Yes indeed, here we are: the final installment of the e-mail copywriting series.
The topic of this article is what most people would consider to be the meat and potatoes of e-mail copywriting: composing the body of the e-mail messages.
However, while the bulk of the actual writing in an e-mail copywriting campaign does indeed go into composing the messages, this part of the campaign is in many ways the most straightforward. There are two reasons for this:
1, Once you have got the reader to opt in to your list and open your e-mail, there is a good chance they will invest the time to read the entire message, so you don’t need to be as “salesy” in the body of the message as you do on the squeeze page or subject line.
2, If you are using your e-mail sequence to sell something, you don’t need to make an aggressive sales pitch directly from the messages; you can just include a little bit of value-adding information about your topic, then politely insert a link that takes the reader to your sales page on your website. This gets the reader to the sales pitch without creating the impression that you’re spamming their e-mail inbox directly with sales pitches.
Those are two good reasons why you shouldn’t fret too much about composing the body content of your e-mail sequences. However, there are still a couple rules you should follow when you write autoresponder copy, to get the most out of the list you have worked so hard to build. The most fundamental of these rules are summarized below:
1, Make the headline sound like a natural conversation topic.
In spite of the fact that you already caught attention with the subject line, you should still include a headline in the body copy of your autoresponder e-mails. It’s not that it’s really necessary, it’s just that it won’t hurt, and will help you keep the attention of readers who are prone to losing interest. However, you shouldn’t make your e-mail headlines similar to your sales page headlines. Don’t make the headline hypey or intrusive, just include a simple question in quotation marks, like “hey, have you ever wondered about…” This approach is effective without being overly pushy or aggressive.
2, Open with information your readers want to know.
Read some blogs and message boards in your niche. Make note of the most commonly asked questions in these places, and make sure each of your e-mail messages addresses at least one of them. If you want to include a direct sales pitch in your e-mail copy, make sure you precede it with a couple paragraphs of value-adding information.
3, Keep it (relatively) short and sweet.
I’m not sure exactly why, but people don’t have much patience when reading their e-mail. The same people who wouldn’t buy a product from you unless your sales page is 3000 words long, won’t read your entire e-mail message unless it’s less than 500 words. Accordingly, you should keep your e-mail copy between 250-500 words, inserting links to your website sales copy throughout the message if you are trying to make a sale.
4, Make the call to action count.
Inevitably, if you want to make money off your list, you will eventually need to to ask for the sale (either directly or through a link to your website). However, if you pepper every single one of your messages with sales links, you will come across as spammy, and get sent to the appropriate box. So instead of including a call to action in every message you send, try to include one call to action in every other message, and make the call to action (the “buy now!”) as clear as possible. At the end of your message, state the most important benefit, then immediately insert a button that says “buy now” (you can make one of these buttons easily with a paypal premier account). Doing this intermittently will be well received, but doing it in every message may not be, so take it easy.
And thus concludes our three part adventure tour of the wild and wonderful world of e-mail copywriting. This series wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t end with a closing thought, so I will tell you what I think is the most important principle in e-mail copywriting.
By far the most unique advantage of e-mail is the ability to build familiarity by repeated, regular contact with your list. If you capitalize on this effect by being personable in your communications, you will go from just familiarity, to (dare I say it) affectionate familiarity. So if there’s two things you should be doing in your e-mail list, they are: 1, communicating regularly; and 2, communicating on a personal level. If you can do that, and be informative at the same time, there is no limit to what you can achieve.