A few posts ago, I wrote about copywriting for email sign up boxes and why smart marketers use email to grow their businesses. This post produced some side discussions (which weren’t on the blog) and I thought it warranted revisiting the idea of email marketing and email copywriting.

The post uncovered a real anxiety in some marketers I know. They wanted to know why anyone would bother to give their email address out. I thought I had articulated the reasons in the post, but I have found that it wasn’t really coming across strongly enough.

People will give you their information in exchange for yours

Let’s get this straight about the kind of email copywriting service I’m talking about. This isn’t the annoying, waste-of-time, spammy stuff that we’re all familiar with (and which I think is where the anxiety comes from – no one wants to be ‘that guy’).

What I’m talking is a value exchange. Your great content for their email address (and attention). Here’s an example:

Let’s say you are a food producer making a local niche product that sells well on your website and in the shops. Your position as the producer makes you an expert in your field. You know how to make something very specialised, desirable and, in this case, tasty. Your customers like your product. They recommend it to friends and family. You get business.

Get over your anxiety – you are an expert

Now let’s say those same customers see on your pack that you have a recipe for using your product in a new way, and they can get it on your website. Excited, they go online and find your website and they see the recipe. They read it and think it looks great, and then they notice something else.

It’s not the only recipe.

You have a recipe e-book with 100s of recipes in it. And better still, it’s free when they sign up to your email list.

Desirable information sells

Your information is a conversion tool: your customer, or potential customer, who likes your brand/product/service and sees you as an expert, will give your their email address (sign up for your list) to get expert information from you. It’s an exchange.

I like how Copyblogger explains why people will go through with exchanging their email address for your content in their email marketing 101 series:

“Your subscribers need to know they can trust you … that you’re not a soulless self- promoting spam-bot.”

That is, you need to provide something of value and you could offer any sort of valuable content:

  • e-book
  • white paper
  • case study
  • check list

So long as your audience would find it valuable, then your copywriting can highlight all kinds of incentives to get you an email address. They get something of value, you get a captive audience.

I’m changing up the order of the website copywriting dissected series slightly, and in the next post I’m going to address one of these in more depth: business white papers.

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