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Don’t be a Copywronger! 5 tips to help you write better marketing emails

 In Email Marketing, Optimization

Anyone can express themselves through the written word. However, just because we have the ability to write does not mean we’d all make effective content writers. And when the job comes to writing copy for marketing emails, the job gets a whole lot trickier. Delivering an email newsletter to 70,000 contacts – and making sure that your email appeals to them – can feel overwhelming. Fear not, because we got a few tricks up our sleeves that can help you produce emails that get the right response.

1. Who are you talking to?

It’s the most important question any copywriter should ask themselves before they begin putting words to Word doc. If you don’t know who your audience is, it’s nearly impossible to create content that’ll resonate with them. When you’re bombarded with varying standards and have a set of brand guidelines to follow that’d restrict even the most conservative of writers, it can be easy to forget that you’re communicating with human beings.

[Tweet “The holy grail tip of writing an email marketing message: write, read and read again.”]

You’ve got the opportunity to really connect with the people opening your messages, so consider everything from your target demographic to why you encouraged contacts to sign up to your emails in the first place.

Let’s say you sell discounted fashionwear for younger males and the hook for getting sign-ups was the opportunity to receive exclusive deals, here would be a few considerations:

  • Keep the tone upbeat and friendly. You’re speaking to a young, fashion-conscious consumer, not a group of 60+ males.
  • Don’t go into too much detail. They’re after a deal and are probably not interested in hearing about the craftsmanship that went into the garment’s design. This customer group are also highly likely to be opening your emails on their mobiles, so you’ll want to keep things concise and make clear what you want them to do next.
  • Images (sometimes) speak louder than words. This might rub some of you copy-folk up the wrong way but it’s true: when it comes to discounted fashion, it’s more about how the clothes look and not how they sound.

In any case, you’ll also want to use technology to its best advantage. Relevancy is key and just because you’re sending one email doesn’t mean the content needs to be the same for everyone.

OM3’s dynamic content module and Liquid Script functionality lets you make your marketing emails seem as though they were meant for a sole recipient. You can put your data to work by pulling in your customer’s name, location or birthday. And when you connect up with Magento and use the Nosto extension, you can even display purchased or recommended products.

2. Readability: the user experience

You might’ve crafted the most beautiful piece of copy but if it’s difficult to read, your hard work will go in the trash (literally). For instance, if you received an email that looked like this what would you be inclined to do?


Run? Hide? Hit delete? Report as spam? We wouldn’t blame you for taking any of those actions. Remember these four best practice tips for writing email copy:

  • Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and easy to scan
  • Separate messages into subsections using sub headers, so someone can grasp the main points without having to read every word
  • Vary your paragraph structure by using bullet points
  • Eliminate anything superfluous – write, read and read again

3. Be you-centric


Whether the brand you’re creating copy for has a corporate and formal tone, or the subject matter is simply dry, there are still techniques you can use to connect with your recipients. One of them is to adopt a writing device that addresses your readers directly. We’ve all read emails that basically regurgitate a company’s brand values: ‘We do this’, ‘Our company offers this’.

You can stop your emails from sounding self-centered by turning your copy into you-centric (or customer-centric) messaging. Rather than ‘We have been producing handmade products since 1998, in our Boston-based warehouse’, try ‘You’ll get years of use from the products in our range. They’re hand-crafted for quality, because your experience is important to us’.

No matter what your editorial guidelines, you can make your copy revolve around your customer. It’s all in the ‘you’ (and no, not you).

4. Use actionable language

You want your customer to do something with your email, right? And we’re guessing it’s not sending it straight to the trash.

But when you’re unable to push the boundaries and your email’s subject line doesn’t warrant anything other than something functional, you can still encourage recipients to pick your message out of the haystack.

Passive language doesn’t address the reader to take an action. For example, a subject line such as ‘Best of travel’ is simply a statement.  What does it mean? What is it asking the reader to do?

Using verbs at the start of your sentences actively encourages the subscriber to click or tap your email. Short, simple action words are most effective, including:

  • “get”
  • “order”
  • “buy”
  • “sign up”
  • “start”

It’s not always necessary to use verbs to make your copy sound actionable, though. ‘Don’t miss out on Beyoncé tickets’ i.e. messages with urgency work too.

5. Sell the sizzle, not the steak

When it comes to marketing copy, listing the features – especially in an email when you’ve got a limited window to capture someone’s interest – just might not cut it. Your customers want to know the benefits of what you’re trying to sell them. How is it going to make a positive impact on their life? Why is it worth their hard-earned money?

Here’s an example of how you can turn functional into beneficial:

  • Before: This see-through plastic container is made from BPA-free plastic and includes a lid seal.
  • After: Keep your food fresh for days on end with this seal-tight plastic container. You can be sure that your food is safe from harmful chemicals thanks to its BPA-free construction.


As you can see, an effective marketing email isn’t just about creating copy that’s worthy of an industry award. There are lots of factors that contribute to the success of your campaigns – from the format and styling to the way in which you address your readers. Always put yourself in your recipients’ shoes and think about what you’d do if you were an outsider reading the email.

About OM3

A platform built by marketers, for marketers

As marketers ourselves, we understand what you need. A flexible platform that helps you create, automate, test and send emails in minutes. With OM3 that’s exactly what you get.

  • So easy to use, you’ll be up and running in minutes
  • Integrates easily with your existing system
  • Gives you time back to plan your future marketing
  • Solutions for corporates and small biz

OM3 is our powerful and affordable email marketing platform. This enterprise level platform has all the features to launch sophisticated campaigns and is backed by experts that provide strategy and production services as needed:

  •   I-do™ – self-service with direct access to the platform and award-winning support desk
  • We-do™ – you provide us the content and we do the rest
  • Honey-do™ – we’ll do it all: write, design deploy, and report



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