January 30, 2017

Use This Formula to Write Email Copy That Converts Every Time

Based on author and award-winning copywriter David Garfinkel’s fantastic book Breakthrough Copywriting, these tips will make your email copy more approachable and relatable for your subscribers. Garfinkel has written ads for companies like IBM and United Airlines so you’d be hard-pressed to find better advice on writing great copy. It’s no secret that most email newsletters get sent straight to the junk folder, but by using these tactics, you can seriously improve your conversion rates.
  1. Start Where Your Prospect is
Email copy (even when automated) is a conversation between you and the prospect. It’s a sales conversation. To make it effective, you must first think about the prospect.
  • What’s their state of mind?
  • What do they care about?
  • What problems do they have?
A mistake many marketers make is that they think about their ideal outcome. They talk about what they’re looking to achieve. They talk about their company and the product’s features. Nobody cares about you. What they care about is themselves, their problems and goals. You should imagine your prospect sitting across the table and having a coffee or a beer with you. Talk to him like he’s your friend. Talk about what’s important to him or her. In fact, instead of trying to initiate conversation, your copy should feel like you’re entering a conversation that’s already going on in your prospect’s mind.
  1. Remember It’s A Sales Conversation (But Don’t Write Like A Salesman)
Copy is a sales conversation. It’s not an article, an essay, or some kind of a report. It’s a sales conversation with an objective. That objective is closing a sale. A good sales pitch doesn’t sound like selling. It’s not about pushing your customers to purchase something. Also, it shouldn’t sound like a boring report using a lot of pretentious technical terms and big words, trying to impress. A good sales pitch is personal. It’s emotional. It uses a lot of short words like ‘you’ and ‘me.’ It paints a picture of how prospects are much better off with your product. It explains why.
  1. If It’s Not Advancing a Sale, Cut it Out
If you are not advancing a sale (and also providing a solution to your prospect’s problem), you’re diminishing a sale. In other words, you want to get rid of anything that doesn’t serve your ultimate objective: converting a sale. It’s a great rule to draw a line between creativity in writing and purposefulness. You draw that line by asking yourself “does it advance a sale?” Here’s another question; how do you know if it’s advancing a sale? Advancing a sale happens when you provide information and stimulate feelings in a way that your prospect is led to believe that it’s better to accept the offer you present than not to.
  1. Without Proof, There is No Sale
According to Ted Cooper, an award-winning copywriter who wrote ads for Apple, HP, Intuit, and many others, the copy needs to have three components:
  1. Make a claim
  2. Prove it
  3. Ask for action
How do you backup your claims? By showing case studies, statistics, testimonials, social proof, awards, and so on. These assets should be framed to show that they’re evidence for your claims. Is great customer service a part of your value proposition? Show your ratings and testimonials.
  1. Make it Very Clear How to Take Action (And Ridiculously Easy To Do So)
If the ultimate objective is get your prospects to complete a purchase or signup, you must make it easier than pie to do so. The entire process should be obvious, streamlined and simple. Make your CTAs visible, cut out unnecessary steps, and most importantly, make it clear how to take action. Throughout the entire process, the prospects shouldn’t be confused about what comes next. Search for bugs and test your emails repeatedly. Anything that makes it hard or confusing immediately reduces sales.