• Jen Haken

A-Z of Copywriting: E is for Editing, Email Marketing and Engagement


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Let's get all those 'E' words into one sentence. Here goes!


For your engaging, educational and motivational email marketing to convert, you need to edit, edit, edit!


Okay, so I added in another ‘E’ word – educational – because your email marketing needs to give something to the recipient, not just sell. I also repeated the word ‘edit’ partly because it’s so important to edit more than once but also to create a rhythm to the sentence.


Whatever you’re writing, from business documents and marketing materials to personal letters and creative writing, editing is essential. The result should be a pleasure to read. It should engage the reader. Suddenly finding a mistake can be jarring and interrupt the reader’s immersed experience. You don’t want that, either as an author or when writing to clients and prospects.


Editing is honing down and fine-tuning your words. Rather than long, rambling emails or web content, keep to the point. This helps to keep your reader engaged.


As you cut out those extraneous words, you’re making your sentences shorter, punchier and more succinct. That helps the reader to focus on the importance of your message, which in turn helps with engagement.


Create a rhythm


Reading should be a pleasure. It should be like dancing effortlessly, not wading through treacle. Adding rhythm alleviates that and keep readers engaged. The solution is simple – use sentences of different lengths.


Short, clear ones work well; that one was just five words. A few short sentences are fine. But it soon gets hard to keep reading. The rhythm is stuck, like a needle in a scratch of an old vinyl record.


When there’s no rhythm, reading becomes tedious. Boring. Your readers may drift off. Don’t lose them! They could be your next big client.


So, to keep your reader engaged in what you’re saying, include longer sentences here and there. But only when you’re confident that you’ve captured their attention. Too many long sentences can become equally irritating and can even meander off the point. Or become less focused. You’re at risk of losing your reader again.


Reading your work out loud helps to hear the flow and cadence of your sentences. It also allows you to sense check what you’ve written.


Spot the errors


The editing process gives you a chance to find and amend any errors, too. Because no-one wants to see a typo. Not unless it’s done on purpose, like Mars Wrigley did with this clever Snickers ad.



Typos have been known to damage a brand. To be fair, it’s so easy to miss a little mistake. After all, we’re only human! Unless you’re using AI to write your content, that is. And even then, a human should still sense check its output. So, always get someone else to proofread your edited content.


By the way, did you know that Snickers are now called Marathon again here in the UK? That makes me happy!


Back to our E of Copywriting…


Engaging emails


Email marketing is one of the essential elements of marketing. It’s also very competitive. By that, I mean that our inboxes are inundated daily. Many immediately deleted unread. And you don’t want that to happen to yours!


Don’t let that thought put you off. Done well, email marketing can have a high open and conversion rate. As high as 80% opens and 30% conversions if you follow up your emails with calls leading to meetings.


Here are some useful points to remember:


  • Subject lines should be sharp and evocative (and fun depending on your product/audience)

  • Keep your emails short, informative and to the point

  • Include a link to a landing page with further information

  • Personalise them – make sure you spell their name correctly

  • Include a PS – many people scan the body copy, or even ignore it completely, going straight to the postscript


So, what makes you open an email from someone you don't or barely know? I’ll bet it’s the subject line that captures your attention.


A snap decision – to open the email or delete – is often made just on those few words in your subject line. That’s a lot of pressure for the email marketer. It means being creative with your subject line is crucial.


Being an email, you don’t need to worry about using keywords in your headline for SEO purposes as you do with online marketing. So, go for it! Be as innovative and quirky as you can, depending on what your product is. Also, remember who you’re writing to and temper your wording accordingly.


The final cut!


Don’t forget to go through the editing process at least twice before hitting ‘send’. Better still, leave it until the next day to do a final edit. Often, that’s when the magic happens and you create a powerful bit of marketing content.


If you’d rather spend time doing what you do best instead of writing, you know where I am. Get in touch for a chat.