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Email Copywriting Tips...Cause We Know Email is Not Dead

There's a rumor going around that email is dead (or on its way there). On the contrary, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of email's death have been greatly exaggerated.

Just how exaggerated? For starters, email is the #1 most popular activity on a smartphone. According to a 2013 study by IDC, 78% of those surveyed used their smartphones to access email. This topped web browsing (73%) and checking Facebook (70%).

Popular activities on smartphones

This is a big deal. Here's why. In early 2014, Americans used mobile devices more than PCs to access the Internet – the first time this has ever happened. Today, mobile devices account for more than half of Internet usage in the United States. This shift follows the free fall of PC sales, which experienced their worst decline in history last year.

Meanwhile, smartphone adoption increased nearly 40% in 2013. With the commoditization of smartphones and the expansion of high-speed Internet access, the trend toward mobile usage will continue.

Internet access by device

From a digital marketing perspective, this is huge. It turns out that not only is email alive and kicking, it's thriving in an environment (mobile) that's only expected to grow. Now more than ever, it's crucial for companies to maximize their mobile email marketing efforts. The following are some email copywriting tips to help you do so.

Subject Line

Your subject line is the most important element of your email. Naturally, if readers aren't tempted to open your email, none of the following tips matter. So what's the trick? Studies by MailChimp have shown that the top performing email subject lines describe the subject of the email. This may sound a bit boring, but it's actually a blessing. After all, struggling to compose clever email subject lines is a major time suck.

Just remember, when it comes to email subject lines, don’t sell it, tell it.


Once you've nailed your subject line, it's time to craft some copy. The trick here is to have something to actually say. What value or benefit are you providing your reader? Put yourself in their shoes and write directly to their needs. Yes, this is ultimately about your company's needs and goals, but your messaging should be tailored to the end user. Often it helps to ask yourself:

Who am I writing this for/sending this to?

Some companies have segmented audiences based on age, gender, interests, etc. It's important to tailor you messages appropriately.

What do I want to communicate?

This is the whole point of your email. Whatever the messaging, focus on features over benefits and keep your copy moving swiftly toward your objective. Remove redundancies and always remember that simple sells. If you're curious about what types of mobile email messages people most prefer, consider this infographic from Edialog “The Future of Mobile Messaging” (2011).


How do I want them to act?

Do you want them to complete a form? Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? Do you want them to redeem a special offer or promo? Or are you simply providing them helpful tips?

Brevity & Levity

With mobile devices, space is obviously an issue. Always keep your copy in context. Don't use five words when it takes three. On a mobile screen those two extra words take up valuable inches. Also, keep your language light and personal. Remember, you're sending an email to a human, not a robot.


Did you know that it deosn't mttaer waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pclae? It’s true. For this reason alone, it's important to check your grammar. Misspellings and incorrect word usage can reflect poorly on you’re your organization.

Call-To-Action (CTA)

Assuming you'd like your readers to respond to your email in some way, provide a clear CTA and make it easy to find. People on mobile devices are more likely to scan content and they're often on the go – so the easier you can make it for them to act, the better. Ready to nail your email? LET'S TALK.