Crafting excellent emails takes a lot of time, trial and error. So if you’re sending emails that look great, but you aren’t getting the click through you expected, it might be time to look at your email copy.

It’s true that consumers do like a visually appealing design. But the best results come when content and design work together to create a compelling message. Without well-written email copy, you’re going to struggle to convert and get the click through that you want.

With Machinemail, you have the opportunity to write a number of email copy components including the:

  • Subject line
  • Preview text
  • Email header
  • Paragraph text

We’ve gone through how to create killer email subject lines and how to boost your opens with preview text so, let’s look at the email header and paragraph text.

What is an email header?

In Machinemail, the email header is a highlighted piece of text that is the first thing your recipients will read when they open your email.

Isn’t that what preview text is? While they may be similar, and are easily confused, the preview text and email header are not the same thing. Preview text only displays in the inbox to draw the reader in, think of it like a second subject line. Whereas, the email header is a stand alone piece of text inside the email. The header is one of the first things your recipients see after they’ve opened the email.

How do I make the most of my email copy?

Glad you asked! Here are 10 tips you can use to make the most of your email copy, generate more leads and make more sales.

1. Use active language

First, what is active language? Let’s compare 2 sentences to see the difference.

  1. The dog bit the man. (active)
  2. The man was bitten by the dog. (passive)

The first is written in an active voice. It uses a subject followed by a verb (i.e. a doing word) to tell the reader what happened clearly and concisely. In this case, the dog is the subject and ‘bit’ is the verb. Passive voice often uses more words and indicates the subject receives the action, i.e. was bitten.

When using active language in your email marketing we don’t just mean using verbs, but it doesn’t hurt. Since verbs tell the reader what they can do with the information presented, verbs are a surefire way to get your message across.

Words like “take”, “buy”, “download”, and “ask” are key phrases you’ll often see in your inbox because they are clear and urge you to take action. But there are ways to write active language without being bossy.

What it comes down to is using language that clearly tells the recipient what they can do with the information in the email. After all, your goal is to convert, generate click through and increase your sales.

To do this, you’ve got to:

  • Evoke emotion
  • Convey action
  • Build trust with your audience

Consider something like this:

“Hey there! We don’t want you to miss the Diesel, Dirt & Turf Expo. It’s on May 3rd to 5th (don’t forget to register!). We look forward to seeing you there.”

While this doesn’t tell the recipient to buy or purchase tickets to the event, it still tells them what they can do with the information in the email, i.e. register to attend.

2. Write in the second person and be personable

To write in the second person you need to use pronouns “you”, “your” and “yours”. By doing this, you’re orienting your copy toward the reader. Basically, write it like you’re talking to a friend.

The second person is a more personable, friendly tone and puts the value at the forefront of your email marketing copy.

An example of using a second person, and personable voice:

“Hey there! We thought you’d be interested in these tractors, since you visited our farm machinery auction in May.”

Using “you” and mentioning a previous interaction you had with the recipient gives genuine appeal and instills more trust in your brand.

Just make sure when you’re mentioning an interaction, you’re sending your emails to a list of people who have had that same experience. So, in the example above we’d send to anyone who attended the farm machinery auction in May. Simple! Not sure how to do that? Learn how to segment your email lists here.

3. Be clear before catchy

Think clear, and let catchy settle for second best. There’s no point in creating a great line that says nothing and doesn’t add value. Remember, you’re working with a small amount of space so every word counts.

Catchy lines can also come across insincere, be misinterpreted and leave your audience with a big question mark where a clear picture should be. Focus on translating your message and then, if you can, inject a bit of spice with humour, wit or charm. But, only if it works. Never force it. If you do your readers will know.

4. Write for scannability

When you’re crafting your copy, remember that most people only scan emails. So you need to make the most important points stand out.

It’s important to:

  • Use the inverted pyramid method for structure
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Focus on 1 idea per paragraph

What is the inverted pyramid method? Well, it’s a simple way to organise information from the most important to the least. Journalists use this method in news writing by including all relevant information in the very first paragraph, so that if people stop reading they haven’t really missed anything.

Using bullet points is also a great way to break up chunks of text into scannable pieces of content.

5. Deliver on subject line and preview text promises

You should never be misleading in your subject line and preview text, so if you’ve made a promise… the email copy is the place to deliver. Recipients like to receive emails that reassure them of what they’re getting and what they signed up for. It’s about building that trust.

So, it’s fair to say that if you’re not delivering on your promises, you’ll see click through rates and general customer engagement drop. Your audience will learn not to trust your brand, and that’s not good!

6. Be relevant

As we’ve mentioned, your email has to be relevant to the people receiving them. And if they’re not, you run the risk of high unsubscribes rates and spam flags. So, making sure that your message conveys the relevant “why” is super important, and it’s easy to do if your list is segmented correctly.

Let’s use an example. Maybe you’re emailing a list based on expo attendance, make that clear in your email copy like this:

“Hey there! We loved seeing you at our machinery expo and thought you’d like these machines that have just hit the market. Don’t miss out on a great deal, take a look today!”

By telling the reader why you’re emailing them you immediately show them that it’s a relevant message.

7. Talk about the benefits

If you’re pushing a new product, ask yourself: Why would my customers care? How does this product improve their lives?

Convey your message by talking about the benefits of your product, rather than just the features. Your audience doesn’t know the value they’re missing if you don’t make it obvious to them. So, go ahead and tell them.

“This tractor will increase productivity and reduce operator fatigue by 20%!”

That sentence is selling the benefit of productivity, rather than the features that make it possible. Keep those benefits in mind and you’ll find it easier to convert the sale.

8. Always include a CTA

One of the main active elements of your email copy is the call to action (CTA). This small piece of text is what directs your readers to the next step. Whether it’s a “call now”, “view” or “find out more”… you need to tell your customers what to do next.

Find out how to write CTA’s that convert here.

9. Use psychology

Psychology, it’s the way we think. But, what does that have to do with email marketing? Well, since humans react to certain things in certain ways, what you say can have a big impact.

Here are a few ways you can use psychology to get more clicks:

  • FOMO, a.k.a the fear of missing out. Using urgency and scarcity works well to elicit this feeling of missing out and can pique the reader’s interest.
  • Colour. Different colours create different reactions. But, it works best to match your email colour to your brand logo.
  • Social proof. If you trust a restaurant is good based on the reviews it’s received, that’s social proof in action. This plays on our need to belong, so if the majority are using it, generally, we want in.
  • Using persuasive language. Studies show that using “because” is more than 31% effective when seeking compliance, compared to leaving it out.

So next time you’re crafting some quick email copy, remember: your words have power!

10. Know your goal

At the end of the day, you’re sending an email with a purpose. So make sure you’re hitting the nail on the head with everything you include. By keeping your goal in mind, you’ll stay on track and focus on getting your readers to take the action you want.


So, that’s it! Great email copy from your subject line right down to your CTA. It’s all important.

Let us know if you found this article helpful below. Now, get writing that email copy that converts!

Sources: Hubspot, Campaign Monitor, Optinmonster

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