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Whether you like it or not, email copy is an essential part of any email, regardless of if it’s a transactional or marketing message. It’s what gets people to engage with your messages in the first place – everything from the email subject line to the sign off influences your engagements.
Email copy is integral to any email campaign, which is probably what makes it so frustrating to write in the first place. Seriously, if we were to openly ask the floor who would like to write an email, you’d see a lot of this:
Nobody is ever particularly thrilled about writing email copy or making an email in general, and a lot of that has to do with a fear of doing something wrong. Whether it be an embarrassing typo (we’ve been there) or general disdain for writing, email copy is a necessary evil for many.
We could sit here and whittle away at dozens of copy suggestions, but that would be a waste of time. Instead, we want to focus on the tips that matter most to your deliverability. Some of these are small changes to your content marketing, while others focus more on your overall marketing strategy. A little goes a long way, but sometimes more substantial changes need to be made for you to have an effective email campaign.
All the copy in the world won’t save you from the spam folder if it looks spammy to ISPs. Bad copy is bad practice, but there are a few things you can do to improve your general copywriting and email drafting to improve your deliverability.
Because what is the point of writing a bunch of email copy if all it’s going to do is land into the spam folder?
Email copy needs to be entertaining, friendly, and catch the eye of your recipients, but there is a line. Any marketing that might be construed as spam can land you in hot water, fast. Unrealistic free trials, massive sales, and shady email marketing lingo are easy ways to trip spam filters. If your email marketing copy is comprised of a lot of overpromising or “used-car salesman” tactics, it’s a good idea to redraft.
Think about how you can draft an engaging email with copy tailored to your target audience. This might require some segmentation on your part to create more targeted email lists, but doing this footwork keeps you out of spam and can help increase your engagement rates (open rates, click-through rates, etc.)
Mistakes happen, but if you have multiple spelling errors throughout an email, you start to look like a spammer. We’ve all seen phishing attempts that are riddled with terrible grammar and spelling errors in the email content, even so far as to misspell your first name. When an ISP does the hard work for us and sends them to the spam folder, we are eternally grateful.
However, you might get lucky and still land in the inbox with a typo-ridden email, but you still aren’t in a good spot. Your email subscribers are less likely to take you seriously, and at that point, they can unsubscribe or mark you as spam. If you can’t take the time to check your spelling to the point where typos are a common occurrence, expect to see your engagements and reputation dive.
We could continue to nitpick all day on your grammar, but there is more to an email than just the copy itself. Are you putting your best email content forward? Sure, having engaging copy is one thing, but how are the emails designed? Are your email templates responsive? What are you doing to drive people onto landing pages?
Updating the templates you use is a good step forward, but it doesn’t hurt to get a little more creative with the body of the email itself. Are you using images or gifs in your emails? Before you answer: generic, terrible stock photos don’t cut it.
Nothing a generic handshake can’t fix, right?
The best thing you can do for your deliverability and email copy is to stay on target with branding across all fronts. Should you have trouble with your transactional emails or marketing emails, chances are bad branding and copy have something to do with it. Does the copy match your brand guidelines? Are your emails coming from a properly warmed up IP? Have you authenticated your sending properly to make yourself credible with ISPs?
Email copy is only one piece of the deliverability puzzle; everything else needs to come together. If you take care of everything that goes into your sending, you’re on the right path to a better reputation and landing in the inbox.
Last updated on August 29, 2019