What is Email Copywriting? The Ultimate Guide to Writing Emails That Convert 

what is email copywriting cover with laptop and email icon

Do you know what urges your customers to click on that ‘buy‘ button in your emails? If you think it’s your brand elements or appealing images, the answer is — no. It’s your email copy that moves people into a certain state of thinking and encourages them to convert.

Email copywriting is a powerful strategy that allows you to connect with your customers, solve their problems, and increase trust in your business. 

While it sounds simple, email copywriting requires you to understand audience psychology, preferences, and industry terms to create an impact. Let’s explore the meaning of email copywriting, effective ways to write copy for different email campaigns, and present email copywriting templates you can use for any email campaign.

Table of Contents

What is Email Copywriting?

Copy‘ generally refers to the words in a particular medium — ads, emails, websites, etc.

Email copywriting is the art of creating persuasive and engaging written language for your email marketing campaigns. Email copywriting aims to make your subscribers take a specific action, such as signing up or purchasing a product. 

Effective copywriting is a process — it’s important to understand your audience’s preferences, create relevant messages, and use psychological triggers to influence reader behavior. Although you may not know about email copywriting, learning its key aspects will help you master the main copywriting techniques.

Key Aspects of Email Copywriting

Varied forms of promotional mediums require different copywriting styles. For example, ad copy is short and crisp, while email copy is usually longer to effectively convey the message. 

Let’s learn the key attributes that set email copywriting apart from the rest of the medium:

  1. Clarity and brevity: Readers typically spend 12 seconds skimming through an email. Your email copy must be crisp and readable to capture the audience’s attention immediately. 
  2. Highly relevant: Personalization and segmentation strategies help you create highly relevant email content to attract the right audiences.
  3. Persuasion techniques: Using copywriting formulas such as AIDA or PAS can help you create effective email copy backed by psychology. For example, your brand story has more power to convert your readers than merely writing about your product benefits.
  4. Appealing subject lines: Concise, intriguing, and relevant subject lines are more likely to be opened and read by your subscribers. You can also use the scarcity effect to hold subscribers’ attention and encourage action.
  5. Personalized elements: Use your recipients’ first names to connect with them and build trust. You can also offer tailor-made email campaigns according to subscriber interests for each campaign you send out.
  6. A powerful CTA: Write simple and effective CTAs to entice readers into taking the desired action. Whether it’s clicking a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase, your email copywriting must move your audience from point A to point B.

Effective copywriting is a dynamic process and requires continuous improvement based on email campaign metrics, customer feedback, and changing market trends. You need to focus on three aspects: the subject line, email body copy, and CTA. While you think it’s a simple task, these factors vary for each campaign type. 

We’ve put together the definition of each campaign type, email copywriting tips, a template, and real-world copywriting examples. You can use the templates as a base to build your own email content.

Copywriting in Transactional Emails

Transactional email campaigns contain important updates such as shipping confirmation, account verification, etc. Transactional emails are sent in response to a user action. For example, a welcome email message after a customer signs up for your email newsletter. Since transactional emails contain critical information, your email copy must be to the point and specifically relevant. 

How to Write Copy for Each Key Element of a Transactional Email

All email elements must provide a brief overview of the email content. Here’s a guideline on what to include in the email sections:

Email Header Brand/email introductionGreet the recipient and provide a brief introduction about the transaction or purpose of the email.
Transactional details Key information Show the transaction information such as order details, date, and transaction status.
Itemized listProduct/service detailsInclude a table with columns, prices, and quantities if applicable.
Shipping informationDelivery details Specify shipping details such as cost, date of arrival, and relevant tracking information.
Billing informationPayment details Provide details on the payment methods, charges, and billing address.
Contact informationSupport details Include customer support details, links to FAQs, and other helpful resources.
Optional promotional content Cross-selling or up-sellingAdd a section of complementary products and other discounts if applicable.
FooterLegal and additional informationInclude links to privacy policy, legal disclaimers, and unsubscribe options.
Email content for transactional emails

There are different types of transactional emails, but below we’ve outlined a template for transactional shipping confirmation.

Transactional Email Template For Shipping Confirmation

Subject: Your recent order #3256

Hi [customer name],

Thank you for choosing [company name]. Below are important details about your recent order.

*Transaction details*

Order Number: #3256

Order Date: 23.01.2024

Status: Processing 

Itemized list:

[Include the product details in a table — product, quantity, price, subtotal.]

Shipping details:

Shipping address

Estimated delivery date

Tracking number

Billing information:

Payment method

Total charges

Billing address

Your order is currently being processed, you can track your order from the [link to the shipment details]. If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or connect with our support team at [support information].

Promotional content (optional)

Discover other items that you might like [product details].

Thank you for your time!

Best regards,

[Company name and information]

Remember to customize this information based on the type of transactional email you send. Make the information skimmable and easy to locate. Here’s a real-world example of effective transactional email copywriting.

Slack Mobile Push – A Transactional Email Notification. Source

Writing Copy for Re-engagement Campaigns

Re-engagement campaigns are a series of emails you send to encourage inactive subscribers to return to your brand. Your email copy for this campaign must have compelling reasons to convince disengaged readers. A good way is to emotionally connect with your audience through your brand story. 

Actionable Copywriting Tips for Re-engagement Campaigns

Since the re-engagement campaigns require strong email copywriting techniques to convince your readers, we’ll start with tips and best practices:

  • Use the scarcity effect: Use words like ”exclusive for you, ending tonight” or “Use your 15% off before it expires” to engage your audiences. You can also give them email coupons, discounts, and other e-gifts to get them back.
  • Re-open a conversation: If you know where your prospects last left you, use that to re-open the conversation and accentuate your brand value. For example, “We hope you celebrated well, we miss having you here.”
  • Introduce a new concept: Update your disengaged prospects about the latest brand news. You can combine this with offers to emphasize their valuable presence.
  • Appreciate your customers: Email copywriting should emotionally move your audience to take the desired action. For instance, you can tell them how much you’ve missed having them – “Glad to have you back, here’s 10% off from us!”.

Give your disengaged customers a convincing reason to come back to your brand without sounding too desperate or pushy. Here’s a template you can use as a starting point.

Re-engagement Campaign Template

Subject: Still onboard?

Hi [customer name],

It’s been a while since you opened an email from us. We’d love to have you back for our new product launch [product details] that help you find a suitable skincare routine. 

As a token of appreciation, here’s 15% off on your order. We look forward to seeing you inside.

Best wishes,

[brand name] team

Zoom Special Offer Email with copywriting for Re-engagement campaign
Zoom Special Offer Email. Source

Copy in Broadcast Emails

Broadcast emails are similar to mass emails — a single email is sent to all your subscribers. Of course, there’s personalization at play with broadcast emails, but the email content revolves around one topic. 

How to Write Effective Broadcast Emails

Broadcast emails require a personal touch to effectively convey your message.

Follow these tips to make your broadcast messages more interesting and relevant:

  1. Stay consistent: Start with a clear and concise brand introduction and explain the purpose of the email. 
  2. Use a conversational tone: You’re talking to a large audience group with varied interests and preferences. Write like you’re talking to a friend but with respect and professionalism. Ensure to use ‘You’ a lot in your email copy to make your readers feel like they’re a part of your brand.
  3. Personalize your email greeting: Use the recipient’s name and tailor content according to their preferences. You can also personalize by adding dynamic content tags
  4. State the value proposition: Broadcast messages are a great way to share your brand story with all your subscribers at once. Tell your readers why and how your brand started and mention your unique selling proposition.

Here’s a broadcast message template for a clearance sale.

Broadcast Email Template

Subject: Exciting news! Our annual clearance sale starts now.

Hi [customer name],

We hope this email finds you well and ready for some fantastic news.

Annual clearance sale extravaganza:

It’s that time of the year again, and our anticipated clearance sale is back. Shop your favorites at a flat 15% off. This is your chance to score big on [brand name and deal name].


Share the excitement with your friends and family. Share this email or tag your friends on social media with #[brand name].

Need assistance?

We’re always here for you; just email us at [email address] or call us at [phone].

We can’t wait to see your happiness this shopping season!

Best regards,

[Brand name]

Porto Marie in Marseilles Email
Porto Marie in Marseilles Broadcast Email. Source

Nurture Email Campaigns Feature Caring Copy

A lead nurturing email campaign is a series of emails sent to nurture your leads and convert them into customers. The real trouble is cutting through the inbox clutter and reaching your recipients at the right time. That’s why you must know the ins and outs of email copywriting to get your customers to take the desired action.

Tips For Writing Effective Email Copy to Nurture Your Leads

Nurturing your leads is a process and your copywriting must be concise to interest your potential customers.

Let’s see how to do that through email copy:

  1. Be engaging but not salesy: Leads want unique information they can’t find elsewhere. Use this opportunity to show off your expertise. For example, “How to hang your art?” and follow it with images and steps.
  2. Include social proof: Reviews and testimonials are proof that your brand has helped people. You can include a dedicated reviews section in each email campaign sequence without overdoing it.
  3. Add some fun: Use humor to your advantage by including puns and jokes in your emails. This will keep your emails light and encourage the reader to continue reading even if they don’t plan on purchasing.
  4. Paint a picture: Not literally, but show your readers what will change after using your products. You can use before and after images with a strong user report beneath it.
  5. Keep the sequence in mind: Craft email copy according to the email sequence — you don’t want to sound similar in all your emails. For example, an educational series is more encouraging than an email with discounts and email coupons. 

Below is a template for an educational email; you can use the same style for any nurture email.

Nurture Email Template

Hi [First name],

Welcome aboard! We’re excited to have you join our [course name]. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, [company name] is here to help you through the journey. 

In this email series, you’ll be learning from the experts, surfing through valuable resources, and learning from exclusive content created just for you.

Let’s get started!

See you inside,

[company name & information]

Brooklinen Thank You Email - Nurture Email Campaign copy example
Brooklinen Thank You Email – Nurture Email Campaign copy example. Source

Drip Email Campaigns Demands Careful Wording

A drip campaign or automated marketing is a series of emails sent on a set schedule or based on user action. These emails are usually spread out, which means you need to be creative and exact with your email copywriting for each email you send.

Writing Conversational Email Copy For Drip Emails

The first step is to identify your target audience and then follow these tips to write compelling drip emails:

EmailGoalContentCTA Button
Welcome email Introduce your brand to the subscribersWarm welcome and a brief overview of what to expect in the upcoming email seriesExplore now 
Day 1Provide valueShare a valuable tip, resource, or industry insightLearn more 
Day 3Highlight a feature Showcase a unique feature and relate it to subscriber needsTry feature
Day 7 Educational content Offer a how-to guide on a certain topic in your industryRead guide
Day 11Customer testimonialsShare user reviews and testimonials to highlight your brand valueSee more stories
Email drip campaign copywriting tips

As a rule of thumb, ensure all your drip emails are:

  • Helpful,
  • Grab attention,
  • Have a clear CTA. 

Here’s a template to help you provide value through your email content.

Template for a Drip Campaign Series

Subject: Tip of the day [topic]

Hey [subcriber name],

We hope you’re enjoying the journey with us. To make it more worthwhile, we have a valuable tip for you. 

Learn more about [topic] and how it can enhance your [product/services].

Happy learning!

[brand name]

CTA: Learn more 

Busuu Drip Email Copy
Busuu Drip Email Copy. Source

There are many email campaign types and we don’t want to hold you back forever. Instead, we’ve outlined  a quick tip you can use to make your email copywriting shine.

Email Copywriting Tip — Using the SMART Goals to Convert Your Readers

You’d be surprised if you think the SMART technique is useful only for project management or sales. Many professional email copywriters use the SMART method to create valuable email content their readers enjoy. 

By following these tips, you can do it too:

  • Specific: Set clear goals and objectives for what you want to achieve. For example, increase product sales by 15% through promotions (mention specific products and the target audience).
  • Measurable: Quantify your goals to track your email performance. Example – Get 12% more email open rates within the next quarter.
  • Achievable: Ensure your email copywriting goals are realistic. For example, generate 100 new leads in the next month through targeted email campaigns.
  • Relevant: Align your email copy with the overall marketing objectives. Example – Increase social media responses by 10% through email marketing campaigns.
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for your email campaign results. This will help you use urgency and scarcity to encourage more customer participation. 

Once you know your goals, crafting email copy according to your business and customer needs is easier. 

But what if you want to venture into the email copywriting world without having to run a business? You can do that too, and here’s how.

How to Become an Email Copywriter

If you have the chops for writing and understand consumer psychology to an extent, you’re already a good copywriter. You can leverage this experience in email copywriting — use clear and concise language, provide value in every sentence, and converse with your subscribers. 

Email copywriters in the U.S. can make over $50,000 per year  and there are various avenues you can step into, such as:

  • Writing for email marketing companies,
  • Working with solopreneurs,
  • Taking a full-time email copywriting job.

It helps to have basic email marketing knowledge, and from there you can research and use case studies to craft compelling email content. 

If you choose to become an email copywriter, there are different resources available. However, if you’re a high-volume email sender looking for an all-in-one email marketing platform, we have good news for you.

Write & Design Better Email Campaigns With Campaign Refinery

Email copywriting comes down to simple and effective customer communication.

If you don’t have the time to create personalized email templates, you can use Campaign Refinery campaign library filled with different email campaign templates to develop a compelling email campaign narrative. 

From there, you only need to focus on building your email list while we take care of the rest — your email deliverability, sender reputation, email list-cleaning, rewards function, tagging system, and subscriber engagement. All of these components work in tangent to give you the best results for your investment.

After joining us, our clients have seen dramatic improvements of up to 600% in their email deliverability rates.

If copywriting is something you’re concerned with, let us help you! To engage more audiences and get more people to click on your ads, learn how to create perfect lead magnets by downloading our Lead Magnet Multiplier Course. In this short course, you’ll master the art of effective email copy – that’s how our clients get 8x more clicks on their lead magnets than before. 

If you need further help, apply to become our client, and let us show you how to achieve higher email marketing ROI.

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