11 tips for writing the text for your email marketing campaigns

Is there any secret to creating more engaging text for your email marketing campaigns?

Bad news: There are no secret keys. At least there is no magic formula that will turn you into a copywriter or professional writer overnight.

Writing an engaging email, post, e-book, or sales page involves both art and science, and it takes time, sweat, and knowledge.

But hey, let’s start with a realistic foundation, and here’s the good news: there are little tricks that will help you write more transparent, more persuasive, and engaging email marketing copy.

Writing emails to get readers’ attention.

Emails where words enter through the eyes and remain fixed in the minds of your readers for the emotions they inspire or the details they evoke.

The best copywriters can create a text that draws attention, read, understand, appreciate, and persuade subscribers. In other words, they can create texts that sell.

There is no secret formula, as a sum of small details can make a difference. It’s like having an arsenal of possibilities or a closet full of resources ready to use in your sales emails.

And each one of them is a slight improvement to your texts.

Also, by applying them consistently, you will be getting into the habit of proofreading your texts, which will ensure an improvement in the quality of the final content; And this is as close as there is to a magic formula to improve the wording of your messages.

These 11 quick tricks (some more than others) will help you edit your business emails or write them from scratch, knowing what to look for.

1. Include an “anchor” with the current period

Imagine that you sell a product or service related to emotional well-being and want to send an email talking about Mindfulness.

You could start writing your email with a phrase similar to this one: “Mindfulness is a powerful tool for smoothing ups and downs.”

It’s not wrong. The message quickly lists the advantage of this concept, but it’s too direct, right? The reader’s brain immediately goes into “beware, business email” mode.

A simple writing tip that will help you avoid this effect is to use an “anchor” with a current fact or event, and for that, all you have to do is start the text by connecting your message with something happening in the world when the message is sent.

And it has to be something important that is happening; your audience needs to be aware of the fact that you will be using as an anchor for this technique to work.

Returning to the previous example, notice the difference between starting the email presenting the advantage directly or starting it connecting with the current moment, which in this case is the post-covid era (the return to normality).

A) Mindfulness is a powerful tool for smoothing ups and downs.

B) Many of us feel increasingly removed from our regular lives, and Mindfulness is a powerful tool to smooth the ups and downs.

Texto de email de Calm

Option B, the one actually chosen by the Calm app in the example you just saw, is less straightforward but creates a connection to current events; moreover, it creates an emotional connection.

The anchor of this email is a simple sentence: “Many of us feel more and more disconnected from our normal lives.”

But it shows that you know what your audience is experiencing and that the person speaking to them is a real flesh and blood person.

Anchoring your email marketing texts in the present is a way to contextualize what you will say next and demonstrate empathy with the person who is reading the message. That will help you make your texts sound casual and avoid a commercial tone.

2. Separate the content visually

An email marketing text can be enhanced by what you say, the way you say it, or the formats you use to make it more readable.

And that is an efficient trick—some simple, bold, or italics here, some quotes or dialogue there. And you are already breaking the monotony and creating variety.

That means your texts will be visually more precise, easier to read, and information will be retained faster.

For example, this text from an email sent by Notion is long, but thanks to bold, quotation marks, dashes, arrows, and highlighted links in blue, they can visually separate all the elements and make the resulting light and pleasant.

Texto de email de Notion

3. Include something impactful

This tip is related to the previous point because sometimes, the secret to making your email texts stand out is not in the words you use but in the special effects you give them.

And the options are limitless – as far as your imagination is concerned – but to give you an idea, here are some examples of how to emphasize a word or idea by creating impact.

  • Capitalize only one word or italicize a short sentence.
  • Separate a word into syllables, with hyphens, as if you were quoting each syllable when speaking.
  • Include onomatopoeias (yuhuu, wow, brrr, pfff, oh, ah, bah, buuuu), it depends a lot on each particular case, but they work well to give the text a fresher and more personal tone.
  • Use the ellipsis to create – you guessed it – suspense.
  • Include a short sentence ending with a period. This could be used for emphasizing the idea we talked about in the previous paragraph.
  • Insert a narrator’s thoughts, personal opinions, or voices in hyphens or parentheses.
  • Work with visual and sound effects or elements.

Texto de email de Asos

Asos email text

In the following example of a commercial email from Asos for their Halloween campaign, in addition to the news anchor, you can see two of these techniques.

– Onomatopoeia: «Buuuu»

– The verbalization of the sound effects: (“Scary ghost voice”)

4. Try using emojis

Emojis are part of our daily lives. What’s more, we love emojis; and we like them both on WhatsApp and in the inbox.

Obviously, it depends a little on your audience type, but even communication in the B2B sectors is becoming more and more casual, personal and fun.

And emojis are just that: casual, personal, and fun.

When you add them to an email text, they give a relaxed tone that is sometimes hard for you to find in words, as if by magic. Furthermore, they also help to break the monotony of the text and give a more visual feel to the entire email.

Best of all, you can use them in almost any part of the email you can imagine, from the subject line to the end of the message, to a list of elements, including an emoji at each point.

You can also use them in other parts of the message, for example, in the buttons’ texts, in the call to action (CTA), as in this email sent by Factorial.

Texto de email de Factorial

5. Leave blank space

And when I talk about white space, I mean shortening your paragraphs with the fastest trick ever: use the period more.

Because short sentences and paragraphs are easier to read and retain, but they also help to scan information visually.

So, as a bit of general advice, the shorter and clearer a paragraph, the better.

But there is a digital copywriting technique that has been gaining popularity mainly on social media and email marketing, which consists of taking this advice to the extreme, separating each sentence  in a new paragraph.

Many copywriters use this way of writing email texts in combination with another technique: varying the length of each sentence (a shorter sentence, followed by a longer phrase, etc.), which creates a visual feel of a characteristic waveform in the text.

Texto de email de Backlinko

As you can see from this example, this writing style gives a sense of visual dynamism and variety, though not for everyone.

But in any case, what you can do to improve your texts quickly is to shorten the paragraphs of your emails.

When you see 3 or 4 lines together, ask yourself where you could cut and press Enter. Your texts will appreciate that extra white space (air to breathe!).

6. Highlight the advantages in a list

And going back to the previous point, if it’s with emojis, even better🙈.

Lists are easy to scan visually, which makes them easier to read.

Also, in the middle of an email, they immediately catch your eye, so your readers’ eyes are likely to go straight there. That’s why it’s a perfect format for highlighting the advantages of your promotion.

The trick is to use a few words to highlight in this format the benefits of whatever you’re trying to sell, whether it’s a product, a service, an event, an idea, or a post.

Texto de email de Fintonic Texto de email de Fintonic

7. Leave them wanting more

This trick works exceptionally well when your newsletter has a lot of texts, where the main action you want to take is promoting a blog post.

For example, if you just published an article with a list divided into four dots or sections, include just 2 in the email text and force your subscribers to click if they want to read the rest of the list on your blog.

The key is to put in the correct and necessary text to create curiosity and anticipation, as we get too anxious when we see an incomplete list.

Also, including just part of the text in the email will help create a shorter newsletter.

Texto de email de Typeform Texto de email de Typeform

8. Work with social proof

You need to demonstrate that other people have already trusted you for your customer to feel secure.

In email marketing, the trust you can generate with your texts is fundamental. You should do your best to demonstrate that other people are speaking highly of the product or service that you are promoting.

If 6,000 people liked a product, it must be good, right? Well, maybe yes or maybe no, but popular wisdom affirms that yes.

And all because of a cognitive bias which is also known as the bandwagon effect, which occurs when we do something simply because other people have done it before.

As if we were led by trust in what others do, say, and think.

Texto de email de Growth Hacking Course

Growth Hacking Course Email Text

9.Use colloquial expressions

Of course! Your audience wants to feel that someone real is talking to them, and if it’s in their own language – the one they use in their everyday lives – much better.

And colloquial expressions are a super-easy way to connect, as they imply that specific characteristics are shared, such as age, personality, specific hobbies, or even customs.

Remember that the type of expression you use will depend on the audience that will read your message.

For example, see this email sent by Fitbit. Their audience is mainly made up of young people and athletes, so they use two expressions that relate to them.

Texto de email de Fitbit Texto de email de Fitbit

10. Create an image

Sometimes you know exactly what the main idea you want to communicate to your audience is, and it can be a wonderfully simple idea; there’s nothing wrong with that, on the contrary.

But you start writing your email, and suddenly simplicity becomes an issue: the text looks too simple, too direct.

It’s like it doesn’t have that “je ne sais quoi.”

A quick trick to solve this problem is to conjure an image around the idea, such as a description or a short story.

And that works because when the reader sees something clearly in their head, emotions quickly kick in, which strengthens your message. The text connects more.

For example, decoration and furniture brands, such as Maisons du Monde, use this feature constantly in their emails. To see the difference, compare these texts:

  1. Christmas is a magical time
  2. We all gathered around the table, eyes bright and full of emotion; it was a magical moment.

Option B doesn’t even mention the word Christmas. But it still connects us with the images and emotions associated with the magic of Christmas much more quickly.

Texto de email de Maisons du monde Texto de email de Maisons du monde

11. Use a more personal tone in your final greeting

We couldn’t finish this series of tips for improving the structure of your newsletter texts any other way.

Let’s talk about how to end your texts. I’m sure you’ve wondered what the best way to say goodbye in a commercial email is.

“I hope everything is alright?” “See you?” “Greetings?” “Shall we talk in the next email?”

Of course, there isn’t a single correct answer, but there is a trick: keep the message personal.

You can try to create an original phrase, which you can easily link to your brand; And for that, in part, you will have to repeat it consistently in all your emails, even if not literally.

For example, all emails from Buffer, whether commercial or marketing, always end more or less the same: first they thank you in some way, and then, in the signature, they say goodbye on behalf of the  person who sent the email and everyone on the team.

Translated by Micheli.

Julia Gómez Acuña

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