But before you answer any of those questions, you need to start with what you want to say.
Because, let’s face it, if you don’t know what your message is, how can you possibly answer the other questions with any certainty?
There’s no denying that copywriting is an artform, and when budgets allow, it’s always worth investing in having a professional create your email marketing campaigns.
Did you know that emails written by Buzz Education’s talented creative team attract an average of 51% higher click rates?Find out more
We know that the resources aren’t always available to pay for professional creative input, though.
So, with that in mind, our Senior Copywriter Andy has created a cheat sheet of psychological insights to help you to develop engaging content that really makes an impact…
1. Let’s start with the three ‘R’s
No, not the three pillars of early years education. The three ‘R’s of effective email copy!
By repeating your central message, you reinforce it and make it more familiar. Studies have shown that repetition causes readers to believe a statement is more accurate and therefore trust it more.
Find some time to rhyme! This quirky technique is known to heighten your readers’ ability to process your message, which in turn triggers a positive response. It also serves to make the message more memorable.
The easier your copy is to read and process, the more positive your reader feels about the message. If it’s unnecessarily complex, they’ll actually see you as less intelligent.
2. Don’t get their defences up early
Avoid Psychological Reactance (if you want to)
If your reader senses they are being sold to straight away, they’re more likely to resist your message. Rather than launching straight into the benefits of what you’re offering, try drawing attention to the pain point that your product or service helps them avoid. Then tell them how you can help.
Also, try to emphasise their freedom to choose. Give your reader control and they’ll feel less like you’re trying to persuade them to do something. This will make them more open to follow your call to action. ‘It’s up to you…’
3. Use unexpected nomenclature
It gets their attention and stays with them for longer. That’s all.
4. How do you feel about rhetorical questions?
Email readers are more likely to engage with your content if you ask them questions.
5. Speak in the second person
You feel more included and engaged when you hear about your needs and the benefits you will receive, than when I talk about my product and what I can do to help. Better yet, be inclusive by talking about ‘we’ and ‘us’ referring to yourself and the reader.
6. Think about where you place your key message or benefits
Studies show that people are most likely to remember the first and last pieces of information when presented with a list. This is known as the serial position effect. It’s worth keeping this in mind when choosing an order for your bullet points.
P.S. It’s also worth making the most of postscripts to reinforce your key message at the end of the email.
7. Give them a reason, just because
Most of our decisions are made without conscious thought. Provide a justification for your argument, and the unconscious brain automatically believes the argument is justified, no matter how weak the reasoning.
‘We want to tell you about our product because we think it’s great!’
‘Sign up for a demo so you can try it out’
8. People are more likely to believe their own inferences
Rather than making a direct claim, which a savvy reader is hard wired to suspect and question, make an indirect statement that requires some level of interpretation. Your customer is much more likely to trust a conclusion they came to themselves than one you present them with.
Consider the difference between the following:
‘Our product is good quality, and eco-friendly.’
‘We believe in protecting the environment, and producing high quality goods. That’s why we’re so proud of our product.’
The second statement requires the reader to come to their own conclusion (however obvious it may be), which makes them trust it more.
9. The rule of 3
Here are three facts:
- We like patterns.
- We like brevity.
- Three is the smallest number required to make a pattern.
The human mind is conditioned to like things that come in threes. We see it crop up repeatedly throughout fairy tales and classic literature. Stories and screenplays are most often structured in three parts. And when someone is making a point, the list feels a little incomplete if you don’t give at least three supporting examples.
So how can you use this information? Why not try using three bullet points to highlight your key benefits? Or structure your email into three clearly defined sections? By doing so, you’ll create more engaging content that your reader will remember.
10. Make it meaningful
Engage your audience better by telling them what it all means to them. I could tell you that these tips will make you a better copywriter.
Or I could tell you that our copywriting achieves 51% higher click through rates, and by taking our advice you can significantly improve your own engagement rates!
11. Get it right
There’s nothing more off-putting than reading copy littered with spelling and grammatical mistakes. So, don’t forget to proofread what you’ve written. And then get a second (and even third) set of eyes to check it over, because everyone makes mistakes sometimes!
So, the next time you sit down in front of a blinking cursor and try to come up with some witty, meaningful and engaging email content, don’t be intimidated.