When you're writing your emails, you probably want to impress your reader. You want your reader to think well of you and your business.
So it is very common to want them to sound as stylish as possible, with lots of creative writing, flowery prose and clever wordplay.
I often see people who describe themselves as "professional copywriters" talking about their creative writing credentials. But here's the thing - writing email copy has nothing to do with creative writing.
In fact, if anything, if you're good at creative writing it could seriously get in the way of writing good email copy.
Here's why ....
The people to whom you are writing are busy folk. They've got a lot on their plates. When they're checking their emails, as you may have heard me mention before, they're doing it with a finger hovering over the delete button, just looking for a reason to delete your emails.
The last thing they want to have to do is think. They don't want to have to do any work to understand what your email is about.
So long sentences, cryptic clues and unfamiliar words are a sure way to get your readers to switch off. You've only got to annoy them for a fraction of a second to lose them.
Instead, you should focus on writing your email in a style that slips into your reader's mind without any resistance at all. It should be like water flowing down a hill. Your reader should reach the end of your email without even noticing.
How do you do that?
It's all about using easy to read, common language. It's about writing in a natural "voice" that makes you sound like a real person, not a corporate robot.
You must grab your reader's attention early on. Then you can structure your emails to create a natural flow that leads your reader from one sentence to the next, from one paragraph to the next, right up to the point where you ask them to do something, whether that's visiting your website or making a purchase.
At the same time, you want to bring your emails to life with vivid language and powerful imagery. People don't make decisions logically. They decide with their emotions, and justify the decision with logic after the fact. Your job is to tap into their emotional state and strengthen their desire for your products or services as you write.
All of this can be learned, but you won't learn it in a creative writing class.
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