How do you create the email copy that’ll increase your click-through rates?
If you haven’t already been there, go check out our previous post on Email Marketing Tips For Beginners, this is a follow-on article on how to craft the perfect email message body.
Here’s the essentials you need to know to get started:
Keeping It Relevant –
Seems obvious right? Just like the subject line should aim for relevancy through personalisation, so should the message body in your email.
Now we’re not just talking about the [FIRSTNAME] tag placed throughout the message, you need to really convince your readers that whatever message you’re trying to convey is relevant to each individual.
You should use the first line or paragraph of your message to highlight how you know eachother, or exactly why you’re emailing them in the first place.
Let’s use a hypothetical brand for our scenario below… Tanners, a high-street tanning salon.
For example, Tanners needs to tell the reader why they’re being emailed, “Your tan is fading, don’t forget your top-up is due very soon”, and that the email is offering a discount on treatments before they are actually due for a top-up.
This is just a simple scenario but it gets to the point in the very first line of the message.
Imagine an email from this brand that didn’t have a first line or paragraph, and started with something like, “Keeping an year-round tan can be a hassle. Luckily, it’s easy to book an appointment with a tanning specialist at Tanners, your favourite tanning salon”.
…Why am I getting an email about my tan? How do you even know me? Why do I need your help?
By reminding the recipients that they previously had a tan or other treatment with Tanners, there’s a greater likelihood the person will click-through and redeem their offer in the email (unless Tanners are substandard and the person has found somewhere else of course).
Keeping It In The Second Person –
Pronouns like “you”, “your”, and “yours” are all examples of writing in the second person; it means your direct the copy of your email towards the reader, not yourself.
“Your sales emails are not your diary”
Of course you will want to include words like “we”, “we’re”, and “our” when citing your brand, but make sure the second person language addressing the customer outnumbers the pronouns above.
This subtle tactic of keeping the email copy focused on the customer, not the brand, helps your email message stay value-orientated while keeping it personal to each and every customer you are marketing to.
It’s ALL About Benefits –
Your sales copy must highlight the BENEFITS of your product or service, NOT the features of it.
Many brands, big and small, still struggle to grasp this simple concept.
I mean, you know the high value of your email, but does your recipient? – Not yet. But it’s your job as a marketer or brand to explain the value.
For example, a clothing brand is marketing a new jacket in a product launch email campaign. They can do it two ways:
- They provide an image of the jacket along with a small amount of copy identifying what makes this jacket worth their (the customers) while. E.g. versatility, comfort, Eco-material etc. This ad is then finished off with a call-to-action to click the link for a 20% discount.
- They provide an image of the jacket with the product name as the heading, and a caption stating “Buy now for 20% off”. This ad is complete with a “buy now” button linking directly to the product page.
Now which one is more effective? – If you guessed A, well done!
The end goal of the email is to sell the jacket, but advert A copy is not trying to shove a jacket down your throat. It provides you with all the benefits owning this jacket gives you, and the call-to-action (CTA) discount persuades them to click-through.
Rather than advert B, where the is no real copy apart from the discount offer and the name of the product. Unless it’s a top brand with a good reputation selling to die-hard fans, most consumers are unlikely to click-through (unless the discount is substantial).
Stay Brief –
A common mistake amongst beginners and small brands id trying to shove an entire story into an email message.
Think for a second about the last sales email you opened; did you read every single word in there? I doubt it.
It’s more likely that you scan over the important parts (the bold text) to get the jist of the email, and then decide whether you will take action.
Unless the story is in video format, your email copy with hundreds of words makes it much harder for your prospects to finish the email, let alone take action.
Instead, find a way to summarise what the reader will get in a compelling way, and let them click through to a page on your website for more information.
The key here is to find a way to summarise what benefits the reader will get and let them click-through to get more information.
Same goes for storytelling, build up to the point of the action or epiphany moment, then make the prospect click-through to see the secret or breakthrough your character discovered.
If you highlight the action your email is supposed to drive you will have a much easier time when drafting brief, compact email copy that keeps the focus on the end goal.
For example, a wine company write copy like, “Our wines are seasonally hand-picked & aged to perfection. Become a regular & you can enjoy the fruits of our labour all year round”. The CTA may be “recommend a friend today to receive a FREE bottle of our finest Rioja”
These two very brief sentences along with a well-designed image would work much better than simply offering a discount or free bottle upon signing up. This way the brand is gaining two new customers with each email.
If you’re still struggling to write succinct email copy, just remember that you should keep just ONE primary CTA for each email campaign, otherwise your recipients will only get confused.
Make Your Brand’s Personality Shine –
Why is that some boutique brands have hoards of followers compared to others? It’s because they are lovable.
Yes, your marketing emails are meant to inform, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be full of personality. Bringing out your brand’s voice and personality will build a strong relationship with your followers no matter what form of communication you decide to use.
Using personable language to explain a story or benefit your brand is offering with their product (or service) will humanise your brand in way that recipients feel comfortable interacting with you.
When consumers see a sales email they are likely to skim-read it, so making it as “humanised” as possible will improve your click-through rates.
Keeping the story-telling concept in mind, you might want to highlight a specific issue your customer had, then provide a CTA button to your website where your prospects will find out how your products helped that customer overcome their issues.
Your email content can be anything you want, but make sure it’s in a friendly voice, keep it personal and relevant to your CTA.
Actionable Language is Advised –
We mentioned this in our previous post on crafting email subject lines. Read it to gain clarity on specific actionable words you can use in your CTA’s.
Each email campaign should have ONE primary CTA to avoid confusing any recipients. Some emails waffle on and on, but if there’s one thing you want your prospects to pick up on, it’s your CTA.
When an email is in HTML format, the CTA is easy to notice and usually in the form of a button with the actionable words on it like “Buy Now”.
Although everyone loves a clean image and minimal text, not all prospects will choose to display your images upon opening, so a fancy HTML email might not always work.
If your email campaigns are in the form of plain-text however, it will longer to form clearer CTA’s but they are just as effective as a button counterpart (if not better).
You should have it open in another tab by now, but if not, here’s the link to the article that ties in with this one: Email Marketing Tips For Beginners: The Magic Of The Subject Line.