From broadcasting times to design, there are different variables that can influence the success of an email marketing campaign. Copywriting is one of the biggest variables that can determine whether the recipient takes action or send the email straight to the trash. Here are a few guidelines for writing effective email copy:

Create a hook

Most people scan or skim-read their emails to get through them as quickly as possible. According to an analysis of billions of emails using Litmus Email Analytics, the average time spent reading an email in 2016 was 11.1 seconds. Each part of an email should be written for “scannability” and needs a hook that draws the reader’s attention straight away to respond to the mailer and improve engagement. There should be emphasis on elements such as the main promotion, persuasive headings, personalisation etc.

Create relevance

Personalisation is not only addressing a reader by name, it’s also about communicating relevant offers to the reader focusing on contextual and personal relevancy. Purchase history and consumer behaviour can be used to determine what type of material should be communicated to the reader. Real-time context such as weather and location can also be used in email to increase the relevancy of the mail.

Be informal

Informal language can be difficult to implement as the copy needs to be aligned with the brand’s image and fit the brand’s tone of voice. When explaining something in an email it is likely to come across stiff and salesy. The copy should have a human element to it being conversational and easy to read as if you are writing to an individual and not a large group of people.

Have a persona in mind

Using customers’ motivations, traits, desires and potential reactions, a customer persona can be created which allows the brand to understand the customer to motivate them and convey real value.

Consider readable flow and formatting

Email campaigns should have flow and continuity from the subject line to the headings to the body of the email. Words are key, but the way it’s laid out and formatted will emphasise your key message and guide the reader’s eye. Elements to consider in the body of an email are bolding text, italics, bullet points, adding text into images, animated text, sizes, colours etc.

Show personality and draw on emotions

Email is a bit more serious form of marketing compared to social media and other digital advertising. Memorable emails are those that aren’t all about selling a product or service, it’s the ones that raises a smile or creates a meaningful connection with the reader. The product or service that’s being promoted should communicate the value it offers to the reader.

Keep it to the point

Write an email in a way that is concise and to the point. Less is always more. Don’t use unnecessary words or repeat the same message in different ways. Use one idea per paragraph.

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