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Producing Compelling Email Copy

This subject is comprehensive enough to fill its own book — actually, a whole lot of books. But here are a few quick guidelines that can help produce better results from your emails and help you avoid a few common pitfalls:

Write a great subject line
If you’re like most people, you get at least several dozen of emails every day. Depending on your business, you might get more than 100 — or even several hundred. That’s a lot of chaff to sort through to get to the wheat.

The subject line is the gatekeeper of your email — no one gets to read your copy if he or she isn’t interested enough to open it in the first place. In your subject line, use actionable language, preferably with active verbs. Give the recipient an idea of exactly what he or she will get from opening the email; make sure the subject line is clear and catchy.

Be sure the subject line aligns to the email copy
If you promise one thing in the subject line and deliver something else in the email, recipients won’t bother reading to the end or clicking on the link to your website or landing page — and they certainly won’t click on an email from you next time. Like the thesis statement in a paper, your subject line is the topic you’ll explain and expound upon in the copy. Be sure that whatever you’re pitching in the subject line comes to life in the copy.

Write in the second person
You want the reader to take action, so orient your copy toward that person. That means lots of “you” and little-to-no “I.” The second person voice is personal, and using much more “you” and “your” than “we” or “I” keeps the focus on the customer, not the brand.

Focus on benefits, not features
Whatever you’re selling is intended to solve a need the recipient has: something that lets the reader save money or make money, save time, improve his or her life. Your email should be oriented around defining that problem and indicating how your product or service can solve it.

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