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Email Marketing Tips: Introduction to Email Copywriting

Email Marketing Tutorial

Email copywriting is probably the one aspect of actually doing email marketing that people either fuss over or neglect. People either doubt their abilities in this area, don’t think about it or over estimate.

Bloggers, being writers, would expect to be ahead of the game, but sadly that is not always the case.

While a couple of years ago it was common to see newsletter writers brag that they write 50 or so articles a year, a blogger today probably writes as many in a couple of months or less. So there is a practice-makes-perfect advantage in favor of bloggers, but writing a blog post is not the same as writing an email.

Email is Personal

When you are writing an email for broadcast it is best to think of it as from you to one person. It is not a Superbowl ad, it is a letter from one individual to another.

Obviously when subscribers get the RSS feed automatically delivered as email there is not much that can be done, but as my email subscribers found out this week, when you do send out an email broadcast the tone needs to be a little different to be successful.

Always keep in mind the recipient, write it to them.

AIDA for Email Marketing

In the marketing world AIDA is an acronym used as shorthand for

  • Attention – Get them to open the email
  • Interest – Introduce the email well. Give them something interesting to read so they don’t hit delete right away.
  • Desire – Build motivation in the body of the email
  • Action – Drive the reader to click your link

Priority Number One – Email Subject Lines

The first order of business is to get the recipient to open the email. That means your email subject lines have to rock.

Yes, you need great content to your email, but it will never be seen if you don’t get that email opened.

Obviously, as we saw in the previous article in this email marketing tips series, great open rates do not necessarily translate into better sales, so we are not looking to gimmicks, or to make a sale using only 5 words, but ways to invite the recipient to read.

Interest and Desire

Rather than launching into a sales message, make the email about them.

Instead of your products and all the fantastic things you can sell, write about your list members problems and how to solve them. Your products and services can be introduced as part of that solution.

Just as the subject line is there to get the email open, your intro needs to do one job; get them to read the rest of the email!

The introduction is a landing strip that leads to the body of the email. Tell a story, capture some interest, build a mystery, whatever it takes to make your reader stop thinking about what is for lunch and take notice of what you have to say.

It does not need to be pushy, conversational works best.

If you do a good job, the next bit is easy.

Action!

Your email has a goal, and that is to get people to do something; take action.

The Action part confuses people. This might sound strange in a series about email marketing but I do NOT suggest you try to sell directly from the email message. That is asking too much. Just get them to click through to the landing page is probably sufficient. While people do manage to sell in their emails and drop people straight onto a credit card page, I think you will have much more success just getting people interested in reading more about your offer.

Action does not necessarily mean “sale”. It could be a click, or could be hitting “reply”. My email subscribers will have seen this when I wrote about what my email list is about and asked for some specific replies. That email, about 24 hours later, is looking to have about a 5% response rate, which considering people have to make an effort, write an actual reply, and send it, is doing pretty well.

Bottom Line

  1. Consider what your most wanted response will be.
  2. Create a compelling subject line that invites opening.
  3. Write your email content to build up motivation.
  4. Make your call to action clear and easy.
  5. Track response.

In the next article I will give you some compelling subject line formulas that will give you the best chances of having your emails opened rather than thrown in the junk pile.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this post.

    I am preparing to start offering my readers an email newsletter, and this series has been invaluable.

    Incidentally, it’s interesting to see how you implement these tips in your own newsletter!

  2. Thank you for this post.

    I am preparing to start offering my readers an email newsletter, and this series has been invaluable.

    Incidentally, it’s interesting to see how you implement these tips in your own newsletter!

  3. Glad you like it Mike, it’s turning out to be a monster to write πŸ™‚ Hope you like the special treat for email subscribers coming on monday πŸ˜€

  4. Glad you like it Mike, it’s turning out to be a monster to write πŸ™‚ Hope you like the special treat for email subscribers coming on monday πŸ˜€

  5. previous post – website address was wrong – Friday’s πŸ™‚

  6. previous post – website address was wrong – Friday’s πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Rolv, what do you mean?

  8. Hi Rolv, what do you mean?

  9. Thanks for the great tips. It seems like people often forget that basic marketing or advertising strategies that are used “in real life” need to be applied to online marketing as well. Thanks again.

  10. Thanks for the great tips. It seems like people often forget that basic marketing or advertising strategies that are used “in real life” need to be applied to online marketing as well. Thanks again.

  11. Great to see this clear and informative post on email marketing. We live in an amazing time! There is so much information out there, and you have contributed helpful information to us.

    Thank you!

  12. Great to see this clear and informative post on email marketing. We live in an amazing time! There is so much information out there, and you have contributed helpful information to us.

    Thank you!

  13. Thank you for this post Chris, it’s very informative for me, I will try it πŸ˜€

  14. Thank you for this post Chris, it’s very informative for me, I will try it πŸ˜€

  15. Chris,

    This comment is primarily focused on the “D” of AIDA.

    I like to recommend the 80/20 rule as a “default” position. With regards to the 20%, I agree completely with the principle that you are teaching in the Action section of this post. It is acceptable for 20% or less of your email to be “in your self interest” but should not be a direct sales attempt.

    As for the 80%,if you have done a thorough job of researching your optimal target audience then you should have a good idea of their interest areas outside of your own industry. It is acceptable for you to focus on complementary industries, but the 80% should focus on providing empowerment, research and resources in areas which interest your target audience without being “directly” in your self interest.

    As an example, one of my former newsmastering clients was involved in Interior Design and Stained Glass. He was not involved in architecture. His news portal focused on current events involving Prairie Modern, the Arts and Crafts movement and Frank Lloyd Wright because these were topics which interested his target audience.

    James Shewmaker
    Qwerty.us

  16. Chris,

    This comment is primarily focused on the “D” of AIDA.

    I like to recommend the 80/20 rule as a “default” position. With regards to the 20%, I agree completely with the principle that you are teaching in the Action section of this post. It is acceptable for 20% or less of your email to be “in your self interest” but should not be a direct sales attempt.

    As for the 80%,if you have done a thorough job of researching your optimal target audience then you should have a good idea of their interest areas outside of your own industry. It is acceptable for you to focus on complementary industries, but the 80% should focus on providing empowerment, research and resources in areas which interest your target audience without being “directly” in your self interest.

    As an example, one of my former newsmastering clients was involved in Interior Design and Stained Glass. He was not involved in architecture. His news portal focused on current events involving Prairie Modern, the Arts and Crafts movement and Frank Lloyd Wright because these were topics which interested his target audience.

    James Shewmaker
    Qwerty.us