Today, many business owners face two big problems. They either: 1) completely neglect their email marketing strategy; or 2) suck at crafting emails on their own.
In both cases, they’re leaving huge piles of money on the table. The ones who understand the power of email have been increasingly looking for email copywriters to help them maximize their revenue.
Which is great news for you because the demand for email copywriters has been constantly on the rise.
The truth is, email copywriting is much more than just writing a compelling subject line, a few enticing lines of text, or a simple call-to-action.
In this article, you’ll discover how to become an email copywriter. But first, let’s look at something else:
What Is Email Copywriting?
Email copywriting is similar to most other forms of copywriting. Usually, it’s short-form (100-200 words), and is much looser than writing Facebook ads copy, for example.
However, 500- to 1,000-word emails are not uncommon in the direct response industry. True, they might not have the same click rates, but they often outperform short-form emails in terms of revenue.
The challenge for email copywriters – regardless of the copy’s length and the industry – is to create an email people will read AND take action on.
When it comes to email copywriting, there are typically two main types of emails:
- Short, ecom-style, branding-heavy emails with images
- Longer, text-based ones.
To earn well as an email copywriter, the latter are far more lucrative. Here’s why, and here’s what their purpose is.
- If your intention is to send the reader to a landing page, a text sales letter (TSL), or a video sales letter (VSL) – the email should be very short. Why? Because the TSL/VSL will do the selling. Your only aim is to get the reader to click and land on the page. For these, you can typically charge between $50 and $100. Their purpose is to sell the click.
- If your intention is to sell IN the email, without sending the reader to another page, the email should be relatively longer. Why? Because it should include copy about the problem, the solution, the social proof, the guarantee, and, usually, some FAQs. Think of this email as a sales page. For these, you can typically charge $200+.
Now, let’s move to the meat of the article:
How to Become an Email Copywriter?
This also prompts the question:
“What does an email copywriter do?”
The answer to it is relatively straight-forward.
An email copywriter writes copy for emails.
In other words, he/she crafts compelling emails whose intention is to make the reader take action.
Now that we know what an email copywriter does, let’s move to the more important question:
“How to become an email copywriter?”
To answer this in the best way, let’s take a look at a few email copywriting tips:
1. Write Every Single Day
This might sound very basic, but it’s crucial. If you want to become an email copywriter, and you want to do it fast, you have to commit to writing daily.
When you’re starting out, you’ll most probably have difficulties coming up with ideas on what to write every day.
The easiest way to overcome this is to just let your ideas flow. Obviously, this won’t work best if you’re already writing to customers. So, a safer way would be to write to your friends.
Here’s what I mean. Just find 3-5 friends who’d love to hear from you often. Then commit to writing to them every day.
Share how your workday went, what you had for lunch, a story from your day, or anything as bizarre as how the neighbor’s cat kept meowing for 12 hours non-stop.
These are your friends. They won’t judge you. But this experience will help you write better and faster. I promise.
2. Use Short and Snappy Sentences
Speaking of writing, the general rule of copywriting and email copywriting is this: use short and snappy sentences.
Here’s an example:
“People tend to overcomplicate stuff with long-winded sentences, chock-full of fancy words, which is a big no-no when writing copy to sell.”
That’s a long-winded sentence. It can be broken down into three short and snappy ones:
“People tend to overcomplicate stuff with long-winded sentences. They fill them with fancy words. That’s a big no-no when writing copy.”
If you want to become a good email copywriter… you should not only write every day and know your audience well (see the next tip). You should also master writing short sentences.
Note: This whole article uses short and snappy sentences.
If a sentence becomes a bit too long…make use of an ellipsis to break it into two or three.
Long sentences (20+ words) burden your copy and make it hard for the reader.
A fantastic tool to help you with writing is the Hemingway app.
As you can see from the image above, it’s an online editing tool. It shows you the Grade of your text on the right side. Below that, it gives you an analysis of the copy, including:
- The number of adverbs
- How many times you’ve used passive voice
- The number of words that have simpler alternatives
- How many sentences are hard to read
- How many sentences are very hard to read
You should aim for a Grade that’s 6 or less, ideally 2-3.
3. Choose a Niche
When you’re just starting out, it’s normal to want to get more experience in different industries.
However, over time, you’d like to pick a niche (or two).
Because you can position yourself as an expert “Supplement Email Copywriter”. Or an “Email Copywriter for the Survival Niche”.
Specializing in a niche also comes with a few perks:
- Having more expertise.
- Commanding higher fees – $200+ per single email.
- Not needing to carry out research all the time.
And many more.
So, once you’ve gotten your copywriting hands dirty…
Pick a niche and stick with it.
Your wallet will thank you.
And so would your clients.
4. Know Your Audience by Studying the Greats
Another crucial element of email copywriting is knowing your audience well.
When you’re writing to your friends, unless ancient history is a common topic of yours, you won’t probably send them emails about that, right?
The same goes for your audience.
If you’re selling a product that helps people lose weight, your target audience is people who’re overweight.
If you’re selling a service that helps people become better copywriters, your target audience is beginner copywriters.
If you’re selling a book that helps people with their personal finance, your target audience is folks who are interested in personal finance.
The best way to know your audience is to do research. And the best way to do research is to study good email copy in the industry you’re interested in.
For example, if you want to become an email copywriter in the supplements niche…
Check the emails of Natural Health Sherpa, NativePath, VShred, SculptNation, and Golden Hippo. All these companies are making dozens of millions in revenue from email alone. So, it’s worth checking what they’re doing.
Whatever the niche, find the best-performing companies, sign up for their newsletters, buy their products, and see how they do their email marketing game.
5. Practice Nailing the Subject Line
Much like the headline is the important element of a sales page, the subject line is the most important element of an email.
So, if you don’t nail the subject line, your subscribers won’t open the email. They won’t click on the links. And you won’t make any sales.
How do you nail the subject line?
There’s no hard and fast rule. But in general, here are a few tips to make your subject lines stand out:
- The shorter, the better. Keep your subject lines shorter than 10 words and 70 characters.
- Don’t overdo the emojis. One emoji can be a great addition to a subject line. Anything more than that is a huge no-no.
- Don’t reveal everything in the subject line. Keep it blind, so the reader opens the email and reads it till the end. For example, the subject line, “Do THIS if you want to make $1,000 per week from your YouTube channel” tells you that you can learn how to make $1,000 per week from YouTube, but it doesn’t say how. “THIS” keeps it blind.
- Use curiosity. This means that you use a subject line that provokes curiosity in the reader. Here’s an example to illustrate this. One one of my best-performing emails had the subject line “Deepthroating saved my life”. See how it makes you curious to open and read it? Check it out here.
6. Have One Call-to-Action (CTA)
Before we jump into this tip, let me quickly explain what a call-to-action (CTA) is.
Call to action (CTA) is a marketing term for any design to prompt an instant response or encourage an instant sale.
A CTA most often refers to the use of words or phrases that can be incorporated into emails, web pages, sales scripts, or advertising messages, which persuade a user to act in a specific way.
Now, let’s move to the tip.
To have one call CTA doesn’t mean you should just have a single button or link in the email.
It means that you shouldn’t confuse the reader with different call-to-actions.
For instance, if you’re selling an anti-stress supplement product, you’ll want to include a CTA that entices the reader to click on the link/button and buy the product.
You can have a few buttons or links throughout the email, but they should all lead to the same place, ie. the same sales page, the same checkout page, and so on.
You shouldn’t have CTAs that lead to different websites or invite the user to do different things.
One of the most common mistakes in email copy is having CTA buttons that call the reader to do different things – buy a product, sign up for a newsletter, follow pages, etc.
Most users won’t click on any of your links if you give them too many to choose from.
7. Tell a Story
Storytelling is the single most powerful vehicle for selling.
In fact, telling a good story isn’t unique just to emails. All of the greatest sales letters rely on storytelling to convey their point and ‘sell’ the reader on the product.
People love stories. And that’s for a good reason. We’ve been using stories and narrative since the olden days. In ancient times, hunters would gather around a fire telling stories.
A few years ago, Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint presentations during executive meetings. He substituted them with narrative memos. That’s because our minds are hard-wired for stories.
According to Statista, engaging and compelling storytelling is the second most important factor in email copywriting success, just behind audience relevance.
Storytelling directly influences your readers’ emotions and aligns those emotions with what you want them to feel as they read your copy or click on your call-to-action.
How to Become an Email Copywriter – the Bottom Line
One of the easiest ways to become good at copy fast is to become an email copywriter.
The seven tips I just shared in this article will help you do that. And remember – nobody was born an expert. So, it all boils down to everyday practice.
Now, if you’d like to fast-track your email copywriting career, the best way to do that is to hire a mentor.
Thankfully, I offer such mentorship.
If you’re interested, check it out by clicking on the green button below.