Is Email Marketing the Same As Email Copywriting?

So, is email marketing the same as email copywriting? The short answer is no. Email marketing and email copywriting are not the same thing. People sometimes use these phrases interchangeably. (Heck, I’ve likely been guilty of this myself.) But they’re not the same thing.

Here’s a quick video on the subject. Or jump past it to read the article.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is exactly as the name suggests. You send messages via email to your target audience. The goal of the email might be to promote a product, a service, or a cause. Or you might be sharing messages about your organization.

Email marketing is the umbrella category. Under email marketing, you have all the tasks needed to produce and send an email. This can involve things like choosing the right email software (like Mailchimp or Constant Contact). You also have to think about the design of the email. Will it have visuals? Will it be text-based? Will it have a combination of design elements and text? What’s the call to action (CTA)?

Another aspect of email marketing is list management. You need a list of contacts to send your email to. But you also need to manage this list carefully. You should monitor things like spam reports, unsubscribes, and undeliverable emails. You need to understand “graymail.”

And yes, you also need words in your emails. That’s the whole point, right? To convey a message. And that’s where email copywriting comes into play.

What is email copywriting?

Someone needs to write the words in the emails (and in the subject and preview lines). And that person is often a copywriter. Or a marketing writer. Or someone from the marketing team. Or the business owner (especially if we’re talking about a small business of one or two people). AI tools might be able to produce an initial draft, but you still need a human to review and revise before hitting send.

As a freelance copywriter, one of the many services I offer clients is email copywriting. When I deliver email copy to my clients, I deliver it in a Word doc or a Google doc. (I only provide the words.) I usually give a bunch of options for subject lines and a couple of options for the body copy, which includes a combination of the following, depending on the layout and design: the salutation, the main content, a call to action (CTA), and a closing. Often, I’ll add a “PS” as well.

Bottom line: Email marketing encompasses email copywriting.

Email marketing is not the same as email copywriting.

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