Get to the Point Early
Landing Pages are Critical to the Success of your Campaign

Why Direct Mail Copy is Not Suited for Email

Yesterday I attended a seminar that covered topics ranging from enterprise search to search engine optimization and search engine marketing to web statistics and metrics. At a certain moment I found myself discussing some issues I'm facing day-to-day with another participant to the event. And you know what? It seems I'm not the only one facing these issues. What a comfort! But also: how sad!

Let me give you an example: very regularly I am being presented with copy for an email which is basically just a copy and paste job from the direct mailer. Usually the direct mail copy is written by a copywriter, but not the email or landing page copy. However, copywriting for web & email is so much different than writing for offline communication pieces. Why? Well, first of all people don't "read" a webpage or an email, they merely "scan" the text for something interesting.

This means that you should write your copy keeping this in mind:

  • come to the point early (see my previous post)
  • use very short sentences and short paragraphs
  • use an active voice
  • talk about "you" rather than "me"
  • use bullet points
  • use subheaders
  • use images to support your story (eg: if you're offering a white paper, then include a screenshot of it in your email)
  • make sure your call to action is obvious
  • link to your call to action multiple times (using both text and image links)
  • keep it short: email copy should only be 50% of your direct mail copy
  • focus on one topic per email to enhance your conversion rates
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