Tag Archives: copywriting for email marketing

15 ultimate content writing hacks for successful email marketing

Email marketing writing hacks

15 Email marketing writing hacks

What is email marketing?

Does it mean constantly nagging your subscribers and recipients (or leads) to buy from you?

Or does it mean becoming a useful part of their lives so that they begin to appreciate your presence and then, begin to trust you enough to do business with you?

This may not be true in your case, but most of the individuals wanting to use email marketing to promote themselves, assume that just because they have got someone’s email ID, it is fine to send out promotional emails.

Does someone care what a great product or service you have got?

Not really.

People want to hear from you only when you have got something useful to offer. Even when you are offering your product or service, there must be something special (a great discount or an offer or an insider information) that can bring your recipients a massive benefit.

Otherwise, your email message is going to be ignored.

Are people still using email marketing?

Yes they are. There is a reason for that.

3.8 billion people actively use email daily. Compared to this, Facebook has 1.5 million daily users. Everyone from the age of 15 to 64 uses email daily. 73% of millennials prefer email communication from businesses.

The best part is, 99% consumers check their emails every day. People are twice as likely to sign up for your email newsletter as liking your Facebook page.

Hence, you may feel that most of the people are moving towards social media and instant messaging, but when it comes to doing some serious work or getting business offers, email still rules the roost.

How you write content for your email marketing campaigns has a big impact on your success rate. You may have come across the content writing hacks for successful email marketing at many places, already, but just in case you haven’t, you can considerably improve the success rate of your email marketing by implementing at least a few of these content writing hacks.

1. Have a convincing subject line

Writer a convincing subject line

Writer a convincing subject line

The importance of the subject line can never be stressed enough. It is your subject line that prompts people to open your email.

What subject line should you have? It depends on people’s familiarity level with you. They are not familiar with you, or if they don’t come across your name in their inbox quite often, the subject line needs to be very specific.

Anyway, whether people are familiar with you or not, keep in mind the following:

  • Keep the character count around 50 because there isn’t enough space for very long subject lines.
  • Keep your subject line simple and straightforward. No ambiguity.
  • Don’t make false promises. People these days can make out false promises easily.
  • Be experimental. No harm in using humor as long as it doesn’t confuse or mislead.
  • Shock and awe. Again, the purpose of your subject line is to make people open your message, but at the same time, never mislead them into opening something that doesn’t deliver on the promise made in the subject line.
  • Subject lines with a sense of urgency, curiosity, timely relevance and recognition are more prone to be opened.
  • Personalize. Although personalization is more effective if people are familiar with you or your brand, given a choice between being personal and not being personal, always be personal. By the way, don’t take “being personal” in the wrong way.

Remember that the biggest challenge that your email message faces is people not opening it. Half the battle is won if your subject line manages to make people open your email.

2. Just focus on one, single person

Focus on a single person when writing content for your email marketing campaign

Focus on a single person when writing content for your email marketing campaign

Frankly, I apply this advice even when I’m writing webpages and blog posts. Don’t write as if you are writing to a big group of people. Write to a single individual.

For example, if you think your email is going to a person named Frank, then address the problems that Frank faces. Talk to him. He must feel that you are just writing to him and no one else.

As a writer, I know that when you write thinking that you are writing to a single person, the person reading the email can actually feel it.

3. Always provide something useful

Provide something useful in your email marketing campaign

Provide something useful in your email marketing campaign

Remember that the person opening your email message is using his or her precious time in doing so. Don’t waste his or her time. Always send an email marketing campaign when you have something useful to offer.

What can that offered be? Depends on your business. If you sell something, you can offer a discount. If you are introducing a new feature, you can send it as an update so that people who can really benefit from the feature can upgrade.

If the person has already bought from you, you can offer him or her a discount as a privileged segment of your customer base.

In the times of Covid-19, you can send tips to your customers about how they can do business with you without exposing themselves to the virus.

4. Talk about their interest

Talk about what interests them when you are writing

Talk about what interests them when you are writing

Nobody is bothered about growing your business just for the heck of it. Even people running charity organizations won’t pay attention to your email marketing campaigns unless you talk about their interest.

Always write your email messages from their point of view. Convey to them that you empathize with the problems and troubles you are having. Be their advocate through your writing.

5. Use powerful words

Use powerful words when writing

Use powerful words when writing

What are powerful words? First of all, they shouldn’t be deceptive. They should invoke a strong emotion. Some of the powerful words that you can use are

  • Free
  • Urgent
  • Limited
  • Breaking News
  • Dazzling
  • Stunning
  • Guaranteed
  • Powerful
  • Amazing
  • Easy
  • Strong
  • Exclusive
  • Lifetime
  • Unlimited
  • Affordable
  • Valuable
  • Discounted
  • New

Frankly, the list can go on and on. What sort of powerful words you use depends on the context and what sort of emotion you’re trying to convey. Again, just make sure that you really mean those words.

For example, if you are offering something stunning, then you should actually believe that you are offering something stunning. If you believe that something is easy to use, then it must be easy to use. If something is affordable, make sure that it is affordable to your target audience. If you are offering a discount, make sure that there isn’t a catch.

6. Use the “preview text” optimally

Writing email preview text

Writing email preview text.

In the above graphic, the text that is not hidden is email preview.

These days most of the email clients display you the preview text. If you have maximized your browser window, provided that you have used a small subject line, the remaining row is filled with the preview text. It gives your recipient a preview of your message. If you use the preview text convincingly, it can increase the chances of your recipients opening your message.

7. Write for the audience who reads on the mobile phone

Write for audience who reads on mobile.

Write for audience who reads on mobile.

I keep this in mind even when I’m writing blog posts. There is a great chance that the person on the other side is reading your content on a mobile device. The same is going to be the case with your email marketing messages.

How do you write for mobile readers?

Write shorter sentences. Don’t use big paragraphs. Use bullet points to organize different ideas. Use headlines and subheadings judiciously. Stay to the point. Make sure that you don’t use extra sentences because anything can distract them. Keep them as much focused as possible.

Although, personalization can make your email messages effective, make sure that you don’t get too conversational. This can also distract people.

8. Use segmentation features of your email marketing service

Email segmentation when writing content

Email segmentation when writing content.

MailChimp has it. Others must also have this feature. Segmentation allows you to customize your messages and this in turn improves your conversion rate.

What does segmentation mean?

Suppose you have 5000 subscribers in your mailing list. The first message that you send out goes to all these 5000 subscribers (if you are not using A/B testing for the time being).

Then, for the next email marketing campaign, create different segments such as

  • Those who didn’t open your message.
  • Those who opened your message.
  • Those who opened and clicked your link.
  • Those who bought from you.

… And so on.

This way you will be targeting people according to the way they have reacted to your previous campaign.

Why send the same message to all when you can increase your conversion rate by writing content based on how they react to your previous message?

9. Ask them to act when writing content

Tell them what you want them to do in the email

Tell them what you want them to do in the email.

This actually works. If you ask people to do something, many do it. For example, if you want people to buy something from you, ask them to buy it from you. This is hard to believe, but it really works.

It’s called call-to-action, CTA. Every email message must have a call-to-action.

Sometimes, you want to inform people of the good offer that you have but you don’t tell them to buy. You either tell them to get in touch with you or you ask them to click a link for more information. This is often not very convincing.

When you ask people to buy this renders a sense of authority and confidence. You have provided the information, and now you’re asking people to buy your product or service.

10. Use a convincing headline

Use a convincing headline

Use a convincing headline.

After your subject line, the most important component of your email message is your headline: the first highlighted line of text that appears in your email message.

The sole purpose of your headline is to make people read your email message.

Write it very strategically. Again, don’t mislead people. Don’t promise something you cannot deliver. You can be creative. You can be humorous. You can even be cynical.

Just make sure that your headline makes people read your remaining message. Your headline is so powerful that sometimes people immediately leave your message, without reading it, simply because they are put off by your headline.

11. Maintain a consistent flow in the body text

Maintain a consistent flow in the body text of your email

Maintain a consistent flow in the body text of your email

The crux of your entire email campaign rests in the body text.

As mentioned above, keep your sentences short and to the point. Write as if you’re talking to a single person. Show concerns for his or her requirements and worries. Offer solutions succinctly. Since most of the people will be accessing your message from their mobile phones, keep it short and simple.

Should you use HTML messages or text messages? Depends on your audience. Here we are simply talking about content writing for your email marketing campaigns. Be personal without being creepy.

Follow the simple copywriting rule: the purpose of your current sentence is to make the reader read the next sentence, and so is the purpose of the next sentence.

12. Have a singular goal when writing content for your email marketing campaign

Focus on a single goal when writing copy for your email campaign

Focus on a single goal when writing copy for your email campaign.

This is something I have observed with many clients. They want to pack multiple business offers in a single email message. They want to save money. Separate messages mean they will have to pay for them separately.

Just like your landing page, your email message too must be focused. You can offer multiple products if they fall under the same category (accessories, for example, or earplugs). But too many products or too many offers will end up confusing people and even if initially they wanted to buy something, they will end up buying nothing.

13. Avoid industry jargon if possible

Avoid using industry jargon when writing emails

Avoid using industry jargon when writing emails.

I’m not particularly against using jargon. Every industry has its own set of words and people like to use them, sometimes even without understanding them.

Use jargon when it solves purpose. I have seen many people using terms like “leveraging, metrics, synergy, cutting-edge, derivatives, acquisition” and so on. Being someone who constantly uses words, I’m not put off by these words, but many people are.

Personally, I follow this rule of thumb: use jargon if you really feel that you should be using it. If you are using it just to sound smart and intimidate the reader, don’t use it – it is counter-productive.

14. More of “you” and less of “we” and “I”

Focus more on the recipients and less on yourself

Focus more on the recipients and less on yourself.

This is such an important point that despite having discussed it above, I’m discussing it in another manner. Use lots of “you” in your writing.

Use expressions like “you are going to gain this”, “you are never going to regret buying this” or “this is something you have been looking for, for quite some time”.

A person opens your email message because he or she is expecting to receive something.

This expectation can be some sort of gratification, an emotion (something funny or mysterious), some great offer in the form of a discount, or the latest news that is very important to him or her.

The complete purpose of your message must be representing the interest of the recipient.

15. Condense everything in the conclusion

Sum up everything in the conclusion

Sum up everything in the conclusion.

The concluding part of your email message is as important as the beginning, if not more. In fact, after reading the conclusion, the person must be left with a strong desire to click your link and buy from you.

In the concluding part, you can sum up everything. You can invoke a sense of urgency. You can get creative and paint a gloomy picture if a person fails to carry out the call-to-action. Short of misleading someone, you can use all your persuasive power in the concluding part.


In the end, it is all about trial and error. Even seasoned content writers and copywriters perform A/B testing. For example, no matter how great a subject line is, it may not work with certain audience. No matter how awesome the headline is, it may fail to inspire certain readers.

No matter how big or small your mailing list is, you can perform A/B testing. Even if you have got 50 subscribers, you can send one message to 25 subscribers and an alternative to the other 25 subscribers. Then you observe the response and make tweaks in your writing accordingly.

Cold emails: How to write effectively

Cold emails – how to write effectively

Cold emails – how to write effectively

Just like people make cold phone calls, they also send cold emails. A cold email is an unsolicited business proposal that you may send to an individual.

You might be receiving lots of such emails as spam, but there is also a proper way of sending them.

Have I ever sent cold emails? Never.

But I write emails for clients. There is a client in Itarsi, India, for whom I have been writing business correspondence since June 2016. Then there is another client from Egypt for whom I have been rewriting emails since the beginning of 2019. There is a client in the Philippines whom I have been helping write general communication emails since January 2018.

Then of course, I regularly provide copywriting services for email marketing campaigns.

Writing cold emails

Writing cold emails

The idea of writing on the topic of writing cold emails came to me in the morning today when I was proofreading an “email template” sent to me by one of my regular clients. I normally don’t charge for proofreading such small messages but it doesn’t mean I don’t take active interest in them.

I not only proofread the content, I also made suggestions and made changes. The cold email had been written in such a manner that if I receive it, I will immediately consign it to the Trash folder. I will also mark it as spam.

Some insights on email marketing

Email marketing is a serious business and in fact, one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. Email marketing is so effective that for every dollar that you spend on it, you get an ROI of $40. It is highest among all the forms of digital marketing.

Here is a graph that I generated recently

Email marketing has the maximum ROI

Email marketing has the maximum ROI

Many naysayers have been saying for more than a decade that email marketing is dying.

Totally the opposite has been happening.

According to Statista, we are already sending and receiving 293.6 billion emails everyday (2019). By 2022, we will be sending and receiving 333.2 billion emails. By 2017, according to Radicati, there were 4.9 billion email accounts worldwide

Even if 90% of them are spam, the remaining 10% are a lot.

A Marketing Sherpa report has revealed that 72% consumers prefer to receive promotional messages through email, especially from brands they trust.

If somehow you cannot relate to these stats, think of how many times you have to use email. For every online purchase, you get an email notification. Whenever you open up an account with an online service, these days even with an off-line service, you enter your email.

Lost login details? They are sent to your email account. Your domain expiring? You get a notification email. Carried out a bank transaction? The details are sent via email. Your kids homework is sent via email. Someone sends you a message on LinkedIn? You get notified on email. Even terrorists send threats via email.

All your official correspondence happens via email.

The point is, you are checking your email multiple times in a day. So, email is still happening.

Wary about spam?

The various spam restrictions and antispam features in most of the email clients is bad for spammers but good for legitimate email marketers.

Spammers are lazy. They cannot work hard enough to build their own mailing lists of people who would actually like to hear from them. They also don’t know how to write better messages.  Whether they send out 10,000 messages in one go, or 1 million messages, the response rate is hardly a little over 0%.

Hence, the field is wide open for people who actually want to use the power of email to not just grow their businesses, but also provide better products and services to their customers and clients.

Now, coming back to…

Writing effective cold emails

Writing effective cold emails

Writing effective cold emails

What is a cold email?

It is a business proposal email that you send to a person who is not expecting to hear from you.  He or she doesn’t know about your existence. In many cases he or she isn’t even aware of the fact that he or she may need your service.

A good example is the InMail function in LinkedIn. You come across a profile that can be good business prospect. You do some study, carefully go through the profile and decide to introduce yourself to that person. You will be sending a cold message because the person is not expecting to receive a message from you.

Whether you like sending cold emails or not is beside the point.  I’m not comfortable sending cold emails but it doesn’t mean if a client asks me to write one, I’m going to refuse. I’m going to write it with full enthusiasm as if I myself am sending it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing a cold email

Have a clear understanding of the need of your segment

What are the problems being faced by your recipient for which you are sending a proposal to solve? This will help the recipient to immediately relate to what you’re trying to convey and then possibly, respond.

Suppose you are a marble tiles manufacturer. You want to send cold emails to construction contractors in your city to let them know that you supply good marble tiles that they can use with their clients.

Now, you must know that these construction contractors are either looking for better options, or they are fed up with their current marble tile suppliers.

They may also be looking for variety to create better designs.

Hence, you must know that

  1. The recipients are actually construction contractors.
  2. Now and then they use marble tiles.
  3. They may be looking for better marble tiles or better deals.

Knowing your recipient is crucial to writing an effective cold email.

Start the greeting with an actual name

The email that I was proofreading in the morning started with “Hello Sir!”. Who starts an email with “Hello Sir!” these days?

What if there is a lady at the receiving end of your cold email?

According to an article published in the Sophisticated Marketer  Issue 7 (by LinkedIn) 81% consumers say that they are less interested in dealing with businesses who don’t make an effort to personalize their communications.

This is why, especially in these sensitive times, it is very important that you  know the name of the person to whom you are sending your cold email.

Use a compelling subject line

You want your recipient to open your email, right?

100% of your recipients will open your message if they are drawn to it by a compelling subject line.

Subject lines are so important that 47% marketers use different subject lines to find out which is the most effective subject line for their email marketing campaign (source).

What makes your subject line compelling? You should invoke a sense of

  • Urgency
  • Curiosity
  • Familiarity (through personalization)
  • Relevance and timeliness
  • Profitability
  • Coolness.

Keep your cold email subject line short, sweet and to the point. Convey the central message of your email as clearly as possible. Make your effort irresistible.

Talk about the problem in the beginning itself

Your copy must immediately hook the person.

If I send you a cold email to promote my service, as a content writer who can help you improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, I should identify your need to run effective email marketing campaigns with a higher conversion rate in the first or the second sentence itself.

In fact, I should use a headline like “Quadruple your conversion rate”, or something like that.

I must know that you are having problems with your email marketing and you want to improve it and you are already looking for ways to improve it.

Even if you are not actively looking for ways to improve your email marketing, I must know that given a chance, you will be ready to spend some money on improving your email marketing conversion rate.

Then, and the rest of the copy, I will explain to you how my copywriting services are going to improve your email marketing conversion rate.

The biggest disadvantage faced by a cold email is the lack of familiarity. You can mitigate this disadvantage to a great extent by doing some research on your segment and then writing a message that is as relatable as possible.