12 Quick Tips for Writing Killer Email-Marketing Copy That Converts

When it comes to email marketing, copy is one of the top determinants of whether a campaign succeeds or fails. Here we share 12 tips on email marketing copywriting tips to help you craft a message that converts for your next email campaign.

Some Interesting Email Marketing Stats

Email is a vital component of online marketing for business success. Here are a few interesting email marketing statistics that help show just how important it is to invest time and effort into carefully crafting the copy for your email campaigns:

  • The number of active email accounts worldwide was about 4.1 billion in 2014 and is expected to rise to almost 5.6 billion by the end of 2019.
  • Internet service providers (ISPs) Gmail and Yahoo! each currently boast more than 1 billion active users worldwide.
  • As per a MarketingSherpa study, 72% of U.S. adults prefer to communicate with companies through email.
  • Emails that have personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened compared to emails without personalization in the subject line.
  • By segmenting email campaigns, marketers can create and deliver more personalized content in emails. A recent study by MailChimp showed the positive impact list segmentation has on email performance results: Segmentation increased email opens by 14.31% and clicks by 100.95% compared to unsegmented campaigns sent to the same customers.
  • 80% of respondents to a Marketing Land survey about how to write better emails at work rated grammatical and spelling errors as one of the most unacceptable mistakes in email. The following email elements were close behind with 70% of respondents giving them an unacceptable rating: lack of a subject line, excessive punctuation, irregular fonts, and capitalized subject lines. Yet, only 30% of respondents found smiley faces to be unacceptable in emails.
  • In the same Marketing Land survey, people between the ages of 45 and 64 years old were more receptive to humor in emails compared to a younger audience.

How to Write Email Copy That’s Convincing and Converts

Are you looking to increase the opens, clicks, and conversions for your email campaigns? Here are 12 top tips for writing promotional email copy that will effectively capture subscribers’ attention and drive them to take action:

  1. Keep it simple and strong (K.I.S.S.).

    Once subscribers open your email or click through to your landing page, you have mere seconds to capture their attention. So don’t use difficult words, “market-speak,” or technical jargon. Instead, write as if you were talking to a friend. But at the same time, keep your content powerful and to the point to grab and keep readers’ interest. As you set out to develop catchy emails and an effective content marketing strategy, be sure to check out these previous NewsLever features for email marketing content best practices and email advertising tips: “7 Steps to Create a Compelling Content Marketing Strategy” and “How to Use Content Marketing to Generate More Leads and Revenue.”

  2. Make your message scannable.

    When it comes to writing a marketing email, don’t overwhelm a reader with long paragraphs and lots of copy in the components of the email. Creating an email design that breaks up your email-marketing copy with punchy subheads, numbered and bulleted lists, and small bites of information will allow subscribers to quickly read it and grasp your main message. And when appropriate, use images to help tell your story and support your marketing message. (As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.)

    Making your email messaging scannable is especially important for your subscribers who open and read their emails on mobile devices. According to a recent study by Litmus, 54% of all email opens happen on email devices. That number could be even higher for your specific target audience. We compiled some email practices, as well as copy and design optimization tips, to help you create mobile-friendly email campaigns in our NewsLever feature, “Mobile Email-Marketing Best Practices.” Be sure to check it out!

  3. Use less “we” and more “you.”

    Keep the focus of your email marketing copywriting on your recipients, rather than providing too much unnecessary information about yourself and your company. After all, people who subscribe to get your emails are more interested in how the products provided by your business can meet their needs and be helpful to them. So be more customer-centric by using the word “you” more than referring to “I,” “me,” “we,” and “us” in your email copy.

  4. Talk about the benefits versus the features.

    Use email writing techniques that let your customers and prospects know “what’s in it for them” by talking about the benefits delivered by your products and/or services, instead of simply listing the features.

  5. Align the email copy with the subject line and preheader.

    How to write a convincing email subject line to effectively drive email open rates is a topic for another article. But once you get people to open your email, be sure to follow through on what you promised in the email subject line. If you don’t, you’ll likely hurt the trust between you and your email subscribers. Check out this article for 10 email tips (essentially a subject line cheat sheet) for crafting subject lines that boost your open rates.

    The preheader—the snippet of text that appears right next to or below the subject line on iPhones, iPads, some Android phones, and most email clients—is another huge opportunity to drive prospects and customers to open your email. In addition to complementing the subject line copy and being congruent to the email’s message, more advice on what to include in your preheaders to increase email opens and conversions can be found in this article: “Email Preheader Best Practices.”

  6. Use search engine optimization (SEO) keywords judiciously.

    Using keywords in email-marketing copy is important for crafting copy that piques your readers’ interest, as well as boosts your website success with search engines. But always make sure your content is useful and well written. Email-marketing copy can sound “spammy” when writers try to fit in too many keywords where they don’t belong.

  7. Know — and write — for your target market.

    The more you can find out about the people on your email list through market research, the better you can tailor the email-marketing message to meet their needs and solve their problems. Content relevancy is the key to email-marketing success. That’s why it’s important to use personalization and email list segmentation to avoid sending a blanket email. What is a blanket email? With blanket emails, you send the same email content to your entire list of contacts. And thanks to the number of email automation tools available today, it’s easier than ever to implement and manage list segmentation and personalization for your email marketing program.

    Setting up an email preference center is one important and effective way to learn more about your target audience, get updates on any changes to their contact information, and do a better job of personalizing and segmenting your email sends. In a recent survey conducted and analyzed by Marketing Land, email preferences differ by both age and education. So find out as much as you can about your target market’s preferences and incorporate that information into your email messages.

  8. Make your calls to action hard-hitting and plentiful.

    When you are writing copy for calls to action for promotional emails, landing pages, email newsletters, blogs, and websites, use words that drive action, such as “buy now” and “sign up today.” Plus, provide several prominent calls to action throughout your copy when you write email messages and create landing pages. Then, as soon as your recipients are ready to act, they can. In a previously published NewsLever article, we offer more email marketing tips on how to write effective email calls to action that optimize click throughs and conversion rates.

  9. Concentrate on a singular goal.

    Don’t clutter your promotional emails and landing pages with multiple messages for users. Although you want to include multiple calls to action, they should all lead to the same place and meet one overall marketing strategy objective.

  10. Create a sense of urgency.

    Deadlines for a sale or bonus gifts for the first 100 subscribers who respond are good examples. Including a sense of urgency in your marketing emails will help encourage an email opener to take action right away, instead of leaving your email sit in his or her inbox with the intention of eventually getting to it.

  11. Punctuate prudently.

    Be careful not to distract subscribers — or dilute your marketing message — by overusing such punctuation as exclamation points, UPPERCASE LETTERS (that shout at the reader), and emoticons. :) Although the use of emojis in email marketing is on the rise, are they truly effective in driving engagement and conversions? As we pointed out in another article, emails with emojis in the subject line have higher open rates (15% year over year); however, emojis haven’t been shown to impact click through rates.

  12. Proofread, and proofread again.

    Although this may seem obvious, proofreading is often overlooked. Make sure your email marketing copywriter thoroughly looks over the email content. Typos and inaccuracies in your email marketing copywriting can hurt your credibility with subscribers. In addition, testing that the links in your email text take people to the right website landing pages is another important way to ensure subscribers who click through can convert and make a purchase.

Need help with creating email-marketing copy that converts, as well as boosts sales and overall revenue for your company? Turn to the experts at FulcrumTech. Email us or give us a call at 215-489-9336 today.

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