6 Surefire Steps to Write Supercharged Email Copy That Converts

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Oftentimes, email marketing feels like a war between ourselves and our readers’ attention spans.

Each time someone on your list opens one of your emails, it feels like a small victory doesn’t it?

After all, the average open rate for most marketing emails is less than a paltry 25%. If you have the power to pique your readers’ interest enough to open, you’re on your path to winning the war for your readers’ precious time.

Unfortunately, scoring opens is only half the battle.

Although each and every piece of engagement may feel like a feather in your cap, the fact remains that most readers don’t make it all the way through the messages in their inboxes. While it’s tempting to place the blame on your list, the culprit for poor performance via email marketing often boils down to the same culprit:

Bad copy.

The difference between effective marketing emails and amateurs is the ability to pull readers in and keep their eyes glued to the page. Whether they’re sitting on their desktops or scrolling through their inbox on-the-go, today’s marketers must fight an uphill battle to keep their readers’ attention.

And you know what? Compelling copy is an email marketer’s not-so-secret weapon.

Thankfully, improving your copywriting chops doesn’t require some sort of massive reading list. Nor does it mean that you need to be the second coming of Shakespeare. Firing up your email copy simply requires you to think about your emails word-by-word, one line at a time. Once you understand the elements and steps that keep readers’ eyes on your emails, you can implement them time and time again.

Sending deal emails? Newsletters? Lead magnets? All of the above? The following six-step process works across industries and marketing messages to help you write email copy that converts  and ensure that your readers don’t bounce and make it all the way to your CTA.

 

Present Yourself as the Problem Solver

First thing’s first: if your readers opted-in to your email list, chances are they need some sort of problem solved.

Maybe they’re a small business owner struggling to make their first sale. Perhaps your readers represent a niche group in need of some sort of reassurance or motivation.

Presenting your brand and its messages as problem-solvers represent the best way to not only grab the attention of your readers but also gain their trust. Understanding the problems and pain points of your readers brings you down to their level, making your messages seem more personable. Meanwhile, great copy involves some sort of conflict.

Your marketing emails should strive to make your readers nod in agreement and want to learn more, sentence-by-sentence. Ever wonder why most marketing emails and sales letters start with a question? Likewise, by presenting a problem from the word “go,” you spark curiosity in your readers that encourages them to spot the solution (hint: your business or product).

Bear in mind that the caveat with presenting problem-based messages is to not be too wordy. The longer your messages, the more chances your readers have to bounce.

 

Be Smart With Your Solutions

Now, the trick with presenting yourself as the problem solver is that you must offer a legitimate solution to your readers, not just a bait-and-switch.

If there’s no payoff by the end of your messages (think: some sort of knowledge, revelation or call-to-action), your readers will grow skeptical of your intentions and tune you out. For example, consider the following when encouraging engagement with your messages:

  • Try to teach something in the body of your emails: whether it be a tip, trick or tidbit of wisdom, whetting their appetite for knowledge now will help you sell to your readers later
  • Emphasize “free” whenever possible: your readers want to learn from you, not get hit over the head with a sales pitch
  • Avoid “salesy” language: don’t discuss price points or money if possible. (save that for your sales pages)
  • In short, do not try to dump a sales letter on your readers. Instead, emphasize free solutions and education as means of nurturing your list.

 

Use Urgency and Scarcity to Your Advantage

Once you’ve outlined a problem and a solution, you need to ask yourself one crucial question: what’s going to keep your readers on the page?

Compelling email is all about psychology. Rather than play guessing games with your readers, why not make your job so much easier by sticking to the tried-and-tested principles that just plain work?

The two most meaningful triggers in the marketing world are urgency and scarcity. These can be seen everywhere from email marketing to the world of retail.

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, urgency represents the notion that time is running out. Scarcity implies that supply is running out. When paired together, they light a fire under your readers that force them to act or, at the very least, spend more time thinking about your messages.

Limited-time offers and flash sales which include deadlines create a sense of “now or never” for your readers. Meanwhile, messages noting that space or supplies are limited likewise provide an incentive for to readers to take action.

To put it simply, your most important messages should drive your readers to act now instead of later.

 

Provide Proof

Now, let’s talk about the matter of trust.

Chances are, your readers are bombarded with emails on a daily basis. They’ve probably been burned in the past by marketing emails that simply weren’t worth their time.

Therefore, it’s paramount that you establish a sense of trust with your readers. Even if your messages are masterfully written, they mean little if your readers think you’re just a snake oil salesman.

The solution? Social proof.

From positive reviews and testimonials to examples of your products in action, social proof comes in many shapes and sizes. Social proof signals to your readers that you’ve produced positive results for others and you can do the same for them.

 

Reward Your Readers

As noted, your readers are likely fed up with marketing messages which make them feel like they’re simply being sold to.

On the flip side, what if there was a way to make your readers actually look forward to your emails? Strive to make your readers feel like VIPs when they see your emails in their inbox.

In other words, your subscribers should feel like they’re being rewarded for reading your emails. Exclusive emails, such content or offers that they can’t get via your website, will keep them coming back for more. Signal that you’re a helpful hand versus someone trying to make a quick buck.

Finish with a Killer CTA

Each and every email you send should include some sort of call-to-action.

Click here. Share your thoughts. Grab your free e-book. You name it.

In other words, your emails should signal that your readers need to take action versus clicking the “Back” button. What’s the point of having your readers get all the way through your messages without giving them something to do?

While there are no “hard and fast” rules to crafting a killer CTA, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Make it pop: power words such as “secret,” “now,” and “instantly” grab your readers’ attention. These breathe life into your CTAs (note: urgency and scarcity also come into play here)
  • Don’t be afraid of including more than one CTA: sprinkling multiple opportunities for readers to click can, in fact, help your click-through rates (granted you’re not spammy about it)
  • Highlight the benefits of why readers should click: if possible, give your readers a “because” or compelling reason to engage with your CTA. (think: more traffic, more subscribers, more money, etc)


Despite popular belief, CTAs have just as much to do with copy as they do with design. Sure, we want our CTAs to stand out from a visual perspective (think: bigger text and bold colors), but every CTA needs powerful copy to drive readers to click.

 

You Have What it Takes to Write Supercharged Email Copy That Converts

When these six steps come together, you have the elements of a powerful email campaign that keeps your subscribers engaged and hungry for more. Although it requires some experimentation or tweaking to perfect, writing awesome emails doesn’t require you to be a master copywriter. This six-step formula works wonders for newbies and experts alike, regardless of your audience.

Want to get the most out of your marketing emails and start to write email copy that converts? You’re going to need an equally awesome email automation solution to send more messages and grow your list at the same time. If you haven’t already, give Sendlane a spin to see how our platform can help you supercharge your email strategy today!

 

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Jimmy Kim
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Jimmy Kim

CEO at Sendlane
Based out of San Diego, California, Jimmy has been a digital marketer for the past 8+ years. Before his ventures online, Jimmy rose from the ranks, started off by washing cars at a local dealership and eventually ended up being one of the youngest General Managers in the country by the age of 25. After being burnt out working 80+ hours a week, he eventually turned to Internet Marketing. He found a passion in email marketing and in 2013 helped create Sendlane as one of the co-founders. Today, he leads the entire Sendlane team.
Jimmy Kim
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