Effective email copy is not like a letter to your grandma; unless, that is, you’re asking Grandma to sponsor you for the 5K Fun Run at the park. A good email campaign isn’t designed to make people feel warm and fuzzy about you, your company or your product, or generate awareness, or promote your brand. Good email copy does one thing – it generates a response.
Experienced email copywriters use a myriad of techniques to get their readers to act, techniques that may seem aggressive, salesy or “cheesy” to the uninitiated. Below are a few examples, all legacies of classic direct marketing and even TV infomercials.
You may read these and say to yourself: “that’s not how we talk to our audience.” That’s your decision. The bottom line is that, even today, these techniques are proven to increase response.
“… and more.”
One reason why testing is so fundamental to email marketing is that different people respond to different offers, benefits, and creative in general. “… and more” is a classic way to end a list (of benefits, for example) because it implies yet more, albeit unnamed, reasons to respond, and increases the perceived value of whatever it is you’re selling.
Hesitation is the bugbear of email success. Good email copy keeps the reader moving; any pause, hesitation, distraction or confusion, and the cause is lost. Beginning a sentence (or technically speaking, a sentence fragment) with “And” or “Plus”, though excruciatingly bad grammar, is one way to hustle the reader through to your next compelling point.
“Act Now …”
Even the most successful email campaigns have minimal shelf life. Success depends on not only getting people to respond, but getting them to do so immediately. Urgency is king. “Act now” implies there’s a price to be paid for delay.
Howard – this made me laugh out loud, and takes me back to when we first worked together. The “cheesy” comment is exactly what my approval chain said at the time, but you know what – it worked, and I’ll continue to use it as long as it’s effective! Thanks for the laugh.