A summary of “The Ultimate Guide On Email Copy Writing”

For my thesis I’m going to try and exploit every way possible to try and make a better crowdfunding campaign. I can’t do everything by myself because of that there is so much work that needs to be done with this campaign. The greater part of it I will do research on what we can change and do so we can implement these learnings and monitor if the effect is what we want. Therefor this summary post of the article “The Ultimate guide to email copy writing” by Ramit Sethi.

When Ramit Sethi, best-selling author and founder of I will teach you to be rich, was interviewed and asked why he thought email marketing and building your mailinglist was so important he answered:

“It’s a huge risk to build a business on a platform you don’t own.” – Ramit Sethi

1. Reasons for a mailing system in your business

The guide consists of many very handy tips and knowledgable information about having a mailing system and how to use it. The main reasons for having this system is the following. It generates most revenue and in Sethi’s case more than every other channel they used combined. The second reason is that you own your email list. The policies of network platforms like Facebook and twitter can easily change and that would leave you empty-handed. And the third main reason is that it is scalable. You can send to as many people as long as you have their email address.

2. How to get subscribers?

Loads of people who have a business don’t know how to answer the following question: “Why should I sign up for your email list?” And that is a problem. If you don’t know why you yourself should sign up for your email list, why would your potential subscribers know the answer? This is what Sethi proposes. Do two things:

  1. Create an irresistible offer or bonus
  2. Sell the offer with ultra-compelling bullets

But it has to be the right offer for the audience you’re serving. So you have to identify your audience’s single most pervasive and persistent problem. Then offer them the single most valuable, concrete and immediate solution. Be as specific as can be. The key word here is “single”. Focus on solving 1 specific problem or pain point and they will cheer you on and subscribe or stay subscribed.

The solution is to make a list of problems your (potential) readers will have and see which problems you have an immediate solution to.

The recipe he provides for this is the following


An example Sethi provides us with is: “Tired of unsuccessful cold calls? Get my 3-part sales script and learn how to triple your sales”

3 ways to make your audience come back, begging for more

A few ways that you could create these opt-in bonuses are to write a free report or ebook. This you can do to compiling the best blogpost you have to one attractive report, pull some pieces from your existing products and offer them for free, interview experts on the subjects and put these interviews in the mails.You can do the same thing with movies where you tell people that which you wanted to write in the post. A few other ways is to give away a tool. You could give away a template to how you make your movies if you’re a filmmaker and your audience are youtubers.

3 steps for extreme passion between you and your readers

But to make al these methods really shine you need to do some magic to them. Sethi calls the next method the 3-step fascination formula

Step 1: Pump the energy to 110%

How to do that? Talk in extremes. This gets the energy pumping in the reader. The internet surfer is a animal of habit and skims through the 99% of everything on the web in a heartbeat. Be outstanding with your energylevel. How to achieve that? An example: “Get your dream job” –> “Find and land your dream job” Better but still not there. “FIND and LAND your dream job in months in stead of years”. Not perfect, but pretty powerful.

Step 2: add a surprise or a counterintuitive twist

You have to add something that the reader would not expect after this sentence. Many of us already have the idea that a dreamjob can be achieved for us, so saying this will take months in stead of years is already pretty compelling. So how to make it more intriguing? So say for example:

“FIND and LAND your dream job in months in stead of years, even if I don’t know what my dreamjob is.”

This way you make it even more compelling. There are 4 easy ways to do a trick like this.

  • Add an “even if” statement (“learn how to work more efficient… even if you don’t have the time for it”)
  • Give a warning (“miss this critical step and kiss your job offer goodbye”)
  • Hint at a secret (“Most young entrepreneurs have great ideas, but never think of this one”)
  • Name a technique (“my Briefcase Technique that helped me land job offer after job offer”)

Step 3: add as many specific and vivid details as possible

This technique is to make the image in the head of the reader so specific that they can already see that dreamjob, or whatever it is you can help them with. Make it also very specific. So if you can put time in, specifically on what you’re going to give them. So the sentence we’ve been working on could have became many different things, but a very powerful one to attract people to read it would be: How to find and land your dream job in 6 months or less — even if you’ve been fired before or have no experience”

3. Write a mail people will want to read over and over again

There are actually 7 steps Ramit provides us with to write a damn good mail.

  1. Intriguing catchy subject line
  2. Personal greeting
  3. Opening line
  4. Stories that explains why your writing
  5. Call to action
  6. The personal sign off
  7. A good p.s.

These points are all very important to have a great mail. The first thing people see is the subline, so this has to be so persuasive that people actually click on it. On the website Smart Insights I found a table showing the average percentages of open rates of Mailchimp users in april 2016 (around 21%) and click throughs (around 2%) (smartinsights.com, 2016). The approximation Ramit Sethi gives is that you can boost your open rates to 30 to 40%, and guarantees that your mail marketing will go up when you apply these techniques. Most of the things he talks about in the guide are pretty common sense, but he has shown that it really works. For example the personal greeting, he says that you have to compare it with a conversation you would have in a bar. How would you like to be talked to? What would you want to hear? When would you stay interested in the conversation? Juicy stories is what most people want to hear and especially when the purpose of these stories is being told in a compelling way people will be more likely to keep reading. See your email as a present you want to give to your readers. You have to have a call to action though. When you are sure you have given a beautifully wrapped gift you can ask for something in return, for example a comment or reply on your site, which will lead to more traffic on your site and potential clients. Close off with two things, nr. 6 and 7, the personal sign off. You greeted them personally now say a goodbye personally, people should know who is behind the mail so a first name and a goodbye should suffice. According to Ramit a PS is one of the most valuable pieces of the mail. When people are in doubt if the mail is worth reading through they will skip to the end. So if you have something important to share leave it at the bottom. Another good alternative is an interesting followup of what kind of goodness will be in the next mail.

4. The power of subjectlines

One of the best copywriters ever, Joseph Sugarman, gave advice about the way you should copy write. He said: “your copy should be a slippery slope” – Joseph Sugarman

What he meant by this is that what you are writing is so interesting and the transitions so well adjusted to eachother that the reader keeps on reading. Your mail always should consist of roughly four parts. The subline, lead, body and call to action. It all begins with the subline this should force them to open the mail. The lead is to give a activating interesting statement followed by the body which describes a fascinating example or story. Then you go further and try to get them to a click, share, like or buy from you. The counter intuitive thing that I notice from the sublines that apparently were the most successful is that they are all very casual. Like talking to a friend and that is according to Sethi the power, be super personal in your mail, like you are only mailing to them and not a very large crowd. This way your open rates will increase dramatically. Another piece of advice from Sethi is that you should at least do three polishings of your sublines. When you have the idea that you could send the subjectline to a friend, then you’ve probably found a great subline. But one can not always count on inspiration to find a great subline so here are three techniques that can be used to create great sublines.

Three techniques to find great sublines

5. How to write outstanding mail

Three guidelines that will make it way easier to make great mails, that your recipients actually will read fully.
1. The mail shouldn’t be about you
2. Have a conversation
3. Make it vivid by being specific
These are three guidelines that you should take very seriously. First of like the guideline says, the mail should not be about you or your business. Like we’ve said before, your mail should be as a gift, nicely wrapped(subline, design, form) but monkey in a suit, stays a monkey in a suit. Give your reader something that makes them happy, energised or give them something they can use, like this article. Also have a conversation. The informal way of speaking will feel more natural to them and they won’t have the feeling that they are being sold out, which you never should do by the way! And last but not least make your email vivid by making it specific. Don’t use vague terms to explain it situational. Here are two great examples I copied from Sethi’s guide:

“Boring: “I don’t like commuting.”

Specific: “Every single day, I wake up and think, ‘Oh God, I can’t take yet another 45-minutes of sitting through gridlocked traffic just to get to some job that I don’t even like.’”

Boring: “You’ll have freedom and flexibility.”

Specific: “Want to take a break from work and see a movie at 1pm
on a random Wednesday? You can do that. Have a friend in town and want to meet him for lunch? You can do that, too — and no, you won’t have to ask your boss if it’s okay.’””

– Ramit Sethi, out of his guide on email copywriting

These were the biggest tips that I got from this awesome guide. If you’re interested in the original guide, you can read it and download it for free.


After this reading it becomes very clear that a good mailing strategy is of the essence in this time. It has many benefits, but as compensation it can cost a lot of time, indeed if you want to spread relevant and compelling content. But this guide has shown a couple of ways to create this kind of mailing.

The Three Step Fascination Formula. This is a formula we could use for our newsletter if we are a little further down the line. And actually we are starting to do this.
Ramit suggest to talk in extremes. Talk about dreamjob instead of job. Make a surprise at the end of your message. “find a dreamjob in months instead of years, even if you don’t know what you want to do.” This last part is what really makes it juicy and more attractive. And talk in very vivid and specific sentences. This is what makes the message alive for the reader.

Let me know what you think of the summary!

– Bas

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