Writing engaging emails is one of the best skills you can develop if you want to drive traffic and conversions for your blog.
There’s a reason why online businesses spend so much time and effort in email marketing – it gets amazing results. However, if you want to reap the benefits of email marketing, you need (1) a decently-sized list of subscribers and (2) know how to keep them interested.
That last part is where most people stumble.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what makes for engaging email copy. I’ll break down some examples to give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Then I’ll talk about one simple approach you can use to punch up your emails and keep subscribers happy. Let’s get to it!
What Makes for Great Email Copy
Email copy is a lot different than what you usually find in blogs. First off, it tends to be a lot shorter. Blogging, these days, is all about long-form content. That means thousands of carefully-structured words, which make it easier for search engines to give your content the love it deserves.
With email, you don’t need to worry about SEO. What you do need to think about is how much time you have to hook readers in.
Every day, most people get dozens of emails. If you’re anything like me, you delete most of those. The few messages that remain in my inbox do so because:
- There’s some kind of hook in the headline.
- They’re emails I’ve been expecting.
- They’re related to work and I like getting paid, so I have to read them.
Work and personal emails aside, if you want your subscribers to care about your messages, you need to adapt your writing to the medium. That means:
- Designing mobile-friendly emails since most people check their messages using smartphones these days.
- Being highly concise and leaving the long-form content for your blog.
- Punching up your sales copy, because that’s what great email copywriters do.
Email copy is such a unique beast that there are freelancers and marketers who make a nice living just writing email campaigns. Let’s go over some of my favorite examples to illustrate what makes for great email copy:
2 Examples of Highly Engaging Email Copy (And What Makes it Good)
Today we’re going to focus on email copy. However, it’s also important to understand that visuals play a significant role in how people perceive your messages.
I’ve seen a lot of successful email marketers get away with text-only campaigns, but those are far from the norm.
If you don’t have a lot (or any) of experience designing emails, don’t worry. Most modern email marketing platforms, such as Constant Contact, provide you with stylish templates and builders you can learn to use in minutes.
Now let’s talk copy!
Missguided is an online shop for women’s clothes, so I’m not really their target audience. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a masterfully-crafted email when I see one.
This particular message is what we call a re-activation email. It’s what you send subscribers that haven’t open your emails for a while. It reminds them why they signed up for your list in the first place.
Re-activation emails are all about two things:
- Reminding readers about your unique value proposition.
- Pulling on their emotional strings!
The copy here is very simple and it focuses on that second aspect with lines such as “Now you don’t even browse anymore…,” “Let’s try again,” and more.
In fact, they don’t even bother reminding their subscribers what Missguided offers or provide any value through their email.
That’s something you would never do if writing for a blog, but it’s the kind of thing you can get away when it comes to email.
If you feel constrained by blogging, email is a great venue to flex your creative writing muscles.
2. Siege Media
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in email marketing as a way to drive traffic back to your blog. That means, for the most part, you’re going to use your campaigns either to:
- Get readers to click on links that send them back to your website.
- The occasional sale for any products or services you might offer.
Email is a massively powerful tool for driving sales, but it’s also great for traffic. Here’s a simple example of a message from an agency that got me to click on their link:
Think about the text here as a meta description. It needs to be short, tell me why I should care about the blog post, and include a call to action.
The difference is, unlike meta descriptions, emails enable you to have a little fun with the formatting.
In this case, the language is very sales-oriented. It identifies a desire right from the get-go (Want to grow a significantly-sized agency?), explains why you should trust them (the size or their agency), and promises a solution.
Then it gets you to click, which is a win in their column.
Overall, it’s a very straightforward email structure. In fact, you might even want to use it as a template, which brings us to the next section.
When to Use Email Templates in Your Campaigns
The idea of using templates for writing may be enough to make you throw up a little. However, templates can be very useful if you’re new to email writing.
Take that example we just went over a minute ago. If you wanted to use it as a template, that email would look something like this:
[Identify what your reader wants]
[Explain why they should listen to you]
[Promise a solution]
[Explain why your solution applies to them specificallly]
[Mention some of the things they’ll learn if they listen to you]
[Hit them with a CTA]
It’s pretty simple, once you boil it down to the fundamentals.
Here’s my advice: take a look at your inbox and identify the emails you think are more engaging.
Now take note of exactly what is they’re saying and the structure they use to convey that message. Next time you’re writing a campaign, you can use those templates as a starting point, to give your writing a little nudge in the right direction.
If there aren’t any emails you like, I’ve talked about some of my favorite campaigns in the past, and what makes them so good. You can use those as a reference. In no time, you’ll be coming up with 100% unique campaigns!
Being able to write an interesting, well-researched blog post doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get good results from your emails.
Email copy tends to be a lot more direct and punchy. Every day most of us get dozens of emails. If you’re anything like me, you outright delete most of them and only skim the rest. If you want to stand out, you need to write emails that are at least one cut above the competition.
If you’re new to email marketing, there’s one simple little trick you can use to get amazing results, and that is using templates. They can help teach you what works and what doesn’t. When combining that with analytics, you can figure out what your particular audience likes.
Do you have any questions about how to write great email copy? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!