There are different kinds of email sequences that you use at different times and at different points in your autoresponder sequence, like onboarding, re-engagement, product launch sequences and so on… The point to marketing though, is writing emails that convert.
Regardless of the kind of email sequence, you’re creating and its goal, you are essentially writing emails. And they ought to be well-written if you want them to serve their purpose.
Let’s go back to the basics, and talk about the 6 rules of effective email copy.
1. Use structure
No matter what type of copy you’re writing, it needs to have some basic structure. You cannot jump from topic to topic.
To help readers understand and guide them through the action you want them to take, your email body needs to be structured in a logical way.
For example, your email might present a story in a BAB-like way. BAB is an acronym that Derek Halpern of Social Triggers created to describe the Before-After-Bridge story-telling approach.
Put simply, BAB means that, when using a story to convince your audience, you start from the before situation, move on to the after situation, i.e. the transformation, and wrap up with the bridge, i.e. your product, which facilitates that kind of a transformation.
You can learn more about the BAB approach in this video https://socialtriggers.com/500000-from-one-blog-post/
2. Write in your own voice
You may often get writer’s block but our best advice is to not overthink it; Just write emails like you would talk to a trusted partner or a friend. You apparently don’t get writer’s block when you want to send an email to a friend, do you? Why should it be different in your business?
In fact, if you have a natural voice like that, your emails will stand out from other marketing emails. You are most likely to get a response or a click when your emails seem personal, not part of a blast.
We all receive a lot of marketing emails. But, please, don’t play copycat!
It doesn’t mean that what you see other marketers doing is the best practice for your own business. Just think of the purpose of each email and try to be yourself.
Go to Swipe-worthy to see a swipe archive put together to inspire you.
3. Plan out your email sequence upfront
Email sequences are like a chain; each email is like a chain link.
Like chain links are tightly connected to each other, the most high-converting email sequences are the ones which are congruent throughout the whole process.
Use curiosity to tease what’s coming, or refer back to the lessoned learned in your last email. You can build anticipation for a product launch too, too. Or have inactive customers re-engage with a proper set of followup messages.
So, keep in mind that you need to outline your message sequence in advance. Start with the end goal and work your way backward.
Here’s an example from CrazyEgg. They’re using a simple Excel sheet to map new subscriber sequence:
Let’s say you want to build a workflow to welcome new SaaS users. You know you’ll need 3 or 4 basic emails, right? Outline the basic structure and purpose for those 4 emails. After you’re done, sit down and do the actual writing.
To give you a perfect example, here’s a copy-and-paste “Flash sale email sequence template“ to give you a head start. Plug this 3-day, 4-email series into your next autoresponder campaign and boost sales fast!
4. Have a clear call to action
It might sound harsh, but it’s just human nature: You must tell your list what you want them to do! Ask, and you’ll receive.
If you want to create high-converting emails that get clicked you need to explicitly ask the reader to click on your link or button. You need to show your authority, so that your audience achieves their goals and you achieve yours.
Take control of your list! Be precise on what you want your subscribers to do, and ask them to do it.
You might think yourself as a benevolent dictator of your own people. Always keep their best interests in mind, but be very open with what you need them to do and why it’ll do good to them.
To make it work, you need to have one clickable call to action in every email you send.
Why send an email to your list which doesn’t tell them to take action? You shouldn’t send content which just educates people, and leave it at that. Even when you aim at just providing value, you still want to make them take the next step.
A call to action can be as simple as “reply to this message” or “download your PDF.”
Think about everyday life. Communication needs to have purpose. The purpose needs to be clear. And every piece of communication takes you a step closer to the goal. Given that your audience has a limited attention span, pointless emails are not likely to be read. Communication is only bad when it’s very unclear and aimless.
Here’s an awesome list of email marketing campaign examples to help you put together effective calls to action.
5. Use one call to action per email
Now, generally speaking, if you give people too many options, they’ll frequently end up indecisive, and respond by doing nothing at all. So, our best tip is that your most effective campaigns are going to be the ones which have a single call to action.
The same principle applies to most types of copy. Take landing pages for example. As we explained in a previous post, many calls to action will most probably result in users leaving the page doing nothing.
Of course, you might give them the same link more than one time. In fact, that’s normally a good idea.
Most marketers, place the link three times in the body of the email, toward the top, halfway down, then again at the bottom. But, each time, it’s the same link.
The best way, however, is to test your emails to find what resonated best with your audience. Because, for instance, a newsletter, or e-zine or content roundup might link back to several different posts on your blog. An email presenting new arrivals at an online store will most probably have more than one links. That’s all fine because these emails serve a different purpose. We would insist though that you don’t use only that type of emails to communicate with your list of subscribers.
What you should do instead, as explained above, is create sequences that show users their way through the buyer’s journey.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to crafting creative and effective email calls to action.
6. Write well-thought email subject lines
Why bother to write clickable email copy when people don’t even open your emails? Your first priority should be to put together a good subject line that will get your subscriber to want to read more. That’s it.
How to do that? There are different psychological triggers that will give you high open rates. One of this is curiosity. Spark curiosity with your email subject line and see open rates rise.
Download this handy collection of 100 subject lines. Use it to discover which subject lines work best so you can formulate your strategy and get better results.
And remember, the only thing that matters is getting people to open your email. If they don’t open it, none of the words that you crafted matter.
Writing emails that get clicks
When you send a bad email, you’re telling a potential customer that this is the best you can do.
Write a witty subject line. Craft a good story. Write in your own voice. Use compelling copy to show them how your product can totally change their current (bad) condition. Make it easy for them to take action towards a win-win experience.
Follow these email writing tips and see your business grow exponentially.
For an inside look at how your email autoresponder should be structured, make sure to register for this free Scriptly Workshop: Attract. Engage. Profit. It'll walk you through the lead generation and sales scenario that plays out through emial, and give you insight into what emails to send, when!