6 Recipes For Writing Better Marketing Emails

6 Recipes For Writing Better Marketing Emails

Shane Herring
Shane Herring

Course Developer at Atomic Education

Last Updated: June 16, 2021

Whether you call them recipes or formula, following a tried and true method is an efficient way to get something done. Especially if you don’t have the experience to know when to break the rules or when to change the recipe.

When you want to make your marketing emails better, recipes are just as valuable. Writing to a recipe will help you write emails that spark interest with your readers and encourage them to complete a call-to-action.

The additional benefit of following a recipe is that you can write effective emails faster.

Here are six tried-and-true recipes that are perfect for writing better marketing emails. And you can also use them when you’re writing a social media or blog post.

Let’s go.

6 recipes for writing better marketing emails

Recipe 1: P-A-S

This recipe is my favourite. It works in just about anything you write. Blog posts, emails, ads.

Some marketers say it’s the most reliable copywriting recipe ever invented.

Let’s look at how it works.

Your message is made up of three components.

P = Problem

State a problem that your reader has that your product or service can solve.

A = Agitate

Expand on the negative emotions caused by that problem.

S = Solution

Present your product or service as the solution to your reader’s problem.

This recipe works best if you focus on the “A” aspect. “Agitate” the problem by bringing up the negative emotions that the reader experiences when they think about their problem. Get inside their head. Make the reader squirm in their seat.

Then, save them by presenting them with the solution. Your solution.

Here’s how you could use it:

Don’t feel good about your-self? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. However, stay that way and you’ll never feel genuinely happy. Fortunately, best-selling authors wrote “Be the Best You” that will teach you how to be confident and courageous in just 30 days. Buy it now.

Problem: Don’t feel good about your-self?

Agitate: Don’t worry; you’re not alone. However, stay that way and you’ll never feel genuinely happy.

Solution: Fortunately, best-selling authors wrote “Be the Best You” that will teach you how to be confident and courageous in just 30 days. Buy it now.

You don’ have to try and use this recipe in one email. You can expand each over an automated series.

Here’s how you could use the P-A-S recipe over a 5-email series:

Email 1: Introduce the reader’s biggest pain point

Email 2: Agitate the problem

Email 3: Really get in there! Agitate the problem some more. Start to hint that there may be a solution for their issue…

Email 4: Offer the solution — your product or service!

Email 5: If the reader doesn’t convert, you can offer a coupon or special incentive to buy.

Recipe 2: Before – After – Bridge

Using this recipe, we tell a small story of two tales. The first part describes their world now. A world where they have the problem you can solve. The second part describe their ideal world. A world where their problem doesn’t exist. We finish up telling them how to get to the ideal world.

It’s a super simple setup, and it can work for blog post intros, social media updates, email, and anywhere else that you write (or speak, for that matter).

Before: Here’s your world now. Describe a problem they’re having.

After: Imagine what it would be to have that problem solved.

Bridge: Here’s how to get there.

Here’s an example.

Do you feel uncomfortable around other people? Do you worry about what other people think about you?

Imagine if you could confidently walk into a room and own it. Never afraid to talk to someone new. Make a great impression the first time.

Now you can. Best-selling authors wrote “Be the Best You” that will teach you how to be confident and courageous in just 30 days. Buy it now.

Recipe 3: F-A-B

You understand your product or service inside out, but it can be hard to communicate all the important details about it in one or two emails. And if you drone on about the features for too long, you’ll probably lose your reader’s attention.

Yes, it’s important to explain the benefits of your product. The advantage of this recipe is that you connect your features and the benefits they bring to your prospects.

With the Features, Advantages, Benefits (FAB), you can touch on your product’s features, but you focus on why that feature is a benefit to your reader.

Here’s the breakdown:

Feature: Briefly explain the elements of your product. Keep it short and sweet.

Advantages: Highlight why these features are unique and how they can make a difference in your customer’s business, life, etc.

Benefits: Showcase the value of your product and how it can solve your customer’s problems.

So, how can you implement this recipe?

It might look something like this:

{Insert feature} will help you {insert advantage} so you can {insert benefit}

Example of FAB in a Tweet: “Be the Best You” will show you how to speak confidently to strangers so you don’t have to worry about feeling like a fool.

These same principles can be used in subject lines or stretched out to serve as body copy. For the latter, you may expand on the advantage and benefits in multiple paragraphs to really drive the value home.

Recipe 4: A-I-D-A

A-I-D-A is arguably one of the most-used copywriting tactics of all.

First, here’s what it stands for:

Attention: Catch the reader’s eye.

Interest: Pique their interest with a compelling setup.

Desire: Make them crave the thing you’re offering.

Action: Tell them how to get the thing.

This is a classic recipe for selling, so it makes sense to deploy it in an email environment where you want readers to take action and move from their inboxes to the next stepping stone in the conversion path.

Here’s how you could use it:

Attention: No matter how much you try, there’s probably one thing that destroys your confidence.

Interest: Confidently speaking to strangers is something we all want to do.

Desire: Smart business owners know it doesn’t have to be that way. “Be the Best You” will show you how to speak to strangers with confidence in no time flat.

Action: Order your copy today and get 20% off!

With a simple, actionable setup that solves problem and reduces a customer’s pain points, this recipe is a sales-driving machine not only in emails, but also on landing pages and in video scripts.

Recipe 5: Star – Story – Solution

I love this recipe for testimonials or case studies.

Star: It needs someone who’s the star of the story. Ideally it will be someone who’s life has changed because they purchased from you.

Story: The story itself. It should be the story of how their life was before.

Solution: This is what they did to change things and how it change their life.

This recipe doesn’t have to follow the format of start, story, then solution. You might tell the story and introduce the star at the same time.

The star doesn’t have to be a person. It could be a product or service.

Here’s how it might look.

Believe it or not, I was petrified of speaking in public. The thought of having to get up on a stage and talk to an audience terrified me.

Because I own a business, I knew I had to do something about it.

So, I talked to people whose opinion I respected and asked them for their advice.

To cut a long story short, I took all that I learned, looked at what worked for me and started writing a book.

My mentors contributed more ideas and together we published it.

If you want to be able to speak confidently to an audience, you need this book.

Buy it today and get 20% off.

Recipe 6: So what?

Every time you state something about your product or service, ask yourself, “So what?”

My cakes are the best you’ll ever eat!

So what?

So you get lovingly handcrafted cakes made using the freshest ingredients.

Turning it into a sentence:

My cakes are loving crafted using the freshest ingredients.

A template to make is easier is:
The [what the product does], so you can [how this helps you].

Explain what your product does, and then explain how it helps the customer.

Additional copywriting tips

Once you find a copywriting recipe that works best for you, keep these tips in mind as you begin writing.

Avoid jargon

Do you want an easy way to lose your reader’s interest? Use words that they may not understand. Make sure they understand your message and what value you can provide them. Never assume.

Nail the subject line

It’s been said a million times, but it rings true. Having a solid subject line that piques the interest of your subscribers will ensure the email content you worked so hard to create has a chance to be seen. Be sure to deploy A/B testing to find your strongest option.

Be conversational

Being personable with your copy is a great way to engage with your customers and show them that there are real humans behind your brand. Conversational tones not only make your brand sound more relatable, but it’ll ensure your customers understand what you’re saying, too.

Wrap up

Recipes save time and maximise ROI.

Copywriting recipes are an excellent way to make sure you communicate your message clearly and present it in a way that will be most receptive to your audience. Different recipes work for various products and messages, so keep testing and tracking what you learn from each recipe use.

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