How to write email copy if you aren’t creative

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A reader asks:

Amid all of you experts in email marketing, how do you think I can differentiate myself as I’m not really that creative as a writer 🙂 …my experience is more in finance/accounting and enjoy using software such as Excel…any thoughts would be appreciated thanks

It’s a trap all of us who write copy fall into from time to time: “But I’m not creative!”

If you like using Excel, that is actually an advantage. I like to use Excel too and enjoy the challenge of using well-designed charts to tell a story in as few words as possible. Excel is also a way to keep track of email topic ideas and map out a series of emails.

You can use those analytic skills to set you apart from other email marketers. Here are my recommendations:

Use the computer as little as possible to write your copy. It’s when you are in front of a screen that “I’m not creative!” kicks in all too often.

Instead, go for walks. Record your thoughts with the voice memo on your smartphone as you get ideas.

Indulge in people-watching and people-listening as much as possible. Sit in a coffee shop or on a park bench and simply watch and listen. What are people talking about? What are they doing? Write down these observations. These are seeds that you will turn into emails.

Then, when you are at your computer to write emails, you are basically just taking dictation as you go through your notes and write down the words from your voice memos. By all means, use Excel to organize these thoughts and topics. Go ahead and even write the email drafts in Excel if you want to.

It boils down to this: do the brainstorming and coming up with ideas when you are away from the computer and the left-brained organizing and structuring of the emails when in front of the computer.

Writing email copy is a craft and as an analytic person you already have the skills to approach it as a craft, so you are more ahead of the game than you think.

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