Structure your email for scanners – Research shows people don’t read email campaigns word for word like they do a book, instead, they scan the email looking for elements that pique their interest. So in order to get your message across you need to make sure your automated email campaign is structured for scanners. This post on the subject outlines exactly how to do it.
Lengthy paragraphs are off-putting, but I do appreciate that brevity is a tricky skill to master! If you struggle with short copy, write your main body copy out in the manner that feels natural, and then take a (metaphorical) knife to it afterwards. You’ll be amazed at what can be cut without losing any of the sense or feel of the piece. If you really can’t cut it down, try chopping your copy into sections, or offering a ‘Read More’ option leading to the website.
It is vital to consider the questions that a customer will be answering - the information they will be seeking – at each stage of their journey because your email campaign should provide the answers. If a customer leaves an item in their online basket and they don't complete the purchase, send a personalised basket abandonment email including that very item:
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.

That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions couldn’t ever create results—as marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be. Take the biggest gurus’ results—the ones they boast about—and calculate their conversion rates. Often their marketing is comparatively ineffective. They just have massive volume, so the sales numbers are impressive.

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