Email is Dead… or IS It? (7182 Potential Clients Don’t Think So)

road in motion with clouds

road in motionOne of the things that amuses me most about working in the Internet marketing industry is the “blank is dead” theories …

These inane threads tend to pop up every time a hot new marketing channel starts taking the world by storm, thereby signaling the demise of the previously preferred marketing channel.

And I’ve seen them all. Among my favorites: “Long sales copy is dead” … “Landing pages are dead” … ”Facebook is dead” … and so on and so forth.

Of course, none of these ever prove to be true. Even though some tweaks need to be made here and there as time goes on, basically every direct-response copy method is still alive, kicking, and raking in the cash for whoever utilizes it properly.

But my all-time favorite has to be (you guessed it) … “Email is Dead.” The thinking here is that social media has taken over as the messaging medium of choice, and email is on its way out.

So as an email copywriter, this should have me shaking in my boots … Right?


Well, let’s just take a closer look at some recent numbers and see if this statement holds any water …

  • 838 BILLION marketing messages were sent by email in 2013 (Forrester).
  • 91% of consumers check their email daily (ExactTarget).
  • 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email (Merkle).
  • 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message (DMA).
  • Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% (DMA).

Now before we go any further, I want you to pay closer attention to that last bullet point …

Basically, for every dollar spent on email marketing, about $43 is made back. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that all day long (and so will your clients, so pocket this little tidbit in your brain and whip it out the next time somebody says email doesn’t work).

So, what’s the takeaway here? Email is not only far from “dead,” it’s still the preferred mode of communication for the majority of consumers, is still the biggest driver of new leads, and has a monster ROI.

Which means the opportunity for copywriters in this niche is as big as it has ever been … and it’s continuing to grow steadily.

How big? Well, I did a cursory search of a few online job sites recently, typing in the keyword “email copywriter” and 7,182 results popped up.

Yep — over 7,000 potential clients are out there right now, looking for somebody who knows how to write a powerful, persuasive email.

Is it YOU?

Maybe. But before you jump in and start marketing yourself as an email copywriter, there are a few things you need to know first … Because emails are a different ball game altogether than most other copy pieces.

Sure, many of the basic direct-response copy principles still hold true. But the similarities end there. People don’t read emails like they do other types of copy. It’s a beast unto itself, and you need to know how to craft these messages for maximum effectiveness.

So here’s three tips to help you get up and running in the right direction with your email copy …

  1. Your Email is NOT a Sales Letter: Repeat after me, “NOT a sales letter.” Then keep repeating until it sinks in.

    How many times do you get an email that tries to tell you everything about the product and the offer and the bonus and the time limit and the reasons why and anything else they can think of? Those get deleted faster than you can say “but wait, there’s more.”

    Truth is, emails are not meant to be sales letters — they’re meant to be CONDUITS to the sales letters. Which means shorter, tighter copy that seduces with mystery, intrigue, and allure — all while keeping them engaged and moving through the copy until you get the click-through. Which leads me to #2 …

  2. Think Chocolate Fountain: Ever been to a wedding reception where they had a chocolate fountain? These things are awesome — an unending river of milky, smooth chocolate cascading down multiple layers and virtually BEGGING you to plunge a toothpick with chunk of fruit inside (My favorite is pineapple … the mouth waters just thinking about it).

    You can use that same imagery when you write an email. Because nobody wants to work their way through your message — they want it to be as smooth and easy to consume as possible. Any bumps, hitches, or places that are hard to read only give your reader a chance to delete. And if they delete, all of your hard work and effort goes into the trash.

    Every sentence you write, every picture you paint, every phrase, word, and punctuation must flow seamlessly and effortlessly into the next, so your email is as easy as possible to read, without any hiccups whatsoever. All of this leads them down the copy to the most important part …

  3. Get the Click: When it comes to email, this should be your number one goal. Because if you’re not selling in the email (see #1), you must — I repeat MUST — move them to a place where you CAN sell them. And the only way you’re going to make this happen is by getting them to click on a link inside your email that sends them to another page geared to do exactly this.

    Everything in your email should move them closer to the click. The copy, the formatting, even the placement of the link itself can make a huge difference between big-time click-throughs and massive deletes. I go into this in great detail inside my program, Email Copy Made Easy, because it’s such a vital part of the success of your emails.

    So when you’re crafting an email, make sure you’re always asking yourself, “Does this word, phrase, or statement help my chances of getting the click? Or does it HURT?” Your answer will sometimes surprise you.

Work these three principles into your email copywriting technique and your emails will almost jump off the page. And when they do, your clients will be jumping at the chance to work with you again and again (not to mention referring you to their friends who also do email marketing).

To Your Email Copy Success,

JAY WHITE honed his copywriting skills in the radio and catalog market — skills that have come in very useful writing email autoresponders. Jay knows how to craft short, hard-hitting copy that immediately gets the attention of his audience, quickly makes a connection, and then delivers results. And he shares those secrets in his original program Email Copy Made Easy: How to Write More Persuasive Emails That Get Opened, Get Read, and Get Click-Throughs. Order this program today, and save 50% off the retail price. This special offer ends May 29th.

Jay White

Jay White

After working as an award-winning radio copywriter and catalog writer, Jay White made the switch to autoresponder copy and is one of the most sought-after writers in the industry.

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