“I’ve got to write an advertising email. Any tips?” said my trainee copywriter son

Around 10pm last night, just as I was about to go to bed, my (trainee copywriter) son said: “I’ve got to write an emailer tomorrow. Any tips?”  So it was a bit of a late-night copywriting tutorial…

It’s tricky, I said, unless you’ve got a great offer or your ‘warm’ opted-in list likes to hear the latest news. If you have nothing to offer and – worse – it’s a ‘cold’ emailer, then it’s going to be mega difficult to get people to click through. Impossible in many cases, I’d say.

There are ways around it, but really and truly I want to be in bed by midnight…

The most important part of an email is the subject line that appears in your in-box. This is what will make people click through to read the second-most important part of your emailer which is the headline and body copy.

Let’s say you do have an offer or your audience is on your opted-in list… Let’s take a look at the emails I’ve received this week from some of my favourite online stores for example LoveKnitting.com, Wiggle (cycling stuff) and Strava (cycling app) – plus a few others.

Subject lines:

Our Biggest Update of the Year (Strava) – no offer, but I’m curious so I click through…)

Get the best prices at LoveKnitting + 2… (aarrgghh, that’s where it runs off the screen – 2 WHAT? Again, I’m curious so I clock through.)

20% off 6 bottles of Pinot Noir Case L… (Wine Cellar Club) – sorry but Tesco are doing 25% off 6 bottles at the moment, so I don’t click through.

Time to Panic: Only 24 Hours Left to S… (Templatemonster.com) 24 Hours Left to WHAT? But I don’t click on it because I no longer use website templates; I design my own. But I’m sure this would work for others.)

Hurry, Bev! Your extra Platinum discount… (Wiggle) Personalised, and oh no my 17% discount is going to end so I MUST buy. But I don’t; I have enough cycling gear (most of it purchased from Wiggle) and have just sold a load of stuff I never wear on eBay.

Stock Market Health Check (Fidelity) – boring but might interest some investors. I’m a tad too busy to click through; maybe later… or maybe I’ll forget…

The thing that the best of the above has in common is that they appeal to the strong motivator: scarcity. What you want is disappearing fast – and you can get it cheaper for a limited period, but you’ll have to  hurry! Urgent, urgent, urgent!

Good emailer subject lines also push the offer up front – to the start of the line. Remember, in-boxes are different sizes but on smart phones, for example, there is precious little room to cram in what you want to say before it runs off the screen.

So be economic with your characters. Use + instead of plus, 20 Oct instead of 20th October and so on.

Don’t try to be clever. An emailer subject line is not the place for humour or a clever use of words; it’s a place for SALES.

Its SOLE PURPOSE is to ultimately generate sales, even if it’s disguised as news or a questionnaire (loyalty-building with a view to generating future sales).

As a result the emailer subject line has to be spot on or you won’t get any click-throughs. And if you don’t get any click-throughs, you won’t get sales.

It’s a very tricky task for a new copywriter, I told my son, so I really hope you have an offer and that it’s going out to an opted-in ‘warm’ mailing list.

I could have said more on the subject of how to write email subject lines that work, but it was time for bed! Read some brilliant tips here: https://www.digitalmarketer.com/101-best-email-subject-lines-2014/

 

 

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