3 Email Formulas You Can Use Right Away

Time is not always on your side when writing emails.

Next to an emergency 911 number for a copywriting crisis, having a few proven formulas in the back pocket of your brain can be life saving.

Here are 3, easy-to-follow email formulas for those when you need an email yesterday...

 

The "Perfect For You" Email

Help your reader identify as the right fit for your offer.

Describe your ideal user of your solution and be sure your readers relate to that description. 

Customer success story → testimonial → influencer proof → before and after

 

The Special Case

People believe they’re an exception to every rule and to your offer.

Data from other users → 

Testimonial from someone like them → 

The Even If clause: tell them how your solution can work for them “even if” - and then add bullet points of their objections

 

The FOMO

No one likes feeling left out. So write an email that taps into this fear.

Dig into the things they’ll be continuing to struggle with when their friends have overcome it.

The sequence includes:

Success story → Risk reversals (ways to eliminate risk re: guarantee or trial period) → Urgency/time limit → Countdown timer

Even if you're not up against the clock, these work even better when you have time to think... and research.

 

P.S. Read this first

After you open an email, where do you go first?

If you’re like most people (according to research), you jump to the P.S. at the bottom.

Sounds counterintuitive, right? 

It’s like reading the last page of a book to see how it ends. Or eating dessert first.

The exact stats vary, but allegedly 90% of people read the P.S. before the message.

Reasons why this works include:

  1. It stands out in an email, especially if it’s highlighted or in a different font or color.
  2. It gives people an idea if the rest of the email is worth reading.
  3. It uses the Zeigarnik Effect: we don’t like incomplete tasks. 

So once an email opens, we can cut to the chase by reading the P.S. first. This diffuses the tension.

So use this additional thought to its fullest advantage by: 

√ Talk about what they lose if they don’t take action / buy your product or service.

√ Remind them of the solution and how much better their life will be.

√ Mention a deadline or other urgency factor to motivate them.

√ Share bonuses.

√ Provide links to freebies or additional info.

5 Ways to Conduct Marketing Interviews Like a Pro

Interviewing is an art…an art that pays dividends in many ways whether you’re a copywriter or content writer.

If you master interview skills, and people are comfortable talking with you, you’re golden. They may end up revealing stories they had not planned to tell. 

I know because I've been told that many times.

Over the years of writing content – mainly magazine and online features – I learned a thing or two from interviewing people from all walks of life.

From CEOs to MDs and reality show hosts, here are a few tactics that enabled me to get the most out of each interview…

1.Keep the chit chat short. A comment about the snowstorm or quick note on a commonality (“oh, I see we both majored in X in school…”) is fine but then move right in. 

2. Use bullet points, not scripted questions. (An exception may be PR people of celebrities or high-ranking officials, but it’s not normally required.) This allows the conversation to flow naturally. Reading from a script doesn’t allow you to really listen to their responses\

3. Don’t be afraid to venture off topic. Often the best information and most fun stories come from unplanned tangents. Just be sure to rein the conversation back on track if it goes too far off the rails.

4. Tell people when the end is near. Saying, “I have one more question…” or any other indicator that tells the person the interview’s almost over, often elicits a visible relaxed posture (if on video) in the other person. (And ironically, they may open up more at this point.)

5. Always end with this question: “Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’d like to include on this topic?” I can’t count the number of times this produced the most interesting stuff.

For more on this topic, be sure to check out this week’s podcast interview with Ryan Paul Gibson, founder of ContentLift.io. 

A former on-the-street journalist, Ryan provides great tips and advice for nailing the marketing interview.

Check it out HERE (and please subscribe and share if you enjoy it!).

Other posts you may enjoy:

How to Make Your Copy More Readable

Will Bots Replace Human Copywriters?

When Less is More (and how cake mix changed an entire marketing strategy)

How to Write with Empathy

Me (calling to cancel one of my mother’s policies): “Yes, I’m calling to cancel this policy. My mother passed away.”

Representative: “So she’s dead?”

Me (cringing a bit): “Yes.”

Rep: “Is there anyone else on this policy?”

Me: “My father, but he also passed away last year.”

Rep: “So he’s dead, too? They’re both dead?”

😳

Yes, this was an actual conversation.

Granted, the other person was outside the U.S., maybe where the word “dead” was not as jarring to me as it was to him.

Still. I’m using it to illustrate what it means to write with empathy.

This was not it.

In copywriting, it’s important to remind people of their pain before you offer a solution.

It's a reminder of why they’re on your web page or receiving your email. People only take action when they have a reason to.

But jabbing that pain repeatedly without relief (as in that convo) does little other than upset the other person. And make them dislike you enormously.

So here are a few ways to show empathy in copy (or in an actual conversation) that lets that person know you understand their situation:

“You’re in a tough spot.”
“I understand what you’re going through.”
“That sounds frustrating / upsetting.”
“I’d be upset, too.”
“That can make you feel helpless.”
“I feel for you.”

Obviously, words alone aren’t enough.

This requires truly understanding of what your buyer is going through... What's the thing that made them contact you in the first place?

What else could you say to let a person know you hear them?

Other LinkedIn posts this past week include:

"'I don't like it'" is not a reason to throw marketing copy in the trash

How to Use Tone and Voice in Your Copy

6 Ways You Turn Off Your Website Visitors

How to Get Specific... and Capture More Buyers

Want better converting copy? 

Get specific.

Here’s what I mean…

General (*boring*) copy you’ll find everywhere…

“We help overworked executives find a better work-life balance.” 

Spice things up by asking yourself these questions:

A revised sentence may be:

As chief marketing officer, you believe 60-hour work weeks are part of the deal. At least if you want to have any level of success.

It’s not.

Stop missing your kids’ softball games, eating cold leftovers at 9:00 at night and being too exhausted to enjoy your weekends…

[YOUR SOLUTION HERE]

See the difference? In this example, your target audience (CMOs) will know your messaging is for them.

They may even find themselves nodding their heads as they read it.

How can YOU add specificity to your copy?

Other posts you may like:

How to Make Your Copy More Readable

How to Write Fascinations & Boost Engagement

The Only Copywriting Formula You Need

P.S. Those examples should come from conversations with your audience and prospects. 

 

How to Make Your Copy More Readable

The most readable copy is written at a 5th grade level.

Some people find that statement disturbing. 🤨

“Writing at a 5th grade level will insult my audience,” someone commented recently on LinkedIn

It won’t. 

Because here’s the thing…

Clarity trumps every other aspect of your messaging.

You can have the best product, the coolest gadget, the newest tech…

… but if no one understands what you’re saying, it doesn’t matter.

They’ll bounce.

My recent post on this subject (Grammarly, specifically) took off like a rocket launcher.

Turns out, people have pretty strong opinions about both the software. And how to word things.

So I want to clear up one something… 

A few people defended the “write at a 5th grade level.” 

It apparently translated to “dumbing down” the copy. It’s not the case.

Readers won’t perceive your copy as insulting. They’ll simply understand your messaging. 

They’ll understand it quicker, be able to read it faster, and find it more enjoyable, research shows.

Here’s how clear copy helps the reader:

➡️ Promotes better understanding (between 13% and 48%)

➡️ Decreases reading time (by 64%)

➡️ Creates a more enjoyable experience for the reader (satisfaction increased 30% to 76%)

Tips for writing clearly:

☑️ Ask yourself, “Can I use a simpler word for this one?”

☑️ Keep words and sentences short

☑️ Is there an easier way to say something?

By the way, it’s not easy to write at a 5th grade level. 

This post is at a 7th to 8th grade level.  

Want to test your copy? HERE'S A LINK to a calculator.

Check out these other posts you may enjoy:

How “Proper” Grammar can Wreck Your Copy

How to Use Tone and Voice in Your Copy

How to Write Fascinations & Boost Engagement

Catch ya on the flip side,

Linda

 

How "Proper" Grammar can Wreck Your Copy

Proper grammar can wreck your copy.

Using Grammarly, specifically.

Here’s why… 👇

This topic came up recently in a copywriting Facebook group.

A copywriter sent their final copy to the client.

The client ran it through Grammarly.

[Side note: If you don’t trust your copywriter to edit their own work something’s wrong… but that’s a topic for another post.]

Grammarly flagged dozens of “mistakes.”

The client was livid and went OFF on the copywriter.

The client didn’t even check to see what these alleged mistakes were. 😬

They immediately assumed Grammarly was correct and the copy was crap.

At this point dozens of copywriters in the Facebook group jumped in to defend the copywriter.

‘Cause here’s the thing…

Grammarly is like the old-fashioned schoolmarm who kept you after school for flying a paper airplane into her beehive hairdo. 🛩️

Times have changed.

High-converting copy should sound like your customer speaks.

Conversational speaking is NOT all prim and proper. (Unless you're addressing the Queen of England. 👑 But even then .)

We naturally speak in sentence fragments.

Like this one.

... Which is one thing Grammarly “flagged.”

It flagged an entire series of bullet points because they were considered sentence “fragments”.

Plus, sentences that started with “but,” “and,” “so,” and so on were also given a thumbs down.

They also deemed nuances and slang unacceptable.

The client didn’t understand that THIS is what makes copy readable, creative and fun.

I use Grammarly for catching typos. But I often find myself turning it off when it starts honing in on the other things mentioned above.

My point is this: Grammarly – like AI – should be used as a tool, not the final word in copy.

Other posts you may enjoy:

How to Write Fascinations & Boost Engagement

The Only Copywriting Formula You Need

The Key to Writing Copy that Sells… Effortlessly

How to Use Tone and Voice in Your Copy

What words would you use to describe your personality?

Witty? 😆

Smart? 🤓

Casual? 🤠

Formal? 🧐

Serious?🤔

Same goes for your brand voice.

 ​➡️ Without a distinct voice you’re a monotone echo in the marketing wilderness.

Your brand voice and tone helps you communicate your brand’s personality with your audience.

It’s a way to set yourself apart.

But voice and tone are not the same…

Here’s the difference:

Voice doesn’t change. 🎤  

Tone varies depending on where it’s used. 

If you’ve ever said, “It’s not WHAT you said, it’s how you said it…” to someone, that’s tone.

Like your own voice… it doesn’t change (laryngitis aside), but your tone does.

An angry tone doesn’t change your voice, for example. 

Your copy needs to do the same for your brand. It should reflect a distinct, clear, voice.

Tone may vary depending on the topic of an email, for instance, but the voice remains the same.

What words describe your brand voice? Does your copy reflect those traits?

Other posts you may find helpful:

How to Write Fascinations & Boost Engagement

The Key to Writing Copy that Sells… Effortlessly

The Only Copywriting Formula You Need

 

Linda

How to Uncover Your Real Competitors

“We have no competitors.” 

I hear that often when working with a new client who’s created a new product or offer.

And sometimes it’s true.

Often it’s not.

Understanding who else is vying for a piece of the same pie is crucial to finding your ideal audience.

Ask yourself these questions to hone in on your competition:

  1. Where would your audience be going if your company didn’t exist?
  2. Who has similar offers in your niche?
  3. Who does your audience compare you to?

Then do the thing they’re not doing.

Like this?

Check out these other cool posts:

6 Ways You Turn Off Your Website Visitors

The Key to Writing Copy that Sells… Effortlessly

Does Long or Short Copy Work Best? 🤔

How to Write Fascinations & Boost Engagement

Bullet points aren’t always enough to keep people reading.

If the bullet point isn’t telling them anything new, they’re just as likely to go back to watching Squid Game.

But wait… there’s a way to pump up your bullet points.

By using fascinations.

A fascination is like a bullet point on steroids. They draw in the reader and make them want to know more about your offer.

They’re simple to write but can take a bit of brainstorming to do a great job.

Here’s the process:

STEP ONE: Identify an important feature of your product or service. Or write out a fact related to it.

Example: [blank] is [blank]

The [your product name] is a [what does it do and why is it valuable]

Examples:

Say you sell at-home fitness equipment.

Your Step One may be:

The Belly Fat Flabinator is a painless tummy firmer you can use while watching Netflix and see results in one evening of binge watching.

STEP TWO: Take out the name of your product and “is” and you’re left with your fascination.

This leaves us with a bullet point of… the Belly Fat Flabinator:

STEP THREE: Introduce the list of fascinations and write it with as much curiosity-invoking effort as the fascination itself.

So the finished result is:

Think flat abs takes hours of painful crunches and starving yourself into a smaller pair of pants?

 Nope. The Belly Fat Flabinator gives you…

Make sense? Try it with your current bullet points to amp up the effectiveness of your copy.

Other posts you may like:

The Key to Writing Copy that Sells… Effortlessly

Does Long or Short Copy Work Best? 🤔

How to Use Curiosity to Boost Open Rates

 

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