Use actionable language
Your emails all have ONE purpose no matter who you are or who you’re writing to:
To get people to take action!
It’s the single most important thing for any business looking to drive engagement and revenue.
If you don’t get people to act on your emails, you’re doing something wrong.
How to get your readers to take action
You need to tell people what to do, and you need to do it more than once throughout your email copy.
Email copywriting is different from writing a blog post, for instance, because you have to invite people to take TWO actions::
- They need to open your email, and
- they need to click-through to your target page.
That’s why it’s important that email copywriting isn’t limited to the email copy itself. It includes everything from the subject line, to your call-to-action (CTA), and your PS.
When it comes to the copy of your email, there are many different ways to write and there’s no one way of doing it.
Email copywriting has been (and still is for many) about writing a short email where each sentence has earned its place and supports the CTA of the email.
However, something many marketers forget is that there’s a way to sell without making every sentence a sales pitch…
The concept of storytelling isn’t new, and you’re probably already doing it if you’re writing blog posts or other types of long-form content.
You can use storytelling in your emails, too, making the content of your emails the value, and your CTA the “second” value, almost like a PS.
The idea here is that if your emails are valuable and relevant to your audience, they’re more likely to click your CTA, even though it isn’t the focus of the email.
A great example is Ben Settle, who sends an email to his prospects EVERY day with the same CTA to subscribe to his physical newsletter “Email Players Newsletter”, but with a different story each day.
Ben uses the concept of “infotainment” to promote his product, and his purpose is to get people addicted to his emails—more than he wants them to buy his product because he believes the first matters most:
Here’s a recent example:
He shares a story that’s seemingly irrelevant to his product but evokes curiosity in his readers.
He then ends the email by establishing a connection between the story and the product and creates a relevant call-to-action.
He’s not pushing for a sale, but instead encourage his readers to check it out and see if it’s relevant to them (and if they’re smart marketers, it probably is).
Don’t yell at your prospects
Now, you might have noticed how I’ve CAPITALIZED certain words and phrases in this post to emphasize a point. But be careful when you do it in your emails.
This is another big difference between writing a blog post and email copywriting.
You have limited space to work with when writing emails, and you need to get to the point a lot faster than you do with other types of content.
It can be tempting to capitalize your CTA or even whole sentences in your email that you don’t want people to overlook. But the problem is that it can easily appear as if you’re yelling at people—and no one likes to be yelled at.
Let me illustrate:
“SHOP THE LATEST DRESSES TODAY”
“Shop the latest dresses today”
How did the first sentence sound in your head compared to the second?
A bit louder and aggressive, right?
I’m not saying capitalizing certain words won’t work because sometimes it can, but be careful how you use it.
Here’s a great example from an email I got from Brian Dean:
Here the capitalization is used to emphasize the word and its meaning, and because only the one word in the sentence is capitalized, it doesn’t feel like I’m being yelled at.
As a rule of thumb, you should refrain from capitalizing entire sentences, and stick to single words that help emphasize your point.