Email Marketing

7 Email Copywriting Techniques To Boost Response Rate

Rahmi Ozcan, London, UK
Email marketing has developed drastically over the years. But even with all the latest software and automation available to marketers, well-written copy is still the most critical factor in email performance.
If your emails are poorly written and fail to ignite curiosity in the reader, people won’t respond, and they’ll click delete. 

So, how do you write an excellent email copy?

Here are seven copywriting best practices to write compelling email copy that encourages the reader to respond and commit to your desired action.

1. Know Your Prospects

If you’re using the same template for every prospect, your emails are going to feel very cold, and you’ll struggle to make an impact. The key is to try and make a connection with your prospect right from the get-go, and that means you need to do your research. 

Before you go ahead and press send, learn as much as possible about your contact. Cover the basics (age, gender, profession), but pay special attention to your prospect’s needs and the problems they might be experiencing. Once you know their pain points, you can tailor your email to highlight how your product or service can solve them. The more you know about your contact, the better you can connect with them.

2. Compelling Subject Lines

People will judge your email by the subject line. That’s why 47% of marketers test different subject lines to improve their email marketing performance. 

The most effective subject lines are concise, descriptive, and give the recipient a compelling reason to press open. Are you offering a promotion? Trying to close a sale? Be clear about the value your email contains, and why it matters to your recipient.

The ride-sharing app Lyft is excellent at crafting subject lines that communicate value and a reason for clicking open in their promotional email subject lines.

Subject Line: “Commute for up to 40% less with Lyft Line.”

The recipient knows exactly what they are getting in the email and how it can benefit them.

It’s worth keeping in mind that subject lines are cut off if they are too long, especially on mobile devices. With over 50% of emails being opened on mobile, keep within 50 characters to ensure users can see your full subject line.

“Treat your subject line like the movie trailer – give a preview so they know what to expect.”

3. Benefits, Not Features

Your prospect is not going to read your email the same way that you do. To keep their attention and communicate your message, you need to tell them why they should listen to you, and you need to do it fast.

That’s why communicating your value proposition is integral to email outreach. Your email shouldn’t be about your product and its features – it should be about your prospect and their needs.

People generally don’t like to part with their hard-earned cash, and only do so for a reason. Because the product solves a problem for them, or because they want to receive the benefits that the product offers.

To communicate a great value proposition, you need to highlight the benefits your product or service offers. For example:

“We offer accountancy services and consultancy.”

After reading this, you probably get the gist of what is being offered, but it fails to give a reason for you to care. You need to sell the sizzle, not the steak.

“We help businesses make more profit, pay less tax, and take the stress out of filing their tax returns.”

Focus on the benefits and make it absolutely clear to your prospect what your product is and how it can benefit them.

4. Strong CTA

People won’t commit to your desired action if you don’t ask them to. Don’t take the easy route and go for a soft “click here” or go overboard with text and make it overcomplicated for the user.

While originality is important to your CTAs, there are a set of tried and tested “power words” that arouse curiosity and emotion in the reader.

  • Create
  • Explore
  • Find
  • Free
  • Now
  • Save
  • Start
  • Stop
  • Upgrade

While there is nothing spectacular about these words, how you use them makes all the difference. Simply stringing together power words won’t have an impact. Your choice of CTA needs to align with the message of your email and the desired action you want the user to take.

5. Establish Credibility

If people don’t trust you, they won’t do business with you. Make sure that your emails have enough credibility to encourage trust.

Generic statements sound like marketing hyperbole.  

“one of the best estate agents in the UK.”

Being specific and including concrete detail makes your statements more credible.

“we’ve helped over 1.2 million people find their new homes.”

Numbers jump out from your copy and attract your reader’s attention. However, instead of merely throwing out numbers, you need to make it relatable to what the reader knows and can easily visualize. 

Amazon does a great job of highlighting the low weight of its paperwhite kindle.

“Weighing only 7.5 ounces, Kindle Paperwhite weighs less than a typical paperback.”

Use numbers to increase your credibility, but also make it easy for people to grasp just how big or small your numbers are.

6. Personalise

Personalisation is key to a successful email campaign. Tailoring your emails can see a 26% increase in open rate, and boost email revenue by as much as 760%.

The first step to personalisation is segmenting your email list into groups that can be sent targeted content that is relevant to them. Use your prospect’s first name rather than a cookie-cutter “Hello,” and only ever send emails that will be relevant to your prospect.

If you are using an email template, leave some details blank so you can fill them in for each prospect before you press send.

MarketingSherpa increased its open rate by 41% by including a personalised subject line.

7. Test

You should always test and analyse your results to improve the performance of your email campaigns. Try testing the following to improve open and response rates:

  • Preview text
  • Subject lines
  • CTAs
  • Send times
  • Images
  • Body of email copy

Make sure you test one element at a time to get an accurate reading of what’s working and what isn’t.


The key to successful email copywriting is to treat your recipient’s inbox with the same respect that you treat your own.

  • Make your email easy to understand
  • Be relevant and provide value
  • Make it clear what they should do next

Implement the above tips, keep your message short and concise, and focus on delivering something of value to your prospects. Is your email campaign delivering results? Get in touch for a free consultation on how you can make email marketing work for your business.