Email Copywriting Guide: Writing Emails That Convert

A woman standing up, holding a laptop with one hand and typing with the other.

Email is often disparaged as the least desirable aspect of digital marketing. 

“I ignore all marketing emails,” clients tell me, as if their personal experience means they should ignore the powers of email marketing for their business.

My response? If emails are ignored, that means they’re not well done.

Email marketing is the best way to get in front of your most engaged audiences. After all, they had to opt-in to receive your emails. (If they’re now deleting your emails without opening them, it’s because you’ve failed to retain their attention over time — something that can be solved.) On average, marketers reported $36 back for every $1 spent on email in 2022. The results speak for themselves — email marketing is definitely something to consider!  

When does email marketing work?

Email marketing is useful for businesses that have things to share with their customers and stakeholders. Sell goods and/or services online? Have company updates that you want to share? Need to reengage or reconnect with contacts and customers? In all these cases (and more!), email marketing is an effective outreach tactic. 

How to write a good email that converts

One of the reasons people delete emails is because they are not personalized. This could mean that the subject line doesn’t look appealing or that the recipient has received emails that haven’t been useful in the past. The best way to write email copy that gets attention and results? Be clear on what the desired result is! 

It may be surprising to hear that many marketers send emails because they feel like they “have” to or “should be” in touch, but without any strategy behind the email. So first, think about why you’re sending the email, what action you want readers to take after reading the email, and who should be sending the email to make it most useful. Once you’ve answered these questions, get started  — but don’t forget to segment your email marketing list so only those who will find the email relevant will receive it.

Attention-grabbing email marketing subject lines

Few email recipients will open an email if the subject line doesn’t seem interesting or relevant. In fact, personalized subject lines have a 50% higher open rate. There will also be no follow-up action — clicking on a link, buying a product, or forwarding or responding to the email — if the email isn’t opened. Thinking through the subject line and making sure that it’s relevant to the recipient is the best way to get their attention and get them to open it.

Use email preview text to your benefit

Feel like your subject line needs a little more detail? The preview text can provide a little supplementary information or highlight another aspect of why your email is so juicy that it must be opened.

Write in a tone that speaks to your audience

Each audience is different: if you’re writing to lawyers about a new service, you’re probably not going to use the same tone and content as you would to birdwatching enthusiasts selling them the latest birdwatching binoculars. Once you get a click to open your email, you need to ensure that your copy matches what you promised in the subject, and offers relevant, well-written, and clear copy for your recipients. We’ve written more on how to craft great email copy in a previous blog.

Best ways to introduce CTAs (calls to action) into emails

Most likely, you’re sending an email to get your recipients to take action, such as getting in touch, making a purchase, or forwarding the email to someone they think might be interested. A lot of marketers are afraid to simply state the CTA blatantly, but a clear “Click here” is much more effective than asking someone to click in a roundabout way. Remember: people are processing a lot of information at any given time, and being direct is an effective way to get what you want. Want to learn more about CTAs? We’ve written an article specifically about them.

Test your emails in different browsers

From templates that don’t load to broken links, once you’ve invested the time and attention to writing great email copy, you’ll want to make sure that your recipients can read and take action. Make sure that your email template loads in most browsers and email tools don’t get caught in the promotions tab of email platforms like Gmail, and that all your CTA links actually work.

If you need assistance crafting thoughtful, clear, and strategically driven copy that converts, get in touch with us at Wordsmithie. We’re more than happy to help and have many successful email campaigns in our back pocket to pull insights from.

ABOUT Khaleelah Jones

Khaleelah Jones is a digital marketing consultant who has worked with tech startups, educational institutions and non-profits on acquisition and engagement strategy, implementation and KPI modeling. When she’s not working, she can be found reading, writing, pontificating history, yoga-ing and making up verbs.