We often tell you how to develop a proper strategy, create a nicely designed email, or activate subscribers who no longer open your newsletters. But it's a crime that we barely talk about texts for emails, despite it being one of the crucial elements of a newsletter.
In this article we'll try to redeem ourselves by telling you how to write a good email copy.
1. Choose your communication style
Sometimes a company's communication style is client-friendly on the website, but the newsletters switch to officialese like "you shall come to our office within 7 days from the date of your first message".
Don't make this mistake. Your website, newsletter, and all of the text on behalf of your company should have the same style. If you're serious and official on your website, remain consistent with this in your emails – don't shift to first-name basis and cat GIFs. The only thing you can change is your mood – it depends on the content of your email: an apology, a gift for one's birthday, etc.
Let's take Tinkoff Journal as an example. Both the magazine and Tinkoff Bank itself always talk to the clients in a simple and friendly way, but one day they sent an email with extremely bureaucratic phrasing. It was actually the editor's joke. But doing this regularly with a straight face isn't a great idea.
2. Understand the purpose of your email
Before you start writing your email, determine its purpose: whether you want to sell a product, invite a subscriber to an event, or foster customer loyalty. Every purpose requires a special type of email: e.g. a promo email can boost your sales, and a content email serves to increase loyalty.
Don't try to kill two birds with one stone by jamming quality content, products, and special offers into a single email: your clients just won't react to most of your appeals, and half of the work you've done will be all for nothing.
3. Put important information at the beginning of an email
If you're offering a discount, mention it at the beginning of your email. Or even better – add this information to the banner and the subject line. If you have something to offer your client, feel free to say it out loud.
For example, the email below has a rather obscure idea. It took me quite some time to notice the caption "specials" and understand the purpose of this newsletter:
Here are a couple of nice emails by Tinkoff and Lamoda. When you open an email, you understand the topic immediately.
Sometimes important things can be abstract
There is an exception to every rule. You can pass on phrases about discounts and special offers on your banner. The main thing is to offer your client at least something as interesting.
For example, Invisible's banner doesn't have any buttons or text at all – instead, they catch you with an interesting illustration and their own unique communication style. They're considered to be the best wine newsletter in Russia.
PichShop has a similar approach. The main component of their newsletters is an original idea. Their emails are always different and don't bombard you with endless discounts. That's why you probably won't unsubscribe, even if you're not planning to buy anything.
4. Make the rest of the text easy to comprehend.
A few tips that might help you:
- Try to avoid passive voice, dangling participles, and complex sentences;
- Don't use expressions like "under discussion" or "in question" – replace them with "this" or simply omit them.
- Notice officialese and get rid of it: instead of saying "the cleaning is performed by the company staff on Tuesday and Thursday" use "we do the cleaning on Tuesday and Thursday".
- Compress your structures: for instance, use "to support" instead of "to provide support".
- Avoid meaningless assumptions like "It's a well-known fact that clients don't like to listen to experts". Who knows this fact? Who can prove it? Get rid of such statements.
Long emails are also fine
Especially if their length serves the right goal – for instance, you're telling your clients something useful.
Have a look at this newsletter by Mosigra. Their emails have minimalist design and looong text, but they look appealing, friendly, and well-thought-out. That's why people like them.
5. Add a call to action
Your email has a purpose – to make your clients do something you need. You can motivate them: add a button with a call to action to your email and make it easy to notice. The buttons "Choose" and "Go to the lookbook" still work.
We'd recommend using a verb for the text of the button, but it's not a rule. You can make it a noun – "Lookbook", "Shoes", "Details" and so on. This is also effective.
6. Think of an appealing subject and preheader
Your subject and preheader should be brief, succinct, and appealing. Appealing means either beneficial or interesting for the reader: you should either offer discounts and unique products or think of an original idea. Let's take newsletters by Invisible as an example: "I've dug you out by the night fire" (the email tells the story of how they "dug out" unusual New World wines) or "Our meat even fairies eat" (about their new meat product). They never offer discounts.
Don't be afraid to make your text shorter: be merciless to everything that doesn't affect the meaning – omit redundant pronouns and parenthetic words. Compare: "We have a special today only on all washing machines and microwaves" and "Today washing machines and microwaves are 20% off". The second one definitely sounds better.
If your preheader is short, put an exclamation mark, a question mark, or a full stop to divide the preheader and the body:
7. Design a good footer
I believe a perfect footer contains only one word – Unsubscribe. But nobody agrees to that (almost nobody).
If you need a special phrase for subscription cancellation, just write: If you don't want to receive our emails, you can unsubscribe. Don't extend it over three lines – it'll only occupy space in the footer.
Your text is ready! Now you can set up a task for the designer.