The ultimate guide to email copywriting

by | Tue 19 May, 20

Email copywriting – the basics

Email is the most common method of communication for many people. Based on research gathered by ConstantContact, professionals dedicate an average of 13 hours each week towards checking their inboxes and 68% of smartphone users use their devices for checking emails. Getting the right tone in your copy is essential to ensure the success of your campaigns, read on to find out how.

A strong subject line

When we see an email in our inbox, the subject line is going to be one of the key indicators as to whether we read it or ignore it altogether. Try to keep your subject line between six to ten words. Short and sweet is how you will entice readers, especially if they are reading off a small mobile screen. Be sure to include adverbs in the subject line to create a sense of urgency and implore readers to act quickly.

Be careful in your choice of language

Be specific in how you write your copy. You may be writing for an audience familiar with your industry, but that does not mean the email should be full of industry jargon. You need to deliver a clear message that readers will act on, which risks being diluted or misunderstood if you use unclear terminology. Also, when writing copy, make sure to use the expressions ‘you’ and ‘your’, so that the readers know the copy is focused on them. If you can, try to personalise the email so that people will know it was meant for them specifically and not just some mass boilerplate.

Include numbers

It isn’t always a numbers game, but rather than tell people they should invest their time – and possibly, money – in you, demonstrate how they can benefit like many others before them. You can do so with the inclusion of a statistic taken from previous clientele or reference an external source.

Think long-term

When writing an email, you want to build up a long-term relationship with the reader, ensuring that they come back again and again for your services. So rather than just focus on what you can bring to the table, focus on the long-term benefits that they will receive through a professional relationship with you.

Always include a CTA

Once they are done reading your email copy, you want them to act on it and start an open line of communication. Therefore, every email must come with a short, but clear call to actions, that maintain that urgency such as ‘get in touch today’ or ‘buy now’. And don’t overload the copy with CTAs, just one impactful CTA is what you need.

MailNinja has a long history as an email marketing agency that has delivered stellar email marketing services to its clients and can help you elevate your marketing strategy and enrich your client base.

How to write GREAT email copy

Email marketing is a great way to reach your prospective customers and those who are at the point of purchasing your product or service. Writing great email copy may be the difference between a successful email marketing campaign and one that does little to promote your brand. While there exists a range of email marketing agencies that offer simplified email marketing services, it’s useful to know what makes great email copy.

Knowing the audience

The most important part of any marketing campaign is the audience. To have a successful email marketing campaign, it is crucial that you focus your email on a single audience. With research focused on the specific needs of that particular demographic, the marketing campaign can be tailored to this group in a way that feels more personal to them.

Having a specific target

After recognising and tailoring your email to your audience, have a specific target that you want the email to achieve. This helps ensure that your language is more direct and will help customers retain focus. Determine your call to action even before you begin writing, so you can easily monitor the sales conversions created from your email campaign. Having a target in mind will also make writing a strong subject line and opening sentence easier.

Keeping the body text short

Keep your email campaign short, sweet, and conversational. Most mailing services such as MailChimp and MailChimp partners have word limits that guide you when developing your campaign. Keeping the campaign short enables a busy audience to be more willing to read your email. Body copy should not be many lines of the email to ensure it does not dilute the rest of the email.

Including a call to action

The call to action of the email should be clear and easy for the audience to locate. Calls to action are often written in a bold, clear font, which makes it more memorable for the audience. If the reader of the email does not see anything else that you have written, they should at least see your call to action. It should be written in an active voice to encourage readers to do as the campaign asks.

Drop us a line today to find out how we can help you create great email copy that attracts more sales.

Six tips for B2B email subject lines

Grabbing the attention of readers instantly, and boosting your lead conversions, starts with crafting a high-impact subject line to increase your open rates.

So, what are the best B2B email subject lines? Here are six tips for email headings.

Short and fresh

This is one occasion when following others counts against you. Responses to B2B emails drop if the same overused subject lines pop up too often. Keep it short. Keep it fresh. That hinges on knowing your audience – what are their pains and gains?

Keep it personal

To start building a fruitful relationship with email recipients, subject lines should sound as personal as possible without straying into spam-speak. For example, ‘Do you want FREE products TODAY’ is personal and immediate, but also likely to be filtered out or binned.

However, if your email is directed at Financial Directors, for instance, put that in the subject line along the lines of “Exclusive offer for you, a forward-looking FD” or “Information for FDs facing year end.”

Use business intel

This links to the above. Subject lines that use information you have on your B2B targets are always going to be more effective.

For example, “Congratulations recent award winners” or “As you attended the Plastics Conference, read on”. Your email marketing agency can help you tailor B2B emails to specific audience groups.

Work in topical angles

At the time of writing this article, anything with Coronavirus or COVID-19 in the title is grabbing people’s attention because we crave more information about what is now. This rule of thumb applies throughout the year too. If you can make your B2B email sound contemporaneous and responsive, your open rates increase.

Examples could be, “Christmas stock concerns?” or “The best products to tackle this heatwave.”

Ask questions

Some of the most successful B2B subject lines turn the focus around, instead asking recipients to engage from the outset. For instance, “How would you rate the…” or “What are your views on the new housing legislation?”

You’ve spent time and energy writing engaging and informative email copy. But will the recipient even open this email? Will it be sent straight to the dreaded ‘trash’? How do you increase those email open rates? The answer is with the power of words in your subject line, and below we show you how.

Grab the attention with your subject line

One big targeting strategy is the FOMO, that Fear Of Missing Out, and you can easily incorporate this into your email’s subject line. We all love a bargain and don’t want to miss out on those exclusive deals or money off deals. Be sure to grab the reader’s attention and use these tactics in your email header by incorporating words such as ‘hurry’, ‘free’ and ‘new’.

Words that build up trust

Words that build up trust between you and potential customers are also a good way to ensure an increase in those open rates. Use words that showcase you as a credible company and one that can be trusted. This can be easily done with a simple tweak of that subject line by inserting words and phrases such as ‘expert opinion’, ‘no risk’, ‘no obligation’ and ‘cancel any time’.

Don’t use block capitals

Finally, it is always wise to avoid using block capitals in the email subject line. You will get noticed but for all the wrong reasons. In most cases, this email will be seen as spam and will be deleted, often before the recipient even reads the actual words. Beyond that, capitals are more difficult to read than lower case so keep your subject header in sentence case as far as possible.

If you would like more help and advice relating to email marketing and content, then we can help. We are a leading email marketing agency that offers MailChimp email services in the UK, helping your business stand out from the crowd. To learn more, simply get in touch with us today.

Offer authentic value, not inflated claims

Raising unrealistic expectations in a B2B email subject line is seriously not recommended! However, you can highlight genuine promises you can deliver on. This would include, for instance, “Help to become more lean and agile”, “Unique gifts for your customers” or “Steps to building your profit margins”.

The body of your email could then show how your product or service fulfils this.


This is the last tip, but we wanted to finish on the topic of numbers! Using them in B2B email subject lines can trigger spam filters. However, they do add context and relevance if used with care – such as “Invitation to Showcase event – 5th October 2020” or, “Ways to shave 50% off your components bill”.

The one to definitely avoid is 100%, as it’s a big red flag to spam filters.

The science behind the perfect subject line length

Effective email marketing can sometimes feel like a lofty goal, especially when your open rates aren’t where you want them to be. With so many factors playing into whether or not an email hits the big time, it’s also tough to know where to focus your efforts. But there’s one element of all emails which we know matters more than anything: the subject line.

In this article, we’ll explain the science behind constructing the perfect subject line – all backed up with some hard numbers.

Length really does matter

One of the key aspects of any subject line is its length. Too long, and people are likely to disregard it; too short, and they may see it as spammy or low-effort. So, what is the perfect length for a subject line? Well, according to research, the most effective range of word length for a subject line is 6-10 words. With this many words, open rates averaged out at 21%. At the lower end, 0-5 words, those rates were 16%, while at the highest end, 21-25 words, only 9% of users opened the email.

Finding the perfect balance

It’s clear that the statistics show open rates are optimal when subject lines range between 6 and 10 words, but do be aware that this will depend on a number of factors. For example, your target market may be a younger demographic who are more likely to respond to punchy, emoji-laden subject lines with fewer words. On the other hand, a demographic which is more well-versed in reading long-form content may respond better to a longer subject line.

It’s all about experimentation

Of course, you should always bear in mind what the science tells you, but don’t forget that experimentation of your own is easy too – especially with the right email marketing agency. Tools like MailChimp allow you to carry out A/B testing which can deliver different subject lines to different users and tell you which performed best. With tools like these, you can construct several different subject line variants – short, average, and long – then see which performs best with your target market. Data science is a valuable tool – but there’s nothing better than real-world market research on your own audience.

If you’re looking to optimise your email marketing campaigns without all the legwork, get in touch with MailNinja today and we’ll take care of everything for you.

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