Article: Copywriting Tips for Email


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Copywriting Tips for Email

by Dan Ogdon

As your customers continue to have more and more access to consumer generated content, how do you keep them interested in what you have to say? Here are a few copywriting tips to keep your customers reading further and ultimately making a buy decision.

Write Strong Headlines
Write headlines for your main topics as if you were submitting them for approval to make the front page of the New York Times. You have less than 3 seconds to pique your readers’ interest after they have opened your email.

Send a test email of a template to yourself. Open it in your email application (Outlook) and only look at it for 3 seconds. Then look away or minimize your application. What do you remember? Are you excited to read on? Do you know what to click? Do you know what the main points are? Remember much of your content may be below the fold. In your 3 second snapshot, before scrolling, were you able to understand that a buy decision could be made?

Do the Research
OK, you’ve convinced me to read on and in fact I’m looking forward to learning what you have to say, but if the body copy is fluffy and sales pitchy I’m pitchin’ the email. If it provides valuable, unique, original, relevant content I’m not only going to read on and come closer to a buy decision, I’m going to take some of the content, post it to my blog, forward your email to my colleagues and reference it in a whitepaper I’m writing giving you credit and exposure for providing excellent insight.

Commit to putting a graph, a chart, a matrix, a quote, something extra in your next email that will add robustness to your content and prove to your readers that you are willing to go the extra mile. It’s a time commitment, but it pays off in reader loyalty, your database will grow quicker as your thoughts are spread by your readers and it will help you establish credibility with new readers.

Ask for Help
A good habit to get into once you have salved over putting together excellent email copy is to pass it off to someone else to have a look over. Give them the complete product, built in your template with images and all. Don’t just give to anyone either, give to your design/advertising team to look over headlines and creative copy and give to someone that understands moving people to buy decisions to see if your email does just that.

Ask to be an editor for a friends email outside of your organization. Do the 3 second snapshot and make recommendations based on your experience. Critiquing an email that is not your own will help you understand what works and what doesn’t and will ultimately lead you to becoming a better copywriter.