One of the best ways to stay in touch with clients between appointments is via email.

There are countless ways to do this — sending special sale announcements, regular newsletters, thank-you notes after appointments or sessions, even automated birthday emails. But while you likely have countless creative ideas for how to stay in touch, not everyone is a born writer.

That’s totally okay! Hand me a pair of scissors and tell me to cut my own bangs, and hoo boy. I can now say with absolute confidence that baby bangs don’t become me. Hairstyling = not my forté. But as Schedulicity’s Head of Content, I make my living with words, and I really, really love a well-crafted email. That’s why today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite hacks and secrets for writing great email copy every time.

Tip 1: Write Like a Friend

Because to your clients, you are one! Too often, people tend to write emails in a more formal tone than they should. We were all taught in high school to write these classic five-paragraph essays — loads of semi-colons, no conjunctions, no slang ever. Sound familiar?

Well, when it comes to automated marketing and email messaging, I’m here to tell you that those rules were made to be bent and even broken.

When it comes to email copy, write like you talk to your BFF. Keep your messages short and sweet, easy to scan, and friendly. Don’t be afraid to use conjunctions. (See? I put one in right there!) They feel more human. Use exclamation marks if you like (just sparingly) to show your excitement. Make jokes. Maybe even throw in a GIF. You’re in the business of connecting with people, so your emails don’t need to feel robotic.

Tip 2: Avoid Passive Voice

You likely learned how to avoid passive voice in your writing around when you learned that five-paragraph essay format. But it’s been a few years since then, so you might slip into it more often than you realize.

With email copy, you should try your best to avoid it. Active voice makes it easier for your clients to read quickly and understand what you want them to do. It helps to avoid it while you write, but you can also scan your email while you’re editing it to spot sneaking passive sentences.

To spot passive voice, look for to be verbs. Here are a few examples:

Passive:

She was given a blunt bob for summer.

Active:

I gave her a blunt bob for summer.

Passive:

Sweat, our HIIT plus yoga mashup, is our most adored class by clients.

Active:

Clients adore our HIIT-plus-yoga mashup, Sweat.

For an in-depth explainer on active versus passive voice, try Grammarly’s. And speaking of…

Tip 3: Use Grammarly

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m using this right now. Grammarly is a free plugin you can add to your browser that will catch most spelling errors and common grammar mistakes. It’s like spellcheck on steroids. Use it. You will not regret it.

Tip 4: Ask Readers to Do ONLY One Thing

There are some exceptions to this rule (e.g. newsletters), but in general, marketing emails should include just one call-to-action — or “CTA” in marketing speak. The idea is this: If you ask clients to do more than one thing in an email, you distract, confuse, and divide. Instead, write each email with one goal in mind.

Do you want them to buy a special package? Make that the sole focus of your email with a clear link or button at the bottom. To add their birthday to their client profile, so you can send special automated birthday emails? Ask them to do that and only that.

If you’ve got more than one marketing push planned, plan one email for each goal — just make sure to spread them out, so you’re not emailing clients too much, too often.

Tip 5: Ask Clients What They Want

Before you decide what sort of sales to offer or marketing campaigns to run, go to the source. When a client comes in for an appointment or even just emails or DMs you a question, use the opportunity to pick his or her brain. What discounts or packages would she like you to offer? By getting some insight into what clients actually want, you’ll be able to better plan the sorts of emails you send.

Tip 6: Look at Emails You Open Every Time

Which sales emails do you open every time they land in your inbox? For me, it’s Reformation, Madewell, Bon Appetit, and Everlane. Make a list of your favorites, then spend 15 minutes writing down what it is about them that appeals to you, like so:

Madewell:

  • Cheeky and funny subject lines
  • Regular sales
  • Seasonal specific themes (of course I want to see new linen in spring!)
  • Clever copy once I’ve opened it, too


Use what you learn — you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Pro tip: If there’s one bit of copy you should spend more time on, it’s your subject lines. Think about it: If you can’t get someone to open your email, they’ll never see the great offer you have inside. So, makes sure you spend some extra time coming up with a must-open subject line. Trust me, all of your favorite brands do this.

Tip 7: Read It Out Loud

Before you send it, yell it. Or, fine, read it politely in an indoor voice if that’s more your vibe. Regardless, read it out loud to catch any awkward moments or turns of phrase. In fact, I’m going to go back and read this article out loud right now.