Writing an email copy people actually want to read is a challenge. With an infinite number of details one has to consider as an email copywriter, it sometimes feels like an uphill battle that simply can’t be won. We decided not to dwell on what can go wrong, and instead asked our best copywriters and email marketers about their favorite email copywriting best practices and tips on how to write emails that people will love reading. And they delivered!
Here are the 56 email copywriting tricks and tips we collected to help you write a compelling email copy that convinces, nurtures, converts, and sells in 2023.
Before we start: knowing your target audience is everything if you want to use these tips right and produce the best email copy for your campaign. You want to know:
- the needs, aims, desires, and fears of your prospects
- the decision-making process of your customers
- the criteria that have an impact on their decision
- what influences them when they have doubt
- what they may want in the future
- the motives for their further actions
- what type of conversation your buyers prefer
As the great George Gribbin said, “A copywriter should have an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy towards them”. If you feel confident about your understanding of the prospect, you’re ready to proceed.
- Stop thinking about what you want your prospect to do – concentrate on your target audience’s needs and each buyer in particular. Fine-tune your buyer persona(s).
- Don’t slander your competitors: your clients will not appreciate such behavior and will question your integrity.
- Everyone likes being praised. Note any recent achievements and successes of your prospect, and only after that move on to the main point of your email. Make sure your praise sounds genuine, though: insincere praise is worse than none.
- Don’t describe emotions that you’ve never felt or situations you’ve never been in yourself – your recipients won’t believe you. Only write what you know.
- Pinpoint what bothers your buyers most. Determine their pain points and use them to formulate your offer in a way that would present it as a solution.
- Your leads don’t owe you anything. Stay polite no matter what.
- Write how you talk, not how you think you should write. Imagine that you are talking to the person face-to-face and write what you would say to them. This way, you will make your email seem genuine, effortless, and help you avoid cliches.
- Consider your buyer’s three “wants”: need, desire, goal.
- Use questions. This is a safe and proven method to catch attention and push the recipient to read your email until the end.
- See if your message is melodious: use punctuation, inversion, play with the length of your sentences and their types, segment your thoughts into separate sentences, etc. Your eyes and brain should be able to easily get through the text.
- Suggesting alternatives within your product niche increases the chances to convert. Being upfront about your competition presents you as confident in your product, which is often enough for the prospects to believe in your offer.
- The more profitable your suggestion is, the more suspicious it is. Which is why you should support your facts with proof and examples.
- Formulate your benefits realistically. For example, don’t write $100,000/year. Instead, give more realistic short term promises like over $8,000/month.
- No one likes boasting, condescension, and arrogance. Once again, your leads don’t owe you anything, and they won’t deal with your attitude, no matter how good your offer is.
- Keep your message short. Use cold email formulas like BBB (brief-blunt-basic) to create emails your busier prospects will actually read.
- Use power words. Enhance your text with words that inspire the reader to act. They can help you increase your open rate and other KPI. Find out more about power words here.
- Be on time with your offers. Offers that are received just in time will always convert better. Track emails to know when your leads are most interested or use email drip campaigns to schedule follow-ups and analyze larger campaigns. Don’t forget to use scientific data to determine the best time to send emails.
- Be categorical: bold statements attract people.
- Stop using cliches. You won’t sell using a cliche-filled template that your prospect has seen before. In other words, the only way to stand out is to put in the work to make your email copy special and unique.
- Replace words that have negative connotations. For example, other (instead of wrong), pocket-sized (instead of small), premium (instead of expensive), specific (instead of unpleasant), etc.
- Try the No-to-Yes tactic. If your product has multiple price options, try omitting the middle one: start with the expensive option and then present the affordable one. In the beginning, the customers will say no to your expensive offer but when they read to the end and see that compared to the expensive offer the price for the other one is low, they’ll be more likely to say yes. This tactic is especially popular for SaaS services.
- Always personalize your copy. Improve your email KPIs and add a human touch to your email copy by adding custom personalization variables, like important events in your prospect’s life, their job position, any personal achievements, etc.
- Use email campaigns to position your product/service as a supportive friend always available to the client, capable of solving whatever is standing in the way of their growth.
- Use the Guide technique: hold the reader’s attention with phrases like pay attention, have a look, just think, imagine, etc.
- Insert a double verbal kick. Have a look at these examples in our own product descriptions: filter and find company email addresses, sign up and check emails for free, triggered email sequences will help you contact and negotiate with media platforms.
- Try a double number kick, too: our article title 550+ spam trigger words to avoid in 2023 is a good example. Surely, numbers are always more convincing than words.
- Detail the future results: describe the results your prospect can achieve if they use your product/service. That said, please make sure your promises aren’t empty and you can actually deliver.
- Use case studies and testimonials from your best clients. Show your prospects that your service or product left other clients satisfied. If you’ve had any major famous clients, use that too – showing the companies your clients look up to chose you is a major card up your sleeve.
- Create an effect of deficit and exclusivity. Persuade your prospects that your email is a unique offer crafted specifically for them. Deficit moves sales, just make sure the exclusivity doesn’t come across as arrogance (see point 14) and instead looks like generosity and willingness to share an exclusive product with the favorite client.
- Mention the key benefit three times throughout the copy: at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.
- Draw a picture of a darker future. Persuade people to start using your products by showing exactly what happens if they miss out on your offer. The main trick here is to present this in a manner that the prospects persuade themselves in the necessity of the provided product. Fear is a great motivator.
- Try catering to the client’s wants, not just needs. While most of us think that need is a stronger motivator than desire, it’s actually our desires that are behind most of our decisions. Keep that in mind and try to cater to both needs and desires (aka the emotional and the rational).
- The bigger the client, the more personalized is the offer. Big clients don’t have time for offers that aren’t built exclusively for their needs. Therefore, upgrade your email copy with content like exclusive reports focused on the client and their needs and wishes. They’ll appreciate the effort.
- Use the word “ready” in your email copies. Prospects are looking for solutions that can be implemented as quickly as possible, and knowing your offer is ready to go will push them to act.
- Don’t neglect any element of email: do your research so you can support your claims with facts, know enough about your prospect to improve your copy with personalization, and don’t underestimate the value of friendliness and care.
- Point out the things your competitors have missed. Find and include these into your email copy to stand out in the prospects’ eyes.
- If your service/product is somehow connected to the five senses, appeal to them. Use storytelling to evoke emotions related to these senses.
- Try negations. Remember the proverb – Forbidden fruit is the sweetest? It’s true in an email copy, too. Use this tactic to manipulate your prospects’ desires.
- Use an anchor technique. Add an anchor to your text that will act as a starting point for your reader and help you manipulate their perception of your offer later in the text. For example, the easiest way to do it is through numbers: present a product with a specific price, say $500; explain the product in a way that would make this price justifiable and present the product in the best light; after that, add that for a limited time only, the product you’ve been talking about is no longer $500, in fact, it’s only half that price. In short, giving the reader double the reasons to see this offer as profitable helps convert more and faster. However, the price doesn’t always have to be the motivator, it can also be the shipping option, the plan upgrade, the payment option, etc.
- Push towards mini-acts throughout the copy if your main goal requires a complex set of actions from the recipient. So, breaking a complicated action into smaller ones will improve conversions.
- Don’t build your email copy based on downloadable templates. This is a common mistake we witness every day. Using a publicly available template may be the fastest way to create your email, but it’s also the one that will bring the lowest engagement – after all, it’s very likely the recipients have seen it before. The more work you put in, the better the pay-off.
- Make the numbers soar and the prices drop. Here’s this technique in action: “You’ll master our service, not in a week, and not even in a day – just an hour is enough to start growing your business!”. Another example: “How much are you paying for 1000 qualified leads right now? With our tool, 1k high-quality verified leads will cost you not $200, not $100, not even $50. Our 1000 credits plan costs only $29.”
- Debunk popular myths in your emails. This way, you’ll present yourself as an expert on the issue and pique recipients’ interest with unconventional ideas.
- Try the “unprofessional” language. Firstly, please be careful with this method, and analyze whether it’s worth it, as it can easily backfire. However, if you believe this method suits your target audience, try adding colloquial language and slang to come across as more relatable. Secondly, this should be done extremely moderately: don’t cross the line between colloquial and offensive.
- Give specific time frames. Your goal is to make the recipient perform an action in the shortest time possible. That doesn’t mean you have to nag them into it. Simply give specific time frames: this will look good for you as a professional and keep your recipients organized.
- Tease a bit: reveal just enough to make the recipient interested but don’t reveal all the information. Offer the recipient to reply for more details.
- Read your copy aloud as you write it. If it’s hard to pronounce, it’s hard to read. If it’s hard to read, it needs fixing.
- Add extra points to motivate the recipient: using phrases like one more thing, moreover, even more, and lastly, etc. with an extra bit of information or an additional offer (for example, a discount) can be the thing that finally convinces your reader to act.
- Use humor. Humor is still extremely underused in modern email copywriting, but it can give you that extra something that gets the reader on your side. To quote Jeffrey Gitomer: “Humor can give you the edge you are looking for.”
- Be specific. Don’t use general words like always or regularly; replace them with precise words like every day/week.
- Precision is everything. To describe your offer, use words that leave no room for doubt or misunderstanding. Vagueness has no place in an email copy that sells. In fact, you want your email to answer the questions before they arise.
- Pick fonts that elevate your copy. This may take a little A/B testing, but if you’re using templates or custom fonts for your emails, pick fonts that will help present your copy in the best way.
- Check if your recipient will be able to answer these 5 questions: What is sold? Why should the customer buy it? Who is selling? How to buy? Why buy now?
- Don’t do generic sign-offs. The most popular one is “Thanks”, but don’t be tempted to go the easy way – the more creative you are with your email, the more memorable is your offer.
- Add an email signature: a good email signature design can really elevate your copy, instill trust in your professionalism, and offer additional channels of contact. Moreover, we have created a guide with 9 examples of professional email signatures and a list of 5 tools you can use to create them on any budget, which you can find here.
- Don’t use every single tip on this list in one email. Choose the tricks to use in your email copy depending on your product, your target audience, their stage, etc., and don’t use multiple conflicting techniques.
When you’ve finished writing your email, reread it and try to answer these questions:
- Are you sure your audience needs your product?
- How precisely have you determined the needs your product satisfies?
- Has the client discovered something truly new in your offer?
- Can you claim that your customers can’t solve their problems in other (more financially attractive) ways?
- Are the advantages of using your product you have described really attractive and persuasive?
- Are your opinions realistic to everyone?
- Have you persuaded the reader that they will receive the described benefits?
- Are you sure you don’t foist your services and products but present them in a friendly credible manner?
- Have you proven that the person doesn’t risk anything if they agree to your offer?
- Is your email easy-to-read?
If the answer to all the questions above is YES, then you can launch your campaign to leads and customers. To save time doing this, try creating your own email drip campaign that will send out emails and follow-ups to your recipients automatically depending on their actions.
Want to know how to write emails people love to read? Well. Remember the golden rule by G.B.Shaw? The golden rule is that there are no golden rules. So, go and experiment with your email copywriting by using some of the tips we’ve given you to create persuasive, nurturing and converting email for any campaign.
Great list! I stand by the anchor technique, got us so many conversions in the past.
Thank you, Faye!
If you have any techniques not mentioned in the article, write about them, I’ll gladly add them to our article!
These are some very useful tips for any beginner. And I totally agree with the tip about realistically presenting your benefits – underpromise and overdeliver, always! Great post.
Thank you, Melisa! We do our best to share informative articles with you 😊
These are gems . Thank you for sharing this information.
Thank you, James!
Hey Helen, Great Post. I appreciate it! 🙂