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Email copywriting guide: Boost sales with engaging e-mails

18 writing tips for persuasive email marketing that drives conversion

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing activities you can include in your communication strategy. With so much digital noise out there, a well-written email can help you hit the mark with your target audiences.

Whether you’re a seasoned copywriter or dipping your toes into email marketing for the first time, this guide provides tips to help you write emails that capture the reader’s interest and boost your conversion rate. Let’s get started! 

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Is email copywriting necessary nowadays?

Yes, absolutely! Even though social media plays a significant role in most people’s lives, email marketing is still one of the most effective tools to reach your target audience. Why? Because emails allow you to communicate directly with your existing and potential customers. 

Unlike social media posts, which often disappear in an endless sea of other posts, an email stays in the recipient’s inbox, waiting to be opened. 

Armed with a good email strategy and great email copy, you can increase your sales and build lasting relationships with your customers. 

3 common email mistakes you can easily avoid

Before we dive into our email copywriting tips, we are going to look at three common email mistakes you need to avoid when working with email marketing.  

Lacking a clear goal

Sending emails without a clear goal is like trying to find a new address without a map – you are likely to end up going in circles and arriving late. Every time you send a marketing email, you should have a set goal. The goal can be to inform, persuade, or create engagement. 

Before clicking send, ask yourself the following question: what do I want the reader to do after reading my email? When you have a clear goal, there is a much greater chance that the reader will take your message to heart. 

Information overload

If your customers wanted to read a novel, they would go to the library. Sending a long email with a lot of text and information can overwhelm your readers and distract them from your main message. Think of your email as a kind of taste sample of the rest of the content your readers can explore when they click through to your website. 

Using an unclear sender name

If the recipient does not recognise the sender, they may not open your email. Your sender name should be the name of your business, your website, or a combination of your name and the business name. 

Some businesses use a first name like Oliver, Sarah, or James as the sender’s name. This might sound like a good option to give your email a more personal touch, but it can backfire if the recipient can’t see that the email is coming from your business. To prevent this, you can include your (or your colleague’s) name, but you should combine it with the business name, e.g., John from YourBusinessName. 

18 copywriting tips for emails that drive sales

Whether your goal is to create engagement, increase sales, or build brand trust, good email copy can make all the difference. We have compiled a list of 18 tested writing tips for email copy that captures the recipient’s interest and gets them to act, whether you want them to order your coffee bean subscription, sign up for your sci-fi newsletter, or book a trial session at your yoga studio. 

1. Know your target audience

Knowing your target audience is one of the most important building blocks in a good marketing strategy. This, of course, also applies to email marketing. Who is your target audience? Where do they live? What problems do they experience? What solutions do they need? Tailor your content to their needs and interests by writing engaging emails with messages that make sense to them.

2. Welcome new readers

Send a welcome email to new customers and subscribers. A warm welcome gives your new readers a good impression from the first email. Here you can briefly introduce your brand, highlight key benefits of your business’s solutions, and possibly offer a special welcome discount. This will make your readers feel valued the first time they open an email from you.

3. Write a great subject line every time

Your subject line is the first thing your readers see, so it’s extremely important. A good subject line grabs the reader’s attention within seconds. Create excitement, promise something good, or ask a relevant question. Subject lines are so important that we’ve dedicated an entire article to them. Read more about subject lines.

4. Make sure your subject line matches your content

Once you’ve promised your reader something with a great subject line, you naturally need to do your best to ensure that the reader isn’t as disappointed with the content as they were with the finely wrapped Christmas present from Uncle John. Make sure the content delivers what you promise in the subject line, and you’ll quickly increase the chances that the recipient will also open your next email.

5. Be consistent with your tone of voice

Your tone of voice makes up a large and important part of your brand’s personality. Whether your business’s tone is professional, relaxed, or humorous, it is crucial to use it consistently across all your platforms and marketing activities.

6. Make the reader want to take action

The point of your email marketing is to get your readers to do something. Whether your goal is to get the reader to sign up for your webinar, buy a product in your online shop, or book a table at your restaurant, your email must have a clear CTA – preferably placed on a button that the reader can’t help but click on.

7. Use social proof

Customers trust other customers more than you. Therefore, it is always an advantage if you can strengthen your sales arguments with social proof such as reviews or testimonials from satisfied customers. Make a video interview with a customer or share some of your best reviews from Google or Trustpilot in your emails. 
 
This should, of course, be done in a way that feels natural. For example, if you are sending an email aiming to get the reader to try your new spice blend, you can include a few positive reviews of the blend or link to a page where the recipient can read them.

8. Include numbers and statistics

And now, since we’re already talking about strengthening your arguments, we need to mention numbers and statistics. It may sound dry, but it works! Numbers make it nice and easy for the reader to decode your message. Compare, for example:

We already have 420 happy course participants versus We already have many happy course participants.  
 
Which of the two messages does your brain absorb best? 
 
The numbers must, of course, be correct and impress the reader. If you still only have 3 participants, it is better to use statistics such as X percent feel less stressed after yoga. Don’t forget to state where your statistics come from.

9. Everyone loves a good bullet point

Bulleted lists are fantastic when you want to highlight important key points. Additionally, it is easier for busy readers to skim an email with bullet points. And why not use ✅ or another appropriate emoji in your lists?

Example:

     Benefits of yoga:

✅ Improves strength, balance, and flexibility
✅ Helps with back pain relief
✅ Good for your heart
✅ Gives you more energy
✅ Helps you manage stress

10. Get to the point

Your readers are busy, either with life or with scrolling, so you shouldn’t risk wasting their time with a lengthy introduction. Get to the point immediately and introduce your main message early in the email. This way, you keep the reader engaged and ensure they don’t miss the most important points.

11. Avoid triggering the recipient’s spam filter

Certain words and phrases can trigger the recipient’s spam filter. If this happens, you risk your email ending up directly in spam. Therefore, you should avoid words like free, click, loan, money, congratulations, 100%, discount, bonus, and multiple exclamation marks in your subject lines.

A good tip is to check your own spam folder (without clicking on anything) to see examples of emails that end up there. It’s not only spam but also emails from unfortunate businesses that have used the wrong words in the subject line. However, we must also add that some spam filters don’t always work as intended, so an email can end up there even if you have written a perfect subject line.

12. Sell without sounding salesy

Most people don’t like a pushy salesperson. Even though your goal is to sell something, you should avoid making it very obvious. If you use many clichés and empty marketing language, you risk annoying the reader and having them delete the email.  
 
Instead, focus on highlighting actual benefits without exaggerating. Address the reader in a natural way and tell them how your solution can solve their problem or meet their needs.

13. Address the reader directly

You can make your email sound more engaging if you address the reader directly with the pronoun “you”. This makes it instantly easier for the reader to relate to your message.

Instead of writing…

Many cat owners experience that their cat scratches the sofa  

…you can write: 

Does your cat also scratch the sofa? 

14. Use storytelling

Stories just have a special effect on our brains. By using storytelling in your emails, you can increase the chances that your reader will find your email interesting and remember the message for longer.  
 
Share small anecdotes, customer stories, or a story about how your products are made. In our article ’Strengthen your brand with storytelling’, you can read more about how to use stories in your marketing.

15. Proofread, proofread, proofread

Even seasoned copywriters make errors, but an email with several spelling and grammatical errors will be perceived as less professional. It’s important to always set aside time for proofreading. Use tools like Grammarly or the built-in spell check in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

You can also read your text aloud to yourself. That way you will more easily discover errors that you missed while working on your email.

16. Send a test email to your colleague

To be absolutely sure that your email is ready to land in the recipient’s inbox, it’s a good idea to send a test email to one or more of your colleagues. Choose three people with different phones and ask them to open the email on a desktop as well. This ensures that the text, CTA buttons, and images in your email look as they should on all devices. It can also be good to check how the email looks in dark mode since many readers have activated this on their devices.

17. Utilise AI tools

Make writing and proofreading your emails easier with AI tools. Even if you prefer to write your own texts and use your company’s Tone of Voice, AI tools can be a great help in your creative process. If, for example, you struggle to come up with a better subject line, you can input your first draft into an AI tool, such as ChatGPT, and ask the tool to give you 10 different suggestions for a new subject line based on the one you have already written. Read more about AI writing.

18. Use A/B testing

A/B tests give you a fantastic opportunity to test two different subject lines or emails on a small handful of your recipients before sending them out to your entire mailing list. This way, you can let your readers decide which version of your email they prefer. 
 
Most marketing platforms and newsletter systems include the option to conduct A/B tests. When the A/B test is completed, you will typically be able to see how many readers opened the two different versions, clicked on links, and read the content. This also means that you get valuable insight into what works best with your audience, so you can continuously fine-tune and tailor your email marketing.

Final questions before sending

Before clicking ‘send’, ask yourself these 5 questions: 

  1. Does the email hook the reader right away? Your email should grab the reader’s attention from the first sentence. Is your first sentence sharp enough? 
  2. Can the text be shortened? Keep it short and sweet. Can you convey your main message with fewer words? 
  3. Does the email have value for the reader? Does your email truly have value for the reader and not just for you? Value can be information, entertainment, a special offer, or the solution to a problem the recipient has. 
  4. Is my CTA clear? Can the reader easily see and understand your CTA? Consider if the placement or text can be improved. 
  5. Is my email error-free? Even after proofreading, small errors can still sneak in here and there. Do your links work? Is there an extra word? Is the formatting correct? Have you written the correct price or discount in the text about your great offer?

Write emails you would like to read yourself

Good email copywriting is ultimately about writing content that you would be happy to find in your own inbox. Write emails that are engaging, captivating, and have a recognisable tone of voice that your recipients associate with your brand. If you follow our 18 tips, you are well-equipped to succeed with your email copywriting and achieve more conversions.