives your reader a reason to provide their email. Be specific about what you offer – be the expert they desire. Why would anyone want to give YOU their email address?

Don’t let them wait around

Get your business set up with a really good email marketing tool that provides excellent list management features like auto-responders and double-opt in.

Do this because it will make your life a lot easier, and because it will give your new lead an immediate, well-written second chance to opt in to your list. Doing so immediately says that you’re not a spammer, you’re a real business following industry best practices.

Auto-responders and opt-in emails are THE place to begin the relationship. Use good copywriting techniques and let them know what the message is for, what they need to do (click the link to confirm their email address) and then follow up with a first message that welcomes them, that tells them more about what to expect in the coming emails and some links to past content that they can read right now – without waiting.

If you are just starting your list, then explain more about your product or service, provide links to your website and let them know when to expect the next email.

Then stick to the plan. We’ll talk about the next step in the journey next week.

Next in email copywriting 101: Writing the perfect subject line

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