Three Tips for Writing Clearer & More Persuasive Emails

If you struggle with copywriting, you’re not alone.

Thousands of marketers (and our high school English teachers) wish we could hide under our desks every time we need to write an email. 

And that’s fine! Some of us are better at the “big picture” strategic thinking, or are masters at creative direction and design. 

But we still need to improve our writing for those amazing ideas to work. Luckily, there’s an old, not-so-secret trick to improve your persuasive writing.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “the ugly first draft,” you know that editing is where the copywriting magic truly happens. Instead of trying to create a perfect masterpiece on your first try, you can edit and optimize your way to a perfect marketing email.

Think of it as a way to improve your writing without actually becoming a better writer – what a marketing hack! 

Want to write better email copy and send higher converting campaigns?

Here are the most important editing basics to focus on, so you can write more persuasive emails!

1. Talk To Yourself… Out Loud

One of the easiest and most effective ways to edit any writing is by reading it aloud. And when it comes to self-editing, that impact is magnified even more since it literally forces you out of your own head.

Reading things out loud makes you slow down and focus on the individual words and phrases, instead of the big picture and what you initially meant. When you’re quickly skimming through paragraphs, that’s way more difficult.

Reciting each and every word makes catching your mistakes unavoidable. Awkward phrasings, confusing paragraphs, and run-on sentences become more obvious out loud.

It’s also a fantastic way to test for brand voice. If you sound like a monotonic robot devoid of any emotion or personality, well that’s a problem you want to fix!

The last reason reading your emails works so well is because you’re less likely to nitpick your own grammar and other tiny details.

Want a real editing secret? With persuasive marketing copy, your grammar doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be super easy to read!

Check out how smooth the copy is in this example from MeUndies:

The goal here is to get your message across, right? So smooth and easy reading is gonna be your best bet!

Chances are, if you get caught up reading your message aloud, your audience will struggle through it too. Which is not just distracting, it also undermines the entire goal of your copy.

So, before you ever hit send again: read every single word out loud.

Wherever you lose your breath or get tongue-tied, you have a spot to smooth out. If something feels awkward, or forced when you say it aloud, re-work the copy until it feels seamless.

Easy peasy!

2. Keep It Focused

The next important tip to keep in mind is that every email is a sales email. Now, I know that may sound odd, but think of it this way…

Even when you’re not directly promoting anything, every single email is helping nurture a relationship with your prospect and bring them closer to a sale.

And a big thing with effective sales messaging and more persuasive emails? They only focus on one irresistible call-to-action.

This is advice to take with all emails: Keep them focused on one goal or message.

It’s fine to repeat the same call-to-action twice, or phrase it a few different ways, like Rye51 does here:

Just make sure your whole email is centered on a single next step, like getting readers to click through and start shopping!

Why?

It all has to do with the paradox of choice: when people have too many things to choose from, they’re more likely to choose nothing. You overwhelm them with CTAs and options to the point that instead of clicking one, they just click delete.

The takeaway here: If your email has lots of links out to different things and asks for a bunch of different next steps, delete all CTAs except the most important one. 

3. Cut The Fluff And Keep It Structured

Lastly, check out Ann Handley’s approach called “editing by chainsaw.” Which basically says that you shouldn’t shy away from making deep cuts.

You don’t want your one ask (your CTA) to get lost in the noise. Confusing tangents, unrelated stories, and repetitive structure can all distract from your marketing message.

This is where using a copywriting formula or following a set structure makes things a lot easier.

So, when the goal is crafting more persuasive emails, don’t be afraid to Texas Chainsaw Massacre it, just like brooklinen did in this message from their CEO:

This is a great example of keeping your copy short, sweet and to-the-point.

But, this isn’t to say that all of your emails will be super short. Some of the most compelling sales emails seem a little copy-heavy.

The goal here is just to be sure every piece of copy “earns its keep.”

So, run through your message, line by line, and make sure every word, sentence, and paragraph adds value.

If a section doesn’t relate to your main goal for the email, it’s fluff – get rid of it!

More Persuasive Emails = Marketing Perfection

Being a strong marketing writer doesn’t take perfect spelling or grammar.

It doesn’t even take natural writing skills.

You just need to know how to clean things up before pressing send.

By learning how to edit your own writing, you won’t just eliminate your worst writing habits and mistakes, you’ll also become a more persuasive marketing copywriter.

With the foundation set in these tips, you’re well on your way to writing more persuasive emails that drive more opens, clicks and conversions!

Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!
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