By Brenna Lofquist, Marketing Consultant for Heinz Marketing

Advice from an everyday marketer not a copywriter

This topic might seem very basic or some people might not even take the chance to read it, but I am sure there are others out there like me, who don’t have a strong writing background and still need to write engaging marketing emails.

Growing up my mom always said that I was such a great writer and I thought so too but writing about non-fiction prompts for State exams or English class is a little different than writing in the business world. Fast forward to now – I have been at Heinz Marketing for a little over 2 years and have quickly learned (and still learning) how to properly write Marketing emails.

There’s the usual basics of how to write a great email that I’m pretty sure people already know or has at least heard like:

  • Use actionable or personalization (when possible) in a subject line to catch the reader’s attention
  • Establish relevancy – align the subject line with email copy
  • Empathize with the customer, don’t just pitch the product

If you are looking for that sort of thing here’s a great article from HubSpot on the 9 Must have Components of Compelling Email Copy.

Anyways, that stuff is great and all, but I’m more interested in talking about how to write the actual email – like how does one begin to compose an email, what’s the email structure or the best part of the email to start with. Here are a few things that I think about or the process I take to write marketing emails that helped me, and I am hoping can help others too!

I’m sure this is common but, just to paint the full picture I usually start out thinking about the audience the email is going to; what do they care about, pain points, motivators, etc.

Then I tie in the offering or content asset and how it will benefit them. That’s the ideation part! You might have a document to reference such as buyer’s persona map or messaging framework to help you pull these ideas together but either way this is where you should start.

When it comes to writing the email, I never start with the subject line. I always wait to write the subject line last because that’s usually when I try to be clever and that takes a little more creative juice. It’s also the easiest way to get hung up, which I try to avoid at all costs. Majority of the time, when I’m done writing the email, I have already come up with a subject line idea or it’s easier to write since I’ve been thinking about the audience and offering but this works best for me.

(Stay tuned for a blog post all about how to write subject lines from Heinz Marketing’s writing expert Josh Baez)

Next, I try to write the email fairly quickly. It’s easier to get something down on paper and then go back to it. I also find that when I don’t get something down, I end up thinking too much about one word or one sentence and getting hung up. Also, you aren’t going to write the perfect email in one shot, that’s why there are drafts and a review process.

Lastly, in trying to keep the email somewhat brief since you don’t want to bore the reader to death, following a simple email structure should do the trick.

First, a catchy intro sentence, this can be a statistic or question.
Then another sentence or so to set up the rest of the email. Depending on the offer or content asset provide a sentence or two about why it will benefit them and if applicable, include a few bullet points.
If you can, include a button with a clear call to action and lastly wrap up with a closing sentence. At the end of this sentence I’ll usually include the call to action again just to reinforce what you’d like them to do and then wrap up with your usual sign off or signature.

Pretty straightforward right? It’s not rocket science but, for someone who’s job isn’t solely writing or maybe something you have struggled with, I am hoping these tips are new and helpful in your writing journey!

If you are someone like me and have some tips to share, I’d love to hear them!