How many emails would you say you receive every day?
And how many of those actually make you curious enough to not only open them but to read them until the end? And how many intrigue you enough to click their CTA?
As a user, you know how cluttered inboxes can get. Especially if you consider that an astonishing 293.6 billion emails are sent every day on a global scale.
That is a lot of competition, and it begs the question:
How can you make your emails stand out among so many others?
One strategy that many businesses have been adopting is the usage of conversational copywriting in their email marketing.
In today’s article, we’ll explore the what, why, when, and how of conversational emails. So keep reading to learn how you can create deeper connections with your audience and take your email marketing to the next level!
What Is Conversational Marketing?
Before we get into conversational emails, it’s helpful to understand what conversational marketing is as a whole.
As the name suggests, conversational marketing is an approach that uses dialogue-driven tactics to engage with users and creating a two-way experience. This is where the interaction with the brand’s customers and prospects is the main focus.
It differs from other digital marketing strategies because it’s about more than what you, as a brand, have to say.
Rather, it’s about developing a trustworthy relationship with each user over time, through the power of conversation and, ultimately, convert them into leads.
Conversational marketing is often associated with chatbots, but there are other ways you can use it.
One is, of course, by writing conversational emails - and next, we’ll get into all the reasons why you should do it!
Why Should You Send Conversational Emails?
Email is a conversational medium by nature.
It was created so people could communicate in a natural, quick, and easy style. And that’s what most of us use it for, whether it’s at work or in our personal life.
Branded emails, on the other hand, are usually sales-focused.
They’re about the brand and what it has to offer. And they rarely include an attempt to start a conversation or to actually engage with the subscriber.
“20% off our new line for 24 hours!”
“Discover our new products!”
“Sign up for our webinar today!”
You get the drill.
However, there’s no reason why brands shouldn’t use conversational copywriting in their emails.
On the contrary, there are many reasons why they should:
It Helps You Stand Out
We mentioned before how busy people’s inboxes can get.
It’s a real obstacle for most businesses, but conversational email is one way of overcoming it.
Think about it. In a sea of emails trying to sell, sell, sell, and sell, if you see one that isn't selling, it's refreshing. If it's trying to learn more about you, it will grab your attention, won’t it?
It Makes It Easier For You to Convey Your Message
As you’ll soon learn, one of the main rules of conversational email is that you should avoid using complex words and sentences.
Any technical jargon or industry buzzwords is a no-no.
As such, it’s easy to understand why conversational emails can help you convey your message in a much clearer way. No matter what your message is, conversational emails work.
It Allows You to Create More Authentic Connections With Your Audience
When you use conversational marketing, you’re not expecting users to convert right away.
The goal, as discussed before, is to create a conversation and, over time, become closer with your prospects. It's a good idea to do this so that they trust your brand and consider transacting with you in the future.
The great thing about this tactic that you’ll have the opportunity to address each user in a much more personal way. You'll also be able to show them your brand’s personality.
You’ll become a friend, rather than just another brand, and believe us when we say that this will translate into more sales.
When Should You Use Conversational Copywriting?
As beneficial as conversational emails can be, it’s important that you learn when it’s appropriate to use them. And when going for a more professional, formal route is the right choice.
In short, you should use conversational copywriting when:
- You want the lead to schedule an appointment, meeting, or tour
- You want to learn more about the lead, so you can direct them to a specific product or service
- You want to ask qualifying questions so you find the highest quality leads
- You simply want to introduce yourself before you ask your subscribers for anything
- You want to turn your email campaigns into more personalized experiences
💡 Pro tip: Remember - conversational emails are about the back and forth. As such, you need to determine the next steps a prospect should take after they reply to your initial message. Otherwise, the interaction won’t continue and your efforts will go down the drain.
The 3 Steps of Conversational Email
According to Drift, the marketing platform that coined the term ‘conversational marketing’, there are three main steps to this strategy.
They’re typically referred to as the Conversational Framework, and we can apply them to conversational email as well:
First things first, you need to engage the prospect in the conversation.
The main goal here is to get them to subscribe, so that you can move on to the second step of the framework.
For example, let’s say you are a digital marketing consultant.
As a lead magnet, you could ask users if they would like to access a free SEO checklist.
In return, you’d ask for their email addresses, always being careful not to sound too sales-y, because:
Once your prospect is engaged in the interaction, they’ll start providing you with valuable insights about them. And it’s on you to listen and understand.
(Nope, it’s still not about!)
The first thing you need to figure out is who is a qualified lead and who isn’t. Then focus on the first group.
Then you’ll need to take the information that is provided to you and use it in order to build the trustworthy relationship. We've discussed this earlier.
Going back to the previous example about digital marketing. Once they’re in your contact list, you could ask them which areas of digital marketing they’d like to learn more about.
Finally, once you’ve gathered useful information about a prospect, you can start making recommendations.
(Yep, it’s finally about you!)
For example, let's imagine someone replied to your email saying they need help with email marketing. You could send them a list of articles you’ve written about the topic. And suggest them to schedule an email marketing consultation with you.
This way, you’ll be promoting your brand, while making sure that each recommendation you make is relevant and tailored to the prospect’s needs.
How to Write Conversational Emails: 8 Tips (With Examples)
It’s clear that writing conversational emails can be extremely beneficial for your brand, and right now you’re either:
- Bubbling up with conversational copywriting ideas for your next email campaign
- Struggling to figure out how you can let go of the professional or sales-oriented component of your newsletters.
If you’re in the second situation, don’t worry.
This is an obstacle many brands face when starting out with conversational copywriting - especially brands in complex or technical niches.
If you chose a), awesome, make sure to write all those ideas down!
Either way, the following nine tips will help you make sure your conversational emails tick all the boxes for success. So keep them in mind!
Avoid Complex or Fancy Words
Remember when we said that conversational emails made it easier for you to convey your message?
Well, that’s only the case if you avoid complicated words, industry jargon, or expressions that no one uses in real life.
The motto here is:
💡 Pro tip: Since we’re talking about what to avoid, sales language is also a no-no!
Write As If You Were Talking to One Specific Person
Although you may send out email blasts when you send out your branded emails, you don’t have to ignore the individual reader.
In fact, you shouldn’t.
Contrarily, the goal is for each of your subscribers to feel like you’re talking directly to them when they read your email.
Take a look at the following email, for example:
They could have used the expressions “surprise for all of you”, “Do you guys have” or “more value to our subscribers”.
Yet, they chose to be more personal, and it worked.
Don’t Forget the Subject Line
The conversational copywriting of an email shouldn’t just be used in its content - the subject line needs to match that tone as well!
When crafting a subject line and the preview text for a conversational email, make sure it reflects the type of communication style within the email.
Two great examples of this are:
Add Personality to Your Emails
Knowing your brand’s personality is essential for your digital marketing efforts overall. Especially when your goal is to get closer to your customers and prospects.
As such, make sure whatever traits best describe your brand transpire in your conversational copywriting.
Take a look at this excerpt from an email sent by a swimwear brand. They’re relaxed, friendly, and kind - and it shows.
As human beings, we know that the best way of keeping a conversation going is by asking questions.
Well, the same logic applies here!
By asking questions, you encourage your subscribers to actually reply. And you can get access to insights that can help you increase conversions.
So, ask away!
💡 Pro tip: Most users aren’t used to replying to branded emails. If you truly want them to, make sure your questions don’t sound rhetorical. You can even tell them specifically to email you back or if you want to take it one step further, reward those who do.
Use Short Sentences
Once again, conversational means easy to understand.
As such, writing giant paragraphs that don’t even leave space for the subscriber to breathe is simply not the way to go.
Keep it short and sweet (ideally under 35 words). Yoga With Adriene does this in the email below. This ensures that readers will be able to follow your writing.
💡 Pro tip: To make your short sentences even easier to read, make sure you never use passive voice.
Don’t Be Afraid to Break Rules
When we speak in our day-to-day lives, we don’t always follow the rules of English to a t.
Although it’s tempting to write all your emails that are perfectly written to the rules of the English language, it's not needed. When we speak about conversational ones, you can (and should experiment) let go a little, by:
- Starting sentences with “but”, “and”, or “or”
- Using broken sentences
- Using interjections
- Using contractions
- Ending sentences with prepositions
The following email does a lot of what we just listed. It even uses an emoji! Yet we can’t say it doesn’t sound natural and friendly, can we?
Read Your Email Out Loud Before You Send It
Last but not least, it’s pivotal that you proofread your conversational emails.
However, you don’t just want to do it in your head.
You should always read your conversational copywriting out loud, to make sure it flows well and doesn’t sound “robotic”.
The entire email should sound like speech, like a part of a dialogue that you’d have in real life.
So read it out loud a couple of times and make any necessary changes until it is on point!
Conversational email helps you develop genuine connections with prospects and consumers. By not endlessly promoting yourself, you open your brand up to be more personable.
Now that you know about the what, why, when, and how of conversational emails it’s time to start including them in your campaigns.
Happy conversing (and converting)!