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11 email copywriting techniques for successful campaigns

Create a captivating subject line
Tell a story
Speak to your reader
Create compact content
Use the right tone and style
Grab attention with power words
Add data
Use segmentation
Include framing
Repeat ideas
Focus on benefits
And that‘s it!

If you ever wondered how to write the perfect marketing email, the following email copywriting tips will certainly help you out.

A good marketing email is designed with a goal in mind (conversions, link clicks, sales, etc.).

But are there any special copywriting techniques that make an email stand out and perform better?

Most will tell you that, in order for a reader to become a client, you need to write in a way that conveys your message in the most creative way.

In this article, we explore the best ways to achieve this.

When using email, your audience should remain engaged and eager to hear what you have to say.

This is not easy but good copywriting techniques can do wonders.

Create a captivating subject line

Your subject line is the first thing your audience will see. It is what drives your subscribers to read your content. It also introduces your brand‘s image to the reader. So make it count.

For starters, here are the key features to consistently include in your subject line:

  • Clarity
  • Credibility
  • Relevance

An important component of email copywriting is a good subject line that catches attention.

And crafting the perfect subject line means that:

  • It has a catchy, bite-sized headline
  • It is personalized to fit your recipient

Once that‘s done, determine how you can personalize your headline. In this case, consider your audience very carefully:

  • Do they like to be addressed on a first-name basis?
  • What interests do they have?
  • What will they get out of your email?

Using your reader‘s first name, surname, position, etc. in the subject line can make your audience feel valued.

After all, your main objective when it comes to email marketing should be to connect with your audience, not necessarily to make sales.

So, to summarize, good email copywriting is all about engaging with your readers. To achieve this, it is crucial that the subject line and the content of the email comply with what your readers are interested in.

Tell a story

Storytelling is the ultimate feature of great copywriting. Furthermore, the goal of good email copywriting is to inform, convince, educate, inspire or entertain your reader.

This is what brings your content to life.

At the end of the day, to create real fans you have to create engaging content, that‘s real, relevant and relatable.

To make it easier for you, here are 7 email copywriting tips that will help you tell a better story:

  1. Consider using open-ended questions. Many motivational speakers use this technique as a tool to engage the audience.
    • What are the top priorities in your business at the moment?
    • What is your 5-year goal?
  2. Starting with a thought-provoking statement could help you to intrigue readers. After reading it, they will be provoked to read more.
  3. Select your story based on the core message you want to deliver. Here, giving a specific example can help. Based on the message you want to deliver, you could share a story that helped you or someone else realize how significant the importance of the message really is.
  4. Use clear metaphors to make your writing more interesting.
  5. Consider using infographics to visualize a more complex story. Visuals cause a stronger reaction than words.
  6. Weave your story throughout your text to get the most return.
  7. Creating rich mental images with your words is a powerful copywriting skill. It usually leaves a lasting impression. Use all the methods above and add your creativity to create an image in your readers‘ minds.

Speak to your reader

When creating your copy, don‘t forget that you are interacting with real people.

One of the best email copywriting techniques is to speak to your reader.

Aim for connection with your readers on a personal level. Doing so is the pathway to forming successful relationships.

To do this, you need to get a good understanding of your audience. Doing so will make it easier to form a sustainable relationship and it will be more cost-effective in the long term.

Research who your readers are, show them your personality and engage in a conversation with them. To achieve this, try to keep your content conversational or even casual.

After all, an email written in a friendly manner will help you evoke a more positive response.

Pro tip: If possible, invite them for a Skype call, dinner or just go to some conferences where they might hang out.

Create compact content

You need to be creative with the words you use when email copywriting.

Keeping the number of words to a minimum will also help you avoid confusing your readers.

Try to aim for well-thought-out content with a clear message. Sort out the most important elements and include them in the first sentence of your email. This will be helpful to those who are short on time when reading your email.

Finally, a good way to organize your emails is to divide your text into paragraphs that do not exceed 20-25 words in length (max 2 to 3 lines). This way, you don‘t only deliver your story in a simple-to-read format, but also ensure mobile readers will enjoy it as well.

Use the right tone and style

Good email copywriting means understanding the person who is reading your emails, which will help you form a relatable tone of voice within your emails.

Start with a “thank you” or “welcome” email that is sent to express your gratitude and make the reader feel valued.

Learn which adjectives are most commonly used to describe your brand. These can act as a guideline to determine the best tone to use in your copy.

Finally, use simple and easy-to-understand language. Avoid using jargon, buzzwords and acronyms, as they can distract and alienate your readers from the main message. Use words that an average person would understand without taking out a dictionary.

Grab attention with power words

To spice things up you can also use words that inspire action.

Power words are words that have a great impact, lead to higher engagement and (hopefully) more sales.

To find the right power word try to think of words that have a psychological impact and tap into the readers‘ emotions during the reading process.

For example, there are words that make a promise, create a sense of urgency, newness and exclusivity.

In order to create a sense of urgency for an instant call to action, many marketers use words like:

  • Free
  • Act now
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New

Once you get more accustomed to this practice, adapt these powerful words to suit your goals and convey your message.

Add data

Email copywriting is the art of organizing research to build a compelling message.

By adding some well-researched facts or statistics to your copy, you add credibility to your story, which will help you justify your message. By providing your audience with research-based facts, you establish yourself as a trustworthy source.

To understand how your audience feels, try going over reviews on specific subjects that relate to your product or service.

Some people will leave an extended review, talking about all the problems they have encountered on the subject. Then do your research and see how you can address these issues.

Use segmentation

Email copywriting gives you the power to communicate directly with your readers.

Make sure you use this power wisely by personalizing and segmenting your audience.

If you have implemented the email copywriting tips mentioned above, you should already have a good understanding of your audience.

But this does not necessarily mean that all of them have similar personalities or interests.

This is where segmentation comes in.

Segmentation is the art of thinking in groups. It is a cornerstone to higher conversion rates and open rates.

So how can you segment your subscribers?

Start by looking at all the different types of people on your mailing list and the reasons for which they subscribed.

If you can figure out the commonalities between the different groups of people in your list, you have found the ultimate copywriting success factor.

You can create various segmentation criteria. Typically, there are four categories that describe the types of data and they are more commonly known as Pillars of Segmentation.

These four pillars are:

  • Geographics. Location, language, climate, area, population, etc.
  • Demographics and Profile. Age, gender, education, income, social status, etc.
  • Psychographics. Lifestyle, interests, personality, values, etc.
  • Behavioral. Benefits sought, intent, purchase usage, etc.

After you create different segments, you can approach each group individually with the value proposition that‘s more appealing to that segment. You will be able to address each group separately, focusing on their pain points and offering solutions to their needs.

Include framing

Positive framing is also a great way to enhance your content‘s quality. This technique focuses on how something is said, instead of the message itself.

Think of the moment a subscriber receives your email.

As soon as they click on it, they expect to gain some form of value from it.

You can deliver this value in many different ways and it‘s usually best to start by highlighting growth and improvement.

In order to achieve this, use words like evolve, awesome, amazing, growth or improve, as they all evoke a positive response from your readers.

You can also induce a negative reaction when the focus is set on losing something instead of gaining. Utilizing the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) can make your readers act upon their urges but comes with its own risks, as you will have to stay true to your word.

For example, you may send your readers an email titled: “Don‘t miss out! Offer ends at midnight.”

When midnight comes you will have to end that offer, whether you‘ve hit your targets or not. If you don‘t, you risk losing your credibility.

So, to create a negative frame, you can use words like:

  • Ends tonight
  • Don‘t miss out on
  • Last chance
  • Limited offer

Repeat ideas

The art of persuasion is crucial if you want to get the maximum results out of your content.

For that reason, repetition is a powerful email copywriting technique that drives results.

This is called the Illusory Truth Effect.

By repeating your core message several times throughout an email, you can commit this information to the recipient‘s memory.

Try mentioning your core message 1-2 times per 60-80 words.

This is also supported by a study made in 2006 that discovered the truth about repeated statements and the fact they lead to higher trust when compared to statements that are only heard once. This is because readers get a positive reaction when hearing information they know is true, much similar to that of repetitive information.

Focus on benefits

Consumers are more interested in the end result rather than your product. It‘s about how your products make them feel.

Tell your readers what they will gain.

Mention different features that complement their actions and needs.

For example, if you are selling a new type of superfood, you know that buyers will be more focused on the health benefits rather than the flavor. Therefore, double down on that and mention more about the vitamins, minerals and overall health improvements.

Always remember: email copywriting is focused on people and their needs.

Therefore, one of the most used copywriting formulas is focused on identifying a relevant problem (e.g. poor health), agitating it and then presenting your solution (e.g. superfood).

A proper solution to your reader‘s problem is your chance to shine. Add some proof in the form of case studies or testimonials and sales will likely come in.

And that‘s it!

Implement and experiment!

That‘s the only way to succeed in writing a stellar email copy.

Don‘t forget that understanding what works best for your audience will take some trial and error, but you will get there soon enough.

To sum things up, here are the email copywriting techniques we discussed above:

  • Create a captivating subject line
  • Tell a story
  • Speak to your reader
  • Create compact content
  • Use the right tone and style
  • Grab attention with power words
  • Add data
  • Use segmentation
  • Include framing
  • Repeat ideas
  • Focus on benefits

Now all you need is practice.

Just in case, if you want to get more ideas, subscribe to the content of writers you enjoy reading and try to find similarities that you can implement in your own email copy.

Then rinse and repeat until your copywriting skills are polished to perfection.

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