Why Brief is Better when it comes to B2B Email Copywriting

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Writing B2B emails is one of your trickiest tasks as a copywriter.

They might be brief (100 words max). But that just means you’ve got more to pack into every word.

Business people can be stressed and busy at the best of times. They don’t have time to patiently check through every message.

If you’re email isn’t relevant or interesting, it’s not going to be read.

So it’s vital that your email’s subject and headline hit them with benefits straight away. You have to make it crystal clear to them exactly what they’ll gain from reading your message.

Then you need to follow up with short, punchy sentences explaining why your offer is the best thing they’ll hear all day (without veering into insincere hype). You also need to explain why taking action (whether it’s picking up the phone or visiting your website) is the smart thing to do.

Imagine you’re running up ta friend to tell them about this amazing offer they simply cannot afford to miss. You wouldn’t start by introducing yourself and telling them what a profitable year it’s been. Instead, go straight to talking about your offer in the first line, and give them a call to action early.

Remember that an email inbox is a personal space. So your tone should be friendly, enthusiastic and address the recipient as ‘you’.

With so much to fit into such little space, B2B emails often work best when combined with a web page. That way your email only has to build enough intrigue and excitement to get them to your website for a longer pitch. Personalised URLs are great for this because they capture data on each recipient, which you can drop into your database for personalising future campaigns.

So to summarise – keep your B2B emails brief, don’t waffle and hit them with benefits straight away.

What I’m reading

Commonsense Direct Marketing (second edition) by Drayton Bird – My edition might 20 years old, but its lessons are as valid today as they’ve ever been. The fact that it’s written by one of the best minds in the business makes you sit up and take notice of every word. It covers putting together a print DM campaign in exhaustive detail, and there’s an updated version available that also covers digital.

The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories – As with many copywriters, I have aspirations/delusions of turning my hand to fiction someday. I’ve got an idea for a story around the implications of teaching a supercomputer morality, our ageing population and global warming. Getting back to writing stories has been on my ‘to do’ list for sometime. What’s stopping me? Fear.

What I’ve been writing

Some of October’s highlights have been updating copy for a well known ICT provider, a case study on Canal+ broadcasting the World Cup in 3D and a video script for a website aimed at internet entrepreneurs – I’m expecting video scripts to be a big market in the near future.

About Matt Ambrose

Matt Ambrose is  a freelance copywriter that writes brochures, emails, websites and anything else requiring words for businesses in many different sectors. Clients include Siemens Enterprise Communications and Technicolor.

You can find out more about Matt on his website:

www.copywriterscrucible.com

If you’re in need of punchy copywriting, which reels in readers and converts them into customers, contact Matt now:

matt@copywriterscrucible.com

2 Comments. Leave new

In B2B direct, you can sometimes make your job a lot easier if you can identify a pain point for the recipient (bad analytics for corporate data, low ROI for campaigns, etc), and then solve it – or more likely – hint at the solution.

In any case, always interesting to see what’s going on in Ambroseland…

Thanks Tom.

As you might have noticed, I’ve decided to go with a newsletter stylee in my blog, heavily influenced by that of Andy Maslen (http://www.andymaslen.com/). I thought if I’m only going to blog once a month then I might as well pack more in.

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