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Email Copywriting Tips


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Short workshop on Email copywriting - 8 questions to review your copy presented at Haymarket Email Marketing conference 8th December 2008.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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Email Copywriting Tips

  1. 1. Email copywriting workshop Dave Chaffey, Director, Marketing Insights Ltd Sarah Taylor, E-communications Executive, Loyalty Management Group
  2. 2. About this session <ul><li>8 questions to refresh your email marketing copywriting </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of examples of “best practice creative” </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive review of Email copywriting by you! </li></ul>
  3. 3. About Dave Chaffey <ul><li>E-marketing consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Author of 3 bestselling E-marketing books including “ Total Email Marketing ” </li></ul><ul><li>Trainer on Chartered Institute of Marketing Email Marketing course </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger: </li></ul>
  4. 4. About Sarah Taylor <ul><li>E-communications Executive, </li></ul><ul><li>Loyalty Management Group are part of Groupe Aeroplan </li></ul><ul><li>I manage the e-communications for the Nectar programme which consists of 400 campaigns totalling over 250 million emails a year including Nectar and Partner emails. </li></ul><ul><li>We have a contactable base of 4.97million collectors </li></ul>
  5. 5. Q1. Will your Email be opened? Subject line 1: “ Autumn offers start today - £20 cash-back” Open rate 23.4% Subject line 2: “ £20 cash-back this week only” Open rate 36.8% Subject line 1: “Travel is fun, not a high street trek” Open rate 39% Subject line 2: “A click away from all your foreign currency” Open rate 34% Source: HSBC with permission
  6. 6. Some subject line tips from Nectar <ul><li>Lead with a benefit </li></ul><ul><li>Focus or broad appeal? </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers are scannable </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage action NOW! </li></ul><ul><li>Test! Test! Test! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Q2. Is your lead-in engaging? <ul><li>What goes wrong? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Banner too broad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No headline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disconnect between subject, headline and body </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Powerful headlines… <ul><li>What is a headline for? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should add to subject line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should connect to lead para or offer – make distinct for brand ident / banner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should encourage immediate impulsive click </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Powerful headlines – See Robert Bly – Online copywriters handbook: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include a direct or indirect benefit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask a question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provocative statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer to teach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give news </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some more headline ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appeal to personal self-interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get right sort of attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer to teach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask a provocative question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use ‘ Quotes ’ </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Nectar - “Don’t Make Me Think”
  10. 10. Q3. Is your copy conversational? <ul><li>This is the classic “We-We Test” </li></ul><ul><li>Can you over do it? </li></ul><ul><li>Try it at: </li></ul>Dear <name> You already know how easy it is to get instant online insurance cover from Norwich Union . But did you know that Norwich Union can also offer you online access to low-cost life-cover. For example, £100,000 would cost you as little as 20p* per day. Cover or an instant quote are available now at for the amounts of cover you require. Apply now Button.
  11. 11. Q4. Are you getting the tone right? “Microsoft Mood Grid”
  12. 12. Q5. Are you taking Eyetracking into account? <ul><li>Heading and subhead copy critical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First 2-3 words most important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make hyperlinked </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Large fonts work well </li></ul><ul><li>Images often missed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use text link calls-to-action </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Readers scan down the left of an E-mail </li></ul><ul><li>First part of para important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>F shape eyetrack </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email intros skipped </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use to personalise and engage e.g. with hyperlinks </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Q6. Do your calls-to-action work? <ul><li>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In eget nulla ac eros eleifend vestibulum. Aenean felis wisi, consequat vitae, dapibus sed, nonummy a, lorem. Sed fringilla. Phasellus pellentesque neque vel leo. Sed pretium risus a lacus. Nulla ipsum. Click here! , Vivamus erat urna, porttitor et, blandit aliquet, lacinia id, orci. Phasellus vitae mauris. Curabitur tristique, turpis at fringilla ultrices, mi dui consectetuer nibh, id condimentum ipsum magna in dolor. Quisque imperdiet. Curabitur dui. Sed augue. Curabitur imperdiet. </li></ul>Use Action Verbs : Get a Quote Register now Make images clickable : Optimise for organic search in anchor text i.e. Not click here for your car insurance quote But, Get an instant car insurance quote now ! Make Hyperlinks long and buttons larger : I am an easier to click than me ! Fitts law states that “ Time to reach a target with mouse is proportional to the distance to the target divided by the size of the target ”. Use Hyperlinks : Within body copy
  14. 14. Best practice E-mail response example Tip. Build the creative and copy around the calls-to-action
  15. 15. An example of an ‘engaging’ CTAs
  16. 16. Nectar integrates different CTAs
  17. 17. Q6. Are you appealing to different personas? <ul><li>The Methodical focuses on HOW-type questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the details? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What's the fine print? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does this work? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Humanistic focuses on WHO-type questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How will your product or service make me feel? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who uses your products/service? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are you? Tell me who is on your staff, and let me see bios </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Spontaneous focuses on WHY- and sometimes WHEN-type questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can you get me to what I need quickly? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you offer superior service? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I customize your product or service? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Competitive focuses on WHAT-type questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your competitive advantages? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What makes you the superior choice? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What makes you a credible company? </li></ul></ul>See
  18. 18. Q7. How persuasive are your copy and creative? Use Cialdini’s 6 “weapons of influence” <ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment and consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus </li></ul><ul><li>Affinity (Liking & credibility) </li></ul><ul><li>Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Scarcity </li></ul>See:
  19. 19. 1. Reciprocity <ul><li>Offer valuable, exclusive content or offers and your audience will remember you and be indebted to you. </li></ul>
  20. 20. 2. Commitment and consistency <ul><ul><li>“ Get </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>initial commitment” </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. 3. Consensus and social proof <ul><li>“ Your audience will believe others more than they believe you!” </li></ul>
  22. 22. 6. Scarcity Loss is more powerful than gain Show your readers what they could miss
  23. 23. Q8. Are you testing? “Always Be Testing” Test version A Send Volume: 10,000 Sample criteria: Random Click through rate: 6.1% Test version B Send Volume: 10,000 Sample criteria: Random Click through rate: 4.5% Main Broadcast Send Volume: 180,000 Click through rate: 5.8% Source:
  24. 24. D&A Email Optimisation Example
  25. 25. Activity – assessing copywriting <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To apply the principles of effective copywriting to some real campaigns. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Instructions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify 3 best practices in copywriting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify 3 top areas for improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One person should verbally summarise / justify your approaches, with the others chipping in. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 minutes + 2 minute feedback per table </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Example1. MyTravel
  27. 27. Example 2. Virgin Wines
  28. 28. Example 3. – First Direct
  29. 29. Example 4. The IDM
  30. 30. Thank you <ul><li>Download this presentation from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> /presentations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Any questions, do email me: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Friend me! </li></ul><ul><ul><li> , </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subscribe to my E-marketing Essentials monthly briefing on what’s new in E-marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>