How To Write Irrestible Email Copy

Written By: Philip Lim

If you’ve been online for very long, and have clicked on any of
the major marketing sites, you’ve probably seen headlines that
promise, “Write Hypnotic Copy That Guarantees Sales!” or “The
REAL Secrets of Writing That Will Make Customers Get Their Wallets

These ads can be tempting, because as an online marketing, you
really do want to see results-and fast.

But is there really “one method that works for all?” when writing
to sell?

And is it as quick and easy as the online ads (written by
professional copywriters) claim?

The answer, simply put, is “no”.

Creating an irresistible email takes work, research, and effort,
unlike the promises you see (if it really worked and was as easy
as ads proclaim, all of the major advertising agencies and
copywriters would quickly go out of business, since we could all
churn out our hypnotic copy and get rich in 30 days or less).

But if you don’t mind approaching writing your emails the way
that professionals do, you will reach your clients, and see
improved sales.

The first four steps are part of creating what is known as an
advertising strategy.

Your emails are ads that you are writing, and to create really
effective ones, you must first do (ugh!) research.

It’s work, but the emails you create will be so much better than
your competition’s, that you will literally ‘blow them out of
the water”, competitively speaking.

Combined with sending them to your targeted opt-in list and you
will have an unbeatable online marketing campaign.

And that’s what we all want, right?

*Step One: Know Your Target Audience*

The first rule of marketing, either online or offline, is to
understand your customer.

This is the person who will be buying your products, visiting your
web site, and giving you their hard-earned money.

“Oh, that’s easy, my customers are anyone who needs car
accessories, and wants to buy them online,” you might say.

But it isn’t usually that simple, and if you dig a little deeper,
you will find out that your customers come in different sizes and

Some are older people, going online for the first time, who want
a nice-looking car seat cover to protect their leather upholstery.

Others may be middle-aged auto enthusiasts who love to restore
classic vehicles, and are looking for those hard-to-find parts
that you just can’t find in Country Springs, Arkansas, so they
went online to order them.

And yet others may be SUV enthusiasts, who want really cool
accessories for their weekend trips.

And others may be very net-savvy young adults who are looking for
affordable car stereo speakers.

Your audience comes in segments, many times, and you will want to
create different emails to reach each of them.

Ask yourself, “Who comes to my store or web site, and actually
buys from me? What are they like? How old are they? What do they
do for a living? What motivates them? Are they conservative, or
easy-going? What controls their decision to buy? Price? Necessity?


This is called market research, and it should be the first thing
you do.

In fact, answering these questions will help you with your offline
marketing as well.

*Step Two: Know Your Product, And Why People Use It*

“Of course I know my product!” we exclaim, and you probably do.

But do you know how your customers view it? Can you get into their
heads, and see what they see?

People don’t buy your product because it’s pretty, or a certain
color (in most cases), or has the highest-tech software installed.

They buy it because it solves a problem for them.

Your emails should address the problem, and your solution: this is
known as your product benefits, and is the most compelling method
of selling known.

An example: on a hot day, when you go into a store to buy soda,
you have a problem: you’re thirsty. Which soda solves your problem,
in the best manner? And gives you a good value doing it?

This will probably be the one you choose.

You may be marketing consulting to others, but the principle still
applies: are you solving their problems? And giving them a good
value while doing so, whether by your customer service, the “extras”
you offer?

Sit down, and ask yourself, “Why do customers buy my product or
service? What problems am I solving for them?”

Brainstorm for a bit, and write down all of the ideas that you come
up with.

It can help to create two columns, one labeled “problem”, and the
other, “solution”.

When you’re done, you will have a list of customer benefits, and
the foundation of what you will be highlighting in the email you

*Step Three: Position Yourself*

If you are like most other businesses, you are competing with a
ravenous pack of other, similar firms, who all want your customers
(this is called “competition” and is part of our free-market

How can you compete with them, and convince your customers that
your firm is the one they want to buy from?

This is where positioning becomes crucial.

What makes your business unique? What do you offer that others
don’t? Is it better prices? More inventory (such as the auto
accessories firm discussed earlier)? Outstanding, individualized
customer service? Special expertise and training?

Dig deep, and ask yourself why someone should come to you instead
of your competitor. The answer is your unique positioning
statement (UPS).

This UPS is the pivotal point for all of your marketing (hopefully,
you did this long before you ever went online), and is the basis
for creating a killer marketing strategy.

Convince your customers of why you are better, unique, and fill
their needs, and your emails will make sales soar.

Okay, now at last, you’re ready to write your email. Make sure
you’ve done the first three steps before starting …

*Step Four: Create a Great Headline*

Your headline is the first thing customers will see when they click
open your email (don’t worry, I didn’t forget subject lines; those
are so important that I’ve devoted a whole lesson, number seven, to

Headlines determine if a person reads further, interested, or
closes up the email. A strong one is vital to your marketing.

How to create one?

Look over the information that you wrote in the first three steps.
Now, step into the shoes of your customer for a moment.

What is the most compelling reason that they buy from you? Use it
in your headline.

And appeal to their emotions: most people buy from greed, fear,
status, hunger hirst, or other basic needs.

Ask them a question that highlights this reason they want to come
to you, or create discontent with other alternatives to buying
from you.

For instance, an auto accessories web site might ask, “Having
trouble finding that special part?” (and how, the man living in
rural Arkansas might say).

Or, pique their curiosity: “We have parts you won’t find elsewhere
…” (really, which ones?).

For the SUV enthusiasts, who tend to view their vehicle as a macho
display, you might want to highlight their need to be bigger and
better: “Make it better, make it bigger, make it perform …” would
draw in a nice segment of the male population who want auto parts
that do all of those things.

Get into your audience’s mind set, and try different avenues;
brainstorm and write everything you come up with.

Pretend you’re a 22-two-year old who wants speakers that will blast
and can be heard from ten blocks away, and see what you can come up
with that would appeal to them.

Then place this at the top of your email, in nice, bold print.

Chances are, you’ll hook them in, and they’ll want to read more.

*Step Five: Personalize Your Email*

We all like being addressed by name, and it’s no different with

If you can address your recipients by name, please do (your web
developer can create a script that puts names in automatically).

If not, or you can’t afford programming fees, then try addressing
your audience in as personal a manner as possible.

Instead of “Dear sir or ma’am” try “Dear fellow auto enthusiast
…” for your car accessories.

*Step Six: Create Lead Paragraphs That Pull People In*

Okay, you’ve got a nice headline.

Now, take the information you gathered in steps one, two, and
three, and write a paragraph that highlights the main reason
people will buy from you, or use your service.

Use their language, too. If you are selling highly technical
software to computer nerds who administrate servers, you will
use a different tone and language than if addressing young
adults who buy body piercings.

Know your audience, and write to why they want to come to you.

Use a warm, friendly tone, as if you are talking directly to
them. “Are you tired of not finding the car part that you want,
at an affordable price?

We understand, because at Auto Accessories Unlimited, we’re
car enthusiasts ourselves.

We know what it’s like to look for that special part for a
classic Chevy, because you want your car to look great …”

Use the word “you” more than “we” or “I”.

People don’t really care that much about how great you are;
they care about how well you will meet their needs.

By addressing them in the second person, you are unconsciously
letting them know that they are the important ones, and in
selling, that’s vital psychology.

Which firm would you rather so business with?

The one that says, “Our firm has highly credentialed marketing
staff, with associate’s degrees in marketing, finance, and

We have completed courses in administration, and have a huge
facility in Podunk, Nebraska,” or the one that says, “From the
moment you walk into our store, we concentrate on you.

We will spend individual, quality time to discover your needs,
and to help you create a marketing plan that will help your
firm grow-and make you more money.”

Use this same approach in your emails, and you’ll see increased
response rates.

*Step Seven: Say It Early*

People going online are often busy and impatient, and will often
scan just the first few sentences of emails.

You may only have one paragraph to communicate the meat of your
message, so do so; you can round out with more detail later in
the main part of your email.

Try to create your first paragraph as a “mini-telegraph” or your
message, with a link to your web site, and you’ll get the quick
and restless readers to act as well.

*Step Eight Give Them Reasons To Buy*

Your main body should round out the appeal to the emotions that
you used in your headline.

Now, you’re using facts to convince them.

This is the part where you discuss the high-tech software, the
beautiful colors, the great price.

You’ve already gotten them interested in your product; here, you
get to give them your “sales pitch.”

Not sure what to say?

Ask your sales force, if you operate offline.

If you’re a one-man operation, imagine a scene in which a
customer is sitting across the desk from you.

What questions would they ask about your product or service?

How would you answer them?

Use this in your main copy, to let them know how great your
business really is, and why it’s better than others.

Step Nine: Create A Strong Call To Action*

If a customer walked into a store to shop, a good sales person
would ask, “Would you like to look at today’s special?” or
“Would you like to pay with check or credit card?”

We can learn from this behavior, and should use it in our
email marketing.

These questions are “calls to action”, letting the customer
know that you expect them to take a decided action.

People don’t know they are supposed to come visit your web page,
or learn more about your great products, unless you tell them to.

A call to action can be as simple as a link that opens up your
email address to find out more information, or as elaborate as
a link to a .pdf brochure that explains your products and
services in more detail.

And don’t let them put off taking action.

Remind them that this is a time-limited price, or value, and
that they should “order today” to get this special.

Otherwise, they will think, “I’ll do it tomorrow” and forget,
since “out of sight” is often literally “out of mind” for most
of us.

*Step Ten: Offer An Incentive*

We all love to get something for free, and this could be the
factor that pushes an undecided customer into actually ordering
from you.

Whether you provide a discount, a free ebook, or free software,
you should give them a reason to order.

One excellent incentive is a money-back guarantee, since most
of us are naturally suspicious when we go online: we wonder if
the product will really work, and if the company really stands
behind their products.

Because after the headline, the “P.S.” is the second most
frequently read part of an email, many companies like to place
their incentives there.

It’s more likely that it will get read, and encourage the
customer to act.

*Step Eleven: Keep Them Short*

Reading emails is hard on the eyes, and for this reason, most
people only scan them.

Do your customers a favor, a keep your email messages short and

They will appreciate it, and there’s a greater chance that they
will be read.

About the Author

Philip Lim is the editor of NewbiesOnly.com which is dedicated to teaching newbies or beginner marketers to internet marketing the ropes. Enroll into our free 10 days intensive email course:
“Strategies for Internet Marketing Success” http://www.NewbiesOnly.com

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