Copywriting for email: sustaining interest

Steve White 3 mins

looking at emails on laptop

Our Head of Copy, Stuart Clark, believes that a copywriter has 3 jobs when writing for email.

  • Capture attention
  • Sustain interest
  • Encourage action

In last month’s article, we focused on improving the open rate of an email by writing engaging and attention-grabbing subject lines. We shared a number of Stuart’s kickstart strategies, all of which are designed to create standout in the inbox.

Now, we’re giving you 6 tactics for writing engaging copy that will convince your email recipient to keep reading once they’re inside the email.

Tactic 1: Short and Punchy

People make decisions to read, click or indeed delete an email in a matter of seconds. So, it’s important that you give yourself the best possible chance of positive engagement. Writing bite-sized copy will be easier for the recipient to read and digest, especially given that people are deluged with emails every day.

Try and make each and every important point as quick and clear as you can.

fist punching

Tactic 2: Clarity before clever

One of the biggest traps for a writer is trying to be too clever. Don’t get me wrong, there is of course a time and a place for clever copy, but it’s rarely email marketing. In our experience, it’s far more effective to forget about fancy wordplay and instead try to be as clear and as concise as possible.

You’ve worked hard to achieve an open, so don’t blow it with overly complicated terminology or sentence structure.

Tactic 3: Be focused

When writing copy for email try and stick to a single story or theme. People tend not to read emails, they screen them. So, giving the reader solely one thing to focus on at a time will increase the likelihood of engagement.

Tactic 4: Bullet lists are your friends

This is a tried and tested tactic that we exploit for many of our email clients. Introducing bullet points into your content is not only a great way to present features and benefits, but it’s easily digestible and can help to build confidence in the product or service.

bullet lists

Tactic 5: Personalise if possible

We tend to be attracted by our own name (and personal information). So, using personalisation as part of your email content can have a positive impact on engagement.

For example, we know from eye tracking tests, that when a person’s name, birthday or address is mentioned in an email, it can help draw their attention to the main content. As well as encourage the reader to pay closer attention and skim the email slower.

Tactic 6: Add more you

An easy win when writing email copy is to focus on the recipient, rather than the sender. It’s important to remember the most important mantra in copywriting: what’s in it for me? If you put the word ‘you’ in your communication as many times as you possible can then you will be more likely to persuade your reader.

If you’d like to learn more about sustaining the interest of your email recipients, please contact us on 0161 872 1361 or email


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