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Email marketing copy: top tips

Posted by Stuart Walters on June 16, 2019

Email marketing campaigns remain one of the most effective and cheapest ways to reach your audience. They are targeted, personalised, and inexpensive. What’s not to love?

However, many emails get left unopened with the average person receiving 121 emails per day! 121! That’s not an easy number to compete with so you’ve got to get it right in order to get those conversions.  

When creating the content of your email campaigns there are multiple things you need to think about including the following…  



This is a bit of buzzword when it comes to email marketing but it’s a buzzword for a reason. Apparently, personalised emails convert 10% more than those without any personalisation. People don’t want to be the subject of mass marketing anymore but prefer personalised and unique message. This, however, is a little more complex than mass marketing, obviously.  

It is the worth the money, however, and there are lots of tools that make this easy and straight forward. MailChimp and Hubspot are the obvious choices for email marketing and have personalising options so that you can easily do the basics and address the person you are emailing by name.  

Many companies take this a little further and they do personalised recommendations and more to help target people specifically. This can be very effective and beneficial to companies. If you have the money and the time to create automated ways of doing this, it is worth it. 


Subject lines 

Your subject line is the first thing people see and often the deciding factor about whether people are going to open the email or not. A spammy, impersonal subject line can result in a low open rate and therefore low conversions. So what makes a good subject line? 

Again, personalisation is always a good idea but apart from this the subject line needs to tell the consumer exactly what the email is about. If the subject line is confusing or a little spammy the email is much less likely to be opened as it won’t seem worth the time to open it.  

Try and tell your consumers exactly what they can expect from the email and why it is worth them opening it. Some great examples are those that are enticing but not super pushy salesperson-y (I have coined a new term there I think).  

Imagine you are the consumer, what would you open? If the subject line said something along the lines of ‘GET YOUR 10% OFF NOW, BE QUICK’ in capitals letters and ‘shout-y’ like that, it is not only likely to go in the spam box but it is also likely to be immediately deleted without being open. ‘An exclusive offer for you to get ready for summer’ explains what the promotional email is about without feeling like a mass marketed spam.  


Preview text 

It is important not to neglect the preview text as well. Whilst the subject line is the first thing people will see, the preview text comes close second and can expand nicely on the subject line. In order to avoid being too salesy in your subject line you could include offers information in the preview instead and focus on the product in the subject line. 

Whatever your email message is, updates, news, offers, make sure you edit your preview text so that it explains what the email is going to be about. It is often forgotten about but it is like your SEO description, it helps somebody know whether they should click on your site or email.  


Your audience 

It is extremely important to know who you are addressing and amend you emails accordingly. This is where segmentation comes in.  

If you are targeting an older audience, using emojis might not be the best way to go about it for example. Think about the sociolect of that generation or that group of people and try and mirror it to some extent in the language you use. It makes it more personal (sorry that word again!) if you use similar language to the person you are targeting and doesn’t alienated people. Imagine your grandma opening an email with the word ‘banter’ in, she just wouldn’t understand and probably just leave the email immediately.  

This is why it can be good to ask your consumers a little bit of information like their date of birth when they sign up to your email campaigns. But be careful to get the balance right, too many questions and people are unlikely to answer them in order to sign up. Too few questions and you don’t have enough information but too many questions and you won’t get sign ups.  


The message (one single message) 

Whilst it might seem obvious, it is often not exercised and can lead to a low conversion rate so always, always make sure that you only have one message per email. Imagine opening a marketing email and seeing five different things advertised or promoted! It would just be confusing and overwhelming and probably not worth your time. 

Obviously, if it’s a newsletter then there will be multiple items but the message is an update and a newsletter and there is no obvious CTA so this is different. 

You need one CTA per email and one message overall. Then STICK to it. Don’t go off on a tangent and try and get every offer you possibly can in to it, they can wait until the next one. Think about what conversions you want from this particular campaign and keep it simple.  


The design  

The copy is obviously important but the design is arguably even more so. Not just a nice, interesting design for people to see but also a responsive one. So many people now use their phones to check their emails and so if your email is not optimised for email you will immediately loose conversions without one word people read (because they probably can’t!).  


The design of an email campaign is not something I can put down in one bullet point so this will have not come in another blog.  

It is also extremely important to test your campaigns before they get sent. This should go without saying but make sure this is done and the design is tested on different devices!  


The basics 

The last thing to remember is to never forget the basics! Make sure that your campaigns follow a logical structure, your paragraphs are kept short, and you have one point per paragraph. You know – the basics.  


Need help with your email campaigns? Get in touch with our digital marketing team for some advice.