Posted by Bethany Handy ● August 19, 2016

How to Write Compelling Email Copy

Whether you manage the marketing efforts of a small business or a large organization, email marketing can be a highly effective marketing strategy for you, provided that the emails you send are compelling.

As long as your emails are responsive and display properly on mobile devices, their content is more important than their design.

You don’t have to be a professional copywriter to write compelling email copy. Here are some best practices you should follow to make your email copy more engaging.


Keep your emails short and simple

Your email language should be perfectly intelligible for a 3rd grader. Marketing emails that use language beyond that level get fewer responses. As a rule, the more sophisticated your email language is, the fewer responses you’ll generate. Emails that are in between 50 and 125 words yield the best response rates, according to Boomerang.  

Always include a brief subject line

For best response rates, condense subject lines to 3 to 4 words, personalize them, and include in them action-oriented verbs such as Download, Take, Grab, Buy, Ask, Reserve, Order, or Contact, which work as calls to action and prepare readers for what the email has to offer. If you can include the recipient’s name in the subject line in a natural way, do it. The same principles above apply to writing compelling calls to action.

Personalize your emails

When it comes to email, effective personalization means more than replacing the dynamic name field with your recipient’s name. It’s all about tailoring the content according to the needs and expectations of the person receiving it. In order to do this, you need you look at your marketing and CRM data. While researching data does take time, it can help increase your email marketing performance dramatically.  

Use a slightly positive tone

This will make your emails more compelling than if you use a neutral or highly positive tone, according to studies by Boomerang.

Add facts and numbers – be specific

When looking at both subject lines and text body, emails that promise specific results or make clear offers are more compelling that those which are vaguely useful. For example, an email with the subject line “Find out how to boost your marketing by 130%,” will outperform “Learn how to improve your marketing” or “Discover our new email marketing tools.”  

Explain not features, but benefits

This is one of the most effective ways to convey the value of your email and any product or service your are promoting to your target audience. In other words, don’t just list your product features using bullet points, but explain how those features can help recipients.

Write your emails in the second person

Use the friendly and compelling pronouns you, your, and yours. Use these words at least twice as much as we, our, or us to ensure the focus is always on the recipient.

Stay relevant

Begin by explaining how you know your recipient, which you can do in as little as one sentence, and then get to the point and state the purpose of your email. End your email with a call to action, which you may also phrase as a question. It’s that simple.