Marketing Email Copy is a Snap if You Follow These Rules

January 12, 2023

There is many factors to a winning marketing email, but besides the technical items you need to explore such as A/B testing etc., what about the actual message. If you are getting the email delivery and open rates you desire, you have the proper items addressed such as the graphics, call to actions etc., but can’t get that last mile to a conversion (page visit, product purchase etc.) what’s wrong?

Well. It could be your message. Referred to by marketers as your page copy. Let’s dive in and look at what industry experts feel you need to address in terms of your copy. This is all about the message text only in this instance.

Before we start though, it should be mentioned that although not part of the page copy per se, the subject line and preview text are part of the message. Make sure you have addressed those as well. Not to repeat that here, but you can read more on this in [Link to articles on this]

Write for the Web

If you are an experienced web copy writer, then this is old hat for you. However, if you are not familiar with web copy, take the time to look at news sites such as CNN or The Guardian. These sites are not just rehashing video script or from the morning print edition. Done right the copy follows some simple rules.

  • Incidentally this copy is also written in a web friendly style. Here is a hit list for you:
  • Do not be verbose – minimize the words you use.
  • Short paragraphs based on each though
  • Keep the sentence short and simplify your topic
  • Use bullets to get your point across and don’t add periods to ends of points
  • Keep your language tone casual to formally casual. It’s easier to read
  • The most important information you want to get across belongs at the beginning
  • Rank the rest of your items in order of semi to no so important
  • Keep the terms, abbreviations, and descriptions in common language
  • Use headings and subheading according to information sections
  • Do not underline any text since it may be confused for a link
  • Double check your spelling!!!!!

Showcase benefits over features

Think like any salesperson. You can show the features, but what really does a ‘fuzzy dial’ do. Everyone has a ‘fuzzy dial’. Mention it, but really dig into how the ‘fuzzy dial’ can benefit your recipient. By the way – a fuzzy dial is just an example – nothing real. But wow, can it really help you and your organization increase your quarterly earnings.

Shouting too loud

Shout. Shout. Let it all out. Well perhaps NOT. As you know from reading emails yourself or web copy, CAPTILIZATION IS HARD TO READ! Keep it sentence case.

Personalize the message

Take advantage of your email marketing platform’s ability to insert the first name of someone into your emails. Be that into the subject line, the Dear %firstname% field, or within the copy. Of course, they do not know who you are, but the likely hood of the email having a more personal tone works.

Use words related to senses

If you are selling food products then you should push out the idea of touch, smell, or taste. You might hate pumpkin spice lattes, but the smell evokes memories of fall which is why they are popular at that time of year. Likewise, the smell of flowers evoke memories of spring time.

Use that to your advantage. Spring fresh smell like daisies in the field is something you will experience with this fabric softener. It’s fall. Time to not only experience the smell of fallen leaves, but our butternut s

Write in the second person

This basically is writing in a conversational style.

We, You, You’d, You’ll etc.

Exactly what we are doing here to help you understand how to write great copy that you’ll use to your advantage. We hope this helps you and your organization.


Let’s face it. Marketing has a job to support sales. If you are not taking care of what you are writing and undertaking due diligence in your email copy then you are setting sales up for failure. Hopefully this article will help you get back on track with great copy guidelines for your next email marketing campaign.

Until next time, keep those emails rolling!

– Jim

Jim Gibbs

Jim Gibbs, Senior Account Executive at Critical Impact

Jim Gibbs is Critical Impact’s Growth Channel team lead and has been selling and closing for a long time. Jim is known to be able to sell bottled water to fish.