Six best practices for effective email copywriting

It’s no surprise that Email Marketing has been recognized as the most effective means of lead/revenue generation for its ability to personalize the sales pitch and economic viability. And with this recognition came the onslaught of volumes and volumes of mail. Add to it the fact that the average attention span of adults has fallen to as low as 8 seconds, it’s safe to consider that your email will have a 5-10 second window before the recipient decides to act on it. With so little time you need to ensure that your email copy is crisp, engaging, and most of all relevant and gripping to keep your recipient glued on all the way till the call-to-action. Following are a few tips on optimizing your email copy and hold those readers back:


  1. Write for scanners:

We all know that we tend to rather scan through information that has yet to be deemed important, than go through it patiently. Hence it makes a lot of sense to design your email in this fashion. Following are a few tips on making your copy ‘scanable’:

  • Come up with short and crisp headings.
  • Emphasize key messages within the body copy by making them bold (caution – overdoing spoils the look and flow).
  • Focus on a single idea per paragraph.
  • Summarize key features/benefits using bulleted lists. Preferably limit each bullet to a single line.
  • Keep it short and sweet.


  1. Focus on the flow:

There should be a clear seamless connect between the subject line, the headline, the sub-head (optional), the email body, and eventually the calls-to-action. Failing to establish a connect with your recipients will not only take them away from this mail, but also make them ignore all future mail from you.


  1. Talk benefits, not features:

It usually takes us time to process information. And 8 seconds is too much of an ask for an average person. Focus on the benefits that your features will provide the recipient. You have plenty of time to floor them with all the features once they land on your website using the ‘Read More’ call-to-action button.

“5000 horse power, dual combustion v8 engine, Pirelli tyres, Bang & Olufsen sound system, available in all desirable colors, only XYZ down payment, 0% EMI, loan available”


“It goes from 0-60 in 4 seconds flat, the same amount of time it takes to change a sound track on the inbuilt Bang & Olufsen audio system. And to ensure that you tread safely, we’ve also equipped it with a state-of-the-art braking system.”

Get the difference?


  1. Converse, don’t preach:

Make sure that your copy communicates with the recipient as if you were conversing with him/her directly. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one should simply use cool jargons and let go of corporate imagery. Conversational doesn’t mean that you suddenly put on the cool shades, but that you keep the reader engaged with what you have to say. Imagine novels versus educational content!


  1. A little repetition ensures enforcement:

Though readers have a limited attention span, and might not have time for too much repetition, it is believed that some repetition is desirable. Hence, your email copy should project the offer in a clear headline and the body copy should build up on what is so significant about the headline. Once the reader has scrolled down, repeat the offer in the final call to action. Of course, ensure that you vary the copy a bit to avoid being visibly repetitive, and do not overdo it.


  1. Give the Subject Line its much deserved respect:

Lay as much emphasis on the email’s subject line as much as the content. Your subject line is your initial point of contact with the recipient. If it doesn’t entice them enough, all your copywriting and creative efforts will go down the drain. Even worse, if recipients don’t open subsequent emails from you, your emails are at the risk of landing in the Spam/Junk folder automatically. A good rule of thumb is to keep you subject lines 75-80 characters long (inclusive of spaces and special characters as most email clients comply with this length and will display the entire subject line.


That’s it for now from our side. Please feel free to add up in case we’ve missed out on something.

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