The first and, probably, most important aspect you need to pay attention to when crafting the copy of your email campaigns is how your email deployment fits your overall marketing strategy and how this particular communication addresses your target audience's needs and/or questions. You should never lose focus of your strategic approach when working on individual tasks, while also keeping an eye out on how to address the needs of your audience with each asset that you create and deliver, regardless of channel.
Engaging email strategies
But that might sound extremely simple. What are the real and practical secrets of creating email copy that leads to engagement and, hopefully, in most cases, conventions?
In this post, we will look through the most effective strategies for creating engaging email content.
1. Write the way they talk
The first rule of crafting engaging email copy is to connect with your target audience. You need to go beyond the assumption that because you know your business and products, you know your customers. You need to understand how they talk, what they talk about, and how they feel. Getting a real grasp on who your audience is and delivering relevant and timely content is key to improving email metrics. The only way you can keep subscribers engaged is by relating to their needs, priorities, concerns, and values.
If that sounds difficult, do not despair, because we have some easy tricks that will help you create email deployments that address your audience directly. First of all, you need to move from business-to-business email communication to business-to-consumer. Simply put, it means that you will put less emphasis on advertising your products or services in exchange for email copy that provides value to real people. Your ultimate goal will still be to promote your business, but you can do that by showcasing benefits and success stories, rather than just listing promotions, updates, or new products or services.
Whenever you write your email copy, constantly ask yourself what your prospects and customers will get out of it. Put their benefits front and center. To most of us, this might sound like unnecessary extra work, but we can assure you that it will pay off and produce results. If you create an email copy that resembles a conversation with a friend, by using the first person and using a real person as the sender, you will start seeing more email engagement.
- Use the first person in the first part of your email
- Do not hide behind a corporate-sounding email address
- Allow the language to flow naturally
- Adopt a conversational tone
- Switch to the second person for the description of the email sender
The point here is that if you want your email copy to be engaging, it has to sound like the recipient would talk to a friend about the topic. But that also implies that you adopt the same kind of communication on landing pages or social media posts. Strive to create consistency in your multichannel marketing communication.
2. Use the right tone
The tone is one of the most important factors contributing to engagement. People are naturally inclined to respond positively to content that speaks to them. The tone is not defined by the subject or the purpose of the email but by its emotional character, that is, the way a message makes the reader feel. It is the emotional hue that colors the whole email.
There are 3 main types of tones of voice that can be found in the content of your email. Let’s go over each of them and analyze why they work and where to use them for maximum success.
The helpful tone
One thing that you need to keep in mind when crafting your email copy is that users are inundated with email communication. You have only one chance to make a lasting impression and achieve your goals. If the tone of your emails is rigid and sales-oriented, you might lose your subscribers’ interest. The biggest risk here is to make your emails sound too transactional. That’s why it is critical to make it clear that you are there to help. Be as informal as possible and make your emails sound genuine and friendly.
Start with a greeting that sounds relaxed and unofficial. Include your subscriber’s name in the first part of the email. Continue with this easygoing tone of voice throughout the rest of the copy, but let your reader know that you are looking out for their needs and priorities. If you are promoting a sale, show them what they are getting from the product or service, not necessarily the discount they can potentially enjoy.
The straightforward tone
Depending on your market, business or audience, maybe a helpful tone of voice doesn’t always work. Especially applicable for B2B companies, the straightforward voice allows your emails to be concise and to the point. It will also create the perfect context for uncomplicated and easy-to-understand emails.
Knowing what the email is about should be evident in your tone. Keep your copy short, use text formatting for highlighting the most important aspects, and make sure any visual assets you include are simple, undemanding, and in line with the overall message.
The lighthearted tone
When trying to establish a relationship with your customers or prospects, using a lighthearted tone of voice can facilitate that outcome. Human beings are more inclined to feel a connection to a brand when they feel understood, cared for, and valued. Because the tone of voice refers to the emotion of your message, appealing to them is a clear and efficient way of writing engaging email copy.
How will your customers feel when using your product or service? What emotions is your audience most likely to respond to? Always strive to find an answer to these questions when employing a lighthearted tone. Besides the obvious benefit of making you sound more human, it will also help you create a sense of brand loyalty in your audience.
3. Don't fear long emails
The average email length is about 500-600 words. According to a survey, the average length of emails received by B2B lead generation companies is about 600 words.
The message here is clear: there is no need to create short emails and fill them with fluff. You can use your email as a chance to tell a story, to provide detailed information, and to make your readers feel confident that they are dealing with a professional company that knows what it is doing.
Of course, long emails have their clear purpose, but you shouldn’t craft them if the email metrics indicate low engagement. Going back to the first point in this article, understanding your audience will help you figure out what kind of messages they show interest in. Adjust your strategy if the results are not matching your expectations.
4. Use lists
Lists are a great way to organize information. Lists are easy to scan and read, making them an efficient tactic even for subscribers who will just skim your email. Lists are also useful for persuading readers to take an action.
Let’s take a simple example. If your email promotes a webinar, online course, or live event, using lists will allow you to present the benefits of taking a course or participating in an event or webinar. Lists are also a great way of presenting information with a strong visual impact. You can also use numbered items in the email copy to emphasize a certain point or to direct attention to a specific section of your email.
5. Use the power of storytelling
One of the best things about telling stories is the way they help you communicate with people emotionally. That is why you should make use of storytelling in your email copy. Grabbing your subscribers’ attention with stories or a storyline can lead to higher engagement. Using stories in your email copy will make your copy more engaging, by appealing to curiosity, and therefore more effective. The story will show the human face of your business.
If we were to take an example of using storytelling to increase email engagement, we would better understand when to use this tactic and how. Let’s say you work for a digital marketing agency. You want to reach out to your clients to let them know how much you value your working together.
The email would start with a story. Pick something that speaks to your client base, something relevant to their needs and their current priorities. Let’s say that the story is about how the sender and the recipient achieved a goal together. It is a story about how you and your team accomplished something by working closely with your customer. When using storytelling, it is critical to keep in mind that the story should never be just about your company. It needs to involve the customer directly. It also needs to be interesting and emotional, if appropriate.
Remember that you don’t need a commercial reason to send out an email. Maybe you just want to express gratitude and make your subscribers feel appreciated. That’s why it wouldn’t be a mistake when creating a story with your email to forget the standard email elements, like the header or CTA button. If possible, you can even create a visual asset for making the story easier to follow, something like an infographic.
6. Build trust
If you want to make your email copy more engaging, you need your contacts’ trust. The most effective way to build trust is to show your readers that you care about them and that you are true to your values. Respecting promises is also an important element of gaining and keeping trust between your brand and your customers.
Appeal to what your company has in common with your subscribers. Showcase your values, your involvement in corporate social responsibility campaigns, let your contacts know that you are more than just a business. Don’t hesitate to use real senders rather than just a role-based email address.
Another thing you can do to build trust is to allow your brand to get involved in social or cultural movements or events. Support well-established charities, send out holiday wishes, and overall try to be more connected to what is important for your customers.
7. Share something personal
If your company is going through changes, do not be afraid to communicate them. Let’s say that you are redesigning your website. Talk about your challenges during this process and involve your subscribers. Ask for their feedback, allow them to feel connected to your brand by getting early access to your work.
Whenever possible, make it so that the recipients understand that people are working behind your brand. Share something that they are likely to go through or care about. Make your email personal. As we have already mentioned before, use the first person and speak directly to your subscribers. But don’t forget to also make your email helpful and useful, increasing the chances of delivering engaging content.
8. Be concise
The shorter your email copy is, the easier it will be for your readers to read it and understand your message. The shorter your email copy is, the more likely it is that your readers will read it. When you are crafting your email copy, you should always try to be concise and to the point. Present only the most important information and let readers decide if they what to find out more.
You should always alternate short emails with longer ones, especially when you are just testing out the water. Figuring out what works best for your audience takes practice and data. By delivering both types of emails you make sure that you can collect actionable data for further improving your email communication.
9. Use the right call-to-action
The key to engaging your email subscribers is to persuade them to take action. You do that by telling them what you expect them to do. Align business goals with email messages and include a relevant call-to-action. The most effective way to make your call-to-action stand out is to use contrasting colors, making it easier for readers to notice them instantly.
Furthermore, pay attention to the copy used for the call-to-action button. The copy should be concise, to the point, and related to the email copy.
10. Use the right visual asset
Visuals can prove to be a very powerful medium for engaging email subscribers. They can help you make your email copy even more appealing and effective. They can also help you persuade your readers to take a certain action. Include relevant images of your product or service, illustrate the content appropriately and always pay attention to consistency. Use brand colors and fonts in your visual assets to encourage subscribers to easily identify your communication in their inbox.
But don’t go overboard. Keep your assets simple, professional, and visually appealing.
11. Make your emails interactive
Interactive emails can be more engaging than non-interactive emails. They draw attention and also encourage the recipient to take an action. Interactive elements can vary from GIFs, countdowns, animated buttons, embedded surveys, or video content.