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How to Optimize Copywriting for Your E-mail Campaigns

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 18, 2018 / by Clyde McDade


E-mail optimization involves critical steps for a successful campaign. These elements include:

  • Time-send optimization
  • Visual content
  • E-mail validation
  • Personality typing
  • E-mail template design

There’s another key element e-mail marketers can miss. This “Missing Link” is a key factor in raising your CTR’s and profits for each e-mail campaign. I’m talking about your e-mail copywriting. To optimize its effectiveness there are five things you need to do. Practice getting these steps right and your e-mail campaigns will have higher response.

Step #1: Target the Audience B.D.F.

We all make decisions based on three things. These include our beliefs, desires and fears. Each person in your subscriber or prospect list responds to messages based on these factors.

How do you find and target the audience B.D.F.? Here’s a quick way to do it.

Let’s say you’re selling a health supplement that reduces belly fat in forty-year-old men. Get out a piece of paper and write down what you know are the beliefs, desires and fears of this audience.


“My best years are still ahead of me”

“If I lose a few pounds I can wear that tight shirt”

“It’s not too late to turn my health around”


“I want to be healthy and fit”

“I want women to want me”

“I want men to envy me”


“I’m afraid of comments about my beer gut”

“My health can get worse if I don’t change”

“I won’t get noticed by the opposite sex”

List out as many factors as you can in each section. You’ll find the one pain point that grabs you. You can use this pain point for the next step in e-mail copywriting optimization.

Step #2: Use an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line

From your B.D.F. list take one pain point and use it as your subject line. The subject line has the same job as a headline in a print or online ad.

It must grab the reader’s attention, by offering a benefit-rich promise or news. Look at the third fear in the Fears section, above. Your subject line can read:

“Men 40+: How to get noticed by the opposite sex”.

You’ve taken a valid fear and grabbed their attention with it. How does this optimize your e-mail copywriting? The subject line makes your message relevant to the subscriber. You have a higher chance of men forty and older opening and reading your e-mail.

Step #3: Show the Advantage

Too many e-mail messages start off with a sentence or sentences that mean nothing to the reader. The first one to three sentences must show the top advantage in responding to your message. Without it your e-mail message will be D.O.A. or “dead on arrival”. Here’s an example of showing the advantage.

Subject Line: Men 40+: How to get noticed by the opposite sex

Dear Jake,

You’ll have noticeable six-pack abs after taking the “Belly Buster” supplements for twenty one days. Women will ooh and ah at your stomach. Men will cover their beer guts as you walk by.

See what I did? The opening sentences told men the top advantage in buying this product and when they can expect to see results. There’s no corporate banter or empty words. Use a picture or video to prove what your copy says. Both should serve as testimonials to the advantage you’re promising.

Step #4: Unique Offer

Make subscribers a unique offer they can use today. Next, make it easy for them to get your offer. Offer something they haven’t seen before. For our “Belly Buster” example here’s a cool and unique offer:

Order your first case of the Belly Buster supplement and you’ll get 30 days of personal training at a local gym of your choice, FREE!” 

This isn’t an offer subscribers would be expecting. What unique offer can your team come up with that hasn’t been done in your industry?

Step #5: Use Relevant Words

Your e-mail copy needs to use words relevant to the subscriber. Speak the subscriber’s language. If they use cliché’s use them in your e-mails.

Put in key words you know your subscriber list uses to search for your type of product or service. E-mails get opened, because their timely and relevant. Remember, relevancy is what holds subscriber attention.

Optimizing your e-mail copywriting is a key link to higher CTR’s. Don’t pass up a chance to do it right.


 #EmailCRO is an Email Optimization Experts Series featuring best practice advice and technology insights from email marketing and conversion rate optimization thought leaders and industry experts. Subscribe to the #EmailCRO Twitter list to learn more and join the conversation.

Topics: Email Optimization, Copywriting

Clyde McDade

Written by Clyde McDade

Clyde McDade is a Digital Copywriter and Marketing Advisor. He specializes in writing client acquisition and subscriber e-mail campaigns for retail businesses and publishers. He trained at the American Writers and Artists Institute in Delray Beach, FL. His mission is to help his clients get the ROI on their e-mail campaigns they want. He maintains a blog called, “The Profit Triggers” at www.clydemcdade.com.

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