“Just one thing” is the secret to better email marketing copy

Curly from City Slickers

Curly from City Slickers, you enigmatic old wrangler. You made such an intimidating first impression, but wisdom lay within. You knew how to deliver a calf. How to protect a lady from drunken varmints. You knew the meaning of life itself, goddammit.

As it happens, Curly even understood the secret of writing a successful email marketing message – despite having died around five years before such a thing existed.

That’s right. Because the best email marketing copy, like a fulfilling life, is about just one thing.

Just one… moment

As the best philosophers will tell you (I count Curly among them), life and happiness are but fleeting moments in time. The same can be said of your email marketing messages.

So the folks who receive your email won’t spend more than a minute reading it. Don’t take it personally, they’re just busy and they get bored quickly.

So make a big impact with your subject line. Keep it entertaining. And keep it short (like, 80-100 words).

Your customers only have a minute to spare – so make it easy for them to buy from you in that minute. Curly would’ve wanted it that way.

Just one… offer

Curly drove a herd of dumb cattle across the American plains. It’s your job to drive your customers to buy something.

Now, I don’t wish to compare your customers to a bunch of cows. (Too late?) But like cows, telling them lots of different things will only confuse them.

So focus your message on one brilliant offer. Keep it simple. And make the benefits obvious.

Do that and you’ll really get those sales moooo-ving! See?

Just one… outcome

By becoming a cowboy, Curly answered the call of the wild. Your customers? They just need to answer your call to action.

A call to action is a button or link at the bottom of your email. It takes the customer to the web page you want them to visit.

Once again, you need to make this easy. One button. One route your customer can take. One more sale.

Now get writing

As Curly said to Billy Crystal’s character when he was delivering that calf, “You can do it.” And by “it” I mean simple, effective email marketing writing.

Here’s a quick recap of what you need to do:

  • Make an impact with your subject line
  • Focus on one great offer and its benefits
  • Make it entertaining, fun or at least engaging
  • Keep the copy to 80-100 words
  • Include one clear call to action at the end

And that’s it – you’ve just been taught the secrets of email marketing writing by the memory of a fictional, dead cowboy. Yeehaa!

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Author: Neil Wheatley

Copywriter since 2008, owner of Wheatleys, founder/developer at the Dbljump video game reference, dad to Wolfie. Reach me on Twitter.

10 thoughts on ““Just one thing” is the secret to better email marketing copy”

  1. Great stuff – clever, funny and informative. Now if only someone had taught Curly not to eat so much bacon.

  2. Pingback: Gregory Smith

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