How to Write Great Email Marketing Copy

by Karen J. Marchetti

What makes great email marketing copy?  When you prepare your next promotional email message, be sure it meets these 7 key tests:

1. Compelling Email Subject Line

Create a subject line that delivers a strong reason to open or read the message.  Promise a benefit, the “what’s in it for me.”

2. Engaging Lead Paragraph

Your first or “lead” paragraph should remind of some pain (“Are you having a problem with . . .”?), promise some pleasure (“Do you wish you could . . .”), or intrigue with something the recipient didn’t know.

3. Scan-able Subheads

Subheads should be written to deliver the entire message (so your message can be easily scanned).

  • If I just read the headline and subheads, I should get all of the key points of your email marketing message.

4. Conversational Copy

The best email marketing copy is conversational (because most emails are meant to be part of a conversation).

  • Is your email message written the way you’d say it face-to-face?

5. Answers “Why should I buy yours?”

Email copy should help differentiate your product.

  • The best copy clearly proves what your product or service can do that other offerings can’t.

6. Persuading Offer

Your email copy should give a strong reason(s) to take the next step.

7. Lean Copy

Every word in your email message should be there for a reason — there shouldn’t be any superfluous words you could remove (without changing the strength of the sell).

  • Every word in your email marketing message should be the strongest word you could use.  Use engaging action verbs and other vibrant words that paint a strong picture in the prospect’s mind.