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A Guide to Effective Email Copywriting

Email copywriting is the act of creating persuasive and engaging written content for the purpose of promoting a product, service, or idea via email.

The goal of email copywriting is to create emails that capture the reader's attention and motivate them to take action, such as clicking on a link, making a purchase, or signing up for a service. Effective email copywriting involves understanding the audience, crafting a compelling subject line, and creating a message that resonates with the reader's needs and desires. It also requires a strong understanding of marketing and copywriting principles, as well as a command of language, grammar, and style.

Email copywriting is important for the success of your emails because it directly impacts the effectiveness of your message. Well-crafted email copy can capture the reader's attention, communicate your message clearly, and motivate them to take action, such as clicking on a link, making a purchase, or signing up for a service.

In contrast, poorly written email copy can cause your emails to be ignored, deleted, or marked as spam. Effective email copywriting can help you build relationships with your audience, establish trust and credibility, and ultimately drive sales and conversions.

Email copywriting also plays a critical role in achieving your marketing goals, such as increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, and building customer loyalty. By creating engaging and persuasive emails that resonate with your audience, you can achieve better results and improve your overall email marketing campaign.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to take on email copywriting so you can craft emails that are highly engaging for your audience and motivate them to take the desired action. This guide will cover:

Understanding Your Audience
Writing Effective Subject Lines and Preview Text
Crafting Email Body Copy
Tools for Email Copywriting

Understanding Your Audience

Before every marketing strategy, it’s important that you fully understand who your audience is. After all, you cannot speak to and resonate with people unless you fully understand their needs and where they’re coming from.

In this section, we’ll discuss tips for identifying and understanding your target audience and creating buyer personas.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Here are some tips that can help marketers identify their target audience:

Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research is an excellent way to identify your target audience. You can use surveys, focus groups, and interviews to gather information about your potential customers' demographics, interests, and needs.

Analyze Your Current Customer Base

Analyzing your current customer base can provide valuable insights into your target audience. Look at your customer database to identify common characteristics among your most loyal customers, such as age, gender, income, and geographic location.

Create Buyer Personas

Creating buyer personas can help you visualize your target audience. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer, including their demographics, interests, and behavior.

Use Social Media Analytics

Social media platforms provide robust analytics tools that can help you identify your target audience. Analyze your followers' demographics, interests, and behavior to get a better understanding of who they are and what they're looking for.

Use Website Analytics

Website analytics can also provide valuable insights into your target audience. Analyze your website traffic to see which pages are most popular, which keywords are driving traffic, and where visitors are coming from.

Monitor Industry Trends

Stay up-to-date with industry trends to identify changes in your target audience's behavior or needs. This information can help you adjust your marketing strategy to meet their evolving needs.

Creating Buyer Personas

Once you identify your target audience, it’s time to create buyer personas so you can really dive into who exactly your buyers are. 

When creating buyer personas, you’ll want to gather the following information:

Demographic information: age, gender, income, education, occupation, location, family status, etc.


Psychographic information: values, attitudes, beliefs, interests, hobbies, lifestyles, etc.


Pain points and challenges: What are their biggest challenges or pain points? What keeps them up at night?


Goals and aspirations: What are their goals and aspirations? What do they want to achieve in their personal or professional lives?


Buying habits: How do they prefer to shop? Do they prefer online or in-person shopping? Do they buy on impulse, or do they take their time to make a decision?


Communication preferences: How do they prefer to communicate? Do they prefer email, phone, social media, or in-person communication?


Decision-making process: What factors do they consider when making a purchase decision? Who else is involved in the decision-making process?


Influencers: Who or what influences their purchase decisions? Are there any key people, brands, or products they follow or admire?


Brand perception: How do they perceive your brand? What are their impressions of your products or services?


Feedback and reviews: What do they say about your brand or products? What kind of feedback or reviews have they given in the past?


Once you gather this information, it’s time to put together your personas so you and your team can easily reference them and use them to inform your email marketing copy and strategy.


Here’s a step-by-step process for putting your personas together:

1. Identify Common Traits

Look for patterns and similarities in the data you have collected to identify common traits and characteristics that your ideal customers share. These could be demographic, psychographic, or behavioral traits.

2. Create a Profile

Based on the common traits, create a profile for your ideal customer that includes their name, age, gender, occupation, income, location, interests, and any other relevant information.

3. Add a Picture

To make the persona more relatable, consider adding a picture of someone who represents your ideal customer. This can help you and your team visualize the persona and develop empathy toward their needs and challenges.

4. Describe Their Goals and Challenges

To make the persona more relatable, consider adding a picture of someone who represents your ideal customer. This can help you and your team visualize the persona and develop empathy toward their needs and challenges.

5. Outline Their Buying Behavior

To make the persona more relatable, consider adding a picture of someone who represents your ideal customer. This can help you and your team visualize the persona and develop empathy toward their needs and challenges.

6. Add Quotes or Anecdotes

To make the persona more human, consider adding quotes or anecdotes from real customers that illustrate their needs, motivations, and challenges.

7. Review and Refine

Once you have created your buyer persona, review and refine it based on feedback from your team and customers. Make sure that the persona accurately reflects your target audience and their needs.

Writing Effective Subject Lines and Preview Text

Email subject lines are incredibly important because they are the first thing that recipients see when they receive your email. The subject line is like a headline for your email, and it plays a crucial role in determining whether or not the recipient will open and read your email.


Here are some reasons why email subject lines are important:

They grab attention: A well-crafted subject line can grab the recipient's attention and entice them to open the email. This is particularly important in today's world, where people receive a large volume of emails every day.

They set expectations: The subject line sets expectations for what the email is about. If the subject line is clear and specific, the recipient will have a better idea of what to expect when they open the email.

They communicate urgency: A subject line that communicates urgency can motivate the recipient to open the email right away. For example, a subject line that says "Limited Time Offer: 50% off Today Only!" creates a sense of urgency and encourages the recipient to take action.

They establish credibility: A well-written subject line can establish credibility and make the recipient more likely to trust the sender. For example, a subject line that says "Exclusive Invitation: Join Our Inner Circle" suggests that the recipient is part of a select group and is more likely to open the email.

They improve deliverability: Email providers use subject lines as one of the factors to determine whether an email is spam or not. A well-crafted subject line that is relevant and engaging can improve the deliverability of your emails and reduce the chances of them being marked as spam.

Tips for Writing Compelling Email Subject Lines

Putting together email subject lines isn’t the easiest.

You only have so much room and there’s a lot at stake. Use the tips below to help you craft email subject lines that entice your recipients to open your emails:

Keep it Short and Sweet

Aim for subject lines with 5-7 words or around 40 characters. This will make it easy for recipients to quickly understand what your email is about.

Be Specific

Avoid vague subject lines like "Hi" or "Update" and instead, be specific about the content of the email. For example, "Invitation to our annual charity event" is much clearer than "Event invitation.

Use Action-Oriented Language

Encourage the recipient to take action by using action-oriented verbs such as "Join us" or "Register now."

Personalize When Possible

Using the recipient's name or referencing previous interactions can help make the email subject line more personalized and increase the likelihood of it being opened.

Avoid Spam Trigger Words

Words such as "Free," "Limited time offer," or "Urgent" can trigger spam filters and cause your email to be sent to the recipient's spam folder.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Use words such as "Limited time," "Last chance," or "Act now" to create a sense of urgency and encourage recipients to take action.

Test Different Subject Lines

A/B testing different subject lines can help you determine which ones are most effective and increase your open rates.

Email Preview Text Tips and Recommendations

When it comes to getting your recipients to open your emails, the subject line isn’t the only thing that motivates them.

Your email preview text assists with providing more context to your emails, which can help persuade your subscribers to open and engage.

Preview text, also known as a preheader, is the short snippet of text that appears below or next to the subject line in the email inbox. Here are some easy tips to follow when putting this copy together:

Be Concise

Preview text should be no more than 100 characters or a single sentence. It should complement the subject line and provide additional context to entice the recipient to open the email.

Highlight the Value Proposition

Use the preview text to highlight the value proposition or the main benefit of opening the email. This will help the recipient understand why the email is important and encourage them to open it.

Use Language That Motivates Action

Similar to the subject line, preview text should also use action-oriented language to encourage the recipient to take action. Use words such as "Discover," "Learn," "Shop," or "Join" to entice the recipient to open the email.

Make it Personal

Use merge tags to personalize the preview text with the recipient's name or other relevant information. This can help increase the likelihood of the email being opened.

Test Different Preview Texts

A/B testing different preview texts can help you determine which ones are most effective and increase your open rates.

Avoid Repeating the Subject Line

Preview text should provide additional context and not repeat the subject line. Use it to complement the subject line and provide more information about the email's content.

Make Sure it's Relevant

Preview text should be relevant to the email's content and accurately reflect what's inside. Don't use click-bait or misleading language as it can lead to recipients unsubscribing or marking your emails as spam.

Crafting Email Body Copy

Putting together email body copy that is effective, engaging, and motivates email recipients to take action isn’t easy. The average person receives dozens of emails a day. Therefore, it can be difficult to capture and maintain their attention.

Spam filters also make it difficult for some emails to make it to the inbox. Marketers need to avoid using spam-triggering words and phrases, and knowing which words trigger these filters isn’t always straightforward.

If marketers want to put together email copy that delights their subscribers, they must balance being persuasive without being too pushy or aggressive and must effectively communicate the value of their product or service.

Tips for Writing Effective Email Copy

When it comes to writing effective email copy, there are some tips that will help guide you along the way.

Stick to a Format

  • Beginning: This is the first line or two of the email. It serves as the introduction and leads into the point behind the email. Keep this part short and sweet. You only have so much time to engage email recipients, and you want to make sure they make it to the good stuff.
  • Middle: The good stuff. This part tells readers why they’re reading your email. Include details around any offers, events, or content you’re sharing. The point is to entice readers so they take the action you want them to take. This is also where you include your CTA (call-to-action). Make sure your CTA uses actionable language (i.e., “Save your spot!” or “Sign up now!”).
  • End: This is your sign-off. It helps to send your emails from an actual person at your company. This adds a personal touch and makes your recipients feel like there’s a specific person reaching out to them.

Don’t Write a Book

Again, you only have so much time to engage your recipients. Keep your emails short and to the point so readers don’t get bored and move on.

Make it Accessible

Email accessibility is an important consideration when creating emails, as it ensures that all recipients can access and read your content. Avoid industry jargon that may be complicated to understand, and use an email template with appropriate color contrast and fonts. Make sure to add alt text to images and use descriptive link text.

Use Personalization Techniques

  • Use the recipient's name in the introduction.
  • Segment your email list based on demographics, interests, or behavior, and create targeted messages that are specific to each segment.
  • Use dynamic content to change parts of the email based on the recipient's information or behavior. For example, you could show different product recommendations based on the recipient's previous purchases.
  • Reference past interactions the recipient has had with your brand, such as past purchases or website visits, to make the email feel more relevant and personalized.
  • Use data and analytics to provide personalized product recommendations that are tailored to the recipient's interests and preferences.
  • Send personalized offers or discounts based on the recipient's past purchases or behavior to incentivize them to make a purchase.

Writing for Different Types of Emails

How you craft your email body copy also depends on the type of email you’re sending.

we’ve outlined various different types of emails and the type of body copy you should designate for each.

Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are an important part of your email marketing strategy, as they help to establish a connection with your subscribers and set the tone for your future communications. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing welcome emails:

  • Address the recipient by name and use a friendly, conversational tone to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Let the recipient know what they can expect from your future communications, including the frequency of your emails and the type of content you'll be sending.
  • Consider offering a welcome gift or incentive, such as a discount code or free trial, to incentivize the recipient to engage with your brand.
  • Use the welcome email as an opportunity to showcase your brand's unique value proposition and explain why the recipient should continue engaging with your brand.
  • Include links to your website, blog, or social media pages where the recipient can learn more about your brand and products.
  • Include a clear and easy-to-find unsubscribe link in your welcome email to allow recipients to opt out of future communications if they choose.
  • Test your welcome email on different devices and email clients to ensure that it looks good and functions properly for all recipients.

Newsletter Emails

Newsletter emails are a popular way for brands to keep their subscribers informed and engaged with their brand. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing newsletter emails:

  • Keep your newsletter short and to the point, highlighting the most important and relevant information for your audience.
  • Use a visually appealing layout that makes it easy for the reader to scan and digest the content.
  • Provide valuable content that is relevant and useful to your audience, such as industry news, tips and tricks, and exclusive offers.
  • Include CTAs that encourage your subscribers to take action, such as visiting your website, making a purchase, or sharing the newsletter with others.
  • Personalize your newsletter with the recipient's name and other relevant information to make it feel more personal and engaging.
  • Ensure that your newsletter is optimized for mobile devices, as many people read emails on their phones or tablets.

Promotional Emails

Promotional emails are an effective way to drive sales and conversions for your business. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing promotional emails:

  • Clearly highlight the details of the promotion, including the discount or offer, the duration of the promotion, and any exclusions or limitations.
  • Use a layout that makes it easy for the reader to understand the promotion and how to take advantage of it.
  • Use language that creates a sense of urgency and encourages the recipient to take action, such as "limited time offer" or "while supplies last."
  • Include a strong and clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages the recipient to take advantage of the promotion, such as "Shop Now" or "Claim Your Offer."

Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are a powerful way to recover lost sales and encourage customers to complete their purchases. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing abandoned cart emails:

  • Mention the product(s) left in the cart and remind the customer about what they were interested in.
  • Use language that creates a sense of urgency and encourages the recipient to complete their purchase, such as "Don't miss out on your items!" or "Limited time offer: Complete your purchase now."
  • Consider offering a discount or incentive, such as free shipping or a percentage off the purchase price, to encourage the customer to complete their purchase.
  • Include a clear and prominent call-to-action (CTA) that encourages the recipient to return to their cart and complete their purchase.

Transactional Emails

Transactional emails are automated emails that are triggered by specific actions or events, such as a purchase confirmation or a password reset. They are an important part of customer communication and can help build trust and loyalty. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing transactional emails:

  • Keep the email short and to the point, focusing on the information that the recipient needs to know.
  • Use a professional and friendly tone that reflects your brand and builds trust with the recipient.
  • Include all relevant information, such as order details, shipping information, and contact information for customer support.
  • If there is a next step that the recipient needs to take, such as confirming their account or reviewing their order, include a clear call-to-action that makes it easy for them to do so.

Re-Engagement Emails

Re-engagement emails are used to reach out to inactive or disengaged subscribers and encourage them to re-engage with your brand. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing re-engagement emails:

  • Segment your email list based on engagement levels and tailor your re-engagement emails to each segment. For example, you might send different messages to subscribers who haven't opened an email in 30 days versus those who haven't opened an email in 6 months.
  • Acknowledge that the recipient hasn't engaged with your brand recently and express your concern or interest in getting them back on board.
  • Remind the recipient of the value that your brand provides and what they stand to gain by re-engaging with your brand.
  • Consider offering a special incentive or discount to encourage the recipient to take action and re-engage with your brand. This could be a discount code, free shipping, or a free trial.
  • Include a clear and prominent call-to-action (CTA) that encourages the recipient to take a specific action, such as visiting your website or making a purchase.

Tools for Email Copywriting

Let’s be honest; we could all use a little help sometimes. And as marketers, it’s more often than not, we find ourselves strapped for time and resources.

If you find that copywriting doesn’t come easy for you, or if you could just use a little bit of assistance, it’s worth looking into email copywriting tools that can help you.

What Are Email Copywriting Tools?

Email copywriting tools are software programs or applications that help writers to create effective and persuasive email marketing copy. Some of these tools can tap into algorithms and data analysis to generate, analyze, and optimize email content for better engagement, conversion rates, and brand recognition.

The Benefits of Using Email Copywriting Tools

There are several benefits to using copywriting tools when writing email content. Here are a few:

  • They can speed up the writing process by providing suggestions and templates for email content, reducing the time spent on brainstorming and drafting.
  • They help ensure that your email content is clear and easy to understand. This can be especially useful when you need to convey complex information or ideas.
  • They provide new ideas and perspectives, helping you to think outside the box and come up with fresh, innovative email content.
  • They promote consistency across different campaigns and messages. This can help establish a brand identity and build trust with your audience.
  • They can optimize your email content for specific goals, such as increasing open rates or click-through rates. By analyzing data and making data-driven decisions, you can improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

10 Email Copywriting Tools to Use

No need to embark on a gigantic search for the right email copywriting tool for your brand. Here are ten tools that we recommend looking into that will help you craft high-quality, engaging email copy.

1. Grammarly

This tool helps to improve the grammar, spelling, and tone of your email content. It can also suggest better word choices and identify writing errors.

2. Hemingway Editor

This tool helps to simplify your email content by identifying long and complex sentences, passive voice, and other issues. It also suggests ways to improve readability.

3. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

This tool helps to optimize the headlines of your email content by analyzing their effectiveness in terms of grammar, structure, and emotional appeal. It also provides suggestions for improving your headlines.

4. ChatGPT

As an AI-based writing assistant, ChatGPT can help to generate content ideas, provide writing suggestions, and create high-quality email content. ChatGPT uses natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to analyze your writing and offer personalized suggestions.

5. GPT-3

GPT-3 is a powerful AI language model developed by OpenAI, which is capable of generating high-quality text in various styles and tones. GPT-3 can be used for a wide range of applications, including content creation, language translation, chatbots, and more.

6. Articoolo

Articoolo is an AI content generation platform that uses algorithms to generate unique, high-quality articles in minutes. The platform uses machine learning to understand the context and topic of the article and generate content that is both informative and engaging.

7. is an AI writing assistant that helps writers to create content quickly and efficiently. The platform uses natural language processing to understand the context and topic of the content and then generates high-quality text that is both engaging and persuasive.

8. Wordsmith

Wordsmith is an AI-powered content automation platform that can generate articles, reports, and other types of content automatically. The platform uses natural language generation to create content that is both accurate and engaging.

9. Jarvis

Jarvis is an AI writing tool that helps writers to create high-quality content quickly and easily. The platform uses natural language processing to understand the context and topic of the content and generate text that is both informative and engaging.

10. Benchmark Email’s Smart Content

Benchmark Email's smart content feature is a tool that allows marketers to create personalized content for their email campaigns. With this feature, you can tailor your email content to the individual preferences and behaviors of your subscribers, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

The smart content feature uses data-driven insights to create personalized email content based on previous high-performing email copy, a subscriber's past behavior, preferences, and other relevant data.

Your email copy is important. It can ultimately be the factor that drives a conversion (or not). How you craft your email content matters, but it’s a process.

We hope this guide helps you along your email copywriting journey. And if you’d like even more help crafting email copy, along with engaging, eye-catching, and branded emails, sign up for Benchmark Email’s free plan today.