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How to Write Enticing Email Copy (2023)

Although social media and instant messaging have altered the ecommerce marketing landscape, email remains indispensable. Nearly 80% of millennials say they like receiving marketing emails, according to a 2022 survey.

With the number of daily email users worldwide estimated to grow to 4.73 billion by 2026, there’s never been a better time to hone your email copywriting skills to reach ecommerce customers. 

Learn more about the key elements of email copywriting and tips for how you can improve your writing skills to inspire conversions from existing and potential customers.

What is email copywriting?

Email copywriting is the process of writing text and content for an email, typically for marketing purposes. Merchants and small business owners write product emails, promotional emails, welcome emails, follow-up emails, and other types of marketing emails designed to appeal to existing or potential customers.

Email copywriters write email content unique to a brand’s content marketing strategy and goals. For example, an email designed to drive traffic to a specific blog post or landing page is different from a sales email focused on making conversions for a new product launch. Whatever the goal, writingeffective email copy can make the difference between a recipient opening or deleting your email message—or even unsubscribing from your mailing list.

Elements of email copywriting

There are a few key elements of email copywriting that come together to create effective email marketing campaigns, including subject lines and preview text.

Target audience

One of the main elements of email copywriting is the target audience, the group of recipients and email subscribers reading your email copy. Identify key demographic information, evaluate customer surveys, and create a buyer persona using a set of common traits to make up a single hypothetical customer. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your copywriting to suit their needs.

Subject line

Subject lines are the first place to write compelling email copy to tell readers what you have to offer, whether it’s a list of new product benefits or an article with relevant information related to your brand. A good email subject line draws readers in with active, exciting language focused on benefits for the reader, like an exclusive discount or new information.

Preview text

Preview text is the brief snippet of text below or next to the subject line of your email. Preview text should entice readers to click forward and open your email. Write preview lines to complement and build off your subject lines—for example, answering a question posed in the subject line.

Body copy

Body copy is the primary text of your email. This email copy focuses on delivering on the promises made in the subject line. Write emails with concise and compelling language, getting to the heart of what benefits your products, services, and brand offers.

Call to action

Direct attention to call-to-action (CTA) buttons to help readers take a specific action like purchasing a product, signing up for a subscription service, or clicking onto a landing page. Use actionable and exciting language to organically move readers to your call-to-action buttons.

Unsubscribe link

Include clear unsubscribe links in your emails to make it as easy as possible for readers to opt out from receiving your content. Allowing uninterested recipients to unsubscribe from your emails easily will increase your open rate and overall email deliverability, which measures whether your marketing emails land in a recipient’s inbox or spam folder.

6 tips for effective email copywriting

  1. Set clear goals
  2. Stay consistent with your brand voice
  3. Deliver on your subject line
  4. Use active language
  5. Focus on benefits
  6. Optimize your emails

Here are some email copywriting tips for writing marketing emails that resonate with your audience and drive them to take action.

1. Set clear goals

To write effective email marketing copy, you first need to identify the primary objective of your email campaign. It could be increased sales conversions for a new product, more traffic to your website, or another sales or marketing goal. Once you set your goal, use your email copy to invite people to take a specific action with clear and attention-grabbing CTA buttons.

2. Stay consistent with your brand voice

When email copywriting, keep in mind the specific style of your brand voice. Write content that feels on-brand with the tone of your company—for example, a clothing brand with a young target audience and an edgy brand personality will have a different writing style than a technology brand with a serious and informative tone.

3. Deliver on your subject line

Write compelling subject lines focusing on how your content, promotional offer, product, or service can help the reader, and then deliver on those promised benefits. Making false promises in your subject line can tarnish your brand’s reputation and hurt your email deliverability. Remain aware of the promises you make with your copywriting and deliver on those expectations.

4. Use active language

Write copy with actionable language, directing a reader’s attention toward your calls to action. Stick to short sentences in the active voice, and use the second person for talking directly to your reader, when applicable. Writing emails with long, dense paragraphs or too much industry jargon can alienate your email recipients.

5. Focus on benefits

Write email copy that highlights what benefits an existing or potential customer will gain from your email, whether that’s a discounted price on a new product, a free trial for a subscription service, or valuable information. Identify your target audience’s needs and where you can offer solutions for their pain points.

6. Optimize your emails

Email marketing software and applications like Shopify Email can help you optimize your email marketing strategy with customizable email templates, segmented subscriber list formats, and up-to-date data for important metrics like click-through rates and open and response rates. 

Using a software tool to improve your email performance can increase your email deliverability and help you save time with automated email sequences for things like welcoming new subscribers, following up on an abandoned shopping cart, or reengaging previous customers.

Create branded emails in minutes with Shopify Email

With Shopify Email, you can easily create, send, automate, and track email campaigns, all from your Shopify admin—no coding required.

Discover Shopify Email

Email copywriting FAQ

What is email copywriting?

Email copywriting is the process of writing email content for your business to inspire a specific action, like a click-through or sales conversion. Email copywriting involves generating subject lines, preview text, body copy, and a clear call to action.

What is an example of email copywriting?

An example of email copywriting would be the content within an email focused on re-engaging previous customers with information about a new product launch.

Does email copywriting increase sales?

According to a 2022 survey, 27% of customers said a brand’s newsletter probably could persuade them to purchase something. Email copywriting gives businesses the tools to make the most of their emails with clear calls to action, compelling language, and attention-grabbing subject lines. </p>

Why is email copywriting important?

Email copywriting can make the difference between a reader feeling inspired to take an action from an email or losing interest, deleting your email, or marking it as spam. Writing compelling language for your subject lines, preview text, and body copy is at the foundation of what makes a successful email marketing campaign./p>

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