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The 10 Musts of Email Copywriting

By Mark Wilkerson on Jul 18, 2022

Email remains a strong tool in your marketing arsenal. There is a lot to email marketing, but today we are doing to concentrate on email copywriting. After all, the best list in the world will do you no good if you send messages that do not resonate with your audience.

Why are we concerned with email?

But even though email has been around longer than some other channels such as social media, the ways to use email effectively have changed. And that includes writing email copy.

1. Define Your Segments

You probably have a number of different segments in your audience. You want your email to be as relevant as possible to each reader, so be sure to define each of your segments and choose one before you start writing.  There are any number of ways to define segments, and some will overlap. For example, you could define segments by interests, place in the sales cycle, newsletter subscribers and so on.

2. Define Your Goals

For each email campaign and each email, define your goal. You cannot accomplish a goal unless you determine what it is. Do you want to educate? Increase brand awareness? Drive immediate sales? Make sure your segment and your stated goal aligns.

3. Limit Yourself to One Objective

 There is a temptation to say everything you want a customer to know in every communication with a prospect or customer. Resist that urge. Limit yourself to one objective. If you are trying to accomplish multiple objectives or get your audience to take multiple actions, you will only drive down your conversion rates.

4. Personalize

It’s critical today that you personalize your email. The more personalized it is, the more effective it will be. This can go far beyond just including the person’s name. Images, calls to action and more can all be personalized.

For example, if you are a web developer or SEO expert, you could include a screenshot of a prospect’s website then explain how your services would apply. Today, you can do this with mass personalization tools that are often powered by artificial intelligence. For more information, read Seven Mass Personalization Marketing Tools to Leapfrog Revenues.

5. Give Value

Now that you have determined your audience segment and the purpose of your email, determine what content would be of value to your readers and motivate them to take the desired action.

If your audience is interested in practical advice they can use immediately about starting a business offer them step-by-step instructions instead of a theoretical diatribe.

If your audience just bought a specific product, consider writing an email offering products that will expand that product’s usefulness to them. For example, for an audience that just bought shoes from your “Duchess” fashion line, offer them a special deal on the Duchess purse that’s only available to new Duchess shoe customers for a limited time.

6. Use Appropriate Voice

You should develop an appropriate voice for your company, and continue it in email. If you are an attorney, you are going to write in a different and more formal voice than a skateboard store owner. But no matter your profession and its usual voice, you will probably want to be a bit more personal and also briefer in email copywriting than in some other channels.

7. Create Intriguing Subject Lines

You should probably spend about as much time writing your subject line as you do the body of your email. It’s that important. A subject line often motivates people to either open or ignore your email.

Use keywords at the beginning if possible, and try to be a bit intriguing. If you can’t be intriguing, try to include a strong benefit. Remember, and this bears repeating: Features tell, benefits sell.

Keep your subject lines short. Mailchimp advises keeping them to no more than nine words and 60 characters. Constant Contact recommends avoiding getting your subject lines cut off by limiting them to not over seven words and 40 characters. That can be difficult however.

8. Write Enticing Preview Text

When your email appears in your customer’s inbox, preview text will appear below the subject line or sometimes next to it. Your preview text enables you to give a bit of a longer description to influence people to open your email. Don’t write more than 140 characters.

9. Make It Easy and Fast to Read

It may be hard to believe, but as a rule people are not all that focused on communications from your company. Once you get them to open your email, you need to respect their time by making the email easy to read. A lot of people will just give your email a quick scan if they open it. So, when email copywriting, you will want to

  • Keep the email short
  • Keep each sentence and paragraph short. This is a situation where one-sentence paragraphs are just fine.
  • Use subheadings except in very short emails
  • Use bullets if needed
  • Use white space
  • Use relevant images to help get your point across. If you can personalize that image, so much the better.

10. Create a Strong Call to Action

What action do you want people to take after reading the email? You need to tell them. Your call to action, of course, should be in line with the goal of the email and where the recipient sits in the sales funnel. You may want them to click to read an article, register for a webinar or make a purchase for example.

Consider whether you can offer the user some extra benefit if they click the link, such as a very time-limited discount.

Whatever action you want people to take, make sure the link is visible. You could make it a button, but if it’s text, consider making it bold or larger or otherwise more visible. It will, of course, already be in a different color.

If your email is on the long side, include the call to action after the first 100 or 150 words and also at the end rather than exclusively at the end.

Umbrella Local White Label Email Copywriting and Marketing Services

Your marketing is most effective when you use multiple channels to reach your audience. Umbrella Local can handle all your marketing and serve as your marketing department or only those areas that you do not want to handle yourself.

Umbrella Local’s email marketing services enable you to email a list of 150 million consumers with more than 700 targeting parameters. We also handle B2B email.

We can handle all your email marketing including email copywriting or the parts that make sense to you.

Let’s talk! Contact us for a free consultation.

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