Email Copywriting--What's Working Now

by 37 comments
Had some free time on my hands recently.

So I entered an email copywriting contest. Thought it'd be a quick challenge.

I won. Below's the email.

The market? Web designers.

The product? A white-label SEO metrics dashboard.

Entries were judged based upon number of clickthroughs that resulted in sign-ups.

I thought you'd be curious about what's working now.

------------------

Subject: Web designers, how to crush your competitors

How do you compete in this hyper-competitive, cutthroat environment?

Answer:

Add more value than your competitors.

Differentiate yourself; Stand out from the crowd.

But how?

Give yourself a significant competitive advantage by giving your Clients
the SEO metrics they need to compete (and WIN) online.

When you do? You’ll be a hero.

The majority of web designers in the market are concerned with website
aesthetics, functionality and navigation. And rightly so.

They're critical to a website's success.

But--they do little to give their Clients the tools and information they
need to make the right decisions.

That's where you can come in. That’s where we come in. It’ll be what makes
you different.


It’ll make you shine.

Give your Clients access to SEO ranking and analytic data using a dashboard
customized and branded to you, and you’ll be showing you care about the
things that matter.

Not only that, you’ll be perceived as larger than life.

It’ll give you a decided, if not unfair advantage over the competition.

It'll show you care about not just looks, but about results. The steak, as
well as the sizzle you put into the website.

Whether you charge for this additional service is up to you. But just know
web designers are adding a sizable ‘bump’ to their bottom line each
month--one that they didn’t have to work for.

As well as position themselves as leaders.

It’s up to you. But if you want to set yourself apart AND increase cashflow at
the same time, you owe to yourself to check this out now while it’s F ree
to sign-up.


PS: Did you know having a feature-filled SEO dashboard branded to you has
incredible perceived value to your Clients?

It’s true.

>> Sign-up for F ree here
#copy writing #copywritingwhat #email #working
  • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
    show off

    adam

    p.s. congrats. well done email.

    p.p.s.:l I'd love know your thought process developing in your theme, structure, underlying pain points, and features/benefits.
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Thanks, Adam.

    Obviously copywriting-wise, there's a lot going on under the hood of this email.

    And knowing you Adam, you probably see it.

    My edge is I understand this market.

    I know web designers are a frustrated bunch. Competitors are eating their lunch. Everybody and their uncle thinks they can design a better website.

    When they do land projects, they're working for peanuts. They're not getting the respect they deserve from Clients (as we saw in a recent post.)

    I wanted to tap into all that anger. "How to crush your competitors" seemed provocative.

    As a partner said this morning "I think the work was done in the subject line pretty much! "

    - Rick Duris
    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post


      My edge is I understand this market.
      I think this statement summarizes it all. When I read through
      the copy you don't sound like a copywriter but an empathetic
      friend. It's clear that you understand the market and its pains.
      You sound like "one of the guys".

      Great work!

      -Ray Edwards
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
    Short. Pithy. To the point.

    Not too long. Not too short.

    Creates a real feeling of...

    "What am I missing out on if I
    don't get this?"


    In other words... "I must sign up
    for this right now!"


    Wow! Look! Bonus! It's FREE.
    A no brainer offer of a lifetime.

    "Here willingly, have my name and
    email address. Please do tell me
    more. I want this right now with
    not a moments hesitation."


    Insatiable curiosity sparked and
    ignited.

    Excellent!


    Mark Andrews
  • Profile picture of the author TheSalesBooster
    Good stuff Rick. Thanks for sharing.
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    You're right on all points, Mark.

    - Rick Duris

    PS: If copywriters want to understand one of the clinical copywriting things that drives this email's success, count the number of promises. It's deliberate. I'm slamming them, one right after the other.
  • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
    I like the flow. I would sign up if I was a web designer.

    Thanks for the share
  • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
    Rick,

    Here's some of the gems of your email, with my thoughts:

    How do you compete in this hyper-competitive, cutthroat environment?

    The old question to get the brain thinking. My guess is that this target likes to solve problems and figure out an answer:


    Answer:

    Add more value than your competitors.

    You answered in the inner question they were asking themself. You also frame the answer in such a way to set yourself up as the solution.

    Differentiate yourself; Stand out from the crowd.
    Most copywriters who would have used that line would have ******* this that line right there, but you did something very clever...

    But how?
    Every person in marketing knows about the "purple cow". We all know "Differentiate or Die".

    What you done (very well BTW) is given a HOW. I believe THIS is were you start to add believability to your email.



    Give yourself a significant competitive advantage by giving your Clients the SEO metrics they need to compete (and WIN) online.
    THIS is my favorite line in the entire email. This is were you put some curisirouty and authority into your email...

    1.) You know something they don't.


    When you do? You’ll be a hero.
    Now you're speaking to our inner need for validation and reconiquation. Not only will you be able to "crush" the compeitition, you'll be loved. And my guess is that this a male demo that probably doesn't get a lot of action.

    The majority of web designers in the market are concerned with website
    aesthetics, functionality and navigation. And rightly so.

    They're critical to a website's success.

    But--they do little to give their Clients the tools and information they
    need to make the right decisions.
    Your empathy paragraph. You get them and their pain points.


    That's where you can come in. That’s where we come in. It’ll be what makes
    you different.


    It’ll make you shine.

    Give your Clients access to SEO ranking and analytic data using a dashboard
    customized and branded to you, and you’ll be showing you care about the
    things that matter.

    Not only that, you’ll be perceived as larger than life.

    It’ll give you a decided, if not unfair advantage over the competition.

    It'll show you care about not just looks, but about results. The steak, as
    well as the sizzle you put into the website.

    A little ego stroking with enough reason why to make this believable.

    Whether you charge for this additional service is up to you. But just know
    web designers are adding a sizable ‘bump’ to their bottom line each
    month--one that they didn’t have to work for
    The promise of making more money. I'm getting turned on right now.


    As well position themselves as leaders.

    It’s up to you. But if want to set yourself apart AND increase cashflow at
    the same time, you owe to yourself to check this out now while it’s F ree
    to sign-up.
    Now you're really turning me on.

    PS: Did you know having a feature-filled SEO dashboard branded to you has
    incredible perceived value to your Clients?

    It’s true.

    >> Sign-up for F ree here
    [/QUOTE]


    final call to action with both feature, benefit, and emotional benefit.
  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Nice job. Thanks for sharing.

    Did you intend for the line "As well position themselves as leaders" to read like that? It seems a bit fragmented (maybe its a typo?) and that was the only line that broke my flow.

    Thought it would be worthy to mention since its right before the CTA.

    But everything else flows beautifully.
    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      Nice job. Thanks for sharing.

      Did you intend for the line "As well position themselves as leaders" to read like that? It seems a bit fragmented (maybe its a typo?) and that was the only line that broke my flow.

      Thought it would be worthy to mention since its right before the CTA.

      But everything else flows beautifully.
      Yes, that was deliberate. Maybe I edited too much. Thanks for noticing.

      - Rick Duris
  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    Nice Rick... can we see the landing page just out of curiosity?

    Cheers,
    Colm
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Not much to it now: SEO Reseller Private Label SEO Resellers

    No idea who they are or what they're up to, but it was built out when I wrote the email.

    - Rick Duris
    • Profile picture of the author cozens
      Thanks Rick, you made my day. I was simply struggling to write a copy to a company to make their website and some other online stuff. This will guide me much.

      I will pick some lines from yours and add to mine. I will post it here when I'm done for analysis.
  • Profile picture of the author Lulu Chil
    Hi Rick,

    Thanks for sharing this copy with us. Am interested in Copywriting. It made me feel like buying what the girl or guy was offering. I have sent you a pm.
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Ok, let's do this analysis. And let's make this collaborative. As in, what do you see, that I or others may not see?

    Rather than start with lofty, abstract, philosophy, let's start with mechanics. We'll do this a piece at a time.

    Ok now. You've heard of keyword density, right? I'm focused on 'promise density.'

    Most everything I do, even when I write straight content, I'm interleaving promises. But as you can see, it doesn't have to sound forced, contrived or be over the top (i.e. hypey.)

    Below, I count 12 direct promises in red. And 4 indirect ones in lavender.

    There's nothing magical about the number 12. Just looking for every opportunity to pack them in.

    (If you look at almost any Eugene Schwartz piece for instance, try highlighting the number of promises. You'll be amazed.)

    ------------------

    Subject: Web designers, how to crush your competitors


    How do you compete in this hyper-competitive, cutthroat environment?

    Answer:

    Add more value than your competitors.

    Differentiate yourself; Stand out from the crowd.

    But how?

    Give yourself a significant competitive advantage by giving your Clients
    the SEO metrics they need to compete (and WIN) online.

    When you do? You’ll be a hero.

    The majority of web designers in the market are concerned with website
    aesthetics, functionality and navigation. And rightly so.

    They're critical to a website's success.

    But--they do little to give their Clients the tools and information they
    need to make the right decisions.

    That's where you can come in.
    That’s where we come in. It’ll be what makes
    you different.


    It’ll make you shine.

    Give your Clients access to SEO ranking and analytic data using a dashboard
    customized and branded to you, and you’ll be showing you care about the
    things that matter.


    Not only that, you’ll be perceived as larger than life.

    It’ll give you a decided, if not unfair advantage over the competition.

    It'll show you care about not just looks, but about results. The steak, as
    well as the sizzle you put into the website.


    Whether you charge for this additional service is up to you. But just know
    web designers are adding a sizable ‘bump’ to their bottom line each
    month--one that they didn’t have to work for.


    As well position themselves as leaders.


    It’s up to you. But if you want to set yourself apart AND increase cashflow at
    the same time,
    you owe to yourself to check this out now while it’s F ree
    to sign-up.

    PS: Did you know having a feature-filled SEO dashboard branded to you has
    incredible perceived value to your Clients?


    It’s true.

    >> Sign-up for F ree here

    --------------------------------

    PS: While you're counting, count the number of "you"s and "your"s.
    • Profile picture of the author OutOfThisWord
      Hey Rick,

      Congrats on this winning email and thanks for taking the time to give us the skinny on the 'whys.'
    • Profile picture of the author SeanIM
      Ahh I dig this part:

      "There's nothing magical about the number 12."

      Reminds me of the line: "Don't think about rabbits."

      You just can't help yourself can you? ;-)

      Thanks for the overview and highlights on this.

      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Ok, let's do this analysis. And let's make this collaborative. As in, what do you see, that I or others may not see?

      Rather than start with lofty, abstract, philosophy, let's start with mechanics. We'll do this a piece at a time.

      Ok now. You've heard of keyword density, right? I'm focused on 'promise density.'

      Most everything I do, even when I write straight content, I'm interleaving promises. But as you can see, it doesn't have to sound forced, contrived or be over the top (i.e. hypey.)

      Below, I count 12 direct promises in red. And 4 indirect ones in lavender.

      There's nothing magical about the number 12. Just looking for every opportunity to pack them in.

      (If you look at almost any Eugene Schwartz piece for instance, try highlighting the number of promises. You'll be amazed.)

      ------------------

      Subject: Web designers, how to crush your competitors


      How do you compete in this hyper-competitive, cutthroat environment?

      Answer:

      Add more value than your competitors.

      Differentiate yourself; Stand out from the crowd.

      But how?

      Give yourself a significant competitive advantage by giving your Clients
      the SEO metrics they need to compete (and WIN) online.

      When you do? You値l be a hero.

      The majority of web designers in the market are concerned with website
      aesthetics, functionality and navigation. And rightly so.

      They're critical to a website's success.

      But--they do little to give their Clients the tools and information they
      need to make the right decisions.

      That's where you can come in.
      That痴 where we come in. It値l be what makes
      you different.


      It値l make you shine.

      Give your Clients access to SEO ranking and analytic data using a dashboard
      customized and branded to you, and you値l be showing you care about the
      things that matter.


      Not only that, you値l be perceived as larger than life.

      It値l give you a decided, if not unfair advantage over the competition.

      It'll show you care about not just looks, but about results. The steak, as
      well as the sizzle you put into the website.


      Whether you charge for this additional service is up to you. But just know
      web designers are adding a sizable 礎ump to their bottom line each
      month--one that they didn稚 have to work for.


      As well position themselves as leaders.


      It痴 up to you. But if you want to set yourself apart AND increase cashflow at
      the same time,
      you owe to yourself to check this out now while it痴 F ree
      to sign-up.

      PS: Did you know having a feature-filled SEO dashboard branded to you has
      incredible perceived value to your Clients?


      It痴 true.

      >> Sign-up for F ree here

      --------------------------------

      PS: While you're counting, count the number of "you"s and "your"s.
  • Profile picture of the author deezn
    Yes, this thread has given me many insights. Very much appreciated.

    I didn't find your email to be full of hype, but when you highlighted your various promises, ding ding ding a lightbulb went off.

    You were able to slip in quite a few, reasonable, rational, realistic promises without it being off-putting.
    • Profile picture of the author wilmath
      Thanks for the share Rick.
      I went to your clients website.
      They sure picked a fine time to go on a hiatus!
  • Profile picture of the author smodha
    Thanks Rick!

    Swiped
    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      So let's talk about the 7 absolute most important words of this email.

      What are they?

      "Web designers, how to crush your competitors"

      Why are these the most important?

      Because if you don't get the subject line words right, nobody reads the others--NO MATTER HOW GOOD THEY ARE.

      So what made these words work?

      ----


      1. First, I called out the target audience.

      I didn't know what kind of list they'd be running this email against. I want wanted web designers to know this email was FOR THEM.

      For instance, what if to copywriters I wrote:

      "Copywriters, how to crush controls"

      That would make your ears perk up a bit, yes? More than just saying:

      "how to crush controls" or

      "how to crush copywriting controls"

      Get it?

      ----


      2. Now let's talk about the comma. It's important.

      Slows things down a bit. It's a bit of a set up for what's to come.

      Sure, I coulda used "!" or ":". But I just wanted to slow things down for a sec. Not stop the action mentally speaking.

      I was also sensitive to not yelling.

      ----

      3. Next, we have the immortal copywriting words "how to". Can't go wrong with "how to".

      But after I submitted the email, I was second guessing myself.

      How about this subject line?

      "Web designers, THIS crushes the competition"

      In a subject line, using the word "this' is a reliable way to generate curiousity.

      It'd be something to test in the future.

      ----

      4. Next, "crush your competitors".

      I liked the imagery. I liked the emotional feeling I got writing that. I was thinking "Ooohh, I get to crush my competitors! Show me! Show me!"

      I also liked the alliteration. I liked the message-to-market match. Given what I know about web designers, I thought they'd be receptive.

      But again, I was second guessing myself afterwards.

      How about:

      "Web designers, how to crush your competition"

      "Web designers, THIS crushes your competition"

      "Web designers, THIS crushes your competitors"


      Understand, I wrote the email in about an hour and a half and shipped it off.

      ----

      5. Capitalization

      Looking back, I shoulda definitely capitalized the word "crush". As in:

      "Web designers, how to CRUSH your competitors"


      Damn. Shoulda done that. My bad.

      ----

      So right or wrong, that's my logic behind the subject line. Ain't the most original in the world, but I knew it'd get the job done.

      And most of all, I knew web designers would be pleased once they opened the email and read the content.

      - Rick Duris
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Great job, Sean. Thank you.

    As long as we're on the topic of NLP, you might want to count all the places I was future pacing as well.

    Now let me ask you a question:

    Sometimes less is more.

    For instance:

    ---------------

    Subject: Web designers, how to crush your competitors


    How do you compete in this hyper-competitive, cutthroat environment?

    Answer:

    Add more value than your competitors.

    Differentiate yourself; Stand out from the crowd.

    But how?

    Give yourself a significant competitive advantage, by giving your Clients
    something they need to compete (and WIN) online.

    >> Sign-up for F ree here

    ---------------

    Yes, I WAS thinking about submitting that.

    Because of the curiousity, I bet it would have gotten more clicks. But would it have gotten more sign-ups?

    Only if the landing age was up to snuff. Which when I saw it? It wasn't quite there.

    So I built out the email more.

    Made it a bit of a presell.

    Approached it as a empathetic marketing consultant would help a web designer.

    Approached it as a viable business opportunity to take advantage of.

    And even if they didn't take me up on my offer, they would have benefited reading it.

    That was the strategy that drove the email.

    - Rick Duris
    • Profile picture of the author Biz Max
      Wow! Rick thank you for posting the original email as well as all your pointers.

      So far this is the best thread I have read in this forum. Never have I took notes, before.

      You're the real deal
  • Profile picture of the author klutzon
    I love this thread, I've learned a lot about how to tighten up emails, keep them short and sweet, and hit all the right emotional spots when putting the script together. Also took note of the many "you"s and "yours", a very helpful reminder to whom the salesletter is addressing (as oppose to the many letters that say "we" and "our").

    I want that SEO Reseller software SO BADLY!
  • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
    Rick, you hit some awesome "hot buttons."

    I really love the flow... How each sentence makes you want to read the next. :-)

    Awesome work, my friend!
  • Profile picture of the author Str8poopin
    Wow Amazing Thread. This is great stuff, thanks so much! I never put that much thought into my emails.
  • Profile picture of the author [RyanMilligan]
    Short. Long. Formatted. Unformatted. Grammar in check. 5 year old grammar and spelling...

    Test. Your list isn't the same as anyone else's here. Yeah, we go by general rules of thumb with certain things but everyone responds differently to everything.

    Split testing the list as a whole, then a A/B test with buyers on your list and people who joined otherwise. Then days between emails etc.


    EDIT: I'd go for a more humorous title. 'Safety notice: Web Designers getting flatened all over the globe..'
  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    I'd love to see more of this on here - I'm loving the breakdown and dissecting of this email.

    Thanks so much for sharing, it really does provide an insight and it's resonated with me and inspired me to challenge myself and take my emails to the next level.

    The subject line is spot on. Love it.

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