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"Conversational Email Copywriting" with Stephanie Casstevens (Content Lab, Ep. 11)

Liz Murphy

Director of Web & Interactive Content, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast

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"Conversational Email Copywriting" with Stephanie Casstevens (Content Lab, Ep. 11) Blog Feature

Published on October 3rd, 2018

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When people think about creating content, typically it's blog articles, case studies, and pillars that come to mind.

In reality, content can take many forms -- for example, writing an email newsletter for your company is writing a piece of content.

What’s funny -- or pitiful, depending on how you think about it -- is that, when given the choice, I’ll choose to write a 3,000-word article over a short, pithy email newsletter any day of the week.

There’s something about writing email copy that freaks me out, you know? (Maybe it’s just my natural tendency to answer yes or no questions with 10-paragraph essays, which I know is what one might call a "personal problem.")

Regardless, I’ve invited Stephanie Casstevens, our Director of Audience Engagement and Community, to talk about a new type of email copywriting -- conversational email copywriting --  that has become quite popular.

Why her? Because she uses that style for her IMPACT Elite email updates:

elite-email

In fact, it's a style of email I predict will become more commonplace as time goes on, as brands continue to push themselves toward being more human and authentic, in response to the demands of their audience.

So, that’s why I had Stephanie join me today: to talk about the art of conversational email copywriting -- what it is, why I shouldn’t be terrified, and all of her copywriting tips and tricks to make your emails irresistible.

Enjoy! 

Listen to the Episode

Resources & Articles

One Thing: Be Yourself

What’s interesting about conversational email copywriting is that so much of the mindset you need to adopt to be successful with it also applies to other types of content creation.

Which brings me to this week’s one thing -- the one thing you can start doing right now to make your content instantly better.

Think about the last time you sat down to write a piece of content to be published on an organizational channel -- for example, a blog article on a company website, that’s promoted through social media. 

Did you make an effort to sound… more professional? Smarter? Someone worthy of respect from those who are older, more seasoned, and more successful than you, however you might define it?

Be honest with yourself -- do you sometimes try to “write above your pay grade?" 

This is a common content creation trap that marketers can fall into -- especially if you’re just starting out in the inbound and content marketing world. 

I also fall into this trap, personally, when I need to write about a topic that I feel insecure about -- where I'm not sure I have the background or expertise to establish the authority I want with readers.

You want people to have faith in you, your ideas, and your opinions. You want to command respect and to be seen as a thought leader. 

So, it makes sense that you might take steps to have your content dress the part, when you're feeling unsure.

In some contexts, extra polish is exactly what you need -- a case study where the results should be free from editorial fluff, so they can stand out; copy for a website page on a service you provide. 

In other instances, however -- where it’s your name on the byline, or that of someone you’re collaborating with -- this writing above your pay grade approach can be the kiss of death.

You may think you’re being impressive and sounding smart, but in reality, your audience will see right through it. 

To them, you’ll sound inauthentic. Instead, be yourself. Sound like yourself. 

Weekly Awesome: Brian Dean's Backlinko Backlinks Guide 

One of the areas of expertise I’m trying to level-up on is SEO and backlinking.

This should be no surprise if you listened to episode 8 of this podcast, where I talked about blending the art of content creation with the science of technical SEO with Franco Valentino of Narrative SEO

But if you missed it, here's the bottom line:

If you want to create great content that people actually put their peepers on nowadays, you need to have a dual discipline in SEO principles and content creation -- even if you lead with your content skillset like I do. 

Anyway, to that end, this week’s weekly awesome is Brian Dean of Backlinko’s Definitive Guide to Backlinking, newly revised for 2018. 

Not only is it a fantastic example of pillar content, it’s the first time I’ve found a resource on back linking that (a) makes sense, and (b) gives me deep, well explained tactics that I can do on my own. 

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