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How to Write Better Emails: My PROVEN Email Newsletter Formula

Reading time: 8 min.

It takes me about five minutes to structure my email newsletter every week, then another 10 – 15 to bang out a first draft. In this blog, I’m diving into the 6-step email newsletter formula that has helped me not just grow my list but maintain my email list’s growth.

The whole “don’t write unless you have something to say” camp is wise, no doubt. But writer’s block masquerades in procrastination more times than not for me … I get paid to punch a keyboard and struggle with this constantly. It’s as soul-crushing of a realization as it sounds. 😉

That’s why frameworks are goldmines for me.

Email copywriting can be difficult IF you don’t know where to get started. But a tried-and-true framework or outline expedites the process, so I thought I’d pass it along here.

More importantly than efficiency, of course, this is the email newsletter formula that has sold the click that I want them to click on at the end of the email. What I want them to watch, read, engage with.

I’ve talked extensively about copywriting formulas, copywriting hacks in general, and today I want to walk through your email newsletter marketing specifically—because not knowing what to say should not be the thing that’s holding you back from making sales.

How to write better emails with my proven newsletter formula - Ashlyn Writes

I’ve heard from so many folks in our audience: a lot of you want to send out that weekly piece of content to your email list. But it’s what to say or getting started that holds you back.

This 6 step email newsletter formula accounts for well-over 80% of email broadcasts I send out (hey-o Pareto’s principle). Let’s go!

Don’t forget to click here or below to grab your freebie: 42 Email Subject Lines Swipe File!


 


Email Newsletter Formula Step No. 1 | Problem

So I’ll go ahead and layout my email newsletter formula—it’s called P.A.S.C.A.L. (Yes, like Blaise Pascal, the guy you studied in high school math…this has nothing to do with him except he’s French and I like France.)

In my little ecosystem of content we pump out, I publish a weekly, regular and rhythmic piece of hero content in my business (this is one right here that you’re reading). I’ve taught nearly 6,000 of you this inside Primed to Launch™. … I practice what I preach, and this is what I do in my business, too. The lion’s share of my content-creation time goes to creating a weekly hero piece of content, which means at least ONE email every single week is going to push to that piece of content.

SO, the first step in the email newsletter copy formula presents the problem.

I’m going to drop the reader RIGHT in the middle of the rising action in the body copy of the email, starting with the problem the reader has.

Tips for Crafting This Part of the Email Copy:

  • Focus on something specific that your ideal reader has as a problem.
  • Do you consider yourself more in the luxury/beauty/art market, and less of a “problem” solver? Think about instead is how to speak to what that person is pining for, what they want so badly … what that dreamlike state looks like. If you’ve heard me talk about my P.A.R.I.S. sales copywriting formula before, then you’ve heard me reference this.
  • Remember, drop them in the middle of the rising action. Don’t wind up, don’t come waaaay back and explain the backstory. Get to it.
  • Keep this sentence fairly short. Coach the opportunity for them to keep moving through the email. If I come in with this big block text right off the bat, that’s not really encouraging to keep reading. 9/10 times, it’s a fairly short sentence. This also speaks to why it is so important to be constantly listening to and serving your audience.

Email Newsletter Formula Step No. 2 | Agitate

Okay, we’ve said the problem or what they’re pining for. Part two of the email newsletter formula is agitating or amplifying that.

First line of email copy? ✅

For that second line or two of the email copy, spend a little bit of time poking the bear—reminding your audience that yes, this is a problem they want to solve. This is something that’s been plaguing them … or just been stuck on their to-do list for ages.

Empathize with them and letting them know “I hear you, I’ve been there, too (or know someone who has).”

Tips for Crafting This Part of the Email Copy:

  • Consider a hero’s-journey-style email, ex. paint a quick picture of how bad it used to be for you.
  • An easy way to agitate a problem is to splinter out how that ONE thing dominos and affects so many other things in your life.
  • Another way to easily agitate a problem is to share social proof of how you hear this constantly in your audience, and all the ways it’s been said to you.
  • This copy should be as long as it needs to be to get the point across. It can be 1 line or a little bit of body copy.
  • Style up your copy as you go…underlining, bolding, & playing around with the visual elements of the words. Like I said in step one, we want to keep the pace up, so see how you can help them get through it.

 

BTW, the P-A-S copywriting formula is going to be familiar to you if you’ve watched or read anything I’ve shared before, or if you’ve studied copywriting in general—the Problem-Agitation-Solution formula is the Rayban wayfarers of copywriting.

But, it needs a ~little~ extra something to really jive for an email newsletter, and that’s where the -C-A-L part comes in, so stick with me. 😉

Related: 19 Copywriting Formulas You Need to Drive Conversions


Email Newsletter Formula Step No. 3 | Solution

The next component of the email newsletter template is giving the solution.

In this step of the email copy, you want to give away some of the solution, give advice, a paradigm shift, a myth buster, a different mindset. Show the solution that worked for you (or your clients or customers) in the past.

Tips for Crafting This Part of the Email Copy:

  • Take the time to make that email worth the click. Don’t hold back, give them that golden nugget. This is part of the trust-building, showing your audience that you are worthy of being read, of taking up that precious space in their inbox—so make this juicy.
  • Use story to illustrate it (story can be just a line or two of anecdotal evidence).
  • I usually like to make this copy pop, either with BASIC HTML or emojis. <<< something to draw attention here in case they skim to this.

Related: How to Become a Copywriter & Own Your Niche


Email Newsletter Formula Step No. 4 | Chance

This is where things get a *leetle* bit spicy. 😉

You’ve earned it—you made the email worth the click and taught something, passed along an insight, or gave an a-ha.

NOW, you want to open the door to the new opportunity or possibility—that thing they can go out and do now that they’ve got this golden nugget in hand.

Tips for Crafting This Part of the Email Copy:

  • This is that “love is an open door” moment where they should see the doors open, the birds flying, and they think “oh my gosh, look what I can do now that I have this in my back pocket!” … let them rest THERE before you move to Step 5 … which knocks them down a peg. 😉
  • An easy way to show the new chance they have is to quickly explain why knowing this is better than the old way of thinking.
  • Another idea? Tell them what could totally change in life now that this info is in their hand. Get ’em excited—if you’re writing with integrity, it shouldn’t be hard: you gave them a fantastic tip or takeaway above.
  • State this simply. 


Email Newsletter Formula Step No. 5 | Agitate or Amplify

Wait … didn’t she say this already?! YEP, sure did, and we’re doing it again here! ⬇️

At this point, you should’ve explained enough that you’ve made a point to show them how the reader has achieved a new level of understanding.

BUT, as Biggie sang, more money, more problems.

That new opportunity gives a NEW set of problems or desires.

(Which isn’t a bad thing or a good thing … it’s a neutral thing, it’s up to YOU to decide how to frame it to your reader.)

In this part of the email copy, you want to tease out the new problem or desire for a half-sec.

Think #champagneproblems … solve one issue, whack-a-mole new one crops up.

Tips for Crafting This Part of the Email Copy:

  • Again, an easy way to say this is to explain how you (or a client or customer) THEN faced a new issue—you needed a system, a plan, a playbook, etc.
  • State it simply. Don’t spend too long here—we’re wrapping this email copy up.

 


Email Newsletter Formula Step No. 6 | Link or Call-to-Action

Badabing, badaboom: That brings us straight to the call to action, the whole thing that this sales email was selling in the first place.

NOW you’re positioning a click (or action to take) as the solution to the #champagneproblem you just referenced.

This links to the offer page, the product page, the sales page, or maybe that hero piece of content—that blog podcast, episode, whatever it is—remember the entire point of the email is to sell this link.

Tips for Crafting This Part of the Email Copy:

  • Test things: try simply hyperlinking the copy and test that against a button-y looking HTML link.
  • I also sometimes test hyperlinking 1 word or phrase higher in the email WITH a full sentence hyperlink towards the bottom vs. just a bottom-of-the-email hyperlink.
  • I typically like to try 3 hyperlinks (all driving to the same link) in a P-A-S-C-A-L email: 1 word up high, 1 button, and 1 sentence hyperlinked.
  • Make sure your brand hyperlink color pops—there’s a reason that classic HTML hyperlink blue works so well and has stood the test of time.
  • Try to use the copy you’re using as the subject line as the hyperlink copy in the body of the email—that helps ramp up the click-through rate.

 

If you’re applying that weekly content strategy like I teach inside Primed to Launch™, then boom, there you have it—an email newsletter copywriting formula you can use over and over again.

I 150% cannot COUNT how many times I’ve used this as a structure. I just write out these six steps and then I’ve gone through and filled it in—seriously, the email newsletter writes itself.

This is exactly the kind of email newsletter formula that you can send out every. single. week. to your email newsletter list.

Related: 4 Proven Sales Copywriting Tips from a Launch Copywriter


Now you know how to write and construct that weekly email newsletter. But what about that subject line? I’ve got this episode & blog teed up for you where I take you through seven different subject line formulas. Sure, you can swipe all day but until you know the psychology kind of behind the structure of them, they don’t quite make sense. This how-too should help!

Don’t forget to click here or down to grab my list of 42 different email subject lines swipe files … you can download these and use them to plug and play in your own business and split tests along the way.

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How to write better emails: My proven email newsletter formula

Reading Time: 8 Minutes Reading time: 8 min. It takes me about five minutes to structure my email newsletter every week, then another 10 – 15 to bang out a first draft. In this blog, I’m diving into the 6-step email newsletter formula that has helped me not just grow my list but maintain my email list’s growth. The […]

1/15/21

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 THIS is where you get a front-row seat to sales copy tips & hacks I’m applying to write first-rate/top-shelf funnels for clients, what’s on my desk (and in my earbuds), and what lessons I’ve learned … sometimes the hard way. Hope you’re ok that I’m a little more personal here than I am in social media land!

And? These emails are read—and swipe filed—by people you probably follow in the creative industry … and you can get ‘em, too.

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