Jo Duncan copywriting bristol

5 ways to write emails that delight, rather than disappoint.

Email marketing is a contractual affair. Unlike Twitter streams and blogs, which are open to the universe for inspection, sending someone a direct email is a bit like door to door sales. As the EU regulation that supports email marketing, the GDPR, is set to change in 2018, now is a great time for email marketers to shape up their copy. Great emails start with simple, purposeful copy.

  1. Green eggs and Spam

A great bit of advice for email marketers everywhere is this: admit you are spam. You are spam, and you know it. 90% of your contacts don’t want to receive this email. Put yourself in their shoes, when you’re writing subject lines, headers and content. Be humble, and remember your audience is busy and easily annoyed.

2. Segmentation is everything

The only way to send a decent email is to segment whatever data you have, and target individual sections by demographics or firmographics. This gives you a greater chance of a decent open-rate, and will annoy your audience less. The more targeted the email we receive, the less we feel violated.

3. Purpose

What’s the point of this email? Tell people straight away. Don’t be tempted to bury this golden detail further down in the copy, because despite what your English teacher told you at school, this is seriously bad form. Good emails get to the point, repeat the point and offer a clear call to action.

4. Humanity

Part of the key to great email marketing is remembering you’re a human, talking to another human. This means you must resist the urge to use corporate jargon, and speak to the contact in a friendly, open manner. Simple language and a sunny tone don’t work for debt collectors, but for most B2B and B2C emails a conversational approach wins every time.

5. Timing

When are your contacts least busy and most likely to be interested in opening your spammy email? (Sorry, it’s true.) The answer may be Thursday afternoon, or Tuesday evening. I don’t send emails in the morning, because then they become part of a multi-selection delete cluster. Wait until after lunch, when people feel hazier and open to new ideas.

Got an email campaign to write? Not sure where to start? I’ve done campaigns that average 70% open rates. Give me a shout for some guidance.

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