5 ways to write truly powerful emails

Email copy writing is truly an art, so it’s easy to understand why so many people struggle with it.

If you give voiceBut don’t let this scare you.

Yesterday I shared that the three biggest online marketing challenges clients and reader experience are:

  • It’s a struggle to grow my email list
  • I don’t know what to say to people in my emails
  • Facebook

Email Marketing That Converts

Truth #1: There is no difference between high quality content and promotion

I’m always asked “how many content emails should I send before I ask for a donation or a sale?” The answer is a big fat zero (0).

The bad news: In today’s world, your emails have to hit a pretty high value-standard, regularly, to get opened and read. It’s truly difficult to overcome a bad email, so hit “send” very carefully. The gut-check question I love to use is: would you share this information or email at a cocktail party to impress your boss or friends? If not, should you really hit send?

The good news: This means that quality-wise, you can pretty much ask for a conversion of some kind in each email. It may not always be a sale or donation, but seek some kind of call-to-action or engagement in every email. Yes, even your newsletter should have BOTH high quality and a call-to-action. It gives people a choice to engage with you when it’s easiest for them and they are most likely to take action.

Truth #2: People buy benefits not features

Benefits we care most about are: Love, Money, Acceptance (our image) and Free Time, while at the same time wishing for less Stress, Conflict, Hassle and Uncertainty.

But here’s the catch… you can’t ONLY talk benefits. People will need to hear the “features” to reinforce your message. Examples:

You’ll have more time to spend with your kids (benefit) when you save time using my “swipe” copy that you can edit in minutes, (feature) rather than taking hours to write copy from scratch.

You’re now a member of a 5,600-strong team bringing clean drinking water, and health, to families (benefit) in the village of Tiby, by installing gutters to catch rainfall and divert it into sanitary containers (feature).

For nonprofits, the primary “benefits” that your donor needs to hear are acceptance, image, belonging (social status) and, of course, money: 100% tax deductible.

Make sense?

Truth #3: People need to feel appreciated, understood and validated

You see that I often open my copy by describing what you’re experiencing, thinking, or feeling. One of the best copy writing quotes I can share is:


  • “You feel like you blew it and picked the wrong vendor and your neck is on the line at work. I help folks like you all the time.”
  • “When you read the paper and see all the violence in Central Africa and wonder “what can I do?”
  • “You want a great vacation for your family without going deeply into debt”

Truth #4: Enter into the conversation your reader is already having in their mind

So many of us “know the right thing to do” and want to write about that.

You will be so much more successful if you hook onto a fear, pain, aspiration your reader is already thinking and then gently guide them to the right conclusion.

An example are how frustrated people are with Facebook reach being down. In reality, Facebook has never been more effective for small business and nonprofits–with a pretty easy-to-learn system.

Your email might read someting along the lines of…

“I’m so frustrated with Facebook too! Then I found this work-around that is actually driving more revenue for me than before my reach dropped. Who knew?”

Truth #5: Consistency matters much more than frequency

You are much better off sending email on a regular schedule than sporadically.

The worst thing you can do is only send email when you want to sell something or get a donation. Your unsubscribe rates and complaint rates will jump through the roof and your campaign is more likely to flop.

Pick a regular interval. For some of you that’s daily, others weekly, and still others monthly. Then when you are running a campaign to raise money or launch a product, or pre-holiday sales, just suppress your regular communication while you’re sending your series of campaign emails.

Bonus: 8 Secrets to Email Your Readers Will Love

Want to learn how to write emails that convert new leads?

I’m holding my last FREE online training workshop this Thursday (tomorrow) at 9:00 am MT and it’s FILLING UP FAST.

Register here: 5 Easy Steps to Growing Your Email List

Download your workshop Action Guide here so you get the most out of Thursday’s workshop.