Email marketing

7 Evidence-based tips to create better email marketing copy

Jenna Alburger
Written By Jenna Alburger
On Mar, 8 2021
4 minute read

Sometimes, it's not about what you say, but how you say it. That's especially true when we talk about email marketing copy.

Small differences in wording can help you tap into the psychology of your customers and persuade them to take action. And although the changes might be subtle, the results are often drastic.

But, if you're like most marketers, you don't have time to waste guessing which strategies will work. That's why we've partnered with Ariyh to bring you actionable tips based on scientific research.

These seven findings from Ross School of Business, Rotterdam School of Management, Marshall School of Business, and others, will help you rethink your email marketing copy, increase your conversions, and generate more revenue.

1. Smaller units appear more credible

First, if you're using large units of measure--like a year--in your email copy, try another approach. According to Ariyh, research shows that using smaller units is more effective.

Instead of saying your product has a one-year guarantee, offer a 365-day guarantee to bring in more buyers.

These smaller units work better because they're more specific--you're counting the exact number of days or hours. This specificity means customers instinctively trust them more, because those numbers appear more precise and thus more credible.

2. The wording of discounts matters

If you're offering a store-wide sale on most or all of what you offer, it's most effective to give customers a percentage off of their total purchase, like 10%. If you're promoting a discount on a specific product, use a fixed dollar amount off, like $10.

This strategy works because offering a fixed amount off is easier for consumers to calculate--they can instantly see how much they'd pay for your product. But the percentage offers them the feeling that the more they spend, the more they can save--increasing the incentive to buy more items while they have the discount..

Use this tactic in your email marketing to decide what kind of discount to offer and promote in your upcoming sales emails.

3. Offers with larger numbers perform better

In general, the offer that sounds higher is the one that does best. For example, it's more effective to note that the price of an item was 25% higher, instead of saying the price is now 20% lower.

Calculating the discounted price versus the original price makes the discount seem larger, and that makes it more attractive to customers looking for a good deal.

For example, if you offer a product that normally costs $100 but is now discounted by $40, you should promote the discount percentage based on the discount price ($40/$60=67%) instead of the original price ($40/$100=40%) even though the dollar amount of the discount is still the same.

4. Assertive words increase engagement

Looking to make your brand sound more powerful? Words that sound very certain and decisive--like always, never, prove, perfect, commit, forever, and so on--create a stronger sense of engagement and power in your email marketing copy.

This is especially true on social media, but it also applies to your email marketing. That sense of power and certainty makes people more likely to engage with any of your communications, so use that to your advantage.

5. Simplicity helps customers understand value

Audiences tend to skim email marketing messages quickly--so make sure you're writing copy in ways that are designed for them to grasp information immediately without doing any math.

Saying that a food item contains six portions instead of 600 grams paints a clear picture in the reader's head. And the same effect can work for software companies as well. For example, at Carts Guru, we say that users are allowed X contacts and emails per month in the plan they choose, instead of XGB per month of data.

It's about creating a concrete image in a reader's mind fast so they know exactly what you're offering.

6. Rational appeals go high, emotions go low

An interesting fact about humans--we're wired to associate rational thoughts with “up” or “higher,” since that's where our brain is located in our body. And we correspondingly associate emotions with “lower” or “down,” closer to our heart.

Using this instinctive association can make your email marketing copy more effective. Try to put rational appeals higher (like at the top of an image) and emotional appeals lower. This affects how well your email inspires consumers to buy your product and even how much they'll like the email itself.

7. Emojis help build connections

Emojis might not seem like a smart move for professional companies trying to make a sale. But they're actually proven to increase a sense of playfulness, which then increases engagement as well. That means people are more likely to develop a strong relationship with your company in response.

Sprinkling a few emojis into your emails when they have a strong connection to your text can spark this playful response in your audience, and help them create a stronger bond with your business.

This leads to more loyalty and potentially increased sales. Keep in mind, it doesn't apply to every industry--accountants might want to proceed with caution, for example. But if the tone is chatty and playful, adding emojis thoughtfully can be a smart move 😉.

Put your new email marketing copy into practice

Now that you're ready to improve your email marketing copy, make your emails even more effective with our beautiful email marketing templates. Our drag and drop template builder makes it easy to put your new skills into action.

Easily add coupon codes, product recommendations, and customize emails with your own branding. Build your first email in minutes.

And, if you enjoyed this article, don't forget to subscribe to Ariyh for the latest evidence-based marketing tips.



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