Author: Kaleigh Moore

8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails

brainstorming techniques

I can’t think of anything to write.

That’s one of the top reasons we hear from customers about why their email marketing went stagnate. They just run out of ideas or topics to write about. So instead of sending a lackluster email, they don’t send any at all.

Even pro writers come up with major email block. Ann Handley, co-founder of Marketing Profs and the popular book “Everybody Writes,” only sent two emails to her subscribers in 2017. (In fact, the lack of communication was her catalyst behind revamping her entire newsletter strategy this year.)

We never want your email list to go dormant. After all, you put in a ton of work to gather subscribers. Don’t leave them hanging. That’s why we’ve gathered 8 brainstorming techniques that will help you create a list of topics for future emails. Never waste time trying to think of a topic when you should be writing!

Quick Notes on Brainstorming

First things first: Let’s go over a few quick notes re: brainstorming.

  1. Coming up with ideas for your content is serious, but don’t get too caught up on producing the perfect idea right away. If you’re too critical, you won’t get anything written down. You never know what a random word now could make you think of later. Keep a positive mindset and be open to any and all ideas.
  2. Don’t worry too much about following the rules. Brainstorming is all about creativity and finding whatever method works best for you. While one person might do well with a structured brainstorming process, another might thrive with a loose, free-flowing idea session.

The important thing to remember about brainstorming ideas for your email campaigns is that you’ll want to stay open-minded throughout your process . . . regardless of what that looks like. Next, let’s start looking at a few specific brainstorming techniques you can try to get the ideas flowing.

Brainstorming Techniques for Stellar Email Ideas

Brainstorming Technique #1: Word Association

Start with one or two words related to a broad topic, and write down anything they make you think of. Let your inner editor rest for a bit and just jot down whatever ideas and words come to mind. If you need help, try a tool like Visuwords to get the process going.

Don’t overthink things or worry about explaining how the words are related (at least right now.) Instead, let the ideas flow and see what interesting concepts naturally arise.

Word Association Brainstorming Techniques

Image source:

Brainstorming Technique #2: Mind Mapping

This is a similar concept to the word association technique. Start with a word in the middle and draw lines outward to the ideas that word sparks. Mapping helps you visually process your ideas and decide which ones are the strongest.

Mind Mapping Brainstorm Techniques

Image source: CoSchedule 

Brainstorming Technique #3: The Medici Effect

If we can figure out how things are connected, sometimes we can borrow solutions or ideas from another field to solve our own problems. Look for parallels around the issues you’re facing in different areas — like your personal life or at work.

For example: Did you recently overcome a challenge at work that taught you a lesson or provided some new perspective on an issue? How can you share that experience as a story that may help your audience with their biggest pain point? You might have come to a solution that would make for a brilliant email campaign.

Brainstorming Technique #4: Blind Writing

Just. Don’t. Stop. You don’t need a plan of attack or an outline for this — just put words on a blank page, no matter what they are. You never know what will spark an idea, and writing anything is the first step to writing something good.

Brainstorming Technique #5: Challenger

Make a list of your assumptions (about your customers, your content, your format, etc.) and then challenge them one by one. You might think you already know the best way to do something, but we don’t make progress by never questioning things.

Related: FREE Course: Learn How to Write Better Emails

Brainstorming Technique #6: SWOT Analysis

Create a table to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to your current approach to email content. This helps you see your process in a more analytic way and logically decide if there is a more effective way to write, share, and educate.

As you complete your SWOT analysis, be sure to see what your main competitors are doing and make notes on how you may (or may not) be measuring up with your current approach.

SWOT brainstorming techniques

Image source:

Brainstorming Technique #7: Turn to Your Readers

Conversations with your subscribers can lead to a treasure trove of email ideas. Ask your subscribers questions and try to find out as much information about them as possible. What do they actually want or need from you? What are their biggest obstacles, goals, or main pain points?

Your subscribers feedback will be immensely valuable to your business. You can use it to write your next email, and other types of content like blog posts, videos, and social media posts. You can also take it a step further by using the feedback to correctly position your product, inspire loyalty, and/or develop all-new products.

Brainstorming Technique #8: Start with the Subject Line

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Then, come up with a list of subject lines that you would absolutely open if they hit your inbox.

These subject lines may spark some all-new content ideas. We use this technique at the start of many of our content planning meetings at AWeber. In fact, some of our most popular stories have come out of this exercise. We keep an updated swipe file of the subject lines — some of which are practical, some of which are outrageous — and browse the list for new blog post or email ideas whenever we need some inspiration.

Related: Your Guide to Writing the World’s Best Email Subject Lines

Brilliant Email Ideas, Time After Time

Consistently sending emails is a wonderful way to keep subscribers engaged, but try not to forget that no one wants to open an email that doesn’t actually have any new or useful information. Having a constant supply of fresh email ideas keeps you from getting marked as spam and sent to the junk mailbox, never to be opened again.

On a regular basis, brainstorm new topics through these different approaches and keep a swipe file of your best and brightest ideas. You’ll never hit a bottleneck in ideas for email campaigns again.

Ready to start sending killer emails to your list? Then sign up for your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.

The post 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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Your Start-to-Finish Plan to Getting 1,000 Email Subscribers

Get your first 1,000 subscribers

We wish we could wave a magic wand and give you 1,000 highly-interested email subscribers, but unfortunately, email marketing doesn’t work that way. That would be pretty cool though, wouldn’t it?

The reality is: Getting subscribers is hard work. That’s also why according to Ascend2, 54% of marketers say that growing their list of email subscribers is a top marketing priority.

You want quality email subscribers, and you want more of them, but the question is: How do you find them? Better yet, how do you make sure they stick around?

Ready to reach 1,000 (or more!) email subscribers? Follow the plan below.

(You can also sign up for our FREE email list growth course. Learn how to grow your list in under 1 hour!)

Craft a better email newsletter

First things first: To effectively grow your subscriber list, you want to make sure you’re always sending your best content. Before you send out your next email newsletter, it’s a good idea to take a step back and evaluate what’s currently working and what’s not.

Related: How to Create an Irresistible Email Newsletter (Plus, 19 Newsletter Examples for Inspiration!)

According to the Direct Marketing Association, the four most important email marketing metrics are:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate
  • Open rate
  • ROI

Having a good grasp of how your emails are performing (based on these metrics) will not only ensure you’re providing value, but that your subscribers will also continue to open your emails.

An easy way to identify your top-performing content is to review your email newsletter analytics. Pay attention to the emails that not only received the highest number of opens and clicks.

Related: Subject Line Formulas You Can Steal to Boost Your Open Rates

Are there certain types of content that get more clicks than others? Is there a section that has barely been touched by subscribers? Take note of these trends for future planning. Of course, your subscribers won’t want to see the same articles and information in every email, so it’s best to create new content and support it with older pieces where applicable.

After you have a handle on what’s working and what isn’t with your current newsletter, use your findings to create an even better one. As you begin to gather more data on your subscribers and understand what they like to see, you’ll be able to tailor your emails to be even more impactful.

Get your emails in front of the right people

Now that you’ve refreshed your email newsletter, it’s time to make sure the right people see it. Here are a few tried and true tactics that you can put to the test to grow your subscriber list.

(Not sure how to get more leads? Struggling to create a profitable email strategy? We can help. AWeber isn’t just an email marketing platform — we’re a team of email experts that wants to see you succeed. You can contact us day or night to all your questions answered. Start your free 30-day trial today.)

1. Tap your connections and current subscribers

Leveraging your network is a great way to steadily increase your subscriber list, and often the best place to gain traction especially in the beginning. Although some of your connections may not be interested in the material themselves, they might know someone who is.

Reach out to current subscribers and encourage them to share your email with people they know who may be interested. You can make this ultra-simply by including a link for quick sharing within your email. (Basically, you’re asking them to forward your content on to those who may enjoy it!)

Here’s a fantastic email example of how to ask your connections to share your content. Use it as a template for your own outreach.

Pro tip: According to QuickSprout, subscribers are 3x as likely to share content on social media than visitors who view your content through other sources. Make sure your content is easy for subscribers to share with their social networks as well.

2. Include CTAs across your channels

It’s no secret that calls-to-action are essential when helping customers take the next step. The same rings true for bulking up your subscriber list.

Add a CTA to sign up for your email newsletter within each of your blog posts and on your website. Also, pinning a post with the link to sign up to all your social profiles will help make it easier for potential subscribers to see.

how to get 1,000 email subscribers

Providing as many opportunities to make signing up a breeze will increase the likelihood of more users subscribing.

3. Invest in social advertising

Social media is a powerful tool, especially when backed by a few bucks. It can help you reach your target audience thanks to ad formats that cater to email signups. For example, this Twitter ad from Really Good Emails is eye-catching, yet simple.

twitter ad for email sign ups

This playful Twitter ad not only aligns with their brand, but it clearly tells users what to do next. Don’t be afraid to play around with your ads and test different creative and copy. Like email marketing, the only way to understand what resonates with your audience is to test, test, test!

And don’t limit yourself to just Twitter. For instance, you could put an image of your newsletter in your Instagram Story and ask your followers to “swipe up” to join your email list. 

IG Story Email sign up

4. Write for other industry blogs

Guest writing is a great way to reach an audience you otherwise might not have the chance to. It seems unlikely that you would be able to increase signups for your email newsletter on another site, right?

The truth is: You definitely can.

In addition to the valuable content you’re already providing in the guest post, include a link to a dedicated landing page that offers more free content with no catch. Just be sure to include a CTA for visitors to sign up for your email newsletter.

AWeber customer Noah Kagan from OkDork did just that and was able to increase his subscriber list:

guest post email sign up

With guest writing, you not only provide value to a new audience, but you also have the opportunity to find subscribers who might become some of your best customers.

Related: Understanding the Marketing Funnel: 5 Strategies to Improve Your Email Marketing

5. Monitor and track your email performance

A sure-fire way to ensure you reach your goal of 1,000 subscribers — or any marketing goal for that matter — is to monitor the performance of your emails and adjust where needed.

Make sure you have the correct tracking in place on both your email newsletters and your website. The data you collect will allow you to identify top-performing content and inform decisions that help evolve your email newsletters, which will result in more subscribers. It’ll also help you find out which lead generation methods are producing the most impactful results.

To keep things simple (and free!) start with a tracking tool like Google Analytics that can help you watch your numbers and gauge performance. You can set this up in just a few minutes and start gathering in-depth analytics around your email and website traffic.

Without the ability to track key metrics, it will be difficult to understand how your readers are interacting with your content and what they likely want to see more of in the future.

Wrap up

If you’re not quite where you want to be yet regarding your subscriber count, don’t get discouraged. There are many ways to boost your lists — just remember, it can take time to attract the right audience. Wouldn’t you rather have 1,000 engaged subscribers than 10,000 uninterested ones?

Get started building your email list today with our FREE Email List Growth Blueprint course

 

The post Your Start-to-Finish Plan to Getting 1,000 Email Subscribers appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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Newsletter Examples: How to Craft Irresistible Newsletter Content

newsletter examples

It’s no secret there is money in your email list. But just how much depends on you.

According to McKinsey & Company, the average employee spends 13 of their weekly working hours in their inbox. This is both good and bad news.

The good news is: Because people are spending so much time in their inboxes, you have an opportunity to make a big impact.

The bad news? More emails = dwindling attention spans.

You’ll need to get creative to break through the clutter of emails that loiter in your subscribers’ inboxes.

We’ll show you how to create an email newsletter that will keep your subscribers interested. Whether you want to improve your current newsletter or are researching ideas for your first one, these tried and true email marketing practices are sure to help.

What makes the best email newsletters?

What are the best email newsletters made of? Captivating copy, engaging visuals, and a clear call-to-action, right? Well, yes, but there’s more to it than that.

The number of emails flooding inboxes these days is staggering. According to DMR, the average person will get 121 emails per day (which is roughly 44,000 emails per year). That’s a lot to read.

Due to the sheer volume of emails people receive daily, it’s crucial to cater to your target audience.

So how do you ensure your emails are the brightest in the inbox?

1. Give readers what they didn’t know they needed

The inbox is a sacred space. It’s a direct line into the lives of your audience and potential customers—so whatever you send should be of the highest quality.

Yes, creating an email newsletter free of grammatical errors and broken links is important. But providing actionable, helpful information to readers is also important. Bonus points if you provide knowledge or insight on something they didn’t know they needed.

For example: If you’re a business development coach looking to expand your newsletter readership, including extra content that your audience cares about (like a template or eBook or one of these 22 Brilliant Lead Magnets) is a good idea.

2. Keep readers reading with great copy and even better design

You can have the best written copy, but if it’s hard to read, it can be tough to get readers to stick around. We’re not suggesting that bad design mutes stellar copy, but striking a balance between the two is key when creating a quality email newsletter.

Related: How to Create Amazing Photos for Your Emails on Zero Budget

Take photo company Artifact Uprising for example. They’re a visual company, which is clearly communicated across all marketing materials. In the example below, they stick with large, eye-catching images and bold, monochromatic colors.

email newsletter example

But they don’t rely solely on bold, featured images. The copy, although simple, packs a punch — and it’s hard to resist clicking on the single CTA button to learn how to create your own beautiful photo book.

The copy and images in this example work together to tell a story. This is not a long email newsletter, but it didn’t need to be. It’s chock full of value (an “insider’s guide” and “tips and tricks”), and that’s what resonates with readers the most.

3. An email that reads well will be well read

Design doesn’t just mean pretty pictures. This is where readability comes into play. If you want readers to digest your content, make it easy to do so.

The Daily Carnage is a great example of strong layout and organization when it comes to email. It’s text-heavy, but in the best way. Bullet points, subheadings, and colorful call-to-actions make this email newsletter easy (and enjoyable) to read.

email newsletter example

As with any writing, when it comes to the layout of your email newsletter, place the most important information at the top. Dwindling attention spans mean it’s critical to include important information first. The secondary details and other non-essential information come next.

If you see a block of text in the body of an email newsletter, what’s your first reaction? Delete? Scroll past? Chances are if you wouldn’t read it, neither would your subscribers.

Breaking the copy up into digestible paragraphs or bullet points will help your readers understand the message while saving them eye strain. The goal is to make the copy scannable, which is tough to do with large blocks of text.

Not sure what to write in your emails? We created a free course — What to Write in Your Emails — that comes with 45+ email writing templates!

4. Leverage your lists correctly

Segmentation is an excellent way to make your email newsletters more effective and to grow your customer base. According to the DMA, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.

With email segmentation, you can create lists of customers based on specific parameters you set and then customize campaigns for each.

For example, let’s say you want to target customers who have bought from you once but have not been back since that purchase. You can create a list of these customers and deploy an email campaign that works toward a sale conversion goal.

Rewarding customers for past purchases, sharing sale information, or encouraging customers to tell their friends about your brand are a few of the things you can do with a segmented list. Or you can categorize customers based on their email behavior (who opened/didn’t open an email). Then, you can target each list differently, either educating them further on your business, or incentivizing them to buy with a unique offer.

Understanding what makes your lists unique is the key to using them effectively and seeing the ROI of your email newsletters over time.

Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Making Money with Email Marketing

When it comes to design vs. content, both matter

When creating an email newsletter, it’s easy to focus on either design or content. But the truth is: Both design and content are equally as important to the success of the campaign.

In fact, if an email includes too many images and not enough text, it can become problematic:

  • Emails marked “image-only” may end up in the spam folder due to email service providers like Gmail filtering and blocking them.
  • Subscribers may have disabled image viewing/downloading in their email settings.
  • Depending on the internet connection and browser version, images can take longer than text to load. Subscribers may delete the email before the images have time to load.

So how can you be sure to strike a healthy balance between design and content in your email newsletter?

Let’s look at a few newsletter examples and break down what works well.

Design & Layout in Email Newsletters

1. Use the template that matches your goal

Are you sending out a discount code to new customers? Launching a new product? Announcing a huge end-of-the-season sale? There are many email templates to choose from, which can feel overwhelming at first. (AWeber has more than 700 mobile-responsive templates that you can use. Create your account today!)

The question is: Which one will be the best for the job?

For example, if you’re an AWeber user who wants to send a new discount code to new subscribers to show your appreciation and to get them to try a product, you might want to select a template that clearly indicates your message. Here’s our “announcement” layout that you can customize for your business and brand.

sale email template

This Nike email does an excellent job of showing readers the detail of a product through visuals and copy:

email newsletter example

2. Be bold in your image selection

Images do more than get your brand noticed, they elicit emotion. With images, you are able to set the mood and tone of your email before subscribers even begin reading.

This email from The North Face is a perfect example of stunning imagery at work. Not only does the image showcase the products (waterproof rain gear), but the striking contextual image captures attention immediately:

email newsletter example

3. Leverage contrast and whitespace

When designing your email, be sure to consider contrast and whitespace.

Images that contrast in color are not only impactful and interesting to look at, but they help ensure readers can see the images, too. Including a healthy balance of whitespace is also a design best practice that can make reading your email easier for subscribers.

Take these newsletter examples from Peloton, Flock, and Headspace. All three newsletter examples use contrasting images and include enough whitespace to make for easy reading.

newsletter examples

Comments on Content in Email Newsletters

1. Make it personalized

Customizing your email newsletters per your target audience is the secret to success.

Thanks to email segmentation, we can categorize subscribers with specific parameters and organize them into lists. Every email created should have the audience’s interests and needs at top of mind.

Customizing emails go a long way when done correctly. AWeber user and personality test company Truity has seen increased open rates as a result of their personalization efforts, including personality type-specific messages, like the one below aimed at its a specific personality type — ENFP subscribers. Truity uses the “digest” layout in AWeber’s Drag and Drop Email Builder for its newsletters, giving it a streamlined, cohesive look every time it hits your inbox.

email newsletter examples

Related: Steer Clear of These Personalization Mistakes When Building Your Email

2. Short vs. long-form content

One question that marketers hear often is “how long should my email be?” The answer is, there is no right answer. Both can help you accomplish your goal and communicate your message.

The InVision Weekly Digest is concise writing done right. Punchline copy delivered in an easy-to-read format.

email newsletter examples

Whether you choose to create an email that’s short and sweet or something long-form, one thing stands true for both: Make it easy to read.

This rings especially true for long-form content. As we mentioned above, having a large block of text in the body of your email doesn’t do anyone any good.

Break things up into short 2-3 sentence paragraphs or use a bullet point format to convey your message.

Related: 8 Powerful Email Copywriting Techniques

Ann Handley — AWeber customer, author, and founder of Marketing-Profs, sends a bi-weekly email newsletter, Total Annarchy. It always begins with a long story. However, Handley does an excellent job of taking a ton of valuable information and presenting it in a digestible way.

email newsletter example

3. Make your emails count

Trust is hard to gain (and easy to lose) when it comes to engaging with your customers. If someone has given you permission to his/her inbox and has opened your newsletter, it’s your time to shine.

Providing value-packed content to your subscribers is a key component in seeing a positive ROI on your email campaigns besides to growing your customer base.

WouldYouRather (WYR), another AWeber customer, does this well by making every email engaging and interactive:

email newsletter examples

What’s more: WYR follows up with the results every week so subscribers can see what other people on their list chose (who won: compliment or a $100 bill) and why. They ask for the reasoning behind the choices made to share some insight into the human decision-making process.

Bottom line: If your content is not providing subscribers information worth their attention, leave it out of the email.

4. Special offers can lead to purchases, if done correctly

Promotional content can yield successful results, too. This is an integral part of business for those in the eCommerce world, as well as for those promoting events and selling tickets.

We see this executed well in this simple, to-the-point email from AWeber user and the band Phish:

email newsletter examples

 

5. Be a stickler for grammar (if you aren’t already)

Mistakes happen, but if grammatical errors are consistently popping up in your email newsletters (or any of your marketing materials for that matter), you run the risk of losing your credibility, customer trust, and money.

Have an editor or a coworker with a trained eye look at the copy before adding it to your campaign. Be sure to have them check it again after you finish building the email.

If you’re an AWeber customer, it’s easy to edit copy even after you’ve entered it into your template.

More inspiration: newsletter examples

The examples below are grouped by category so you can find what’s most relevant to you.

Newsletter Example: Blogs

Leading with a strong image and captivating copy is a sure-fire way to keep your subscribers reading. The example (hey, that’s us!) below does just that:

newsletter examples

(Gain a competitive edge: Subscribe to AWeber’s newsletter. Get essential tips and news about email marketing sent weekly to your inbox.)

Newsletter Example: Local and small businesses

Showcase your products or services with an email template that is visual and text-friendly. This email from Moo does a great job of highlighting a product sale in a colorful way that is not only on-brand but also eye-catching.

email newsletter examples

Newsletter Example: Podcasts

Podcasts tend to cover a lot of information during each episode. What better way to create a centralized place where listeners can do further research, learn more, or read up on guests than with a summary email?

email newsletter examples

This email from Smashing Magazine includes a table of contents that make jumping sections a breeze. With an organized layout and plenty of space for a recap, this format is perfect for podcasts.

Newsletter Example: SaaS and Software Companies

Providing value to your subscribers, in whatever capacity that may be, is crucial to keeping them interested.

Including helpful content like this “How to Use Instagram Stories Templates” guide from Later is a great way to provide value. This also shows subscribers you know what you’re talking about.

email newsletter example

Newsletter Example: Non-Profit Organizations

The Human Rights Campaign knows how to welcome new supporters. This email not only includes a thank you note, but it also outlines how supporters can take further steps to help the campaign.

email newsletter examples

Newsletter Example: Product and eCommerce

Like the SaaS example above, product and eCommerce companies can provide value with actionable content, all while keeping things fun and interesting:

email newsletter examples

Now it’s your turn

With all this good information, now you’re ready to knock out your next email newsletter. Maybe you’ve selected your template, but aren’t quite sure what to include in each section.

No problem. We’ve broken down what the layout of your email newsletter could look like.

  1. Title – [Your Brand Name]’s [Weekly | Monthly | etc.] Newsletter
  2. Paragraph 1 – This is a great place to summarize your company and explain why you’re great. Be sure to include the most important information in this section. If you’re sending a welcome note to new subscribers, add details on how often they can expect to receive your newsletter.
  3. Paragraph 2 – Leverage your template by selecting bold imagery that is not only on par with the content of your email but also with your brand.
  4. Paragraph 3 – Time to let your writing chops shine. The goal of your email will most likely determine the length of your copy. It’s important that your email reads the same as the rest of your marketing materials, so keeping your brand style guide close is a good idea.

Building Your Email Newsletters

Your email newsletter is your opportunity to inform, educate, and connect with potential customers. Your subscribers have granted you permission to show up in their inboxes whenever you please — so now it’s time to get to work.

Let’s recap what we just learned:

  • Providing value-packed content to readers is essential when it comes to the success of your campaign.
    Formatting your email for readability will make or break your click-through rates.
    Leveraging your segmented email lists correctly through customization will increase your ROI.
    Creating an email design that is eye-catching and functional will keep subscribers reading.
    Writing attention-grabbing copy that communicates your message goes a long way.

Need help getting started on your next email newsletter? We’re here to help. Sign up for a free 30-day trial with AWeber. You can call, chat, or email our award-winning Customer Solutions team. They’re available 24/7.

The post Newsletter Examples: How to Craft Irresistible Newsletter Content appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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8 Powerful Email Copywriting Techniques

email copywriting techniques

Anyone who’s ever written a marketing email has asked themselves these questions:

  • How do I get my subscribers to open this?
  • How do I get them to take action?
  • Did they even *see* me in their inbox?

Not getting the results you’re after might make you want to visit your subscribers one-by-one and personally remind them to read your emails and click your links.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything so drastic. By following some basic rules of copywriting, you can dramatically increase your email engagement and get subscribers to take action.

Here are a few best practices you can start using in your email copy right away.

(Want to start sending amazing emails to your subscribers today? Try a 30-day free trial of AWeber. Test out our  ridiculously easy-to-use Drag-and-Drop editor and industry-leading deliverability.)

Use a Conversational Tone

Your goal is to communicate. This starts with everyday language, short sentences, and short paragraphs.

Famous writer Elmore Leonard said: “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.”

That’s a good rule. Your copy should read as close to spoken English as possible. It should be easy to read and easy to scan. Big words don’t make you sound smart — they make you sound like someone trying to sound smart.

So how do you know if you’re writing conversationally?

According to Copy Hackers, a conversion copywriting site, Dr. Suess is a good example of how to use short words and short sentences in a way that captivates the reader.

If you need more help simplifying your writing, check out Hemingway App. It flags overly complex sentences and assigns a reading level to your writing (the lower, the better.) This post, for example, reads at a sixth grade level. That’s about where you want to be writing.

Related: Learn from the Masters! 16 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their #1 Email Tip

Avoid Jargon, Buzzwords, and Acronyms

Jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms are an epidemic these days — especially in the world of tech and startups.

Jargon and acronyms can alienate readers who don’t know what you’re talking about. You might as well speak gibberish to them. Instead of using these overly technical terms or abbreviations, be sure to use simple, easy-to-understand language and to spell out terms before you use them in acronym form.

As for trendy buzzwords: Try to think beyond them. Words like ‘pivot’ and ‘disruption’ are becoming cliches that make people tune you out and take you less seriously.

Instead, take the time to come up with simple alternatives:

  • Cohort = customer group
  • BoFU = Bottom of the funnel
  • Virality = popularity

This is really just the tip of the iceberg, though. Forbes has a list of the most obnoxious startup jargon — like ‘rockstar’ and ‘hacking’ — while TechRepublic suggests we stop using these 10 Buzzwords, like ‘curation’ and ‘freemium’.

Write a Killer Subject Line

Headlines have always been the foundation of good copy. In email marketing, your subject line is what gets you opened and read. Without a good one, you’ve got nothing.

When writing your email’s subject line, think about:

  • Personalization: By personalizing your subject line, you can increase open rates by 50%, according to Marketing Dive. That might mean incorporating a subscriber’s first name in your subject line to make the message feel tailor-made.
  • Curiosity: Evoking a sense of curiosity in the the reader can get that person to click through and open your email. Ex: Want a chance to win $100?
  • Scarcity: Promoting limited time or quantity items can create a sense of urgency around your email that piques interest and drives conversions.

If you need more help figuring out a home-run subject line, here are 6 subject line formulas that will improve your open rates.

Know the Medium

One reason that email remains the number one marketing channel is that it gives you the power to talk directly to your audience. You’re leaving money on the table if your copy doesn’t reflect this.

Why “batch and blast” with the same generic message to everyone when email gives you the power to personalize, segment, and automate? After all, automation can increase leads, conversions, and revenue…and it can save you time.

The stats prove it: Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than other marketing messages, according to Epsilon Email Institute.

And here at AWeber, we saw a 118% increase in open rates when we segmented our audience. We sent smaller groups of subscribers the exact information they were interested in, instead of sending our entire list the same exact content.

Set up automated emails that help make every email you send relevant, interesting, and timely. Click here for your crash course in email automation.

Write for People (because businesses can’t read)

The term B2B is misleading because you’re not writing for businesses — you’re writing for decision-makers within a business. Humans, in other words.

This is why we take the time to come up with buyer personas that reflect our customers’ unique needs. These people have emotions, so don’t just throw statistics at them. Don’t just use logic to appeal to their minds. Aim for the heart and connect on an emotional level.

In your emails, use emotion-based principles like reciprocity, commitment, and social proof (to name a few) to make an emotional plea to your readers.

Related: 95 Tools to Help You Be the Best Email Marketer on the Planet

Agitate Problems, Then Solve Them

Whether you’re outlining single email or an entire campaign, this is your formula:

  1. Identify a problem (P)
    Ex: Need an easier way to open cans.
  2. Agitate that problem (A)
    Ex: Isn’t it frustrating to use a hand crank can opener? It’s slow, hard work.
  3. Present your solution (S)
    Ex: With the electric can opener, you can open aluminum cans in seconds with no effort.

TV infomercials absolutely nail PAS. A voiceover identifies a problem: “Do you always end up making way too much pasta?” Then a montage in black and white agitates the problem with people tripping over big tangles of spaghetti in the kitchen. Finally, we get the solution: A happy family eating just the right amount of pasta, thanks to the Pasta-Matic.

Obviously, there are other reasons not to copy what infomercials do, but they give a larger-than-life example of this formula in action. The key is to be relevant. There are millions of problems out there, and most of them don’t matter to your reader.

The problem has to be real, not just an excuse to talk about your product. In an email, your copy needs to express a genuine understanding of what this problem means to your potential customers — and then swoop in with a simple solution.

Don’t Be Too Salesy

You don’t have to be salesy just because you’re selling something.

Email readers have a good sense for “salesy” tactics (like when you try to get them to click on a CTA with misleading copy), and 9 times out of 10, it will alienate your audience. These days, people have zero tolerance for interruption, pressure, tricks, and manipulation. The reason: Research shows online attention spans are shorter than ever, and therefore most people have developed a strong detector for these time-wasting tactics.

But you still want to sell to them. What can you do about that?

Simple: Tell stories instead.

Storytelling is the opposite of being salesy. You can still drive traffic, convert, close, and all of those nice things without resorting to cheeseball tactics. The great thing about storytelling is it’s actually less work than being salesy. You don’t have to resort to tricks and hacks. You simply communicate in a way that’s clear and interesting.

Stories (be it personal, fictional, etc.) are how our brains evolved to learn new information. According to science, we’re hardwired to take in stories. By harnessing this powerful form of communication, you’re putting tens of thousands of years of evolution on your side.

Parting Wisdom: Don’t Stop Learning

A final catch-all tip: never stop learning. Writing is a skill that takes time and practice to master.

And continue to read content by great writers. We recommend Ann Handley’s newsletter. She’s an author and AWeber customer who sends interesting, smart, and beautifully-written stories in her newsletter Total Annarchy.

For copywriting tips, sign up for AWeber customer Henneke Duistermaat’s Enchanting Marketing emails

For the basics of grammar and composition with books like Eats, Shoots & Leaves and the classic (but always relevant) Elements of Style.

Want more copywriting and email tips delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the the AWeber blog newsletter and get actionable email-specific advice week after week!

The post 8 Powerful Email Copywriting Techniques appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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