Entries Tagged 'email copywriting' ↓

How to Find the Perfect Copywriter

Whether you need someone to work on an off line or online project, it’s essential the copywriter you choose has certain qualities. Finding the right copywriter

The ability to write is obviously right up there, but being an effective writer goes a lot deeper than being able to string a few sentences together.


Really? OK, a copywriter rarely gets involved in design, but they must have a creative side to be able to look at your project from a number of different angles. They must be able to come up with concepts that will make your project stand out.

A bit of nous

Because copywriters usually are not industry specific, it is imperative they have the ability to grasp a subject quickly. Frequently, copywriting projects only last a few weeks or months (especially when it is in relation to website copy or brochure content), so they have to get up to speed with your product/service PDQ in order to write about it in an intelligent, coherent and persuasive manner.


You’ve undoubtedly heard many copywriters talking about ‘speaking to your audience’. But to make their copy resonate with your customers, they have to show empathy for the issue they have (and the reason why they need to buy what you’re offering). Only when they place themselves in the shoes of your customers can they create copy that will deliver the emotional connection needed to make the sale.

Great listeners

Although your copywriter knows how to write to sell, it’s important they also listen to your goals. After all, riding roughshod over your ideas is hardly going to ingratiate themselves to you.

A good copywriter will listen first, weigh up the project and then provide feedback. After that, the collaborative process begins so a mutually approved course of action if determined.


Not only do they have to be able to work to deadlines, they also must be able to follow direction, manage multiple tasks and be completely focused on the details of your project.

The last thing you want it to have to be constantly chasing them up to see how far along with the project they are.

Your copywriter should drive the project through to completion.

Not afraid to stand their ground

A copywriter won’t bully you (a good one, anyway), but they have to manage your expectations, so, should you want to take the project in a direction they know won’t work it’s important they have the guts to tell you.

After all, if they follow your instructions like a sheep knowing it’s not going to work, the project will be doomed. And, because they wrote it, it’ll be seen as their fault.

Therefore, any professional writer will point out when you are wrong and tell you why. Listen to them; they know what they’re talking about.


That needs a bit more explanation. Simple, as in writers of simple language. They’ll steer clear of any jargon or technical mumbo-jumbo and create content that is clear, concise and easy to understand.

They are not there to make you look intelligent by littering your content with long words no one understands.


They will also produce content (especially if you commission them for multiple projects) that is consistent in voice and tone, keeping your marketing materials on brand.


When you’re a copywriter there’s no room for ego. Everything you write is for others, so it’s essential it follows the customer’s style and brief. It is essential your write can cut and edit the material without any emotional attachment to it. Its purpose is to sell, not gain kudos for the copywriter.

Understand the web

If your project is an online one, it’s also essential your copywriter understands how to write effectively for the web. That means they understand the use of hyperlinks, internal linking structures, search engine optimisation and how to cultivate a persuasive momentum that will keep the reader hooked.

Other than that, it’s also important you gel with your copywriter. Give them a call and have a chat to get a feel the type of person they are and whether you can work together.

It’s really important the client/copywriter relationship works to get the best out of your project.


Sally Ormond – Briar Copywriting Ltd, Twitter and Google+

Creating an Effective ‘Sales’ Email

You’re probably wondering why the word ‘sales’ in the title of this blog is in inverted commas.

Well, that’s because a lot of companies that send out emails to their customers and potential customers treat them like sales letters as opposed to emails that should be building trusting relationships.

They seem to have a mental block, believing that every communication they send out must contain the hard sell.

Well, if you do that you could be kissing good-bye to a huge chunk of your audience because they’ll get sick of it and opt-out. And that’s not good.

If you’re sending out regular emails to your list (daily, weekly or monthly) concentrate on the pain your readers are feeling.

After all, if they signed up to your emails they are obviously looking for a solution to a problem.

So rather than hitting them hard with the benefits of your product/service and giving them the hard sell, talk about the pain caused by the problem they want solved and only talk about that.

List all the issues they have, show your empathy with them and then, right at the end, simply add a call to action like:

To see how to overcome this….[insert problem] check out (sales URL)

This approach is:

  • Easy to write
  • Isn’t a hard sell
  • Shows your empathy
  • Builds trust
  • You don’t even have to mention your product

It really is stealth selling at its best.

Why not give it a try and let us know how you get on?

Perhaps you’ve already tried this approach? If so, how did you find the results?

Leave a comment and let’s evaluate this approach with some real life examples.

 About the author:

 Sally Ormond is a copywriter, blogger, cyclist, mum and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. She’s also an author.


Is Your Email Marketing Working?

What is an acceptable open rate for your email marketing campaign?

What should your click rate be?

In answer to those questions the answer is ‘it depends’ – mainly on the industry you operate in.

To give you a heads up, below is a table of statistics compiled by MailChimp outlining the average email campaign stats from their customers by industry:­

Average Email Campaign Stats of MailChimp Customers by Industry

Type of Company Open Rate Click Rate Soft Bounce Rate Hard Bounce Rate Abuse Complaint Rate Unsubscribe Rate
Agriculture and Food Services 23.94% 4.85% 0.97% 2.06% 0.10% 0.38%
Arts and Artists 17.53% 3.54% 1.58% 2.54% 0.08% 0.25%
Beauty and Personal Care 14.94% 2.65% 0.71% 1.54% 0.09% 0.28%
Business and Finance 15.47% 2.77% 2.10% 1.57% 0.04% 0.21%
Computers and Electronics 15.51% 2.97% 1.12% 1.71% 0.08% 0.30%
Construction 28.70% 8.01% 4.51% 5.81% 0.11% 0.35%
Consulting 16.32% 3.30% 2.50% 2.39% 0.03% 0.25%
Creative Services/Agency 24.64% 3.08% 1.34% 2.05% 0.06% 0.25%
eCommerce 14.98% 3.36% 0.74% 0.88% 0.08% 0.25%
Education and Training 16.64% 3.41% 1.42% 2.09% 0.06% 0.20%
Entertainment and Events 16.09% 2.98% 0.85% 1.55% 0.08% 0.19%
Government 25.66% 5.37% 0.86% 0.89% 0.04% 0.20%
Health and Fitness 20.96% 5.73% 3.14% 6.30% 0.06% 0.30%
Hobbies 18.45% 4.33% 1.13% 2.08% 0.12% 0.40%
Home and Garden 28.20% 4.38% 2.93% 2.68% 0.02% 0.41%
Insurance 20.91% 3.03% 2.37% 4.15% 0.10% 0.30%
Legal 17.34% 2.49% 0.79% 0.89% 0.02% 0.12%
Marketing and Advertising 18.79% 4.13% 1.39% 2.50% 0.08% 0.23%
Media and Publishing 18.43% 3.39% 0.48% 0.63% 0.03% 0.11%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare 13.76% 2.59% 2.18% 4.09% 0.06% 0.18%
Music and Musicians 13.95% 2.43% 0.68% 1.07% 0.06% 0.18%
Non-Profit 20.43% 3.54% 1.13% 1.51% 0.05% 0.17%
Other 33.52% 10.90% 0.83% 1.66% 0.09% 0.40%
Photo and Video 28.93% 5.70% 0.99% 1.34% 0.07% 0.26%
Politics 13.72% 2.58% 0.49% 0.78% 0.07% 0.15%
Professional Services 19.77% 3.71% 2.55% 3.57% 0.08% 0.45%
Public Relations 14.81% 1.12% 2.07% 2.28% 0.03% 0.16%
Real Estate 18.48% 3.44% 1.18% 1.67% 0.06% 0.25%
Recruitment and Staffing 15.31% 3.35% 1.37% 1.75% 0.07% 0.31%
Religion 23.04% 3.24% 0.52% 0.68% 0.05% 0.15%
Restaurant 20.07% 2.41% 0.70% 1.11% 0.09% 0.30%
Retail 17.80% 3.54% 0.61% 1.00% 0.08% 0.24%
Social Networks and Online Communities 22.37% 2.85% 6.94% 5.44% 0.11% 0.74%
Software and Web App 15.57% 2.49% 1.88% 3.06% 0.11% 0.39%
Sports 19.54% 4.77% 0.86% 1.53% 0.08% 0.24%
Telecommunications 21.20% 3.22% 1.60% 2.85% 0.10% 0.41%
Travel and Transportation 14.50% 2.71% 0.84% 0.83% 0.05% 0.17%


How do your results compare?

Congratulations if you’re about right (or above average) for your industry. But what if you’re a bit under par? Where are you going wrong?

Common causes for poor email results

There are a number of reasons why your emails aren’t performing as they should, but here are the most common ones:

1. Murky

The reason for sending your email has to be clear, that means your subject line has to tie in with the email’s content.

If you promise one thing just to get them to open the email and then fail to deliver (or deliver something different), you’ll lose their trust and they’ll probably unsubscribe.

So make sure you’re clear about why you’re sending the email, make sure the subject line and content tallies and make sure your message is clear – that means stick to one (or a maximum of 2) topic rather than trying to cover everything in one go.

2. Way too long

This one slots in nicely after number 1. If you try to cover too much your email will be too long and no one will read it.

If you want to bring the readers’ attention to an article, rather than placing the whole thing in your email, write a short teaser and link out to it.

The ideal length for a newsletter/email is about 400 words (600 would be an absolutely maximum).

3. You, you, you

Read your email back to yourself – who is it talking about, you or your customer?

If it is all about your company, how great you are, your products etc., without any mention of the benefits you will bring your customers, your readers won’t read it.

Email marketing is there to help you build relationships with your customers, which means every email should add value to them. It should offer them great information, give them tips, perhaps an offer or two – it should be about them and not you.

4. No call to action

Sending out emails that give great information is fantastic, but if you don’t ask your reader to do something, they’re a complete waste of time.

It could be something as simple as following a link to your website, downloading a top ten tips list, perhaps a report – basically, anything that will add value to them.

5. Typos

We are all human; mistakes happen and typos slip through, but do your utmost to make sure your email goes out error free.

If you do spot something after hitting the send button, send an apology and offer them something for the inconvenience – perhaps a voucher?

If you get it wrong, apologise and they won’t think badly of you.

Writing engaging emails

OK, we’ve looked at why your click and open rate may not be as high as it should, but what can you do to remedy it?

Well, what follows are a few simple tips that help you be more effective with your email marketing:

  • Be yourself – write from the heart, don’t try and be corporate it doesn’t work. Be conversational if you want to boost engagement
  • Be in a good mood – the best emails are those written when you’re in the right mood. Try and write a good one when you’re in a bad mood – it’s impossible
  • Read out loud – by far the best way to check for errors
  • Connection – make sure you write about something that your readers can connect with, if possible tie it in with topical events
  • Email address – make sure the email address you send it from is real, i.e. it has your company name in it – it is far more likely to opened that way

There you go, a few simple tips to make the most of your email marketing. Give them a try and see how you get on.

Being Effective with Your Everyday Emails

There are loads of articles on the Internet telling you how to get the most from your email marketing, but what about the emails you send to clients and colleagues every day?How to write effective emails

You may think that because they have nothing to do with direct selling the way you write them is not that important.


How many times have you sent an email to someone with a request that never gets answered? Or how about one that asked several questions and you ended up sending numerous other emails because the recipient didn’t answer everything first time round?

The way you write your daily emails will have an impact on your efficiency.

You might think that’s an odd thing for a marketing copywriter to be writing about. But everything you write in your business has to be persuasive enough for someone to take an action – even if that is just to open your email and read it.

Email subject lines

The subject line is always a good place to start.

Let’s face it, we are all inundated with emails every day and have to make quick decisions about which ones get our attention first.

Those that have subject lines such as:

  • Hello
  • FYI
  • It’s been a while
  • 2013 Report on the risk analysis of the environment impact….

Are unlikely to grab you as emails that have to be opened, read and actioned immediately.

But if you start it with something like:

  • We need your decision today
  • Please reply yes or no
  • Your feedback is needed for today’s meeting

It’s more likely grab the recipient’s attention.

 Call to action

 The staple requirement for all copywriting projects, calls to action are also necessary in your emails.

But don’t leave them to the end – if you want someone to act quickly, tell them straight away. It’s important they read and action your email, so the first sentence should tell them that.

If you leave it to the end, you run the risk of them getting bored and moving on to a different email or having a sneaky game of Solitaire.

 To chase or not to chase

 Of course it’s OK to chase an email if you’ve not had a response, but not within a couple of hours of sending it.

Come on, be realistic – not everyone checks their emails every 5 minutes. If they did they’d never get anything else done.

If you need a speedy reply and you’ve not heard from them within a couple of days, fine, send a polite chaser or call them.

 One subject

 It’s very tempting to send one very long email covering everything you want someone to do.

The problem is, your email will come across as garbled, rambling and downright confusing.

By covering one topic at a time, everyone will know where they stand and things won’t get missed.

 Be brief

This one is related the one above.

Trying to cover too much in one email will just lead to confusion. Keep your message brief and to the point; why not use bullets and numbered points to help the recipient keep track of what’s required – it will also make it easier to respond to.

None of this is ground breaking stuff, but every now and then we need reminding.

How you communicate with others will not only have an effect on them, it will also impact on your own efficiency and productivity.

Make sure your messages are clear and to the point – and if it’s something that can’t easily be explained via email, rather than trying, pick up the phone.

Does the Length of Your Subject Line Matter?

We all know that in the world of email marketing your subject line matters.

It’s the first thing that is seen by the recipient and will determine whether your email is opened or consigned to the trash.

For a long time, many marketers have gone by the rule that a subject line should be between 40-50 characters in length. But with today’s numerous mobile devices changing the way we read and receive emails, is that still the case?

In a recent post on Email Audience, they look at a report recently published by Adestra, which analysed subject line lengths for different audiences to try and find out what is the ideal length.

In summary, they discovered:

“…in B2B emails, longer subject lines work better than shorter subject lines. Also when looking at the number of words. Subject lines with 6–10 words will drive open rates, but don’t deliver the click-throughs. In the report 6-10 word subject lines are advised for awareness emails that don’t necessarily have a direct need for a call to action to click.

“After 130 characters, there is a drop of the open rates, but also a huge increase in the number of click-throughs. Anything over 16 words can deliver on both opens and clicks.”

The report then goes on to look at the B2C market:

The differences in B2C are much bigger than in B2B. Subject lines with 3-5 words appear to have a very bad effect on open and click-through rates. Subject lines with 3 or 4 words perform around 40% worse than average both in open rate and in clicks.

“The subject lines with over 80 characters do hugely better in B2C email marketing. It seems to be that making your subject line stand out is ever important. A long subject line can do just that in B2C, with the added information and length to account for higher open and click-through rates. A 20-word subject line appears to be the real champion in this research, with a 115% uplift in opens and 85% uplift in clicks.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean to say every B2C email you write should have 20 words in its subject line. Although the subject line will have a big impact on your open rate and click-throughs, how targeted your message is will also have a big effect.

So when devising your next email marketing campaign remember to not only look at your subject line (the one aspect of a campaign that is easy to test), but also your message.

Think carefully about your audience and what is important to them. What words will make them take notice of your email and open it?

All too often marketers get lost in how many characters should be used in their subject lines and lose sight of the important thing – their customers.

The best way to create successful campaigns is to test your subject lines. But remember, there is no magic formula that will work for every audience and every campaign.

Over to you

Have you found any patterns in the open rates of your emails?

Leave a comment below and tell us about your experiences