Email copywriting: A guide to effective email writing and CTAs

Email copywriting

What if you could transform a few lines of text into a powerful magnet for your business, pulling potential clients towards you? By mastering the art of email copywriting, you can do just that.

Email copywriting is a powerful skill to have in your tool belt. Why? Consider this report from McKinsey, who’ve found that email marketing is 40 times more effective than social media in customer acquisition. Pretty impressive, right?

Imagine how it would feel if every email you send your audience captures their attention, engrosses them in your story, and motivates them to take action. It’s possible, and I’m here to show you how.

Essential Elements of Effective Email Copywriting

Captivating Subject Line

It all starts here. The subject line is the gatekeeper to your beautifully crafted email copy. Keep it short, snappy, and intriguing. A well-crafted subject line stokes curiosity and prompts clicks. If you don’t get this right, you have very little chance of keeping your reader interested.

Engaging Opening Line

If your subject line is the first hook, your email’s opening line is the second. This is where email copywriting makes a huge difference. Keep it relevant and riveting. Remember, you’re writing to real people—figure out how to connect with them.

Relevant and Valuable Content

What’s in it for your reader? Why should they spend their precious time reading your email? The answer is simple: deliver relevant and valuable content. And what makes valuable content? It’s usually specific to your industry/niche. Still, you can study email copywriting from brands like Cook Smarts, which sends out weekly meal plans to their subscribers, adding immense value and making their emails eagerly anticipated.

Clear and Direct CTA Email

Your email CTA (Call-to-Action) is the most pivotal point of your outreach. It’s where you take your reader from being a passive consumer of information to an active participant in your story. Every email should have a CTA—no exceptions.


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How it works

Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Email Copywriting

Step 1: Know Your Audience

Tailoring your message to your audience is fundamental. Dive deep. Understand their needs, their pain points, and their desires. For example, fashion brand Johnny Cupcakes knew their audience loves exclusivity. Their “Sprinkles” line was released to their email list first, driving engagement and sales.

Step 2: Craft Your Message

With a clear understanding of your audience, you’re now ready to craft your message. Focus on your big idea. Stick to your main point and build your story around it. JetBlue’s ‘All You Can Jet‘ email copywriting example perfectly illustrates this principle.

Step 3: Make it Skimmable

In a world filled with distractions, delivering your message quickly is essential. Formatting plays a more significant role in your email copywriting than you might think. Use bullet points, subheadings, and short paragraphs to make your email copy easily digestible.

Step 4: Revise and Refine

Great email copywriting isn’t a one-and-done process. It’s iterative. Once you’ve crafted your email, take a step back. Then revisit it with fresh eyes, looking for ways to improve it. Simplify your language. Be ruthless in cutting out the fluff. A study by Boomerang showed emails written at a third-grade reading level had the highest response rate.

Step 5: Add a Clear Email CTA

Every great email has a purpose, which is encapsulated in the CTA. It can be as simple as “Click here to learn more” or “Buy now to save 20%”. The clearer and more specific your CTA, the better your response rates will be. Charity: Water’s email copywriting example for clean water had a clear and emotive CTA: “Donate now.” The campaign raised over $2.5 million.


Mastering the art of email copywriting is not an overnight process. It takes time, but the effort is worth it. Good email copywriting can captivate your audience, grow your brand, and drive business success, just as it did for countless successful brands.

It comes down to this: Keep learning, keep refining, and, most of all, keep writing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is email copywriting?

A: It's crucial in digital marketing. Good email copywriting can dramatically increase engagement, conversions, and revenue. In fact, DMA reports that for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.

Q: What should my CTA include?

A: Your email marketing CTA should be clear and direct. It should tell the reader exactly what to do next and what they'll get in return. Make sure to keep it short and actionable.

Q: How long should my email copy be?

A: There's no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on your audience, your email's purpose, and your message's complexity. Don't let this paralyze you—pick a length for now and refine it later.

Q: How often should I send emails?

A: It's about balance. MailChimp's research indicates that sending frequency varies significantly by industry and company size. Don't let frequency overwhelm you—just get started.