So you want readable emails, huh? Wise decision. Because getting your emails read is a huge part of the battle. Because if your prospect reads your first email… they are much more likely to read your second. If you get them to read the second… they are much more likely to read the third. And if you get them to read the third… they are much more likely to read your 108th and buy. That is the power of highly-readable email copy.
So how do we write highly-readable emails?
The Italian Sonnet Technique
One of the ‘secret weapons’ of great copywriters is ‘The Italian Sonnet Technique’.
As you can probably guess, this technique comes from Italian Sonnets — a form of poetry dating back to the Renaissance.
This technique takes its name from a defining feature of Italian Sonnets: What is known as the ‘turn’.
The turn is a line in the poem that cues the reader into a change in content and structure.
So how do we use this in our emails?
It’s simple. We use transitions.
Transition Technique #1
One way to use transitions is by repeating ideas, words, sounds, or phrases from one sentence to the next.
For example, we might say:
“Compelling copy is easy to read. When your copy is easy to read, you are much more likely to make a sale.”
Contrast that with:
“Compelling copy is easy to read. You are much more likely to make a sale when your copy is easy to read.”
Which sentence-pair flows better? The first right? That’s because that sentence-pair leaves ‘copy is easy to read’ in your mind.
Transition Technique #2
Another way to write transitions (catch that? I just used a transition right there) is the old standbys.
The old standbys include: And, but, so, up to this point, furthermore, next, for example, etc…
For example, we might say:
“The first step in writing compelling copy is to understand your prospect. But that is not the only step.”
Contrast that to:
“The first step in writing compelling copy is to understand your prospect. That is not the only step.”
Though it is small, that ‘but’ does a lot of work. It cues the reader into what is coming next. It makes the sentence-pair flow better. And most of all, it makes your copy easier to read.
When your copy is easy to read, you can’t lose it.
Plant seeds of curiosity
Transitions will grease your copy to get your prospect to slip ‘n’ sliding down your email all the way to the CTA.
But to get them flying through your copy so that they can’t click the link and buy your product fast enough… you want to use LOTS of curiosity.
How do we use curiosity?
The first step is to understand what your prospect finds interesting and compelling. Then, you want to tease them about it.
For example, let’s say your prospects are obsessed with knowing the next big advertising platform, and that you write for a big advertising guru who has predicted trends in the past.
You can say something like:
“Mr Guru predicted the rise of Facebook ads 2 years before anyone else. And his latest predictions on what will work 2 years from now, may shock you.”
See how (if you were interested in paid ads) that would almost force you to read on?
Here’s an example of how you could continue from the sentence above:
“In fact, his predictions fly in the face of what you are hearing everywhere else. That’s because even the biggest ad agencies don’t have access to the insider information that Mr. Guru has.”
You see, I am simply teasing what will come next without giving it away. This is what is called ‘planting seeds of curiosity’.
By planting seeds of curiosity throughout your copy, you will vastly increase the chances that your reader will make it all the way to the CTA (which vastly improves the chances of them buying).
Where to use seeds of curiosity?
The truth is, the more curiosity you can inject into your copy, the better. But there are a few places you should very consciously inject curiosity.
One of those places is your subject lines. In fact, in subject lines, curiosity is a must.
Another place is at the end of the paragraphs. This is because it will force your reader to read to the next paragraph to ‘scratch their itch’.
That being said, it’s very difficult to have seeds of curiosity at the end of every paragraph. But if you start practising, you will find ways to make even the mundane interesting.
How to get your reader practically addicted to your writing
This last technique isn’t so much mechanical as it is philosophical (<— seed of curiosity).
Plus, this technique takes lots of hard work. Hard work in doing the research to understand your market and prospect. And hard work in writing in the most interesting way possible.
What I am talking about is using novelty.
Why do you want to use novelty?
Well, for one thing, novelty gives your reader a dopamine drip. This is what I mean when I say you can get your reader practically addicted to your writing.
Think back to the last good book you read. One that you just couldn’t put down.
That’s how you want your reader to feel every time they open one of your emails.
So tell interesting stories. Use lots of teasing. And always give your reader interesting and useful facts.
When you do that, they will struggle to ignore you.
Don’t just sit there… Write!
I hope you don’t just read this, nod your head, and go about your day.
I really hope you use this info to write better copy. To help you do that, let’s review the three ways you can use to make your writing much more compelling:
1) Make sure each sentence and paragraph has a transition. Make sure your transitions are tight.
2) Use lots of curiosity. Especially use curiosity at the ends of paragraphs.
3) Inject novelty whenever possible. Share stories and interesting facts. Always keep your reader on their toes and begging for more.
So what are you doing just sitting there? Go write!
Continue Reading: 6 ridiculously awesome email copywriting tips that convert
This article was written by Tyler McCune.