A repository of acronyms, jargon, and useful definitions perfect for eCommerce founders & marketers like yourself.

Email Copy

Email Copy

Definition of email copy: Email copy or email copywriting is the text that is written in the body and subject lines of an email, that is used to convince or persuade the recipients to open the mail and take the desired action to convert.

Characteristics of good email copy

It is centered around the audience in terms of the language, tone, and writing style.

It feels personal for the people who are reading it. This can be done by writing in the second person and including personal details about the receiver such as their name or location.

The content is relevant to the reasons that people have signed up to be on the mailing list.

It incorporates CTAs. It creates a sense of urgency and desire within the subscriber which drives them to take the desired action.

It has an eye-catching subject line. 

Importance of email copy

  • Though email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing, if your emails don’t have good copy, you won’t sell.
  • Creating good quality copy that adds value to your subscribers will help you develop a better relationship with your customers over time and foster brand loyalty.
  • It can be used as a tool to make any product a necessity.
  • It can be used to get an edge over competitors.

How can you write amazing/inspiring email copy? (+ examples)

Want your email copy to convert like crazy? Consider User Experience (UX) in your email copywriting—here’s all you need to know:

1. Hit It Off From The Start 🎯

The key to writing good email copy starts with your subject line and pre-header text. 

Take these emails as an example:

Emails in an inbox with clear subject lines and pre-header text to drive opens

The subject line isn’t the only persuading factor—the pre-header text drives the message too.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Write a subject line like a heading. Trigger the right emotions while being direct (but don’t go into too much detail). 
  • Use the pre-header text to continue the message. Leave clear and specific information about what they should do next.
  • Use numbers wherever you can within your subject lines—quantify your savings with numbers. 
  • Maintain character limits on subject and pre-header text. Keep them both under 60 characters for better readability on mobile devices. 
  • Use emojis that are in sync with your message. However, avoid using them within the preview text and subject line.

Also Read: 52 Cart Abandonment Email Subject Lines That Actually Work

2. Maintain Readability For Everyone

Once you get users to open the email, you’ve got to get them to scan. 

Here’s a perfect example of an email that uses lengthy email copy (yet maintains readability):

Email copy example from Rad Bikes. In this example, they break up copy in various HTML sections to ensure better readability.

Here's what you can learn from this example of email copy:

  • Stand out with clever formatting. Consider using different fonts, sizes, and colors to make your offer stand out. Note the “Gifts to Stress Less” heading.
  • Avoid capitalizing everything. Doing this helps your emails read (and deliver) better.
  • Pair your copy with interactive visuals. Try tying your copy with puns or wordplay related to the images. For example, an image about stretchable pants can have a copy like “A pant that stretches more than your wallet during the month-end.
  • Avoid doom-scrolling (the email gets too long). Break up your copy into blocks and consider writing descriptions as short as possible. This helps deliver a better UX for your email on mobile as well.
  • Use alt text for better conversions. Us marketers often forget this part of UX. Adding an accurate description of images within your email can help with your conversions (especially if your images don’t load on mobile).

Also Read: eCommerce Email Design: 25 Beautiful Examples (& Why They Drive Sales)

3. Persuade, Prove, Convert

Next, of course, is getting your emails to convert (which is where this copywriting formula comes in).

The concept starts with making a strong, persuasive statement. Next, you back it up with proof and go on to provide the right triggers to convert.  

Here’s how you can apply this method to your email copy:

  • Consider getting the message out as fast as possible within the first fold. Start with social proof or a helpful product feature within your headline and subheading.
  • Provide proof of some form. Back it up with how the product helps your users. Do this while describing the product features.
  • Use microcopy with visual cues. Incorporate persuasion by quantifying the discounts, coupon codes, or other benefits.
  • Tie the CTA to your message. Just write where you’re leading them (and what they can expect).

Quick Tip: Consider countdown timers for an added bit of urgency. 

Also Read: eCommerce copywriting: 22 inspiring examples from the US

4. Maintain a Clear (and Persuasive) CTA(s)

CTA’s have one job: get users to understand where they’re heading next. 

Email marketing best practices recommend using one clear CTA—however, you can use multiple CTA’s (if they make sense).

Take a look at how Cracker Barrel uses CTA’s within their email:

Cracker Barrel's interactive CTA copy which drives polls and other actions. This is an example of how email copy should be.

So, how should you write your email CTA’s?

  • Personalize your CTA. Include the names of customers to increase the personalization. For example, “John, Shop The Edit.
  • Include product names and pricing strategies within your CTA. For example, “Get Your {Product Name} At $99 $79.

Also Read: CTA Button Examples (+ 50 Call to Action Phrases)

5. Avoid jargon in your emails

Including jargon in your email copy = talking down to your customers.

Thus, it’s best to keep your email copy jargon-free. Here’s an example of email jargon-free email:

Jargon-free product features explained in email copy from Eight Sleep

How do you apply this?

  • Write for your customers and not for yourself. Think about their specific pain points (and solve them). Note how Eight Sleep perfects its product description.
  • Tell a story (but don’t bore). Start with what users can expect from reading your email. Continue explaining and providing a solution. Eight Sleep promises “Zero Fatigue” with the Daylight Savings switch and shows off how the product can help.
  • Maintain visual consistency with your email copy. Note how every description ranges between a character range to keep in line with the email’s UX.

6. Personalize Your Emails

No, we aren’t just talking about names within subject lines. Good email copywriting puts the customer at the center of the email. (Insider Intelligence

Note this browse abandonment email from Dollar Tree:

Browse abandonment email from Dollar Tree that puts the user at the center of the email.

How do you apply personalization to your email copy?

  • Put the ‘you’ in ‘you need us.’ Write in the second person as much as possible. Good copy of any form talks to the reader. It’s conversational. It’s crisp.
  • Show that you know them. While adding product recommendations by user segments—try talking a bit about how great their choices are (or what will be perfect with the recommendations).

Also Read: How to Use Targeted Email Marketing to Drive More Sales (eCommerce)

7. Stick To a Theme

Most eCommerce brands fail to do this, simply because they lose the message while cross-selling

However, email copy performs best when it conveys a single message. Here’s an example from Crock-Pot:

Crock Pot's email copy sticking to a central theme: Sous Vide Cookware

How do you apply this?

  • Stick to a central product or cause while being on brand. For example, if you’re launching a new product, use the informative tonality of a product launch (while being true to your brand tonality). 
  • Limit the no. of CTA buttons. Avoid choice paralysis by adding not more than 4 CTA buttons within a single line.
  • Recommend only what goes with the product. Think about the parts (or the uses) of the product that appeal to the customer. Crock Pot recommends recipes with UGC to drive the action home:
Email copy sticks to a central theme with recommendations that tie to the email copy

Also Read: 13 Triggered Email Examples That Actually Drive Conversions

8. Make a Solid Closing Statement with Your Footer

The footer is your brand's own space, which you can use to reinforce your brand. 

Consider infusing your brand’s personality as No Ordinary Moments does:

Email footer showcasing powerful copy like a Subscription programr

How can you apply this?

  • Reaffirm your brand’s mission statement. Include a quote or any tagline that supports the email copy.
  • Include a nail-biting offer (like BNPL payment options). For example, if a shampoo product costs $29, write “Pay with X, tear-free in Four $8 payments.”
  • Make a sentimental unsubscribe text. Connect to your users – remind them why they're subscribed (and from when). For example, “Wanna break up with amazing skin? We’ve been together for X months and X days. 😭 Still wanna unsubscribe?

Quick Tip: Consider using extra incentives like free shipping (Or micro-conversions like referral signups and loyalty programs).

9. Tell An Inspiring Story

Every great story inspires action. This story about how a product came to be, by Goop inspires conversions:

Goop's email copy tells a captivating story of a product that never let anyone down

How do you appeal to your users with a story?

  • Start with a hook. Paint a picture of the transformation to come. Note how it all starts with how the product never let the writers down.
  • Use the first-person point of view. Stories come from personal experience—and should feel like one. Make your readers connect to your problem (like the lack of sleep). 
  • Showcase what your product does. Segue into the brand's story about finding a solution with your product/service. Ensure you have social proof + a crisp non-technical explanation of ingredients/features to validate your story. 

10. Lastly, Avoid Templates Like A Pro

Most eCommerce store owners don’t see email as a serious revenue stream.

Ask them about the importance of email marketing, and you'll hear: “we mostly use generic templates,” “we don’t really have a major strategy,” or “we just send emails to people on our list.”


There are stores out there that drive 30%+ of their revenue from email marketing. 

Our email marketing tool, Engage can help you do the same - Book a free demo.

We’ll show you:

  • custom workflows that we can create for your store,
  • proven ways to drive 30% or more $$ from email alone, and 
  • successful templates and strategies from your industry (and others).
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