Do you need to write a marketing email but don’t know where to start?
Well—you’re not alone.
Creating great marketing emails is an art.
But there are a few things you can do today to take your email copy to the next level. So, let’s go over the best email copywriting practices for someone who’s just getting started:
1. Personalize as Much as Possible
Before you begin writing, you need to make clear who your target audience is. What do they want? What are some of their pain points?
Of course, no one customer is exactly the same. So to personalize the email as much as possible, you need to segment your audience by age, gender, location, and other demographics.
Then you can articulate different buyer personas or customer avatars that represent more specific types of customers.
The more you can narrow down on different customer types, the more you’ll be able to personalize the email and make it relevant to them.
Another easy thing you can do to make the email more personal is to use the customer’s first name. Most customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Hubspot allow you to autofill first names in emails with shortcuts.
And finally, write in the second person. That means using the pronouns “you,” “your,” “yours,” etc. This way, you make the reader feel more involved.
2. Write a Killer Subject Line
The email subject line is the most important part of your email. Nobody will get to the body of your email if the subject line doesn’t entice them enough.
So make it captivating.
Your subject line should either make a promise or arouse the reader’s curiosity. For example, you could promise a free course or announce you have an industry trade secret to share:
“Free Real Estate Investing Course”
“The Number One Mistake That Beginner Real Estate Investors Make”
Either way, you’ll need to deliver on your subject line in the email’s body. So don’t overpromise. Otherwise, you risk leaving your reader disappointed and having them unsubscribe from your emails altogether.
The key is to make the subject line captivating enough to get the reader to click on the email but still true to the email’s content.
As for length, studies show that subject lines between 6-10 words work best, 7 being the sweet spot. But there is no hard-and-fast rule here. Do what makes sense, and when in doubt, cut it out.
3. Make It Snappy
The internet has ruined our attention span. And this is especially true when it comes to reading emails. Nobody reads through every email. We usually skim them or skip them altogether.
This is because we’re constantly bombarded with emails and don’t have time to go through each of them.
As a marketer, this means you need to get straight to the point. Make the body text as short and succinct as you possibly can without sacrificing clarity. If you cut out so much that the reader can no longer follow along, it’s too much. Clarity should always be your main priority.
That said, I’ve found the best strategy is to write your heart out in the first draft and then edit out the fluff as you revise. The final email then becomes a polished text with only the essential message remaining.
4. Keep It Real
Nobody likes reading impersonal mass emails.
So you should try to keep yours as real as possible by keeping the tone conversational. It should sound like it’s coming from a real person, not a robot.
Spice it up a little by saying something unexpected or just try to say things that are relatable. Don’t be dry or boring. If your email has personality, it’s much more likely to get a positive response.
5. Leverage Emotion
Any good email copywriter taps into the emotions of the reader.
This is because humans tend to act on their emotions. We react emotionally first and then rationalize our decisions with our minds later.
As a copywriter, you can use this to your advantage. Try appealing to your readers’ fear, like the fear of missing out (FOMO), greed, anger, laziness, pride, or anger. Any of these approaches can make your email have a strong impact.
For example, “don’t let the credit card companies swindle you” appeals to the reader’s anger over potentially being wronged. The word “swindle” alone conjures up negative emotions that can be directed toward a certain goal—like promoting sound personal finance habits. It’s a power word. Power words have connotations that elicit powerful feelings in the reader, even if only subconsciously, and can help you boost your conversions.
You could also appeal to the reader’s sense of greed by focusing on benefits over features. The more benefits you name, the more the reader feels they are getting better bang for their buck. Or you could reward the reader for being a loyal subscriber with a free perk or gift, like a free e-book download. They’ll sense that your emails really add value to them.
6. Use Actionable Language
You hear it all the time: Create a call to action (CTA). Invite the reader to do something.
And it’s true. Including a CTA in the email is crucial, especially when it comes to outbound marketing emails.
If you don’t invite the reader to take action, they won’t. Even if they wanted to, they may not know how.
So use actionable language in your CTA and throughout the email. Try including imperative verb forms, aka command verbs, like “call,” “reach out,” or “download.”
And always include at least one CTA at the end of the email, so readers know what to do next after reading your copy. Just never use all caps or too many exclamation marks. It’ll make the email look tacky at best and shouty at worst.
Whatever you do, make sure you align the CTA with both the email body and whatever the CTA points to, whether it be a landing page or a phone number. If the CTA is unrelated to either, you’ll only disappoint the reader.
7. Run an A/B Test
Lastly, run an A/B test on two different versions of the email.
Have version B vary from version A in one variable (like the subject line). That way, you make sure you only test for one thing.
Then select a sample size for your test. You can split the emails between a small sample, like 10% of your email list, so you can send the winning email to the remaining 90%. Or you can split your entire email list in two (50/50), so you have insight into how to improve your next emails going forward.
Either way, you want to implement the empirical insights you gain into your email writing. Constantly evaluate your emails so you can improve them from one to the next.
Writing a marketing email that converts is definitely possible. It just takes consistent effort and time.
If you follow the tips above and make adjustments as you go, your email open rates and conversion rates will start increasing before you know it.