UK Based Intergrated Electronic Marketing

Creating Compelling E-Mail Copy

Resources / Marketing Articles / Creating Compelling E-Mail Copy

devicesHow do you make an email interesting and one of the few not to fall victim to the delete button?

Say It Clearly 

The subject line is the first thing people will read. It has to capture the imagination of the reader and entice them to explore further. With a nanosecond to play with, bold and brassy is the order of the day. Try not to be too clever, just get straight to the poin: why should this email should be opened?

Don't Be Coy 

There's no time for elegant introductions, well-developed arguments or philosophical debates: get to the point quickly and keep it brief. Keep the copy to a minimum, paragraphs short and break up the visual pattern of the email with bullet points and subheadings.

Who's It From? 

It's a simple thing but so often emails are sent out with the "from" field filled with nonsensical numbers. They look like spam and are likely to be junked immediately. Ensure your email deployment company can put your company name in the "from" box. 

Mind Your Language 

Emails aren't great works of literature. You can afford to relax your normal letter style as most people would expect a less formal tone in an email. Many personal emails seem to be devoid of any punctuation:  while this is perfectly acceptable from a friend it would undoubtedly adversely affect how people view your company.  Try to strike a balance between the formal and informal.   Humour can be very effective but can be difficult to judge especially if you're addressing a cross-cultural audience. Research has proven that a light, humorous tone can convey a positive attitude which creates warmth in the reader towards the sender. 

Know Your Market 

As Estee Lauder once said, "I'm not selling cosmetics, I'm selling hope," so the best and most compelling copy gets under the skin of your target audience and appeals to them on a deeper level. Tapping into customer motivations is a powerful way to advertise, ask yourself how your product or service will make your customers feel. 

Explain The Deal 

It may sound obvious, but many offers fail to make clear "what's in it for me". Always express your service in terms of customer benefits. 

Call To Action 

Keep it simple and make it as easy as possible for your readers to respond. Key links should be within the first three paragraphs of the email so they can be seen in auto-preview mode. 

Avoid using "click here" if possible, replacing it with hyperlinked action words:   

Subscribe now

Buy an Audi A4

Visit our website 


Whilst more of an issue for websites, you do need to ensure that your email and newsletter campaigns are written in legible fonts. Try to stick to sans-serif typefaces which are easier on the eye. Italics are fine to emphasise the odd word but whole paragraphs make the text look wobbly. Text size too can make a difference- if it's too small it's a struggle to read and you may fall foul of accessibility rules for the visually impaired: too big and your readers may feel like you're shouting at them. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, section 21, all information must be provided in alternative formats for the visually impaired e.g. large print, Braille, tape, disk, telephone etc. 

Details on accessibility guidelines can be found on the RNIB website

For more information please contact

MailAgent Ltd
John Dickinson Enterprise Centre
London Road Herts. HP3 9QU
Tel: 0333 577 0153
Fax: 01442 242 484

Copyright © 1993-2019 MailAgent Ltd.