Read these 6 Email Copywriting Tips Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Freelance Writing tips and hundreds of other topics.
Email is a medium we use for marketing, but it is also the medium people use for keeping in touch with family and friends. The basic nature of the medium is personal and countless examples have demonstrated that a personal voice works better—even for companies and organizations.
A personal voice needs to be genuine and real. If you create a bogus ‘personal' voice simply to manipulate your readers, it won't take them more than a blink of an eye to figure out what you are doing. Just be yourself, be genuine, and be truthful. When people perceive a genuinely personal voice in email, they respond very positively.
Should every email be personal and have a light touch? No, sometimes the purpose is to step out and sell as hard as you can.
If you send out automated emails in response to a visitor action on your site, take full advantage of the moment.
Perhaps you send a thank-you emails when people subscribe to your newsletter or a confirmation email when people make a purchase. Whatever the reason for the email, make full use of it. In other words, don't just say ‘thanks'. You have a high quality of attention at that moment, use it. Let people know what else they can do on your site.
*Provide links to the most popular areas and pages. And write in a way that is personal and engaging.
If you want to write effective emails and newsletters that perform well, you have to understand the metrics. That is to say, the smart writer and marketer takes a look at what is and what isn't working for other companies with their email marketing efforts.
Here's a quick test for you. Do you know the answers to the following questions?
#1. What's the average open rate for house lists? Rented lists? Email newsletters?
#2. What's the average click rate for house lists? Rented or other 3rd party lists? Ads in newsletters?
#3. How do opens, clicks, and conversions differ by B-to-B versus B-to-C?
#4. How do clicks and conversions vary between free offers and direct sales offers?
#5. Text vs. HTML (vs. Rich Media): which formats can email users actually receive properly, and which do they prefer to receive?
#6. Are users more (or less) likely to join your opt-in list these days, and what would persuade more people to join your list?
#7. How much email is filtered out as "spam" (even if it's not) before it reaches the end recipient? What other factors affect your email delivery?
#8. How will consumers respond to marketing offers contained in "relationship" admin email such as shipping notices and receipts?
#9. Which tests are worth investing in, and which don't produce useful results? Should you test subject lines? "From"? Personalization? Segmentation? Long copy vs short? Rich media?
#10. What types of email tactics should you budget for 2005, and which should you consider cutting back on? How are other marketers changing their budgets?
Thought you knew everything on the subject, didn't you? Chances are, however, that you don't know the answers to all of these questions.
These are important questions to focus on. Try researching these topics online or in a specialized book on marketing, email, and links.
If your list is large enough, test your subject lines before the main ‘send'. It's almost impossible to predict which subject line will work best. Without testing, you are simply guessing.
With or without testing, don't try ‘selling' or even ‘teasing' in your subject line. The use of marketing or sales words in your subject line can easily lead to your email being filtered. In other words – it might look like spam. And, even if your message gets past email and spam filters, your subscribers might also see it as ‘spammy' and delete it.
The key here is to achieve RECOGNITION. Use the subject line to get recipients to think, “Yes, I've been waiting for something from these guys. I want to read this.”
Use your company name, or newsletter name. Say something to help the recipient recognize that this email is from a source they trust. Also, keep your subject lines under 50 characters in length.
*Before you send it, test your email through one of the 'spam detector' services...just to see if it is likely to trigger any email filters.
If you ever read your email in Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo or any other email provider, you know that the entire email isn't always visible without scrolling down. A lot of the screen is taken up by information and advertising so there isn't a great deal of space left over for your email.
Before writing an email, be aware of how much of your message will appear on the first screen and make that information count. You want people to start scrolling down to read the rest of your message and they won't bother to scroll down if the first few lines of your message are not sufficiently compelling and relevant.
Who likes Spam anyway? Because of the huge amount of spam, email filters are becoming more and more aggressive. Email and email newsletters are being filtered at both the gateway and ISP level, then it has to get past individual spam filter settings (this is a huge problem for email marketers and newsletter publishers who are writing direct email marketing campaigns).
To get past the filters you need to be very careful about the language you use both in your subject lines and in the body of your content when you are writing promotional emails. Avoid “selling” words (there are obvious ones like “Free” and “Now”). Some ISP content filters will also count it against you if you use these words or phrases (“opt-in”, “unsubscribe”, “guarantee” and “click here”, etc.).
*Before you send your email, you can run it through a SpamCheck service.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|