5 fail-safe tips to write killer email copy

A lot of email markeeters think that a fancy email design and excellent coding skills make a good email. And they do. But what they seem to forget is that readable and clear copy should also be added to that list. In many cases, revisiting email copy can significantly improve the experience for subscribers. With these five simple tricks, you can make that happen. Here’s how to do it.

1. Less is more

We know it can be tempting to squeeze as much info as possible into an email. But there are many reasons why you’d better not. Go for shorter and more concise copy instead. On average, an adult can read between 250 and 300 words per minute. And research performed by Litmus showed that the average attention span in email is 13,4 seconds. This translates into an ideal length of email copy of just 50 words. So be sure to select your content carefully. Have a lot to tell in your email? Consider splitting it up in several smaller emails
and send them out as a series.

2. Cut the crap

Try to keep your copy fairly concise and examine whether each and every word is really necessary. Long and complex sentences can make your email difficult to read for your subscribers. Short sentences are easier to understand. They allow your audience to focus on the content, instead of having to decipher the sentence itself. So whenever possible, chop longer sentences into shorter ones. 

3. Cut back on jargon and difficult words

The same rule that applies for sentences, also applies for words: the shorter the better. Longer words are harder to digest. They demand more concentration from your readers. Wherever possible, replace difficult words with an easier to read synonym. But be careful: don’t go changing words just for the sake of following this rule. That synonym should have the same meaning and connotation. If not, your copy may not be interpreted correctly.

4. Create structure and hierarchy

Don’t serve people long, uniform blocks of text. Instead, add some hierarchy and structure by creating visual differences between blocks of content and by highlighting words that should jump out. We know creating visual hierarchy is mainly a designer’s task, but it starts with your content and your copywriting. Use the power of headlines and paragraphs to create a content hierarchy for your campaign. That makes it easier for your subscribers to scan and get to the essence of your email. 

5. Show personality

Email tends to be a little more serious than other forms of marketing, such as social or digital advertising. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t let your personality shine through. After all, aren’t some of the most memorable emails those that aren’t just built around selling a brand or its product?


The content of your emails is crucial to make your readers do what you want them to. It’s all about how you write your message and the way you offer it to them. Be clear, to the point and concise at all times, and dare to cut away whatever is in the way of getting your message across. You’ll see it pay off in the end.


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Posted on
Aug 28, 2019