What makes great email marketing copy?  When you prepare your next promotional email message, be sure it meets these 7 key tests:

1. Compelling Email Subject Line

Create a subject line that delivers a strong reason to open or read the message.  Promise a benefit, the “what’s in it for me.”  This is a key area for testing, because Subject Line is so critical to getting your message actually read.  How many Subject Lines have you tested in the last 90 days?

2. Engaging Lead Paragraph

Your first or “lead” paragraph should remind of some pain (“Are you having a problem with . . .”?), and/or promise some pleasure (“Do you wish you could . . .”).  Or you can intrigue recipients with something they didn’t know.

3. Scan-able Elements

Consider bullet points to summarize your key benefits or other key points.

Don’t hesitate to use bolds and italics to make key points stand out.  If your email is longer, be sure to use headlines and subheads to outline the key points.

You want the email copy to look easy to get through.  With more than half of all email messages read on a mobile phone, it’s especially important to make your email look visually easy to read.  Avoid long sentences and long paragraphs.

4. Conversational Copy

The best email marketing copy is conversational (because most emails are meant to be part of a conversation).

  • Is your email message written the way you’d say it face-to-face?  Read it out loud to find out.

5. Answers “Why should I buy yours?”

Email copy should help differentiate your product.

  • The best copy clearly proves what your product or service can do that other offerings can’t.

Be sure you’re not just reciting benefits your competition offers.  Present your unique combination of benefits that are most important to your email recipients.

6. Persuading Offer

Your email copy should give a strong reason(s) to take the next step.  Include an Offer for a piece of content, so you can track clicks and gauge interest in the topic.

7. Lean Copy

Every word in your email message should be there for a reason — be sure there aren’t any superfluous words you could remove (without changing the strength of the sell).

  • Every word in your email marketing message should be the strongest word you could use.  Use engaging action verbs and other vibrant words that paint a strong picture in the prospect’s mind.

Email is so easily testable, and small changes can have a big impact on your click-through, leads, and sales rate.


The Results Obsession Digital Marketing Book CoverSummarized from our new book now available on Amazon, “The Results Obsession: ROI-Focused Digital Strategies to Transform Your Marketing”.

Includes: chapters on Messaging Strategy, Writing the Best Copy of Your Life, Planning Your Email Strategy, Email Copywriting, Web Content, Web Copywriting, and more.

Learn more about The Results Obsession, see the Table of Contents, and download chapter excerpts.


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