Writing Email Copy to Attract, Engage, and Convert

5 min

How many times do you send out an email campaign or newsletter only for it to fall on deaf ears?

How many times do you have a high open rate, but a really low click-through rate?

These are just some of the problems email marketers like yourself face.

Although email has the highest return on investment (ROI) of all marketing channels, people still seem to struggle to provide enough value in their emails so that readers take action.

The good news, there’s a solution.

The reality is, a successful email isn’t just about the subject line, engaging email content or the call to action. It’s about all of these combined, working together to encourage your readers to open, read and take action.

Largely, that comes down to how well you write your copy.

Your copy, or the words you use, are there to attract, convince, and sell. If you have a message you want people to know, you need to get your copy perfect.

In this blog post, I’m going to walk you through some actionable steps you can take to improve your email copy to achieve success.

Let’s dive in.

Get your email opened.

Getting your email opened is the first step to email marketing success. To do so, you need to convince your readers that the content of the email is worth looking at.

First impressions count. And your subject line is your only opportunity to make a good impression. With 69% of people reporting an email as spam based only on the subject line, it’s imperative you get it right.

According to the Email Marketing Benchmarks report, the average email open rate across all industries is 24,88%. If your current efforts aren’t anywhere near that figure, you need to work on your subject lines.

Obviously, there are many things you can do to ensure your email gets opened by preparing things beforehand like preventing servers from viewing you as a spam account, etc., but let’s talk specifically about copy.

When it comes to the copy of your subject line, there are a few things to consider.

First of all: the length. You need to say a lot in a short space. But, remember that specific is the new short. Create a sense of urgency and evoke curiosity with your subject lines. If people don’t think the content of your email will be worthwhile, why would they open it? When your subscriber has no incentive to open your email, frankly, they won’t.

If your email is promoting something to your readers, play on the exclusivity factor:

  • “Bonus just for you, [NAME]”
  • “We want to thank you”

When a subscriber feels like they belong, it will help boost your loyalty and that, in turn, will increase your number of conversions. Speaking of belonging, if you can use the recipient’s name in the email, you should. Personalized subject lines have an open rate of 29,85%, compared to 24,25% for the non-personalized.

What to avoid

The idea behind putting a name into the subject line is to get your subscriber’s attention. You should refrain from doing this all the time, or it will have adverse effects.

If you do it every time, they’ll become immune to this tactic, and you run the risk of your email not being opened. Instead, take personalization from your personas. Are you sending this specific email to a select group of people? If the answer is yes, personalize the subject line with something you know they will have interest in.

Additionally, avoid using spammy tactics like starting your email subject line with “re:.” This tactic has shown to increase open rates initially because the receiver automatically assumes they’re receiving a reply to an email thread they’ve already engaged with.

However, the long-term effects are adverse. Your subscribers will lose trust with you when they find out it isn’t actually an email they’ve engaged with previously.

So while your subject line should be concise, it should also be descriptive, get to the point, and entice your audience to open your email as soon as they receive it.

👉 Learn how to write compelling subject lines

Get your email copy read.

Getting your email opened is only a third of the battle. You now need to encourage people to read your content.

The most important aspect of this is to deliver what you promise from the subject line. You don’t want to fall flat on your face when you’ve been given an opportunity and not delivering on your subject line will do just that.

Let’s look at the example below:

Sumo email subject line copy

Sumo used the subject line: “The new Sumo.”

Now if you’re a customer of theirs and you have some interest in learning about what’s new, this email is one you will open.

And when you do?

They stick to their promise and outline exactly what they said they would.

Sumo Email copy

That’s why it’s important to not use clickbait subject lines. If you can’t deliver what your subject line says you will, your unsubscribe rates will rise.

When it comes to the wording of your email copy, there is no one-answer-fits-all. It depends entirely on who you’re sending your email to, what you plan to say, and what you want them to do after reading your email. With that said, when putting together your content, be mindful of who you’re sending your email to.

Do you have segments?

If yes, use them. Not every subscriber will want to read every email from you. Some are naturally more suited to specific groups of subscribers.

Your copy should be scannable, remember 51% of people read their emails on a phone or tablet, so a wall of block text is going to be distracting and frustrating to read.

Your audience are all different. The emails you send them and the copy should reflect that.

Get people to convert.

The key to getting your subscribers to convert is to understand your audience, what they want, and reflect that in your copy.

One effective technique, especially when asking your subscribers to do something for you, is to give them something in return.

Crozdesk, a software comparison portal, offers users $5 in Amazon rewards for leaving a review on their platform.

Crozdesk Email copy

Both Crozdesk and their users will benefit from people taking action on this email.

How much less successful would this email be if it was just: “please leave a review for the software you use.” Although there might be some interest, remember, your audience is always wondering: “what’s in it for me?”

Promote action. Be assertive. Let them know exactly what you want them to do and what they’ll get in return.


Getting people to open, read, and convert when you send them an email largely comes down to the words you use (copy).

If you get your wording right, the rest will follow.

Over to you. I want to hear your thoughts. Have you improved your copy and seen an increase in open, reads, and conversion? Leave a comment below.

Author: Jordie Black