By Thomas Griffin, co-founder and president of OptinMonster

If you run an e-commerce business, you know how valuable email marketing is for its success. According to a 2016 study conducted by Campaign Monitor, email marketing produces a $44 return on investment for every dollar spent. It's a strategy businesses can't afford to ignore because it moves subscribers down the sales funnel, creates communication between customer and brand and spreads brand visibility.

When done correctly, writing excellent email copy will:

  • Generate leads
  • Increase sales
  • Encourage engagement
  • Convert leads into paying customers
  • Retain existing customers and subscribers

Let's look at a few ways you can write email copy for your e-commerce business that helps you reach your marketing goals.

Align with your branding.

It's confusing for subscribers to open your email and read content that sounds like it came from anyone but you. If you don't align your email marketing copy to your branding, you might see an increase in unsubscribe rates and less engagement from readers.

It's crucial that your email copy -- as well as all text surrounding your business -- matches your brand image. This means it's consistent across all platforms and strategies so your audience instantly recognizes your content. It encourages trust between your brand and its customers and builds familiarity.

When crafting text for email, elements of your branding must match up, including:

  • Tone
  • Voice
  • Language
  • Logo
  • Color scheme
  • Visuals
  • Typography

Read some of your emails over and decide if these components are uniform. Do your voice and tone remain consistent throughout or do inconsistencies peek through? Do your visuals match your brand image? Is your subject-line copy upbeat in one email, then somber in another? Check your previous content for inconsistency issues so you avoid them in the future.

Craft a nifty headline.

The subject line, or headline, is the first thing someone sees when your email pops up in their inbox. This could be the difference between converting a customer and losing one, which is why it's crucial. Your headline should be so enticing that users click through the second they see it. But how do you create such a headline?

Write your subject lines relevant to the information that's inside the email. If you mention a discount in the headline that's not in the email, you've now created a frustrated subscriber who doesn't trust what you tell them. The whole point is to build trust and credibility with your audience so they become paying customers.

Use psychological tactics that increase excitement with your audience, such as: 

  • FOMO, or fear of missing out (e.g., "Only three items left in stock!")
  • Urgency (e.g., "Registration discount ends tonight!")
  • Curiosity (e.g., "How millennials are paying off student loans quickly")
  • Exclusivity (e.g., "Check out these members-only prices")

You can also use these tactics in other parts of your email copy, not just the headline. When you use these tactics with your audience in mind, they're sure to grab their attention and increase your click-through rate.

Write clear and actionable copy.

There should be intent and purpose behind every single email you send. If you write emails willy nilly, there's a good chance you won't see a return on investment engagement or a significant click-through rate. Why? Because you didn't write with your audience or marketing objectives in mind.

If you have trouble writing for your audience, creating buyer personas helps to define your target market. That way, you know who you're writing for and how to write for them in a way that alleviates their pain points and offers solutions.

The body of your email should be clear, easy to follow and align with your branding. It should also encourage subscribers to engage with your brand. Tell your readers what you want them to do and how it benefits them. If subscribers don't see the benefit in taking action, they don't have reason to do it.

Add clear calls to action (CTAs) to your emails so users know what they're expected to do next. Without direct guidance, they might exit out of your email and forget about you. Your CTA should encourage action with verbs. Use power words and sensory words that grab their attention and paint a picture. Avoid making empty promises or adding false information that breaks credibility. 

Your turn.

Don't be afraid to get creative with your email copy. The best emails use different tactics and strategies to appeal to their audience and encourage action. If you know who you're targeting, you'll be able to create emails your subscribers genuinely love receiving and opening. How will you write email copy that creates conversions for your e-commerce business?

Thomas Griffin is co-founder and president of OptinMonster. He is an expert software architect with a deep knowledge of building products for the mass market.