EMAIL COPYWRITING

5 Email Copywriting Examples of What Not to Write

Jeanne
Published 24 June 2018 | Updated 25 Feb. 2022

A lot of businesses today often use marketing buzzwords in their emails that don’t have any meaningful points to offer.

The thing is, your message should be substantial or else it’s like offering the icing without the cake.

Sweet, yes but not very filling.

When it comes to your email copy, the last thing you want to come across as is a business that’s all fluff.

No matter how clever or fun your message sounds, if it doesn’t convey the message you want or it leaves readers confused as to what your offering does then your email marketing efforts wouldn’t be effective.

What makes a good email copy?

A good email copy is made up of a catchy subject line, an engaging message that addresses your customers’ pain points as well as the solution to those, and a compelling call-to-action that makes it clear what you want them to do next. 

what makes a good email copy

What a bad email copy looks like

Writing a bad email is easy—anyone can make the mistake of doing it. Just use marketing fluff, unfamiliar jargon, and vague messaging and you instantly remove the meaning from your message.

Why? Because the above are more prevalent than you think…

And most people are just sick of reading the same thing OVER and OVER again.

Bad email copy does a disservice to your brand since you’re missing valuable opportunity to differentiate your business and connect to your customers.

To discover which most used copywriting phrases to avoid in your email copy,  I conducted a small Facebook survey that asked what words would make them second guess an email sent to them by a brand.

Cutting-edge/State-of-the-art

Ah, the age-old claim to using today’s latest technology. This could’ve worked circa 10 years ago but right now almost everyone is more or less using the same technology so stating this just makes you look like you just got on the bandwagon.

What to say instead:

If you’re indeed using a technology that only a select few in your industry are using, get specific on what are those and explain the benefits of being an early adopter. Otherwise, nix this phrase and find a more effective phrase to use.

Integrated solutions

This phrase gets me scratching my head every time. It makes me think, “What exactly are the solutions being integrated here?” Hint: people won’t know until you tell them.

What to say instead:

Rather than say an all-encompassing term like “integrated solutions,” why not list down the solutions you can offer? Your customers will no doubt thank you for it and you’ll have a much more credible copy to boot.

“Using such timeworn phrases can remove the substance in your message.”

Pushing the envelope/Game-changing

Anytime you claim to be a pioneer in the field, you’re naturally propping yourself up for big expectations. For a time, it was trendy when almost every startup was touted as the “next game-changer.”

Nowadays, unless you can back this up, it’s better to steer clear of using grandiose words that serve you no purpose but to give your brand an outdated meaning.

What to say instead:

As with my previous tip, if you have any proprietary technology or business concept that’s bound to disrupt the field, state what are those and why it has the potential to transform the field. This makes you more believable without having to resort to bland, tired phrases.

Feature-rich

Umm, isn’t everything feature-rich nowadays? Or is it just the ones I read?

No? Well, there you have it.

Using feature-rich in your copy is like saying that everyone reading this article are human beings—it’s painfully obvious and it makes your reader think you’re dumbing down your copy. As in literally.

Effective copy should always be clear, simple, and most of all, never redundant.

What to say instead:

Instead of using feature-rich, just list down all the features of your product and service. It drives home the point and subscribes to the all-powerful copywriting mantra: “Show, don’t tell.”

If you want to take it a notch further, make sure to include the benefits of the features you’ve outlined.

Quality workmanship

Quality is par for the course for today’s businesses. If you have to state this and claim it for your business, then you might not be doing enough of a good job to warrant a reputation for quality.

No matter the industry, quality workmanship is still better shown than self-proclaimed.

What to say instead:

If you want to play up the quality of your service or product and believe it’s a notch above the rest, why not reveal the process that makes yours exceptional?

Letting in your audience to this information makes it easier for customers to differentiate you from your competitors.

The Key to Email Copy That Connects and Converts

Writing a killer email copy requires a straightforward process.

Aside from nailing the subject line and including a compelling CTA, you have to sound authentic in order for your customers to resonate with your message.

This is only possible when you do away with using shallow industry terms that have long LOST its essence through years of misuse.

If you want email copy that does what you intended it to, you have to be genuine with your message without the trappings of jargon or fluff marketing words.