12 savvy experts reveal their #1 email copy tip

Email Marketing Copy writing tipsWant to know why some email copy gets impressive results, is there a secret sauce?

Help is on hand with this roundup. I persuaded 12 experienced email marketers to let me in on their #1 email copy tip.

I’d be very surprised if in the next 2 minutes of reading you didn’t find at least one email copy tip that helps you improve the effectiveness of your copy.

Karl Blanks – Co-founder of Conversion Rate Experts

Karl BlanksMany marketers sound false; they write in a tone of voice that they’d never use when writing to their friends. We find it helps to write the email in our normal email client, and then to actually send the email to a friend. Doing so forces us to write like real people, not marketers.


Dave Chaffey – Founder Smart Insights

Dave ChaffeyTone of voice is so important to give personality to the brand and make your email persuasive, particularly where there are multiple writers and reviewers. So overall Tone of voice guidelines like these from Mailchimp and Helpscout are useful.


Tim Watson – Email Marketing Consultant

Tim Watson - email marketing xpertDon’t talk about how great your product and brand are, talk about how great your customer will be when using your product/service [Editor: Ok, so this is me… but the tip is still true].


Tracy Gordon – Co-founder Bubblebox

Tracey GordonEnsure your copy is short – punchy and to the point, use actionable and catchy language but most importantly ensure you align your subject line copy and email copy – meeting the readers expectations.


Scott Hardigree – founder, Email Industries

Scott HardigreeHere are a few rules of thumb we use at our agency, Indiemark.

  • Respect the reader but write for a 12-year-old
  • Keep it simple, don’t make the reader think.
  • Keep it short, all of it.
  • Focus on a single action. What is the one thing you want the reader to do?
  • Remember the 2/2/2 Principle:
    • 2 seconds to compel your readers to pay attention.
    • 2 represents the first two words
    • 2oday. Why does your email matter today?

Dave Littlechild – Emarsys

Dave LittlechildBeing BRIEF is the key, remembering that people read by scanning – so they’re not going to read every word.  I suggest this:  Write your copy once, then strip out half the words and write it again…you’re probably about half way there then!

With mobile reads now eclipsing desktop, consider how long copy will mean the reader has to scroll…and scroll.  You have a tiny window of opportunity to engage your reader and tell them what they need to do next, and why – make sure you pick a small amount of words carefully.

Parry Malm – CEO, Phrasee

Parry MalmWhat you think will work is probably not what will work. So, push your boundaries and test things that are outside your comfort zone, whilst staying within the parameters of your brand’s voice. If only there was a software for that… (sure, it’s a shameless plug [Editor: for Phrasee], and I’m biased, but it doesn’t make me wrong…)


Ryan Phelan – Vice President, Marketing at Adestra

Ryan PhelanNot everybody is good at copywriting. My best tip is to let someone else do it because you might not be the best. A good copywriter looks at the audience and at the end users and is trained in how to put sentences together. If you aren’t a writing pro, find someone who is. Know your limits.


Gretchen Scheiman – CEO, L5 Direct

Gretchen ScheimanFocus copy on what the benefit is for the recipient. Not the message the brand wants to convey, but the insight that the reader actually would like to hear. That can make a huge difference in conversions.


Sujan Patel – Co-founder of Mailshake

Sujan PatelWhenever possible, write based off of a template. Beyond the fact that it makes your writing process quicker, it puts structure to your copywriting and allows you to test different styles over multiple emails more effectively than just writing emails one-off every time.


Jordie van Rijn – founder EmailMonday

Jordie Van RijnRefrain the urge to explain. As a rule of the thumb, if it needs elaborate explaining through text in the email, the core message can be simpler and (thus) more impactful. People don’t need to be fully informed in the email, that can be done in the next step. Each step in email marketing conversion has its own function.

Email Yes

Chad White – Research Director, Litmus

Chad WhiteShorter is better, and clarity is king. We’ve been doing a lot of A/B testing here at Litmus over the past year around copy length, and shorter copy has been a continual winner for us. People are busy and in a hurry. Use clear headlines, subheads, and bulleted lists to quickly communicate the core of your message. Then let your landing page deliver more details.


My thanks again to the experts who kindly let me in on their email copy writing tips.