Email Copywriting Best Practice – How to Create Copy That Converts

Email is still a key marketing tool that delivers your message straight to the customer and allows you to convert that message into sales success.

Email marketing campaigns, when well executed, deliver results. In 2019, active email accounts surpassed 5.6 billion (source Statista) and according to figures in 2018 from SaleCycle, 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. 

In this article, I’ll take you through the email copywriting tips that will help you to reach your target audience with a compelling message that achieves your business goals.

What are the Benefits of Email Marketing?

  • You can create a database of existing and potential customers that are already ‘warm’ to your message as they have signed up to receive your emails
  • Your message will go straight to their inbox and the growth in mobile devices means that most people now check their emails at least once a day
  • Email marketing is a cheap and effective way to communicate with your target audience
  • Campaigns can be targeted, timed, flexible, proactive or reactive and include direct CTA (Call To Action) links to take your customers to where you want them to be
  • From newsletters, sales and special offers, product launches, online brochures to company and product updates, it is an effective way of keeping your email subscribers in the loop, your company front of mind and the ability to purchase at their fingertips
  • Campaign monitors can give you a detailed view of your success. Giving insight into how many people have opened and read your email, how many have clicked through to links/CTA etc and your bounce rates

Sounds great right? However, in a crowded marketplace, the key to success is teaming great copy with relevant content to avoid the dreaded delete button or worse still – the unsubscribe link.

Be strategic. Think through your goals, your brand, USP (Unique Selling Point), what it is that you’re offering, why now, and why your target market should be interested? Once you have answered these important questions then you are ready to start planning your campaign and email copywriting strategy.

Email Copywriting Formulas 

There are many copywriting formulas to help you to craft impactful, compelling copy for your email campaigns. Don’t be put off by the word ‘formula’ it is simply a basic rule or guide, to help you shape your copy, to ensure you hit the spot and don’t miss an opportunity to convert a customer.

The copy is still very much your own and let your imagination, brand and chosen tone of voice shape the style and personality of the piece. AIDA (which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is a good place to start.

Check out our guide to using AIDA and other adaptations of the formula in your copy.

PAR (Problem, Agitate, Resolve) is another useful formula to consider.

Top 10 Tips for Successful Email Copy 

1. Planning

This is vital. Be clear about what you are offering, why now, and why your email recipient wants it? People quickly assess their emails to see if it’s of interest or simply dismiss it as junk mail. You need to grab and hold their attention fast. 

Also, consider at this point what you what to achieve. What does success look like for you? Make sure your email copy contains the relevant information and required links, CTA etc to make that next step easy for the customer.

2. Nail the Subject Line

This is your opening pitch and if you don’t attract and compel the reader to read on, the rest of your copy will be a waste of time. Here you can use a question, offer or targeted headline to grab the recipient’s attention. Check out our advice on crafting headlines that sell.

Take your time over this. Make it clear and concise as every word not only counts but needs to earn its place. Think about the use of hard vs soft cell (Our article hard sell vs soft sell will explain the difference and how to use them). 

Examples of strong subject line headlines include:

  • Last chance to use your 25% discount code plus FREE delivery
  • Great offers on new season homeware
  • Don’t miss out – Special offers on family-friendly holidays 

Your subject line needs to draw the reader into the body copy. Make it punchy and meaningful.

3. Get Personal

Make the reader feel special and valued, using emotive, engaging language. It’s worth doing your homework to get to know your target audience and find a way to connect with them on a personal level and be relatable to your readers.

Our article on hidden emotional motivators will help you to understand what drives a purchase decision and how you can tailor your language to influence buyers.

4. Focus on Benefits, Not Features

The features of a product or service are important but it’s the benefits that resonate with the reader. Focus on the problem your offering solves and how that benefits the customer. How will it make a difference/make life easier/fulfil a need? 

By posing and answering that question in the mind of your target market, it will make the buying decision an obvious next step for the customer.

5. CTA (Call to Action)

You’ve drawn in the reader with your subject line, created interest and desire with your body copy, now you need you present the reader with a simple and effective CTA.

One of the benefits of email marketing is the ability to enable the reader to click straight through to the product on your website or simply add a BUY NOW button.

Make this step clear and don’t forget to include your social media icons and company details at the end of your email – don’t miss a trick to promote further engagement opportunities.


Email marketing works but as with any marketing communication tool, it needs to cut through the noise and quickly resonate with the audience to achieve results.

Make sure your database is well maintained and think through your email marketing strategy carefully. This will ensure you are delivering the right messages, to the right people at the right time. Build trust in your brand and messaging to avoid your recipients dismissing your emails as junk and hitting unsubscribe. It’s about quality, not quantity.


How do I Improve the Performance of Email Marketing?

Top tips for improving the performance of your email marketing campaigns:

– Work on your strategy. Evaluate what is working for you and what isn’t and make the necessary adjustments
– Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly
– Make sure your copy is up to scratch. It needs to be concise, compelling and highlight the benefits to the reader.
– Make it personal and relevant to the reader
– Have a clear and simple (CTA) call to action

How Do I Calculate the Conversion Rate of an Email Marketing Campaign?

The conversion rate for email marketing is calculated by taking the number of conversions divided by the number of delivered emails x 100.

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About Gemma Wright

I'm Gemma Wright, co-owner of ProCopyTips and a freelance PR consultant and copywriter. Having worked as a PR Manager for large financial services companies in the UK, I now focus on helping small and growing businesses to thrive through the power of effective communications.

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