When you’re elbows-deep in applying visual tweaks to your HTML email design, it’s very easy to forget how important it is to write high-quality enticing copy.
Tailoring email copy to your audience is not just a matter of ensuring your message is readable even with images turned off. It’s a matter of presenting copy in a style that is enticing, exciting, and that your readers with relate to and respond to.
In this post, we’ll highlight key considerations when writing effective email copy, including tone, personality, conciseness, offering value to the reader, and testing.
Start the Conversation
You don’t have to be an expert copywriter to engage your audience. Someone who simply understands (and appreciates!) the objectives of your campaign can adapt their language and writing to start the conversation.
We adapt language like this in everyday life – how you talk to a new client will, in most cases, be very different from how you address your partner or friends. And, just like in real life, being authentic and conversational is key to creating dialogue, regardless of whether you’re selling fashion to teens or life insurance to retirees.
With this in mind, consider the unique voice of your email communications and keep it consistent. Will your campaign convey the personality of a marketing team, senior management, a product user, or a friend? Each of these roles (and many more) will use language differently and have a different kind of relationship with the reader. Flipping from one persona to the next simply doesn’t work, so pick a voice and stick with it.
Get to the Point
The internet has been blamed many times for turning us into lazy, keyword-seeing readers. Whether or not this is a result of mental shortcutting or backlit screens, keep your copy clear and concise. The majority of readers will not read the entirety of your email, let alone large blocks of text.
So, highlight key points in your copy, use visual devices like color and space, and ensure that the message is immediately tangible. After all, you only have a few seconds before your reader decides to keep reading, or press “delete.”
At this point, it’s worth considering the importance of a strong call to action – what’s in it for the reader, anyway? A strong call to action means selling with value. Outline the benefits of your product and the ways in which it can be used, as well as identify common pain points and how you can overcome them.
As many clients look towards fostering a level of engagement going much deeper than simply counting click-throughs to a landing page, it’s wise to inspire action, compelling recipients to explore your site, request more information, try new things, and return for more.
Test, Learn, Improve
Finally, test and refine your email campaigns and the copy within them. Proofread, run your email copy past another set of eyes, and ask for opinions. Progressively refine your copy using A/B testing, by comparing subject lines, differing calls to action, and body content, all while maintaining a high level of design.
The quality of your copy is critical to the success of a campaign, yet with the visual attraction of HTML email, copy often gets relegated to a design afterthought. Remember your objectives and how you’re going to measure the success of the campaign. You can define your brand’s relationship with the reader, inspire action, and learn more about your audience, simply by giving your copy some consideration and seeing it from the recipient’s point of view.