good email copy

What Makes a Good Email Copy? Characteristics of Compelling Templates

Drafting a good email copy is not everyone’s cup of tea. Just like writing, for some people it just comes naturally whereas some of us have to hunch over the keyboard and scratch our heads for eternity before we figure out the tone, structure and visual elements that would go in the email. While there is no strict recipe for a perfect email copy, there are a few guidelines which when followed would make for compelling reads. In this post, we’re going to discuss these guidelines along with interesting real world examples for the same. Let’s jump right into it:

1. The readers shouldn’t have to be superheroes to scan through the copy

People today are busier than ever. While some may argue that this is just a perception problem (studies have shown that people today have more leisure time than before), you can’t help but notice how everyone seems to be in a hurry today. In such a time-is-money mindset, most of us would hate to focus and concentrate to read a long unstructured marketing email. Whether it is an email about an offer or about a new product launch, we want to go through it fast. That’s why, your email copy should be easily scannable. Break up the copy with headings, subheadings, images, bullet pointers, etc to make them easily readable. Here’s a nice example by Evernote:

evernote email2. The placement and messaging of the CTAs

No matter how enticing the subject line of the email is or how compelling the content copy is, unless the receivers know how to act on the message, the email is a failure. That’s why it is imperative that the email template has the right number of CTAs, placed at the right spots within the copy. Apart from the placement of the CTAs, the messaging should also be perfectly aligned with the content that aides it. Remember that ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Sign Up Today’ don’t work all the time. Here’s a nice example by Shutterstock to inspire you:

3. Talk more about the uses and benefits than the features

What’s in it for me? That’s the question that your prospects or customers will have when they receive an email. This is especially true for customers/prospects of product companies. That’s why, the content of the email copy should talk about how the customers would benefit from a feature rather than harping on and on about the feature and how it works. Here’s a good example by Dropbox:

dropbox email
4. Be succinct — Avoid unnecessary information

At times, you don’t even have to say much in the email copy. Just tie together important pieces of information and lay them out neat and clean. Check out this beautiful design of the password reset email by visual language app Lingo:

lingo app email
5. Be friendly and assertive in the tone

The tone of your email should be friendly and assertive so that the readers take an action on their own accord. However, be careful because there is a thin line that separates friendly and assertive from creepy and cocky. Custom apparel platform Teespring does it nice with its nudge email here:

teespring email

Useful read: 6 Advanced Ways to Personalize Your Emails

6. Add a personality

Add a dash of personality to your emails. Try to come up with a character or a phrase that would set your brand apart from the rest. Something that would stick with the customer even after reading the email. Email delivery service Sendgrid does it really well in their emails. Most of their emails are signed off with the phrase ‘Happy sending’ – a relevant and clever wordplay that will be stuck in your head.

sendgrid email

What do you think?

What makes a good email copy? Have you ever received an email so incredible that it left an indelible mark on your mind? Please share it with us and we’ll add it to our repository of good email template examples.


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