7 Email Copy Characteristics You Need to Know

7 Email Copy Characteristics You Should Know to Write Winning Emails

The average open rate of global emails is merely 18%. According to SmartInsights, the number is even lesser, 16.97%. Despite this, email marketing is considered the most effective marketing channel. The ROI talks, which is better (a stunning $38 for $1 spent) than any other medium. The main reason for its success rate is that email is a highly personal channel to reach people, it gives you a chance to develop and build a sustainable relationship with customers.

Well, in that sense, email marketing is a little bit underestimated by most marketers. Most of us just compose a mail by combining offers with randomness and hit the send button. Then wait for the results, most cases which are disappointing. However, the estimation is telling us the 4 billion people are going to send 306 billion emails per day by the end of 2021. So, if you compare this number with the average click-through rate which is 2.6%, you can see the possibilities as well as the chances of failures.

What are the reasons that make someone’s email campaign successful when others struggle to achieve it? We’ve found a simple but overlooking fact: email copy. When people open your email, the aim of your email is to make their minds and influence them to take an action. Design plays a role to catch attention, it’s true. Though the main job is done by the email copy. The magic you create with your words works the most. EmailToolTester claimed 32% of emails that used personalized body copy gained a higher click-through rate.

Hence, in this blog, we will show you such powerful email copy characteristics that boost your email marketing success to another level. Let’s join the discussion.

7 Email Copy Characteristics and Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing

7 Email Copy Characteristics You Need to Know

Decide the effect you want to produce in your reader.

Robert Collier

The simplest thing about email copywriting is this – you write something that guides the audience, convinces them to make an action. Hence your email copy should be engaging in the first place. Therefore, the email copy starts to influence the audience from the subject line. Even before they open your email, your subject line provides the necessary gravity to complete the process. After that, the email copy of the body plays the big game.

Well, take a look at these highly effective email copy characteristics to make your emails converting.

1. Email Copy Starts Working from Subject Lines

Putting some extra effort while writing your email subject line has never been wasted. In their inboxes, the audience notices the subject line first. If it impresses them, ta-da! your email is being opened. So, whatever you put inside an email body, write something in the first step that builds curiosity.

email subject line example

The above image is a screenshot from my Gmail inbox. Take a closer look at the subject lines there.

The first one is from the Economist, the subject line shows a topic that makes me interested to click on it.

Now, look at the second one. Patagonia is a specialized fashion brand. Hence, one of the reasons I subscribed for their newsletter is this – they often create and share docufilms about the raw materials they use, a journey of a customer, an adventure story using Patagonia’s gear, etc. And, I got the latest updates in my inbox with a subject line like Film premiere: The Ocean Solution.

What subject lines can do is making an early impact and impression that creates a scenario that helps the audience to believe that you really know what they want. So they start opening your emails. The game is very simple here.

As a starting point, you can use some proven words in your subject lines that can increase the email open rate. Take a look below –


Besides using these words, you need to keep in mind some core things. They are curiosity, interest, value, suspense, cliffhanger, and showing only a glimpse of important info/data. If you are careful enough, these things can help you write the perfect email copy for your subject lines.

Must-Read: 13 Best Email Subject Line Tips to Increase Open Rates & Engagements

2. Offer Something Valuable In-Exchange

The next email copy characteristic is the offer you make through it. While writing your offer, what should be the priority? You need to manifest values. If the audience gets that you can add value to their cause, they will do your bidding.

Your target market doesn’t really care about your startup, they care about your solution.

Ryan Abrams

So, while writing email copy, keep thinking about what value you can offer in exchange for their conversions.

Ryan Abrams, Marketing Director of InfiniGrow suggested 4 crucial points you need to figure out before proposing the value of your service. Either in email or anywhere. They are –

  • Have a clear understanding of all of the users pain points and struggles.
  • Try to listen to the actual language and tone of voice the customer use to vocalize pain points.
  • Gather the crucial data and numbers that helps to quantify your value.
  • Learn about user’s experiences with competitors and their solutions.

The list doesn’t end here. You need to keep thinking, discovering, and answering yourself before writing the email copy and add value. The more you understand the audience, learn about them, thinking like the way they are thinking, you can surely make an impact.

offer value in email copy

Look closely at the email above. The Washington post not only describing their offer in an engaging manner but also put some urgency in the email copy. If you consider their offer, it describes all the core benefits a subscriber would get in a nutshell. Also, they use three power words here – Enjoy, Personalized, Support.

3. Write in Direct and Personal Tone

The tone of your email copy defines how your emails going to perform. There are direct tones and indirect tones. The latter makes your language complex and non-communicative. Here’s an example –

While writing email copy, you need to be direct like you are real and talking to a real person. In our day to conversations, we never use complex words or indirect tones. That’s what makes our communication easier and enjoyable. If you look at the above example, you can easily understand how active voice can bring life to your email copywriting.

People love to understand faster. Your complex or indirect email copy can blunder it. The best way to writing in a direct and personal tone is to write for yourself as a draft, read the copy to yourself, if it sounds the way you want as a reader, then go for it.

Therefore, here are some more reasons you can write your email copy in the active voice –

  • It engage the readers more
  • It improve the readability
  • Create momentum
  • Connect and persuade audience

How does a direct and personal tone work big time in email marketing? Here’s another example.

The email uses simple words, tells directly what its prospect is, invites readers to join, and gets a reward. It has a direct tone, clear intention, and offer. That’s what makes it a good and converting email.

4. Your Email Copy Should Avoid Industry Jargon

Inspiring Lead Nurturing Email Examples

What is industry Jargon? It is the words of technical terminology that have a particular meaning in a specific industry. For example, some of the common sales jargon you use frequently are – Pipelines, Sales Funnel, Gatekeeper, ABC, NSAs, or Sandbagging.

Copywriters often mistaking that industry jargon may show how much they know about the industry. Remember one thing particularly, customers don’t care a bit about your industry knowledge. Hence, they only care how much you understand them. Instead of it, you can focus mainly on their problems and solutions. Use words and sentences they know and are accustomed to.

So here’s the takeaway: avoid industry jargon, aka all types of jargon. Use words that are simple and engaging at the same time. A marketer shouldn’t write like Hemingway, he should only write that makes sales. As the copywriting maestro David Ogilvy once said, “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

5. Show Personality in Your Email Copy

Readers need something to stick to your words. They have plenty of other emails to spend their valuable time on. So, why do they bother reading your email that reflects almost nothing? Even in the short scope of an email, you can establish your own style, voice, brands, and personality. It is one of the valuable email copy characteristics. When readers find that you have a style, domain knowledge, empathy, and intention to help, you will get more attention eventually.

When you put and establish your personality in email copy, it will help you to build a sustainable relationship with the audience. Here’s an example, take a look –

Personality in email copy

The red-marked email is not personal, it even failed to reflect whom it is targeted. On the other hand, the green-marked email is superbly addressed an audience’s situation comparing the copywriters’ own situation during covid-19.

You should learn four things here –

  • Address real problem (for this, you need to know in-depth about your customers.
  • Show empathy and solidarity.
  • Use a friendly tone and let users know that you want to help.
  • Keep your sentences simple and entertaining.

However, you can also check this email that manifests a strong personality of the sender –

personality in email copy

6. Make Yourself Real – Show Authenticity in Email Copy

There are many technical measures you can take to make your email marketing process authentic. You can warm up a brand new domain, use your business name in the email address to look more professional, follow SPF (Sender Policy Format), etc. These are different cases as you are showing authenticity to receivers’ email providers and servers.

However, here you are on to write winning email copies. That means you must make yourself real to customers. Write in a way that makes the audience believe you are just right there, ever ready to reply to any of their needs.

Copywriting expert Derryck Strachan shared two core grand rules you should follow to become an authentic email copywriter.

One, you must know your audience. We’ve mentioned this thing earlier. Knowing the audience is the key here. How do they think, what are their pain points, and how many options do you have to solve those problems keenly? Show the readers like they want to see.

Two, be a human, not a person who just needs a sale or a program that sends automated robotic sales pitches. Be a knowledgeable and kindest person possible when you write your email copy, address real issues regarding customers, and offer them values.

Here’s a winning email example that uses such email copy that reflects authenticity. Have a look –

7. A Great Reader Experience is the Key

So far, you have gone through all the major email copy characteristics that can help to write a winning email that sells. However, only good writing isn’t enough sometimes. To be more specific, you need to represent your email copy in a manner that helps readers to connect easily. It’s like a novelist writes his chapters, and shuffles them one after another to make the story more engaging, and balance the storyline in a linear or non-linear fashion.

It is the complete reading experience that counts. So, after you finish writing your email copies, sort out in which way they would look more fitting, compelling, and converting. For example, you can start with a catchphrase, an image, or just a plain greeting. But you can’t use them all at a time. So, following the goal of your email and the types of the campaign, you can design a presentation model. And put your email copies as you planned.

That’s what gives your email readers a great reading experience. Eventually, it will at the same time establish your brand voice, personality, and help you develop an engaging relationship with users.

So here’s the way you can develop a better reading experience for your audience –

  • Develop different templates for different campaigns
  • Address the reader personally (like using their names as a starter)
  • Use helpful images
  • Don’t forget to add an call to action
  • Use bullets and sub-header
  • Try to use GIFs in email or cartoons to bring more fun
reading experience

Closing Up

Emotions are the fire of human motivation, the combustible force that secretly drives most decisions to buy. When your marketing harnesses those forces correctly you will generate explosive increases in response.

Gary Bencivenga

So, now that you know all the secrets behind great email copy characteristics, do you think you are ready to get started? Let us give you all the key points we’ve discussed so far.

  • Start with great and provocative email subject lines. Make them half the job done with your copy.
  • Offer something that add real-values to customers
  • Write directly, avoid passive voice
  • Avoid industry jargons
  • Your email copy should reflects your personality
  • Write like you are a real person, show empathy to the audience
  • Create a complete reading experience for your email readers

Besides all these email copy secrets, you must add a powerful email CTA so that your readers won’t forget to take action. Adding necessary links to your sales pages, and contents is also crucial.

About Kaji Enamul Islam

Enamul is an author and marketing enthusiast. He loves to write about eCommerce, WordPress, and life. Besides, his addiction to fiction, fact, movies and books are possessive.