Email copywriting – how to avoid the instant delete

Email copywriting – how to avoid the instant delete

The delete key is only seconds away, so how do you structure an email to avoid being deleted?

Stand in the readers shoes
Start by thinking from the readers’ perspective. The reader has simple questions:

1. What’s this email about?

2. Why should I care, what’s in it for me?

3. What action should I take?

Your job is to answer these questions – and quickly. Making sure the tone and voice is all about what the reader wants and not what you want. A simple check is to count the number of you’s vs number of we’s. There should be twice as many you’s as we’s.

Three C’s formula

1. Capture
The first part of the email is all about capturing the attention of the reader. This part of the design and copy is short and needs to, in under three seconds, buy you 15 more seconds of the reader's time to continue into theconvince part of the email.

2. Convince
Once attention is captured you’ve 15 more seconds to convince the reader they should take further action.

3. Close

The final content block is about the call to action. Never end an email without this. In most cases the call to action is about a click, but you might also have alternatives, such as replying or a phone number to call. In the close it’s necessary to overcome the barriers to in-action. What objections to action could the reader have and how can you overcome these?