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Good Email Copy is Like a Good Beer

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Let’s hear it for good beer. It’s refreshing, enticing, and, most of all – unique.

The same goes for email content. When you are satisfied with what it has to offer, you stay true to the brand and keep coming back for more. Just like you allow a beer to ferment, prime, and age before it can finally be imbibed, you craft and edit content so that it can be tried out by the masses in its best form.

The question is: what ingredients make the perfect recipe for quality email content?

Compelling Subject Line/Compelling Name

I am willing to admit that I have purchased a pricey single 24 oz. bottle of beer simply because of its name. A prime example would be a bottle of beer named ‘Blood of the Unicorn.’ Not only does it evoke images and ideas from fantasy films such as Legend and the Harry Potter series, but it also reels me in due to my love for general oddities.

A compelling email subject line performs the same way; it draws the reader in and coerces them to click to learn more, ultimately purchasing a product or service. Point blank? A name, title, or subject line alone can intrigue and result in a sale. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Personalization of a Product or Service

Highly segmented emails make for better open rates, and the personalization of a product will instantly make it more attractive. You may have heard about the trend of bottling and branding your own wine label, but did you know that you could do the same with beer?

Just as you can target your audience and ensure that you are sending out information that is specifically vital to them, breweries and distributors can provide a beer that people will relate to, even emotionally.

Emotionally? Really?

Even if a beer isn’t bottled with your surname on the label, it can be customized in other ways. A clever marketing move is to target people who are from a specific region who specifically connect with an image or phrase (many breweries have a canine mascot, such as Big Dog’s Brewing Company’s prominently-featured black lab.) Some of their ales expand upon this idea and include brews such as Watch Dog Wit, Alpha Dog Double Red and the Wonderdog Double IPA. If my much-loved mutt was featured on a beer bottle, chances are that I would feel the obligation to pick up a bottle (or 6 pack). The same is often done with sports logos or mantras; diehard fans will purchase almost anything with their team’s likeness featured on it.

Likewise, I will open an email that includes the identifiers ‘you’ and ‘your’ because I feel that the email is often speaking directly to me. There are smart ways to insert a first name, and they don’t include beginning an email with the recipient’s first name: that’s an obvious spam technique. An A/B split test, however, is always a good idea in these situations. Some industry customers may be more open to the personalized email approach than others. Just remember who your audience is; an email about the Green Bay Packers is likely to do better in Wisconsin than Chicago!

In general, the use of the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ are recommended; if someone calls me by my first name without any previous contact, I would be more than hesitant to open anything that popped up in my inbox. Using identifiers such as ‘your’ addresses a consumer’s wants and needs. Upon reading an email that addresses their needs, they will very often click to see what the offer or service is all about. “Get Your Chicago Bears Gear Now!” would sell me on a product more than “Get a Chicago Bears Winter Hat!”, for example.

Actionable Language

When you are crafting a successful, to-the-point call to action, it must be brief. When you see a beer with a classic, simple label that says “DRINK ME!”, it tells you to do something you already planned on doing, simply in a more intriguing fashion. When you open an email, you aren’t going to notice a CTA if it’s buried in extraneous text. A successful CTA makes the reader want to take immediate action. In the case of your email, it could be anything from requesting a free quote (“Get Your Free Quote Today!”) to trying a product (“Get Your Free Sample!”) to viewing a daily deal (“One-Day Lightning Deal”).

Don’t be afraid to simplify your approach when reaching out to customers. Much like a quality beer, excellent email copy is clean and straightforward. For complicated beverages, please see wine and whiskey. Don’t get me wrong; beer can be complex, but most of the time we like when it’s simply refreshing … and original.

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One Response to Good Email Copy is Like a Good Beer

  1. I’m a former copywriter/ACD and I liked the flow of your “Good Beer” blog. I’m now an advertising recruiter and was looking at your website portfolio section with the visuals for your clients.

    Have you seen the post on LinkedIn about the most trite visuals used in advertising? See if you can find it then show it to whoever / whomever (?) did your site. By my estimation, there are seven visuals that meet that criteria. My guess? Someone’s using budget stock photography. You have a nice client list; the visuals should be as good as your writing.

    David White
    Chicago, IL

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