Email Copywriting Essentials

The Definition of Email Copywriting

Email copywriting is simply the process of writing copy that you will use for email marketing campaigns.

It involves writing the subject line and body of emails, made to bring the reader to do something with a Call-to-Action (CTA) beneficial to your business.

To break it down, email copywriting involves three primary parts.

  1. The Subject Line
  2. The Body
  3. The CTA

You will learn more in detail about how to craft these parts of an email in later sections of this guide.

Email copywriting is a more specialised way of writing when it comes to its goal. It is not merely informing but it is leading someone to move.

Copywriting is writing with the active purpose of trying to make the reader do something.

This is copywriting.

There’s a snake behind you, move away very slowly.

This is not copywriting.

This is a snake and it can be dangerous.

For eCommerce, you want readers to do something that adds value or profit to your business goals like to purchase from you. And your message should convince them that doing what you are asking them to do is worth their time and adds value to their life.

For example, your email copies can be used to essentially convince a reader to do the following.

  • Buy your product or sign-up for a subscription (Selling)
  • Buy more from you or upgrade a subscription (Reselling, Upselling or Cross-Selling)
  • Return to their cart if they have abandoned it
  • Come back to the website if they bounced

Here are some common phrases for copywriting.

  • Subscribe now for free – First 1000 only!
  • Save $100 more from groceries monthly – Sign-up for our exclusive membership
  • Return to your cart in 24 hours to get a 15% discount.

In the sample phrases above, you’ll notice that they all seem to give the audience free stuff. And so your readers will go for what you’re asking them because they feel they’re getting something valuable by doing so.

Here’s an example of an 2 emails from an email funnel and its copies.

The Subject Lines and Bodies of each email are duly labelled and the CTAs are the ones with hyperlinks.

The context is a local pizza business, Mamapizza, upselling, reselling and cross-selling to a customer. And the campaign tactic is to get the customer to buy more by awarding them points that they can use as money for orders.

Email Example 1

What Is Email Copywriting
What Is Email Copywriting
Subject Line
Congrats! You’ve earned $5 purchase points.
Hello David,


We’re so happy that you love ordering our pizza. So as a gift, you’re getting purchase points that you can use as cash on any of your orders at Mamapizza.

Here’s how it works.

For each $350 you spend on us, we give you $5 in return.

So you have 5 points now, David. Congrats!

And if you accumulate another $350 in purchases (doesn’t have to be a single order) using your account, you’ll get 5 more, totalling 10. And so on.

You can use your 5 points now or anytime. Or you can win more points by ordering until you have enough to make your pizza absolutely FREE.

Yes, David, if you have 35 points, you can get your 12-in Classic Pepperoni Pizza without using your own money.

If you have any questions, simply reply to this email and we’ll get in touch with you.


Chef Flavio Santi
Mamapizza, UK

P.S. You can also save up points on our PIZZA LOVE WEEK where everything in our store is at 20%-50% off. It’s this February 14-20, 2022.

Let’s break down EMAIL 1.

This first email gets triggered each time someone accumulates a historical purchase of $350.

As you can see, the subject line clearly presents something valuable and interesting. This increases the likelihood that David opens the email.

One tip is to ensure that your subject line character count is at 41-50 so you can put as much value in it without the phrase being cut 

For example, if you had written something as long as “Congratulations! You’ve earned $5 purchase points at Mammapizza UK”, the following will be what it would look like in your recipient’s inbox.

What Is Email Copywriting

It gets cut or truncated at the word “point” and the reader may not be able to fully understand what the email is about.

Also, as you can see, you should make your subject copy as interesting and moving as possible. It is your bait to get the reader to open your email.

Excellent subject lines make for high open rates.

The body’s copy is written in a conversational and straightforward manner, telling David what he can benefit from the email.

Examples in the body help more clearly show the value of the message – what David will get. This keeps him interested in your message and increases the likelihood of him clicking through the CTAs.

Excellent body copy makes for high Click-Through Rates (CTR).

And there are two calls to action in this email.

The first brings David to the Mamapizza shopping page where he can order a pizza and the $5 points he has is automatically used when he checks out.

The other one brings David to the shopping page where he can order regularly (without using the points) and see how many points he will get in real-time.

At the bottom of the email is a postscript that ties in with the entire message. While it offers a different thing, an event, it is still relevant to David in terms of suggesting when he can use points.

Email Example 2

What Is Email Copywriting
What Is Email Copywriting
Subject Line
Use your 35 points for a free pizza!
Hello David,


You now have collected 35 purchase points.

And that’s enough for you to get your 12-in Classic Pepperoni Pizza without using your own money.

You can buy that now, or win more points by ordering regularly to save up for our PIZZA LOVE WEEK.

This February 14-20, 2022, everything in our store is at 20%-50% off.

Pizza Valentine’s party, right?

If you have any questions, simply reply to this email and we’ll get in touch with you.

Chef Flavio SantiMamapizza, UK

Let’s break down EMAIL 2.

The first thing you might notice is that the second email has less copy in it. And it shouldn’t matter.

What matters is that your message is:

  • Valuable – Always give your reader something they can use. In this case, they are essentially free money.
  • Moving – Ensure content that will stir your reader’s emotions. In this case, a craving for pizza, excitement for the possibility of free pizza and the idea of a pizza date.
  • Clear – Write in a way that is simplest for your audience to understand and remember.

But while writing emails can sound simple to perfect with some practice, writing a ton of emails will take time and can exhaust your creativity at some point.

Often a single email campaign, especially engagement ones, will require more than 50 email copies written. And it can be easy for a copywriter to burn out if they base everything off on talent.

Hence, it is vital that you find swipe files or templates that can make the job quicker and simpler.

The Importance of Swipe Files

A swipe file is a collection of copywriting examples that can be used to get ideas. Every marketer requires his or her own swipe file.

A swipe file can change your copywriting process for the better. Once you have one, either by creating your own or getting ahold of someone else’s, you’ll be able to produce quality email copy quicker.

Swipe files provide you with copy that you can imitate for your emails.

Here are swipe files you may get from All of them are even also already mobile-friendly in terms of copy and layout.

What Is Email Copywriting

You essentially get templates you can customise to create your own email copy.

For example, you may use this swipe file.

What Is Email Copywriting

All you need to do is replace the images of those of your products and customise the copy so that it is particular to your email campaign.

Swipe files help you:

  • Speed up your email copywriting process.
  • Ensure high quality and yielding emails as they have already been tested.
  • Never run out of ideas for your email copy.

Swipe files for emails are also excellent in that they have been done with market research. They help you create emails that attract readers to follow through your funnel and finally convert.

With that in mind, to ensure you are writing emails that convert, you must have an excellent idea of the reasons why people buy.

Reasons Why People Buy

Here are the primary reasons why people purchase what they purchase.

People buy things because they need them.

Needs are our strongest motivators. These include food, shelter, clothing, gadgets, furniture, accessories and anything that covers security and comfort.

So your email copywriting should convince your readers that their need is best satisfied with your company, product or service. Ensure to make clear the benefits of doing business with you.

People buy things that are convenient.

Today’s world is a world of convenience. So people will buy whatever product makes their lives easier and allows them to get from point A to B quicker.

Hence, when copywriting for emails, ensure to highlight the convenience your company, product or service is giving your reader. You can show them a comparison of their life with and without your offering.

People buy things because they fear missing out.

Everyone today wants to be relevant. And they don’t want to fall behind on the latest trends.

They want in on what’s latest and like being one of the first to know or use something trendy.

So when writing your emails, ensure to make the reader feel an urgency to click through your CTA. You can give them a limited time offer discount and show them how many have bought already versus how many are left.

People buy to feel they belong.

Identity and belonging is also strong purchase motivator.

So when writing emails, ensure to input branded content and see to make the reader proud that they are subscribed and doing business with you.

You can use social proof like showing popular people or groups who are using your product so the reader can feel like one of them.

People buy because they are getting a good deal.

People love discounts, freebies and extras. This makes them feel like they are getting more out of what they pay you.

And offering them in your emails is a sure way of adding value to your message.

People buy from you because they believe you are making their lives better.

You should be able to convince your readers that buying from you makes their lives better. They have to see that you are a solution to their problems or barriers that disable them from going from one point to another.

Hence, you need to know how to work around your audience’s points of belief for better converting email copy.

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