Top 10 Tips for Great Email Copy

Top 10 Tips for Great Email Copy

Anyone who is in demand generation needs to write a lot of email copy.  For nurturing, for prospecting, to promote events, to get referrals – you name it.  It’s not hard, but I’ll share a few of my tricks for success:

  1. As always, set an objective.  Since demand generation is all about driving response, it’s probably to get your reader to go to a landing page to fill out a form.  So set a goal for conversions.  Don’t be tempted to include more than one call to action – that will confuse the reader and lower your response.
  2. Second, define your target audience.  The best email copy is written very personally.  As if you were writing directly to one reader at a time.  If you review the list and find there are a few segments – say different company roles or different product purchasers, segment your email so that you can version the copy to make it more personal.  Never send transparently generic email.
  3. Follow the Demand Generation Golden Rule– make sure your email is relevant and answers from the reader’s perspective “What’s in it for me?”  If there isn’t anything in it for the reader, there’s no reason for them to read the email or respond.  And you’re taking a chance on getting an opt-out or a SPAM complaint.  So make sure every word you write focuses on the reader’s needs.
  4. Use the right amount of copy to make your point.  It’s logical that shorter copy is easier to scan, but don’t be afraid to use enough copy to get that response. Relevance is more important than length.
  5. Make the email readable at a glance. Use headlines, bold type and bullet points.  And definitely put links in to make response easy.  However, don’t put in links that aren’t going to your call to action.  Informational links to your website, a news site or even directions to the hotel for an event just ask your reader to click out of your email before they can respond.
  6. In my experience, graphics don’t add much positive difference to response and may even depress response if they take a long time to load or can’t be seen on a mobile device, so consider leaving them out.  The exception is a product or destination where the image is vital.    But if you do use a graphic, make sure that your email works without loaded images so the reader can get the point in the preview screen.
  7. An email shouldn’t read like a brochure.  Don’t make it dry, don’t fill your email with legal mouse type and don’t be afraid to show some personality.  I have one client who uses kind of a “hey dude” type of language.  At first I wasn’t sure it was a good idea, but it reflects their company culture and their response rates are through the roof.
  8. The subject line is not an afterthought.   It’s what’s going to get your email opened.  So put a lot of effort into it.  But make sure it’s not too long.  More than 30-40 characters won’t appear in the preview pane.
  9. Use a P.S. in your email.  Always.  (Here’s my blog on that!)
  10. Use best practices in how you send your email.  Never attach anything to the email.  It will get caught in SPAM filters and looks unprofessional.  And sending content takes away the reason for the reader to respond anyway.   And never send the email via cc or even bcc.  Use a professional email solution.

Not sure you’ve got it right?  Contact me – I’d be happy to review your email

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