I LOVE writing and I always have. But I have not always been good at writing email for marketing, aka marketing copy.
Let me explain the difference.
Writing can have a whole bunch of different purposes: personal reflection, telling a story, giving instructions, emotional processing, entertaining someone, teaching, etc.
On the other hand, writing copy is about persuading someone to take a specific action.
When you put your engaging copy in email form for marketing, you’ll build deeper relationships with your community, selling will get way easier, and you’ll likely be able to increase your revenue without needing to do a single dancing or pointing Reel on Instagram (though feel free to keep doing them if they’re fun – the dancing ones are for me!)
Copy is where commerce and words meet.
Copy is any words we use to talk about our business and/or our products and services. It can be written or spoken (like in a video or audio).
There are 3 things that I’ve worked on over the years to get better at writing copy, especially when it comes to email for marketing:
1. Being myself.
The problem with how we’re taught to write in school is that our words become divorced from who we are. In an academic or professional setting, you’re supposed to strip your words of personality.
But when you’re writing copy, you’ve got to be yourself. Why? Because your customer needs to connect with you on an emotional level. And they can’t do that if you’re being robotically academic or overly professional.
So how do you do this? You practice writing like you speak or like you’d write in texts or emails to your friends.
Cardinal Rule: If you wouldn’t say something the way you’re saying it to a friend, don’t say it that way for your business. People buy things (or take any action) because they feel emotionally moved to do so, not because a robot told them to.
Try this: Before you hit send or publish, read what you’ve written out loud. Does it feel awkward and like you wouldn’t actually say that? Edit it until it feels more like you.
2. Being specific
Vagueness plagues the business world, especially in the wellness, personal development, and spirituality spaces.
The number one problem I see in people’s copy is that it’s not specific enough.
Cardinal Rule: If someone can’t see a literal image of what you’re talking about in their head, it’s not specific enough.
Try this: Read your copy and think about if you can see a literal picture of the problems you’re describing and the benefits or results you’re describing. If you can’t, go back to the drawing board.
For example, while “empowering women to feel their best” sounds really nice, I can’t see a picture of that.
If that were my copy, I’d ask myself, “What do empowered women who feel their best do? What is possible in their lives?”
My answers might lead me to more specific copy like the following:
“Helping women look at themselves in the mirror and give themselves a wink because they’re feeling themselves.”
See the difference?
3. Using fewer words
Oh jeez. I struggle with this one the most.
More words don’t make better copy. In fact, they often detract from it.
Try this: Look at a sentence you’ve written. Make a game out of seeing how many words you can take out and still get the same message across.
For example, I could have written:
“My friend Tarzan Kay, who’s also a 2-time Alum of the Origin Mastermind and who is amazing at writing money-making emails for marketing that doesn’t compromise her values, is hosting a 3-part series called The Email Workshops where she’ll teach you what she knows in a non-sermon-y, no slides environment and you can get on the waitlist here.”
That’s A LOT of words to use to say something simple.
Instead, I could take out the extraneous words and turn this sentence into:
“Want to write money-making emails without compromising your values? Click here to get on Tarzan Kay’s free 3-part series, The Email Workshops waitlist.”
Do you see how fewer words help get the message across more effectively?
In summary, to write better copy, especially when it comes to email for marketing, you can:
- Be yourself.
- Be specific.
- Use fewer words.
OVER TO YOU:
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing copy and specifically, email for marketing? Which one of the tips above do you most need? Tell me in the comments!
P.S. If you want to write money-making emails with ease that feel totally aligned with your values, you’ll definitely want to join in for the free Email Workshops with Tarzan Kay.
The 3-part series will cover:
Workshop 1: The Welcome Email Workshop
Learn how to capture the attention of your new subscribers right from the very first email. Plus, finally get answers to how many emails to send at first, how often, and what goes into nurturing new people on your list.
Workshop 2: Successful Story-Driven Emails
Stories are the best way to get them hooked on your emails and looking forward to when they’ll hear from you next. You’ll learn how to tell engaging stories that segue naturally into the sale.
Workshop 3: Metrics For Email Marketers
This is where you learn which metrics to track, what benchmarks to set, and how to debrief your own launches, so you know where to focus your attention. It’s the key to getting some easy wins from your list!
Kate Northrup is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, mother, and founder and CEO of The Origin Company, which reaches hundreds of thousands globally. Kate is committed to supporting ambitious women to light up the world without burning themselves out. She’s the author of Do Less, the Do Less Planner System creator, and runs The Origin Membership, which helps business owners grow their business while doing less.