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The Ultimate Guide to Email Copywriting — Part 6

How to write emails that stand out in a crowded inbox

How to write emails that stand out in a crowded inbox
Download the free PDF: 'The Ultimate Guide to Email Copywriting' and learn the exact strategies to get 1,000 email subscribers in the next 4 weeks, and the copywriting secrets behind emails that readers can’t wait to open.

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In this section, we’re going to dive into how to stand out in a crowded inbox.

The good news is that you don’t need to be an English major or grammar nerd to do this well.

But you do need to understand the key parts of great email copy. Look at the difference it made for one of our successful graduates, Felicia:

Felicia S. Call To Action student earning $10k+/month
Accelerated my business 10x… “I honestly believe that knowing how to write great copy accelerated my business 10x faster and why I got the results I did in that short amount of time.”
See how she continues to grow her business without even bringing on new clients

Now, let’s talk about the three things you must do if you want to write a great email.

1. Your emails shouldn’t be about you

This is the number one mistake businesses make in their emails. They blabber on and on with a bunch of me-focused copy. And the reader’s eyes glaze over as they delete the email.

Here’s an example:

ZzzZzzZZz boring.

All of that copy is focused on the company.

My gut reaction (as a reader): That’s great for YOU, but how does this help ME?

THE PROBLEM: Your readers don’t care enough about you and what you do. They care about themselves and what you can do for them.

THE SOLUTION: All of your email copy should focus on your reader’s needs and wants.

Here’s an example of the right way to write reader-focused copy, from an email I wrote announcing a new Ultimate Guide to Habits:

What do you notice?

All of this copy is focused on the READER. From the subject line all the way through the body of the email.

It’s all about “you.”

This simple change in perspective makes the copy much more powerful.

Instead of just saying, “Here’s a new PDF guide. Download it here,” we explained how the guide can help the reader beat procrastination, wake up productive, and radically change their life in the next 30 days.

That’s how you should be writing all of your emails: focusing on your reader’s needs.

This is the first rule of writing better emails. If you only make this one tweak, it will make all of your writing 10x more powerful.

2. Write conversationally: Introducing the Bar Stool Test

Imagine you’re sitting at a bar with your closest friend. You’re having a few drinks and chatting away.

After a few minutes, your friend asks you, “What does your business do again?”

Would you say, “My mission is to drastically reduce process inefficiencies for our valued clients”?

No way!

He’d look at you like you were crazy.

So what would you do? You’d take a sip of your drink and say, “We help business owners save time and money by cutting out the middle man.”

Nothing fancy. Just simple words and stories.

Good email copywriting works the same way.

It’s not super-dense technical material. It uses short sentences and reads the way people talk.

A good test is to read everything you write out loud. If you find yourself thinking, “There’s no way I would ever say that,” trash it and start over.

Great emails feel like a conversation between you and your best friend.

Check out this email from Bryan Harris, of the popular blog VideoFruit. This is a perfect example of writing conversationally to your readers:

Bryan can be nerdy. So while "tabulating submissions" isn't something we would all say, it's a perfect fit for his personality. That's the key. Here are a few things to notice about this email that you should add to your copy toolbox:

The subject line: “re: the contest”

At the time, Bryan was hosting a 24-hour list-building contest for his readers. So this was a relevant subject line. Unlike most marketers, who’d use gimmicky subject lines like “LAST CALL,” look at what he did. He wrote simply. He didn’t even use capital letters. That’s the kind of email you’d get from a friend. Important to note: he was about to start selling something at the time. But do you get that feeling?

The lead

He starts this email with a casual “Gooooooood morning!”? Then, very casually, he showcases some of the results from REAL people. How relatable is that? You’re sucked into this email from the opening words all the way to bottom — where he’s pitching you to join his mini-course.

I also love the screenshots of texts — from his MOM!

This is so good. He not only includes tweets of his students going through the challenge, but he shows you a text he got from his 56-year-old mother, who’s also giving it a shot. I don’t know if anyone can read that and not smile. It’s fun.

Keep this in mind when writing your emails: it’s a conversation.

People don’t want to hear from a faceless business. They want to talk to a REAL person. Your copy should make them feel like they are.

You can do this. Just look at what one of my students had to say about the lessons he learned — and the results he got — using some of my insights about copy:

Danny M. IWT graduate and professional copywriter

“[What] I learned from Ramit was that it's not only okay to be myself when writing copy — it's a must in order to truly connect with your audience…

Here are a few examples of concrete results I've been able to achieve because of all this:

  • I often get 50 or more emails per day from people who've read my material and love it
  • My emails often get forwarded hundreds or even thousands of times over (I can see this through AWeber...)
  • My course has now brought in over $100,000 this year — most of it pure profit

So yeah, [Ramit] taught me a few things about copywriting. ;)”

3. Bring your email copy to life

Vague copy is a one-way ticket to readers unsubscribing. Take a look at these simple edits to turn vague copy into specific copy. Notice how much more powerful the specific copy is when you read it:

Boring: “I don’t like commuting.”

Specific: “Every single day, I wake up and think, ‘Oh God, I can’t take yet another 45-minutes of sitting through gridlocked traffic just to get to some job that I don’t even like.’”

Boring: “You’ll have freedom and flexibility.”

Specific: “Want to take a break from work and see a movie at 1pm on a random Wednesday? You can do that. Have a friend in town and want to meet him for lunch? You can do that, too — and no, you won’t have to ask your boss if it’s okay.’”

Boring: “You’ll look great.”

Specific: “You’ll finally be able to fit into your high school jeans and be the envy of all your friends.”

These edits will make people feel like they know you, like you're their friend, who they can laugh with and open up to.

That’s key to getting your emails opened and read.

Putting it all together

In this section, we talked about three ways to improve your email copy.

  • Make your emails about your readers — not just about yourself
  • Use the Bar Stool Test
  • Bring your vague copy to life with specifics

These tweaks are simple. They'll get people to click and read.

But that's not enough to make them buy. To get the sale, you need to structure your emails in a specific order.

Which is why I recently released our 5-day email funnel that generated $400,000 from a single launch.

It's filled with all the numbers, details and the exact funnel behind the launch that generated $5,524,714 over the span of 6 days... all for free.

You can APPLY the lessons from this funnel to get higher sales in your next launch.

Once you’ve grabbed the $400k Email Funnel, go on to Part 7 and take the last step to 2x your business in the next 18 months.

Download the free report: 'IWT Insider: the $400,000 Email Funnel' and apply the lessons to get higher sales in your next launch.

Want the entire word-for-word email funnel that generated $400,000?

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How to write emails that stand out in a crowded inbox