Content Marketing and Copywriting Copywriting

Published on November 10th, 2010 | by Amber Ricchetti

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Who Else Wants to Write Better Email Copy?

VR Retention Marketing Specialist, Amber Ricchetti, recently attended a DMA copywriting seminar in NYC. She came back with a ton of great insight, ideas and tips on how to improve our email and online copy. They’re too good to be kept secret, so I wanted to pass them along to you, too.

Here are Amber’s top 13 picks from the seminar to help you instantly improve your email copy:

  1. Ask the 4 Key Questions: Before you begin to write, ask yourself these four key questions.
    • What am I selling (at emotional level)?
    • To whom am I selling?
    • Why am I selling this now (will it make sense to the customer)?
    • What do I want my reader to do (Calls to Action)?
  2. Consider Your Font Style: Sans-serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana and Helvetica, are easier to read online than serif. If people find it difficult to read your copy, they won’t!
  3. Read Your Copy Out Loud: This will help you hear what your readers hear.
  4. Cut the Clutter: William Zinsser wrote that “clutter is the disease of American writing.” The quickest way to improve your copy is by removing any unnecessary words such as “that”or “to.”
  5. Use the Rhythm of 3: List your examples in groups of three. The Rhythm gives a great cadence to your copy.
  6. Use Bucket Brigade Words: Bucket brigade words help you move your copy forward. They include remember, and, but, consider, however, for example..and more!
  7. Vary Sentence Length: It is important to vary your sentence length to hold your reader’s attention. And don’t be afraid to use sentence fragments – this isn’t your college English class!
  8. Differentiate Between Features vs. Benefits: Features are what the product has. Benefits are what it will provide the customers. The customer will always ask, “What’s in it for me?” Be sure you tell them.
  9. Write In the Second Person: Focus on one person (you/your) rather than a group (our customers). This makes your reader feel special and highlights how the product can benefit them.
  10. Write Less Copy: People read 25% slower online than offline, so you need to write less copy so they will read it.
  11. Don’t Hide Your Key Points: Keep your most important points at the beginning of paragraphs, bullets and lists.
  12. Keep Paragraphs Short: Make sure your paragraphs are no more than 3 lines long. Otherwise you might lose your reader’s attention.
  13. Remember Odd vs. Even: Odd numbers are easier to remember than even, so use an odd number whenever possible.

Do you have any copywriting tips that you find useful and want to share? I’d love to hear them!

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About the Author

Amber Ricchetti

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.



12 Responses to Who Else Wants to Write Better Email Copy?

  1. Pingback: Top 11 Most Popular VR Blog Posts of 2010 - VR Marketing Blog

  2. This is true for email. Emails should be brief and to the point.
    However, be cautious not to take this statement and apply it generally to any copywriting because the facts dispel this fable when it comes to those long sales pages. The only people who don’t want to read those are people who are not your target market in the first place.

  3. Donne Rovigo says:

    Very interesting post..thanks for sharing!

  4. These are some great email marketing Ideas, Thanks for sharing your experience form the seminar.

  5. we have just started to create some more attractive design for our blog/website.
    I think your ideas will lead my designer’s, seo executives and writers to go in depth of what it need to have.
    Thanks for creating such a wonderful blog.

  6. David Marks says:

    thanks for sharing this information, we should know these facts for us to become a good writer.

  7. Jay Ortega says:

    Great article. I use story telling to sell my products and services.
    I engage the reader and their defenses are lowered because they don’t feel like I’m pushing something down their throats…
    It works like gangbusters, but you have to know how to do right in order for it to be successful..
    Cheers!! Keep them articles coming…
    Thanks.

  8. Samantha S. says:

    I think that alot of these tips are really helpful.
    Many people today are in such a hurry that keeping things short and simple and easy to read is key.
    Reading out loud is always a good idea. I know I read most of the papers that I write for classes out loud, I never thought to do it for an email!
    Thanks for the excellent advice!

  9. Thanks for sharing this Amber! I’m glad you found these points and the DMA seminar worthwhile!

  10. jonathan says:

    Good Article! Thanks!

  11. Beverly Bergman says:

    Email is getting trickier to write. And I agree with your points here. However, I want to be clear about # 10 where you say to “Write Less Copy: People read 25% slower online than offline, so you need to write less copy so they will read it.”
    This is true for email. Emails should be brief and to the point.
    However, be cautious not to take this statement and apply it generally to any copywriting because the facts dispel this fable when it comes to those long sales pages. The only people who don’t want to read those are people who are not your target market in the first place. Your target market does want more information in order to make a buying decision.

  12. Great article. Email is getting trickier to write, with so much spam and rubbish. So using these techniques is increasingly important.
    That point about people reading 25% slower online is REALLY important too. Than ks!

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