This is your secret weapon for email marketing

By Kate Joseph | Feb 20, 2019

Between texting, posting on social media, and scribbling in the notes app, technically everyone is a writer. 📝

However, if you really want to optimize your company’s marketing emails, you’ll definitely want an experienced copywriter in your corner.

While copywriters are great at catching errors and finding the perfect punctuation, they can do a lot more than that.

Here’s what good copy can do for your business:

  1. Build a brand that's all you
  2. Stand out with storytelling
  3. Be your customer's guide

1. Build a brand that's all you

For the most part, the way you communicate with your customers is through words. Since language can be nuanced, everything from word choice to sentence structure makes a big impact on building your brand.

Design a voice that’s unique to your company

Ideally, everyone loves your product and buys it consistently, but that’s not realistic. Copywriters are adept at writing specifically to target the person who is (or will be) buying your products, rather than the general masses.

Knowing your main customer’s age, sex, socioeconomic status, interests, likes, dislikes, and more allows your copywriter to speak to them – and sell them. 💰

Say you’re creating colorful clothing and funky accessories. You’re probably going to want to use casual wording, exclamation points, and maybe you’ll even throw in a few puns to show how fun and lighthearted your company is.

But if your specialty is upscale suiting, you’ll likely choose language that’s more refined and elegant to suit a higher price point and a more upscale shopper.

Let’s take a look at this pair of examples from Peter Manning and Beardbrand:

Peter Manning’s simple and polite copy reflects its professional brand, whereas Beardbrand just keeps things friendly and fun to stay in line with its sleek and cool image.

Once you step out of the standard "shop now," there's a lot of room for copywriters to get creative and turn your brand into a lifestyle.

Be it straightlaced or silly, your company’s voice is important for creating a rich and reputable brand.

Tie brand voice into imagery and products

Of course, photos of the actual items you’re selling are important, but copy enriches them. What’s a featured image without words to anchor it to your mission? And why show a picture of a product if you don’t have copy to illustrate why the customer should buy it?

Take this abandoned cart email from this hair and beauty company, Briogeo:

Briogeo

In just six words, the customer is reminded about those bangin’ products they wanted to buy. The words are chosen carefully: healthy connects with the earthy imagery in the background (a key element of Briogeo’s all-natural brand) and at your fingertips evokes emotion – readers can imagine themselves running their own hands through their hair. 💁🏽

Highlight the core value of your product

Let’s be honest, you probably won’t remember the person at the party who told you their name, where they’re from and what they do for work – but chances are you won’t forget the one who shared your love of kitesurfing. 🏄🏻

Email marketing works the same way.

Rather than just listing out the great features of your product, copywriters express the value of it in a way that engages the customer.

Let’s look at MADSEN Cycles, whose emails do a great job of selling a lifestyle.

Madsen Cycles

Things you will learn from this email: owning it will help bring your family together and make your life wheelie fun! 🚴🏽

It’s important to know this bike boasts a 40-gallon bucket equipped with seatbelts for four, it’s test driven before being shipped to your front door, and the only assembly that it requires is installing the front wheel – just not right now. Instead, this email aims to convert by creating an emotional connection.

As you can see, copywriters learn everything about the product so they can clearly communicate what makes it special beyond just the specs.

2. Stand out with Storytelling

If you’re the owner of a company, you’re surely invested in your brand and believe in it. Customers, on the other hand, can’t afford to be so sure right off the bat. In order to get them on board, copywriters craft content that is designed to speak to them personally and drum up interest that ultimately leads to sales.

Tell stories your customers connect with

Once you’ve defined your target audience (see above!), you’ll know what kind of content they want to see. Deliver this content to their inboxes and you’ll not only strengthen your brand, but you’ll build loyalty with the right people.

We love Inked Gaming’s emails for doing just that:

Instead of the typical “did you forget something?” this email takes readers on an adventure. Grabby Hands is about to steal their items!

Since Inked Gaming is speaking to fantasy-loving gamers, this copy is both on brand and reminds them to finish placing their order. Grabby Hands even happens to be created by an artist in their gaming community!

This award-winning email sequence stays on brand while reminding customers to come back to the store to complete their purchase. ☑️

Show that you’re human (not just a brand!)

Much like writing to appeal to the lowest common denominator, sticking to the basics can make your company come off faceless and cold.

In general, customers don’t like when communications from corporations are, well, too corporate. 🤖

When you have a copywriter on hand, they can jazz up your copy and make it sound more human, so customers can relate easier.

Don’t be afraid to use plain text emails either.

By using the name and face of someone in your company (like the founder or a customer support specialist), customers feel like they have a human connection to your brand.

Here’s one from Paleovalley that addresses a pesky abandoned cart:

PaleoValley

This is an automated email, but it doesn’t feel like it. With a tone that balances friendly and helpful, it’s easy to believe Andrea herself sat down and wrote this directly to one customer.

More than a simple reminder of an abandoned cart, plain text emails create a personal connection.

Bring your brand to life

Tell memorable stories, and you’ll stay in the minds of your customers.

Once you’re stuck in their head, they might just think of you the next time they’re about to replace their shampoo or try out a new protein bar.

Here’s a recent Bombas socks email that really warmed our heart feet:

Socks and Skiing

Let’s start with the subject line, “Merino Wool Cushioned Comfort for Ski.” It does a great job of putting a visual inside our head – crisp snow blanketing the mountains, strapping on your gear, a warm lodge with hot cocoa waiting.

Once we open the email, we see exactly that. But there are no skis in sight. The image highlights how their socks stay cozy and dry – whether on the slopes or off. ❄️

Show customers they can use a product for a specific purpose, and they will visualize themselves doing exactly that. Do they want their feet to get all wet and cold? Of course not!

So, they might start thinking they’re in the market for some new socks ㅡ these socks. 😉

Make every word count

Copywriters know that there’s no room for laziness. Being careless doesn’t pay off, so it’s important to put every detail under a microscope.

Two easy things to overlook are subjects lines and call-to-action (CTA) buttons.

The subject line is your first impression. 👋🏽

Those first 40 characters the customer sees can make the difference between an email that is deleted automatically and one that is clicked on and leads to a purchase.

Typically, only about 20% of regular broadcast emails are opened. Once you get a copywriter on the job, they can create subject lines that are designed to engage with your specific audience and grab their attention away from the other marketing emails in their inbox.

Of course, creativity in writing is subjective, but one company who A/B tested their subject lines found that adding the words “hell yeah” increased their open rate by nearly 24%! With a copywriter who knows your audience and just what to say, you could get results like these as well.

Here's a great example of a fantastic subject line used by Beardbrand:

Beardbrand Email Marketing Subject Line

Helpful and tailored to the customer’s interests, this subject line heads one email in Beardbrand’s post purchase sequence has also proven to be successful, boasting an open rate just a hair over 60%! 👨🏻

CTA’s are another detail of marketing emails that often go overlooked.

Most people simply insert a “shop now” button, but copywriters know that won’t make as much of an impact.

The right CTA intrigues the audience and encourages them to click, but bland language is easily passed over.

Think: something more targeted, like “Activate my 10% discount” instead of “Get 10% off” or “Check it out” over “Learn more” to get those sought-after clicks.

Just take a look at these CTA buttons and tell us you’re not tempted to click:

CTA

CTA

/


In short, the small details of your marketing emails can make a big impact when they’re well written.

3. Be your customer's guide 

When you think of user experience (UX) in ecommerce, you probably think of optimizing emails for mobile and keeping design easy on the eye – but don’t overlook copy! Once your marketing emails are easy to read and understand, your customer can quickly gain a strong grasp on your brand.

Keep things clear and concise

Of course, it’s great to offer accessible customer service and provide perks like fast shipping, but making emails a breeze to read is imperative for your marketing strategy.

Because your customers will likely only spend a few seconds scanning, it’s recommended to keep text as short as possible, to write at a sixth grade reading level, and use subheadings to make your main points.

This may seem limiting, but copywriters are pros at sticking to these guidelines, while also cranking out copy that’s interesting and informative.

Looking for new undershirts? EJIS has you covered. 👕

 EJIS email marketing

No confusion here, this email has simplicity down to a tee.

Present the right information at the right time

As the owner of a company, you’re the expert on your products, mission, and values. However, your customers aren’t – yet!

They may not know the hair products you’re advertising are completely organic or that a percentage of every sale goes to a noble non-profit. Copywriters are great at communicating the awesome aspects of your company, while not inundating the customer with too much information.

This email from Eczema Honey is simple and to the point, highlighting their BEEst-selling product and their hassle-free return policy:

Excema Honey Email

Eczema Honey knows their customer (talk to anyone with eczema and you’ll hear that finding relief takes a lot of time, and a whole lot of trial and error.) This email uses straightforward copy to boast their buzz-worthy product and to say there’s no risk in trying it.

Share the secondary value

You offer free shipping over $50. You give 10% off to customers who sign up for your email list. You even have a fantastic return policy. 😍

While all of those perks are great, they won’t translate to conversions if your customers don’t know about them.

At the same time, these are secondary values. They’re important for the customer to know, but they shouldn’t overwhelm the main message.

Copywriters know how to squeeze these benefits in with banner ads, bullet points, and CTA’s, so shoppers are informed of your incentives, but not swamped with info.

This email from Active Faith Sports highlights their Christian-focused brand, while using a banner to remind customers they offer free shipping on orders over $150. All of this in a few words… and without even requiring the user to scroll down. 🙏🏽

Active Faith Sports

However, if you do take the few extra seconds to scroll down, you’ll see even more values highlighted in three quick hits: products designed in the USA, easy returns, and satisfaction guaranteed.


Active Faith Sports

Taking up minimal space and using few words, it gets the values across to the customer without asking them to read a long paragraph (and get distracted from placing their order).

---

Whether you have a copywriter enriching your emails or you're a CEO taking on creative duties, here are some important tips to keep in mind before hitting the "send" button:

  • Know your brand and always stay true to it
  • Remember the core value of your product
  • Make a personal connection
  • Pay attention to every tiny detail
  • Keep your copy clear and concise
  • Fill your customer in on your secondary values, but don't let them overwhelm

As you can see, email marketing copywriting is much more than just filling in the blanks.

When done right, copy strengthens your brand, tells stories that connect with your customers, and improves the user experience. ✏️

Kate Joseph

Kate Joseph

Kate Joseph is Fuel Made’s expert copywriter who’s on a mission to watch 52 movies in 2019. When she’s not in the mood for a romantic comedy, you can find her at the beach listening to broadway tunes and comedy podcasts.