Welcome to our email copywriting tips and tricks guide. The Covid-19 pandemic has permanently and positively changed email marketing. As the world relied even more on the internet to stay connected, brands and businesses also accelerated their digital initiatives to unite with their customers while we all stayed at home. And alongside social media and your site’s blogging strategy, email marketing heads into 2022 as one of the crucial channels to get right today.
The email marketing effect
If you’re reading this, you’re undoubtedly familiar with email marketing. Most of us are probably subscribed to more mailing lists than we can count on one (or two) hands. Every time we make a purchase online or enter our email for a cool introductory deal (who else has a file full of 10% discount codes?), we are likely signing up to receive email marketing campaigns from that particular business. They notify us when there is a sale, a new product or a hot collaboration that they think we’d enjoy. And more often than not, they get results.
The Data and Marketing Association has noted that two-thirds of customers have made a purchase as a direct result of an email marketing message. So, with 3.8 billion email users worldwide, it’s no surprise businesses are cashing in on this epic way of connecting with their customers. And you can too – keep reading for our tips and tricks to achieve standout email copywriting.
Know your email marketing goals
Before you pour your heart and soul into nailing your email copywriting, it’s essential that you define your goals. Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve with your email marketing strategy? Perhaps you want to build connections with your customers through personalised engagement, boost your brand awareness or market your products and services. Whatever the reason, make sure it’s clear – you’ll want to craft your copy and marketing strategy with this in mind.
Think about design
The design and layout of your emails are fundamental. Nobody wants to read a huge block of text – as much as they don’t want to engage with a hard to navigate email message. You’ve got to think of your customer’s user experience. Keep paragraphs small, choose a clean font and use images to break up text and add structure. Use bullet points and text boxes to pull out important information and utilise buttons for a standout call to action.
Mailchimp suggests “laying out all the elements for your campaign in a hierarchy, putting your most important information or the main takeaway toward the top so people can quickly scan your email if they’re short on time.” You want to make your emails as easy to read as possible. And a good design will encourage your customers to engage with your carefully crafted copy.
But if you’re stuck for ideas and need a little inspiration, head to Really Good Emails to take a look at the best email copywriting examples in circulation right now.
Speak to the right audience
Just as you’d approach any piece of copywriting, it’s crucial to know your audience. Refer back to your buyer personas. You’ve got to deeply understand what makes them tick to persuade them to take action. And we’re not just talking about tone of voice. An excellent way to effectively engage with your audience, sending the right emails to the right people, is to segment your larger audience into smaller groups.
You can label these smaller groups based on their buying behaviour, interests or other information such as location, age or gender. No customer is the same, and it’s virtually essential to create an experience as personalised as possible. Check out Neil Patel’s article on using email segmentation to increase your conversion rate for a good read for a little more detail on the topic.
The Content Marketing Institute note that “providing an email message that resonates with a subscriber increases the likelihood that the recipient will do something with that content such as sharing it or taking another specific action.” Working with and tailoring your emails to these smaller segments of your audience will pay off – your content will be more direct, more relevant and more likely to encourage that click through.
Nail the subject line
When it comes to email copywriting, your email’s subject line will be the difference between a customer opening your email and throwing it straight in the trash. It should never be an afterthought that you add just before hitting send. Business Insider has some great tips on what you need to do:
- Write it first: if you conquer your email subject line first, you’ll write the rest of your email with intent. Know what message you are trying to get across and live up to the promises you make in your subject line.
- Keep it short: when the typical inbox only reveals 60 characters of a subject line, with mobile phones showing as little as 30, you’ve got about 6-8 words to hit the nail on the head.
- Think about keywords and know where to place them: with such a small space to get your point across, you’ll want to ensure all the essential words and information are at the beginning. Eliminate pointless filler words and think about searchability and filtering when you write too. You want your email to be easy to find if a customer wishes to go looking.
- And finally, keep it simple and focused: one action. That’s all you need. Don’t confuse your customer with a million different places to go. Set one goal and show them the path to get there.
Personalise your emails
Yes, you may be sending out the same email to two hundred plus people in your list, but your subscribers don’t need to know that. Personalising your emails are a must. Your customers will appreciate the time you’ve taken to gather and process the data required to address them correctly. And research backs this up too. According to a study by HubSpot, personalised emails have 26% higher open rates and an improved click-through rate of 14%. That’s a big difference for a bit of extra work.
Exclusivity wins the race
You’re ready to write your email message, but what do you actually write about? Email marketing works well when there’s exclusivity in the mix. Consider revealing details about a new product ahead of its launch, offer a discount code just for subscribers or launch an early-bird pre-sale for an upcoming event just for those signed up. Treat your subscribers like VIPs, and they’ll look forward to your emails and the exclusive content they contain.
Avoid industry jargon
It’s pretty simple – don’t overcomplicate things. The chances are your customers aren’t going to be experts in the field just like you – so don’t talk to them like they are. Avoid using industry jargon, long, boring sentences and phrases that make your copy sound a little like a research paper. Your customers want to be informed, possibly entertained and driven down the almighty sales funnel. You don’t want to send them to sleep.
It’s useful to be useful
“What makes you want to open an email? Our guess is a piece of information you don’t already have,” says Mailchimp. And they’re right. You subscribe to a brand’s mailing list to discover something you don’t already know – something exclusive, as we mentioned previously. And this will be a significant factor in determining whether your emails are read or discarded.
You need to make sure you’re sending your readers new, hot-off-the-press information that’s useful to them. If you’re in B2C, it might be something like a new collab, an upcoming product launch, or, for online learning, a new course or tips and tricks that the recipient can action immediately.
That last point is equally effective for B2B email copywriting – give your reader something they can do straight away to improve their business. It could be a nugget of information that’s highly pertinent, or a checklist that they can apply to improve a vital business process. Our experience is don’t be shy about giving away really valuable information – that’s the stuff that converts.
Length is important
Your subscribers will head to your blog if they want long-form content or to social media if they want a quick, witty tweet. The email copywriting sweet spot sits at 50 to 125 words. And research backs this up. Emails that sat within this range resulted in a consistent response rate of over 50%. Avoid long descriptive sentences and pointless filler words. Your copy should be clear, concise and straight to the point. If it’s not, your response rate is proven to decrease dramatically.
Include a simple call to action
A clear, signposted call to action is paramount in persuading your customers to click and take the next step. Why promote a sale if you don’t have a link to shop? Why talk about an exclusive event if it’s hard to find where to buy the tickets? A call to action eliminates the tricky path a customer may take searching for what they want and, instead, directs them straight to the money.
Test your campaign
You’ve written your email, but what’s next. The answer is simple – testing. We can’t stress enough how important it is to test your campaign. You’re not going to get it bang on straight away. A/B testing is a great way to plan a campaign around this trial and error – it can help you confirm or rethink your ideas and strategies while experimenting with different versions. Make sure to record and measure your results as you go and review accordingly to proactively get the most out of your email marketing.
Need a helping hand?
The right email copywriting can ensure your emails cut through inbox clutter, engage your customers and ultimately drive sales. It’s a powerful tool, and whatever your aim, we’ve got the subject lines and content to achieve it. To find out more about our email copywriting service, get in touch.