Copywriting Techniques for Email Marketing

Email Marketing Copywriting

Email marketing is not dead. This is still a massively impactful tool in the digital marketing space. You may already be utilizing email marketing—but are you getting the action or engagement you need?

A woman thinking about copywriting ideas

Here are 6 copywriting techniques you can implement today and make a positive impact on your list:


#1. Dial in Your Objective

In order to craft the most effective email, you must have clarity on what you’re trying to accomplish. How are you going to serve your audience by what you’re doing? What will they get out of it? Don’t hit send just to send SOMETHING.


If the content isn’t meaningful or effective, it’s “just another email” clogging up their inbox.

Consider the following:

  1. Is this an informational email?
  2. A product or service update?
  3. A follow up email or part of a sequence?
  4. A digital marketing newsletter?

The kind of communication you’re sending will inform how you implement the rest of these email marketing copywriting techniques.

#2. Nail Your Subject Line

The most important element of your campaign or email sequence is the subject line. If you can’t get anyone to open your emails, they will never experience your genius contained within.

Speak to their interests or pain points right away. As great as you are, nobody wants to hear about YOU. They want to hear about themselves. Make it all about THEM right away. Here are a few examples across various industries:

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Fitness coaches want to focus on the goals of their clients. Those goals could be strength training, weight loss, or overall wellness.

Consider these headlines:

  1. Kick away the baby weight at kickboxing. (because kicking your spouse is illegal.)
  2. Be as strong as your kids think you are.

Life coaches may focus more on a mental or emotional battle that can be overcome.


  1. Get your heart out of the mind gutter.
  2. I know you’ve been feeling stuck. 3 tactics to beat the blues INSIDE

Note: Don’t overthink this step. Maybe you just need to get the mind firing on all cylinders… check out these free tools to help you generate successful subject lines for your audience:


  1. Active Campaign
  2. Portent
  3. Hubspot


3. Hook’em & Tell a Story

Now that you’ve overcome the “click to open” barrier, you need to KEEP their attention. Why would they keep reading?


If you know your audience, their goals or dreams are likely the same or similar to yours. This is your storytelling element. Share a challenge you were faced with but overcame. Now look at what you’ve been able to accomplish. Reveal the internal journey and the success you’re enjoying and how they can experience that, too.


What were you feeling when you were in the state of “aware but stuck” and how are you feeling now that you have taken steps to change your circumstances? Give your readers a peek into your mental or emotional state.


Provide value to your reader by sharing practical applications or tips, a peek into your process or “thing” you offer. But —and this is important—don’t give away the keys to the castle – you want them to take the next step. Keep them wanting more.


Always bring the story back to your audience. You KNOW what they’re struggling with, what the obstacles are. Speak to their pain and follow up with the proven success. Your expertise lies in the process.


#4. Pay Attention to Formatting

Brief is best. Stay out of “TLDR” land (which means “Too Long, Didn’t Read”). Utilize these formatting techniques to keep your audience from skimming right on by:


  1. Paragraph Separation – Keep your text spread out. This gives the eyes a break and allows the serial skimmer to feel like they’re in control.
  2. Bullet Points – Important points or lists should always be easy to digest. Bullet points create more white space around your content and keep the top priority items organized.
  3. Bold Text – Catch the eye of the scroller with bold text phrases or words. Consider these a “checkpoint” or “speed bump”. Be sure to use them sparingly, too much and you’ve created a different problem.
  4. Italics – “Oh, and by the way…” This would be a simple but effective use of italics, almost like a whisper.
  5. Underline – Save this for links or one or two phrases to add a little extra oomph.
  6. Bold AND Underlined – Now we’re really trying to get their attention. Consider this a rare gem in digital marketing, too much usage and you risk appearing spammy.
  7. Images or GIFs – Repeat after me: Include only one image or GIF per email. This is not a social media news feed, the focus should be on the copywriting. The copywriting is what will get them to engage or take action. Stay on track.


#5. Speak to Your Audience in Their Own Language

You’re the expert, but don’t lose your audience to industry jargon. Write how you would speak to them in person. Grammar is important, but this is not a college essay. It’s okay to fudge the rules on occasion for attention or authenticity.


Think of yourself as an author: how would you want your audience to perceive you? They may already be familiar with your work, books, articles, etc. but now you’re talking to them personally via email. Have a conversation, be authentic. Just because this communication is for your career or business doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

Call to action notebook

#6. Make Your “Call to Action” Count

This is where the money is. Your CTA is when you ask the reader to do something. Buy, subscribe, sign up, register, watch, join, etc.


There’s no small amount of psychology applied in digital marketing. Your CTA is where you will appeal to scarcity, urgency, and exclusivity. Highly successful calls to action include an element of “FOMO” – the fear of missing out.


  1. “Don’t finish last – train for that marathon today”
  2. ONLY 24 hours left to get 50% off.
  3. Your stress free trip waits. Get the planner for free — today only.


Fitness coaches may use CTAs like “Your Better Body Starts here.” or “Goal Crushers Only, Sign Up Today.”.


Life coaches would take a softer approach: “Get unstuck. Schedule a FREE consultation.” or “Plan your way out of the fog, reach out today.”


Whatever your action is, make it count. Don’t clog your content with 27 different links or actions. A confused reader doesn’t click. Keep it simple, one CTA is sufficient.

Email Marketing: Worth the Effort

Your email list can be income-on-command if you treat it right, keep engaging and start selling. Let us know what you’re going to implement first!

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