Home A Comprehensive Guide To Getting Your Email Copy On Point

A Comprehensive Guide To Getting Your Email Copy On Point

Your copy is the heart of your email; any seasoned email marketer will tell you this. While the design language plays a crucial role in grabbing your readers’ eyeballs, it is ultimately the copy which determines your email’s value proposition. To be able to strike a connection with your subscribers, you need to engage them in a dialog and that is going to be pretty tough if your copy isn’t compelling to begin with, isn’t it?

Much has been said about the prowess of email as a communication channel- its mind-boggling user base, its more-than-impressive market penetration, and its jaw-dropping ROI. What you need to realize, however, is that if you want those virtues to be on your side, you first need to tick all the right boxes with your copy. If you are new to this, it can feel a little overwhelming at the outset. And that’s okay. No brand out there perfected their email copywriting game overnight. It’s a continuous journey, necessitating dollops of hard work, tenacity, and resourcefulness. As long as you are mindful of the best practices and stick to your process, stay assured that the results will follow.

What are these best practices, you ask? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. In this blog, we are going to dive deep into a host of email copywriting techniques (all tried and tested, of course) that will help you create a buzz with your campaigns. Excited to learn about them? Read on!

Nail Your Subject Lines and Preheaders

While reading a newspaper, to which articles do your eyes dart first? Invariably the ones that have a catchy and exciting headline, right? Well, the same principle more or less applies to emails as well, with subject lines acting as the equivalent of headlines in this realm. With subscribers’ inboxes getting bombarded with scores and hundreds of emails on a daily basis, email fatigue is something that most of them complain about. In this scenario, should your subject lines lack clarity and appeal, your emails stand a tough chance of fetching an open. After all, it is the first thing about your email that a recipient notices. And we all know the perils of casting a bleak first impression, don’t we?

That said, let us look at the ingredients that go behind cooking up the perfect subject line.

  • Attempt to pique your subscriber’s curiosity. Ever found yourself eagerly awaiting a movie’s release moments after watching its trailer? Now, if you were to dissect said trailer and pinpoint the exact factors that made it effective, you’ll pretty much have a blueprint for the ideal subject line on your hands. Much like a blockbuster trailer, an impactful subject line needs to walk the tightrope between generating interest and not giving away too much regarding the central plot.
  • Prioritize clarity. Whatever your email contains- an offer, an update, an announcement- strive to summarize it in your subject line. Essentially, make life easier for your subscribers. Don’t make them wait to scroll past the first fold of the email to discover its contents. See, providing clarity in your subject line won’t necessarily always translate into an open. At the end of the day, the recipient will only engage with the email if and only if they find the subject line relevant to their interest. However, you’ll still end up earning brownie points even when they ignore your emails, for you didn’t force them to open the email to find out what’s inside it.
  • Add emojis to your subject lines. Emoji-infused subject lines experience 56% higher open rates than their text-only counterparts. That said, this practice comes with a small caveat. Emojis are, by nature, informal, and thus not every business can afford to implement them. Hence, prior to using them, first, determine whether they align with your brand identity or not.
  • Weave sensory words into your subject lines. The better you help your readers visualize your content, the more inclined they will be to engage with your email. Besides, when your copy is peppered with sensory words, it leaves a firm and enduring impression in your subscribers’ minds. In a similar vein, make as much use of action words as possible. At all points in time, your goal should be to tacitly encourage your readers to not just read the email, but also commit themselves to the action stated within it; using action words will help you do so with ease.
  • Always, always pay attention to your subject line’s length. Curate the character limit keeping in mind that your emails will be accessed across both mobile and desktop devices. Most experts reckon 41 characters (approximately 6-8 words) to be the ideal length.

Now that we understand how to get subject lines right, let’s address preheaders. First off, why add a preheader text? Because they lend context to your subject lines, furthering its appeal. It boosts the efficacy of your subject line and gives subscribers an additional push to open your email. So, how to compose infallible preheaders? Let’s take a look.

  • Make them conversational. Subject lines are generally declarative in nature, right? Therefore, it pays to keep the preheader interrogative- essentially, attempt to foster a dialogue with the reader.
  • As with subject lines, the length of preheaders is quite critical too. Should it fail to fall within the prescribed limits (which is considered to be between 40-130 characters), your preheader will either pick up text from the email body or end up getting truncated.
  • Use preheaders to reinforce your email’s value proposition. You’ve already hinted at its content with the subject line. Now, with the preheader, you have the opportunity to paint an even clearer picture for your readers. Say, the subject line announces a new product. With the preheader, you could list out a few of its USPs. Now imagine just how potent this combination of a subject line and preheader text is.
  • To be sure what works best for your audience, write multiple versions of your preheader and A/B/n test them to identify the best-performing one.

Leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With the rise of sophisticated AI models such as ChatGPT, it is no longer possible to look beyond the impact AI is going to have on all kinds of sectors in the very near future. In the email marketing space, businesses have already started to rely upon it to generate content ideas for their newsletters. The one place where AI lacks is giving nuances to its content pieces, making human intervention an absolute necessity. With the right operator, thus, you can take your email copywriting to the next level and perch yourself head and shoulder above your competitors.

  • Listed below are a few merits of composing your copy with AI.
    Increased quality control- The content that an AI produces is, essentially, an amalgamation of everything that it consumes. AI copy, therefore, is the text that is generated with the assistance of natural language processing tools. You need to give the machine certain directions- the length of the email, its nature, the tone of the copy, and the like. Following this, the model gets to work, scanning through millions and millions of copies that are true to your parameters and at the end of it, produces a copy that is in the same vein. So, if you play your cards right, you can use AI to obtain large volumes of high-quality copy with stunning regularity.
  • Earlier, we discussed the need for A/B/n testing several subject lines and preheaders to be able to identify the most effective one. This is, of course, easier said than done. A dozen variants later, your mind tends to run in circles. Enter: AI. Based on your dozen inputs, it can spawn a hundred more along similar lines, giving you more options to contend with, and setting you on course to obtain fruitful results from your A/B/n tests.
  • The importance of personalization, especially in the current email marketing climate, cannot be overstated, even if one tried to. Despite this significance being common knowledge, brands still fail to marry their intentions to their actions, the primary culprit being a lack of resources. You see, implementing personalization is no walk in the park. From segmenting your email list to writing personalized content for each to ensuring they receive the right message at the right time, it can get incredibly demanding. This is where an AI writing tool comes as a boon. Once you’re able to determine the unique profile of each segment, you can feed your findings into the tool and trust it to not only write them personalized emails but also to replicate their tone while dealing with their reverts.

Generate FOMO

Invoking a sense of urgency in your reader’s minds is an excellent tactic to drive them into action, thereby amping up your engagement and interaction levels. While a tempting offer certainly captures your audience’s imagination, putting a ticking clock against it nudges them to take out their wallets and make a transaction. A great way of creating urgency in your emails is by adding countdown timers. There are many avenues where you can summon them into action- sales, new product launches, coupon redemption, early access, and seasonal events, to name a few. What’s more, making one is pretty convenient as well.

Broadly, you can take two routes toward crafting one. In a first way, you need to make an HTML timer and embed its code in the email. And no, you don’t have to write this code from scratch; there are many online tools that will help you with that. From your end, all you have to specify is your deadline and the time zone. These timers countdown in real-time. The second way is making a looped GIF animation. These are both, easier to execute than HTML emails and also carry a lesser risk of being flagged by email clients. However, with clients such as Outlook, that don’t provide desirable support to GIFs, you might face a few challenges.

Tell A Story

Right from the time man started gathering around open fires in small circles to the present where we dig our noses deep into Kindles for hours at end, our pursuit has been the same- a good story. Storytelling is as innate to us as our need for survival. It is the hallmark of writing, be it at any level or of any kind. Therefore, while writing your email copy, always, always, try to stitch a narrative. Information lies all around us, but we only feel compelled to engage with it when it is presented to us in the form of a narrative. Of course, marketing emails aren’t allowed to have the same level of flair and vigor as a work of fiction, but you still have enough liberty on your hands to take your audience on a journey every time you send them an email. In fact, they’ll keep coming back to you for more and more if you manage to strike all the right chords with your narrative.

Tickle Your Readers’ Funny Bones

As a brand, constantly worrying about your audience’s perception of you is not uncommon. Trying to win over them is a constant challenge, but there’s one tool that you can always rely upon to make life a touch easier- humor. Why?

  • Evocative content drives strong results. Email copy that is laced with humor leaves readers awash with positive emotions, causing them to warm up to your brand. Brands indulge in a silly vein every now and then to convince their subscribers that they are as imperfect and vulnerable as their subscribers and that in turn, goes a long way toward strengthening customer relationships.
  • Making humor one of your brand’s core values will make it extremely convenient for you to grab the spotlight. People always hold close to their hearts those who manage to bring a smile to their faces. Should your emails manage to do so, you’ll find yourself rewarded generously by your subscribers.

Wrapping It Up

Email copywriting can be a tough nut to crack, but once you get the lay of the land, there’s no looking back. We hope the tips and tricks given above will be able to breathe clarity into your copywriting endeavors.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Disha Bhatt (Dave) works as a Content Strategist at Email Uplers. She is a dentist, who has found her calling in words & technical subjects. She loves to pen down travelogues and romantic short stories in her free time.

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