#1 mistake for writing ecommerce emails

When I became an email copywriter for eCommerce, I subscribed to over 300 newsletters to find out what’s working (& what’s not).

The interesting thing is… the #1 mistake I found was NOT:

The lack of personalization. 

Or an ineffective subject line. 

Or failing to educate.

It’s being predictable.

Predictable means boring. 

Predictable means easy to ignore.

Predictable means no need to read.

So, how do you zag when others zig?

One way is by reversing “best practices.”

“Hi ChatGPT, what are 5 best practices for writing eCommerce emails?”

Predictable: 1. Personalize your emails

Reverse: Forget about {merge field}. Instead, imagine ONE past customer you had – an ideal customer you want more of. Write like you’re talking directly to him/her over the counter.

Predictable: 2. Craft compelling subject lines

Reverse: Stop worrying about the perfect subject lines. Instead, focus on telling one good story in every email. Your “Sender’s Name” becomes the best subject line when people find your email entertaining and enlightening.

Predictable: 3. Short and to the point content

Reverse: It’s okay to go crazy. Take however long you need to craft an enticing story. Then, cut down the word count by 10% to make it concise. 

Predictable: 4. Use high-quality images

Reverse: Look, images don’t even show up unless the reader clicks “show blocked content.” (which feels like clicking on a virus) What if you don’t use images? Instead, use word painting to “show” the readers your products in writing.

Predictable: 5. Strong Call-to-Action

Reverse: Now, I agree you want a CTA in every email. But the best part about email marketing is that you don’t have to “make a sale” in one pitch. You can always send another email tomorrow. So, instead of making CTA the focus point, try making your story the star. 

(I learned this from my mentor, Daniel Throssell – the better your story, the harder it is to have a smooth transition to a CTA.)

See, it’s not hard to become unpredictable…

…and create curiosity (and attraction) for your emails.

Now, it’s your turn.

Take one common idea and reverse it.

(or find someone to help you 😉)

Cheering for you,
Wuyen