Producing the email is a creative exercise, a combination of graphics and text both limited to varying degrees by technical requirements. Whilst most creative writing tries to engage, in email marketing this has to be done all but instantly. You have seconds to grab their attention.
Whatever your view of the content, the text style of red-top tabloids is extremely effective. The attention-grabbing headline is followed by a brief introductory paragraph and then is expanded upon, but not boringly, in what space remains.
The basics are rather obvious: people go rather than proceed, buy rather than purchase, be and not exist. The joy of the English language is that there is always a short word available to replace an extended one. The car did not accelerate swiftly, it sped. If the verb needs an adverb, it is the wrong verb.
But good copy does not come from knowing what to avoid. It comes from structure.
Headlines are writing at its most sublime. They must intrigue, interest and excite all within as few words as possible. You need to know what you want to convey and to whom.
Your latest bit of software might overcome the problem of slow upload speeds by a new compression format. You need to bring this to the attention of those who are IT comfortable and might be interested in something radical.
New Upload Program Slashes Time
You have their attention. New is exciting, upload program tells them it techy, slashes adds a bit of drama and all with the promise of extra time. It demands that the reader carries on.
There is some argument as to whether a sub-heading should come next. This disagreement means that there is no convincing argument either way so feel free to chose on the grounds of what you like. If you prefer running with one then it should follow on from the main heading.
Radical software includes system for checking content
Can confuse as it is a bit of a non sequitur, while the specifics of:
Revolutionary compression increases upload speed by 17%
Will, hopefully, tantalise as well as inform.
Paragraphs have a different function in email marketing compared to normal text. Emails are scanned rather than read so you should limit their length in order not to bore the reader. A fourth sentence can be risky.
They benefit from variations in length. The first should be brief, just a fuller explanation of the main function of the software. The second should go on to explain other benefits and the third, if you feel you need a third, should reinforce the savings possible.
Start with a bold statement: This software will revolutionise the transferring of large files between computers or onto the internet. The rest justifies that conclusion.
The email is not the place for full technical details or the complete itinerary. For those who need that extra bit of information before deciding, have a click-through to a microsite.
Effective copy is precise, directed and purposeful. Make every word count.