Email Copy That Converts: 5 Tips for Success from Roberta Rosenberg

August 21, 2012 by

Roberta RosenbergWe're just 27 days away from the start of the Digital Marketing Strategy Summit—the leading online event for accelerating social media and digital revenue. To give you a taste of the great education we have in store for you, I interviewed #OMISummit speaker Roberta Rosenberg.

I've been lucky enough to know Roberta for the past few years. Not only is she a brilliant copywriter, but she's a savvy marketer as well. Currently, Roberta is the Director of Marketing, Business Resources and Education at the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). You also may remember her popular Copyblogger series on landing page makeovers. Anyways, you don't want to miss her Summit session, 10 Tips for Writing Killer Email Copy, on Email Marketing Day (Wednesday, Sept 26). Here's a sneak peek of what she'll talk about:

1. What are the elements of a great email headline?

I think the same rules that make a great headline for a direct mail letter, landing page, or blog are pretty much the same:

  • One clear, strong, easy-to-grasp idea crisply and uniquely presented
  • Focus on inherent and direct benefit to prospect
  • Be clear, not clever

2. What makes a great email call-to-action?

From a copy standpoint, making a strong connection between the click, what happens when you do, and if possible, a taste of the benefit. For example, "Get your instant download now!" does a pretty good job of connecting the click to the expectation. "Click to get your Instant Registration Discount!" connects the click to the expectation and the benefit.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you can give to marketers that need to improve their email communication?

Think of it as a conversation between two people - you and your prospect. An email is not an article, a speech, or an essay. It's a letter, an intimate exchange between two people. When you keep this in mind, your copy will always have a genuine, authentic tone.

4. Copy vs. design? What do you think is more important in email marketing?

Great copy can get the job done with minimal design - think of the traditional direct mail letter. It's not fancy and mostly words. The importance of design for email copy is about how well it supports the words. Clean, easy to read fonts ... white space ... generous margins ... what have you. The best designers know the seamless, 'invisible' design is about keeping the reader engaged, not oohing and ahhing about the color thematics and font choices. Design that calls attention to itself fails the message.

5. What are some ways to develop your tone and voice in B2B?

It's important to match the tone/voice to the expectations of your market. Having said that, I do believe that "business conversational" is a great foundation for all B2B. Warm, friendly, but professional works across all verticals. From there, use the regular vocabulary of your audience. If you're selling financials/insurance, you'd have one tone - serious because we're talking about people's money, but not stuffy. Selling to ad agencies? You can get a little more "crazy" and still be taken seriously. You want the tone/voice to be familiar to your audience to get them to trust your message and drop their guard just a little to take in what you're saying.

6. If you weren't a marketer, what would you do?

Oh, that's easy. I'd go back to stand-up comedy/comedy writing which I explored in my very early 20s ... or become a life coach for mid-life women ... or get my masters and teach about marketing, entrepreneurship, etc. Maybe I'll do all three. 🙂

Catch Roberta live this September on Email Marketing Day (Wednesday, Sept 26) at the Digital Marketing Strategy Summit (online). She'll share "10 Tips for Writing Killer Email Copy". See Agenda.

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