Have you ever stared at the blank screen, waiting for inspiration to write an email to your list? You know it needs to be good to get sales. But you realize at that point you’re great at a lot of things, but sales is not one of them.
Not to worry. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you write not only a great email, but a great email that converts.
Most articles that offer advice on how to write email copy that converts jump right into tips on how to write the email. For those of you that need more than just directions, here is how to get some actual inspiration.
Start with your competitors. Go to their website and sign up for their email list or lead magnet (free ebooks, white papers, etc.). Check out the top marketers and do the same. Also, look at what your favorite big brands are doing when launching a major product (hint: Apple).
The next step: sit back and read some emails. Label the emails that you find the most effective. The more you save, the more inspiration you will have for your own emails.
Write the Email
Before you start writing your email, run through your favorite pieces of email copy inspiration. Then follow these steps.
1. Determine your goal.
What is the ultimate goal of your email? Is it to get people to read your latest blog post? Is it to get free trial users to sign up for a paid account? Is it to get people to purchase your products or services?
Whatever your goal is, focus on that goal. It should be the only thing that your email sets out to do.
2. Outline your story.
Storytelling has a powerful effect on conversion rates. Think of a story that your ideal customer can relate to and outline how you will tell it in your email, leading your ideal customer from a pain point to a solution (your call-to-action).
3. Focus on the subject line.
You can’t convert your subscribers if they don’t open your email. So your first job – and likely your most important – is to craft a brilliant subject line. Go back to your inspiration emails for this.
Which subject lines did you like the best out of your subscriptions? Which ones would you have skipped over if it weren’t for research purposes?
Find a couple of different subject lines that relate to your email story, customize them, and do some A/B testing to see which ones get the most opens with your subscribers.
4. Don’t forget the preview.
Many email services offer a preview of the email in the inbox. It follows the subject and shows your subscribers the first bit of text in your email. To ensure that you don’t waste this space, make the first sentence of your email count.
5. Write the story.
Now, you’re ready to write your story. It doesn’t have to be excessively long. It doesn’t have to be an award-winning piece of prose. It just needs to be something that will help your ideal customers relate to you, your products, or your services.
It needs to be something that lets them know that you understand their needs and that you can help them.
Don’t think about writing to your audience at large – think about writing a letter to one person. Ideally, if you have segmented your email list well, you can write a letter / story that caters to specific buyers in each segment for increased personalization.
Write to the small business owner. Write to the marketer. Write to the work colleague. Write to the mom. Write to the friend. Put yourself into each of these roles and write the story that would speak directly to them.
6. Sprinkle in calls-to-action.
There’s a good chance that, by the end of the email, you have created one call-to-action. Since you have subscribers who might not make it to the end of your email, you will want to give them your call to action early.
The best scenario would be to include a call-to-action after the first sentence or two so that your subscribers don’t even have to scroll to see it.
It’s More Than the Copy
No matter how well you write your email, there are a few things that can keep the best email copy from converting. One is an email that is not mobile friendly. 48% of email opens happen on mobile devices according to Knotice.
If your email isn’t mobile friendly, the people who open your email may not be able to read your message or click on your call-to-action.
With mobile in mind, the landing page you send your subscribers to must also be mobile-friendly. You want all of your subscribers to be able to read your message, click your call to action, and complete the conversion without technology being a negative factor.
Having a mismatched email and landing page combination can also lower your conversion rate. The story, the theme, the colors, and the copy should transition smoothly from your email to the landing page. This will ensure that nothing distracts jars your subscriber out of the conversion state of mind.
To summarize, the main keys to writing email copy that converts are research, storytelling, and mobile optimization. Get inspired, inspire your subscribers, and don’t let anything come between them and your conversion goals.