02.15.20168 min read

A 5-part Framework for Writing Better Email Copy

You want to create fresh, fun, sales-inducing emails right? Who doesn’t? So, what’s the secret? There must be a recipe, a formula, something that can help businesses write better email copy that converts subscribers.

Well, you’re in luck. We have the recipe right here. Here’s a five-part framework that you can use to write better email copy:

State the problem you plan to fix

Your email is going to solve a problem, but first thing’s first: You have to state the problem. What problem does your product or service solve? Can it eliminate a daily chore? Can it save time? How can it make life easier?

The more relatable the problem is, the better. When subscribers read the problem, they should say, “Boy, that’s the truth,” or “Yeah, that is a problem.”

Once you’ve identified the problem, state it clearly. You want one sentence that explains the problem. That’s right, just a sentence. That means you have to choose your words wisely. Subscribers aren’t going to read a paragraph-long description, so make your case and move on.

Here’s an example from Birchbox:

In the first sentence, they state the problem. “We love late-night holiday soirees…but we’re not crazy about waking up with dry, dehydrated skin.”

What’s the problem? Dehydrated skin. It’s a simple problem that’s clearly stated at the beginning of the email.

By stating a problem, the subscriber is not only more likely to relate to the product, but more likely to buy it. The subscriber wouldn’t have that same connection if the first sentence of the email read, “Try our new Skin Recovery Kit.”

Be sure to use the correct tone of voice. Birchbox uses a casual, fun voice to speak to its audience. Your tone should match your brand, and be consistent throughout all of your marketing material. This is the tone you’ll carry throughout the email, so it’s important to start correctly.

Takeaways:

  • Identify the problem your product or service will solve
  • State the problem in one sentence
  • Open the email with the problem
  • Use a tone that fits your audience and brand

Create a sense of urgency

After reading your email, you want subscribers to act. As in, right now. How do you compel a subscriber to make a purchase, set up an appointment, or download a demo? Your email content should create a sense of urgency.

In our example above, Birchbox created that sense of urgency by connecting the product to a timely issue—late-night holiday celebrating. As you’ve probably guessed, the email was sent at the start of the holiday season.

It encourages subscribers to buy the skincare products before the holiday season gets into full swing and parties start filling the calendar.

Aside from making a timely connection, you can also create a sense of urgency by:

Setting a deadline

Tell subscribers when a deal ends and reinforce it in your subject line and email copy. Be specific. “This deal ends at midnight tonight,” or “Don’t wait, this deal only lasts for 24 hours.”

Mentioning scarce quantities

If you’re offering something that’s limited in quantity, say so. Tell subscribers there are only 10 coupons remaining, or just two seats left for the charity ball. Use phrases like, “Claim your coupon now, before they’re all gone,” or “Reserve one of the last seats now.”

Takeaways:

  • Get your subscribers to act by creating a sense of urgency
  • Consider creating a deadline, use urgent language, and remind subscribers about scarce quantities

Provide a solution

At this point, you have a subscriber’s interest piqued. Now, you have to provide a solution. The solution should be simple, almost obvious. The solution, of course, is your product or service.

Just as the problem was simply stated, so should the solution. In our example above, the solution is, “Revive with this nourishing Skincare Recovery Kit.” There it is—a solution to dry, over-partied skin.

If your product or service requires a little more finesse, you can try these copywriting tips to provide a solution:

Tell a success story

Show subscribers that your product or service creates a solution by telling a success story. Let’s say your company sells financing software that helps cash-strapped individuals create a budget. Explain how Bob Smith used your product and got back on track. In this case, the solution will be longer than a sentence, but try to keep it as succinct as possible.

Testimonials

Add testimonials to your email. Add a picture of a happy customer with a small quote, explaining their take on your product. This kind of social proof encourages others to act.

Takeaways:

  • Explain how your product or service solves a problem
  • There are a variety of ways to explain the solution; testimonials and success stories are options
  • Go with variety. You don’t have to use the same solution for every email. One email can provide a testimonial; the next could explain a customer’s story.

Provide incentive

Subscribers are considering your product at this point. They relate to the problem, they understand the urgency, and you’ve got a solution for them. Now, you can help them take the plunge with an incentive.

In most cases, an incentive comes in the form of a deal. Maybe you decide to offer 20 percent off or $5 off for new members. It’s a little nudge; just a little something to close the deal.

If you do decide to create an offer, it should be simple. Now isn’t the time to muddy the waters with a complicated coupon that’s hard to redeem.

Explain how to take advantage of the deal too. Tell customers to enter a code at checkout, or maybe clicking on the call to action automatically reduces the price.

Of course, you can still provide an incentive without a promotion. Instead, remind customers of the value they’re getting. In the Birchbox example, you see a graphic that says $28, $77 value. It’s not a coupon, but it tells the subscriber that they’re getting more than what they’re paying for.

Birchbox also offers a full list of the products that are included in the email offer. Each product has a two or three-word description of the benefits it provides, as well.

Takeaways:

  • Provide an incentive to close the deal
  • Incentives can be in the form of a coupon, explanation of value, or product details

Create a must-click call-to-action

Every email needs a call-to-action. You’ve probably heard that piece of advice before, but creating an enticing, can’t resist call-to-action takes a wordsmith.

You want to select urgent, persuasive, present tense words. We mentioned creating a sense of urgency before, and you’ll want to do it again here. Words like “now” and “today” encourage subscribers to act quickly.

Persuasive words or phrases are helpful too. Words like “coupon” or “deal” are good persuasive words.

To jump start your call to action writing, here are a few ideas:

  • Claim your coupon now
  • Shop now
  • Buy it today
  • Download your free copy today
  • Schedule your appointment now
  • Reserve your VIP seating
  • Book now and save 10%
  • Start today
  • Request a demo and save

Make sure the copy is short as well. Keep it between two to five words. These words will likely be displayed in a CTA button that subscribers can click on so you don’t have a lot of space.

Make sure that it relates to the copy. If the email copy talks about a great deal, the call to action should allow customers to act on it. It should provide a logical conclusion to the email.

Takeaways:

  • Call to action should be short, urgent, and persuasive
  • Call to action ends the email in a logical way, allowing the subscriber to take action

With this framework, you’re now armed with the best tips for effective email marketing. Use it as a guide the next time you create an email, and keep an eye on your metrics to see just how much of an impact your email copy can have on your success.

This article was written by Kim Stiglitz from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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