Aug
21
2012

Get the word out: copywriting tips for email and mobile marketing

I am often asked by clients for tips on how they can improve response to their email and mobile marketing efforts. I always tell them that a visually compelling email is not enough—you need a clearly constructed, engaging message.

With more products and services competing for the consumer dollar every day, effective digital copywriting carries a higher premium than ever before. Email marketing, the Internet, social media and mobile devices make it easy for consumers to find virtually anything, anywhere, at anytime. You, as a world-class marketer, need to make sure today’s heavily connected consumers can easily find your products or services. That’s why your message has to resonate.

Why invest in quality email copywriting?

Why hire a pro or spend time writing something that may only be looked at for a matter of seconds? Well, that’s just it—the copy must stand out to have impact. What’s more, there are different varieties of digital messaging and different parts to any digital message, and each one has unique strategies to consider.

At Experian CheetahMail, we employ a full staff of copywriters that help our clients deliver effective, eye-catching digital copy. Here are some copywriting tips from our experts:

  • Subject LinesThe first impression you make is with the all-important subject line. Aim for short and sweet; keep the line under 50 characters, so it’s not cut off by the email client. If there is a chance of cut off, put the meat of the message up front, such as prices, dates or promotions. Keep in mind that using symbols in subject lines is becoming a popular trend, but make sure the symbols enhance the theme of the message.
  • PreheadersIn most email clients, the preheader is shown right next to the subject line in the viewer’s inbox. This introduces the content of the email in a quick one-line snippet, to hopefully capture the viewer’s interest. Furthermore, if images aren’t turned on, the preheader will still appear, acting as an excerpt of what the email is about.
  • HeadlinesSome things never change in advertising, no matter how much technology develops. Rule of thumb is that a headline should grab the reader’s attention as quickly as possible. While a picture is worth a thousand words, so is an effective five-word headline. Whether it’s clever, to the point, or both, your headline should be memorable.
  • Above-the-Fold and Calls To Action (CTAs)Where should your critical copy go? Make sure it resides “above the fold.” Essential messaging should appear in the 400-450 pixel top section of the email, also known as the preview pane. This is what greets viewers upon opening a message, and it should include a clearly defined, enticing call to action that allows viewers to easily click through or swipe on a mobile device for more information. The “above the fold” rule is especially important when considering the limited email view on most mobile devices.
  • Body CopyIn most segments of digital marketing, brevity is key. Keep copy crisp and to a minimum for emails; they’re not websites, so a viewer is not looking to scroll through content. Online newsletters can afford to feature more content, since they are often aimed at certain subscribers. Landing pages and websites can of course take content even further. No matter what the length, be sure your copy is well-written; poor content reflects badly on a company and will turn customers off.
  • SMS Message CopyMobile marketing through SMS continues to grow as a primary communication tool between brands and their customers. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to leverage expert copywriting and deliver the right message. You want to ensure you’re making the most of the 160 character space and remaining compliant with industry guidelines. Remember, a well-crafted message and call to action can mean the difference between a message being overlooked and a message being acted on.
  • Disclaimers & Legal Copy“Read the fine print.” You hear it all the time, and perhaps you wonder how many people actually do it. Well, there are enough who do (especially if they have a concern about the deal they’ve been offered or a transaction they’ve made), so disclaimer and legal copy must be on the mark. At CheetahMail, our expert staff of writers has the experience to properly handle this copy and yes—we read every word of it.
  • Proofreading & Quality AssuranceAttention to detail is of the highest importance. The best creative loses its effect if there’s a glaring error or if a link doesn’t work. Even if you provide your own copy, make sure it’s properly proofread to eradicate typos, grammatical errors and inaccuracies. The creative should also go through a rigid QA process to ensure links work and that any information provided is up-to-date. Remember, copy reflects the products or services a company advertises as well as the company itself.
  • TestingAs much as copywriting is an art, it’s a science as well. It’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t work for your specific audience. The best way to accomplish this is by testing your copy.

As always, at Experian CheetahMail, our copywriting team is available to help our clients deliver the most compelling and effective copy. We can provide copywriting trends and insight, help develop clever copy and copy testing strategies, as well as analyze and interpret testing results.

If you think your email or mobile marketing campaigns could use an extra boost in copywriting please contact us.


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