5 Expert Tips for Writing Killer Email Copy That Converts

September 24, 2019 Brian Isaac

If learning how to write killer email copy for your nonprofit is at the top of your new year’s resolution list, then this is the blog post for you!

We all know that email marketing is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy, but creating copy that cuts through the noise and resonates with your audience can be challenging.

To take some pain out of the process, we sat down with our Digital Communications Manager, Catherine Kline, to get all of her expert tips on writing killer email copy for your nonprofit.

Define your audience

It’s important to get started on the right foot by envisioning who your ideal supporter is and by mapping out their goals, needs, and behaviours. Cat recommends planning this part of your email first before even thinking about writing your copy.

“It’s important to think about how your email can help solve a problem or add value to your supporter. What do they value? What do they hope to achieve.

Write a subject line that sparks interest

If you consider the flood of emails that are delivered to our inboxes on a daily basis, it’s usually only the ones with subject lines that spark interest that get opened. To understand which subject lines resonate with you, Cat recommends reviewing your personal inbox to see which subject lines stand out and why.

“Do they use humour? Are they punchy and straight to the point? Is there a sense of urgency? Identify what it is that sparks your interest.”

If you haven’t already, read Hubspot’s The Anatomy of a 5-Star Subject Line to learn more the key elements to achieving a clickable subject line.

Use active voice

All engaging content starts with using active voice. Let’s consider the differences between these two sentences:

Active: Harry ate six prawns at dinner.

Passive: At dinner, six prawns were eaten by Harry.

From this example we can see that writing in active voice makes for punchier, more engaging copy. If you’re not sure that you’re writing in active voice, follow Cat’s simple method:

“An easy way to tell if you’re using passive voice is if the person doing the action is buried at the end of the sentence.”

Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Proofreading, it’s one of the simplest things you can do before hitting ‘send’ on your email, but according to Cat, it also tends to be the most overlooked part of the process.

“A small typo isn’t necessarily the end of the world, but it can seriously detract from the key message you’re trying to convey, so don’t forget to proofread carefully before you hit send.”

End with a clear call to action

Your email should always finish with a clear and actionable call to action. Be clear and direct about the next step you want your audience to take.

“Rather than writing "Donate Here," try "Donate $5 Now." The more specific you are with your call to action, the more likely you are to see a result. Best practice is to avoid writing “click here” and instead use direct phrases such as Read the ebook or register now.”

There are many other elements to consider when writing a compelling email including; personalisation, segmentation, spam words, and design. Let us help you do the heavy lifting when it comes to creating your communications journey.

Click here to learn more about expert communication.

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