Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The ABC of HTML Email Copywriting!

Email has become a powerful mode of communication thanks to its cost efficiency and speed of delivery. Writing for email is a different ball game; it calls for a different skill set and a different frame of mind. So it might be easy to get started but difficult to sustain the quality of writing--be it long copy or short copy.

The email writer needs to know the subject and objective of the mailer before commencing the job. After that, the first cut content has to be prepared by keeping all the relevant points in mind. The first round of editing has to be followed by a meticulous proof check. The next important stage in email writing is the assessment of the relevance and flow of content. Pruning has to be done depending on the required length and importance of the points to be covered. At this juncture, the writer can even go back to the master document and see if any critical points have been missed out. Then comes the value addition stage, where every sentence and every word is seen with a logical eye.

The writer has a critical role to play even in the design stage. Emailer design is quite different from conventional graphic design. In this stage, the designer-copywriter team has to start by dividing the content into various short paragraphs, and then go on to highlight important words/phrases. Product features and service offerings have to be in bulleted lists. The credentials of the company have to be highlighted for enhancing credibility. Vital facts, like testimonials and awards, have to be separated, in different colours, as islands of interest. Finally, a clear and compelling call to action has to be written and placed prominently.

Once the design is complete, another round of meticulous proof reading is a must. It is advisable to keep the headline on the top left hand side of the mailer. This ensures that the recipient gets the key message even if either of the email reading panes is turned on. What if the images are not visible at the recipient's end? Being an HTML emailer, it must have meaningful alt text for all the key images. Also, there has to be a proper balance between design aesthetics and content readability. Anything else? A powerful subject line that cannot be ignored in a cluttered inbox! With this, the HTML emailer is ready for launch.

Be it for lead generation or brand building, the aforesaid tips should surely be of help for they have been tried and tested by lead generation companies and email marketing specialists who have been in the business for quite a while. Happy emailing!

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About Me

Bangalore, Karnataka, India
I am a creative wordsmith experienced in direct mail, email, online and print media communication. I wield Masters degrees in Journalism and Social Work. I have also completed the Advanced Program in Digital Marketing (NIIT Imperia). My current area of focus is copywriting and online marketing. You may write to me at