How to Turn Anything into

Email Copy and Email Engagement Hacks

So far, we’ve talked about what a high converting email is and how to write them and the basic anatomy of the email. Now it’s time to write the copy. But where do you start?

Writing copy can be one of the hardest parts of email marketing. You need to find inspiration on what to write and figure out how to use the content you already have for copy.

We’ve all heard (and know to be true, if we’ve been in business for a while) that content is key in building relationships. And to keep those relationships nourishing, you must provide quality content consistently. Your subscribers want to be kept in the loop of the latest and greatest happening from your brand.

But even with all the content you have been sending, sometimes you still struggle to come up with email copy ideas.

In this guide there are ideas for ways to come up with content when you draw a blank. We’ll look at why keeping a swipe file is one of the secret weapons of most copywriters. Next, we’ll take a page out of your daily life and show you how to use it for email copy. Then we’ll talk about curated content and repurposing your other content.

If that’s not enough to get your creative ideas flowing, we’ll look at some ideas for topics for email copy you can use.  Finally, we’ll give you some other reasons to send out an email and how to get more engagements and responses.

Swipe Files

Have you ever wondered how copywriters come up with content when they’re stumped on what to write? They use swipe files.

Swipe files are files where you collect copywriting examples. These can be headlines that are catchy, email promotions that stand out, paragraphs that pull you in, catchy phrases or slogans. Swipe files can be photos, graphics, images or even complete websites or landing pages that are successful.

Swipe files help you come up with ideas to write your own copy. You aren’t copying the content; that would be plagiarism. Instead you’re using the swipe file copy to spark your own creative ideas.

If you haven’t started collecting swipe files of good headlines and email copy, you should begin. Whenever you come across a good email or other content, save it to somewhere you can access it, such as Evernote, Trello, or Google Drive. Then when you need inspiration on what to write or how to write something, pull up your swipe files. It’s best if you can keep them organized, say with folders for emails, headings, copy, sales pages, content, or whatever works for you.

To use swipe files, follow these steps.

  1. Understand your target market and their needs before you begin any writing. Then you can use the work of others to begin creating your own email sales copy by taking inspiration from your swipe files.
  2. Look at the different elements in the swipe file to get inspiration. Look at:
    1. The number of words
    2. The overall format
    3. The number of adjectives or adverbs they used
    4. Where they were placed in the headline, copy
    5. The bullet points and the number of them used
    6. The impact words of the copy or headline
  3. Look at the style of the emails. How are they set up? How many images, CTAs or URLs are included? What words do they use to draw the reader in?
  4. Look for examples of headlines or bullet list points that mirror the “energy” or feeling you want for your piece.
  5. Start creating your copy or headline using some of the examples as a guide.

Swipe files are helpful in creating sales copy faster that can convert well. Whenever you see some type of content that grabs your attention, save the link for future reference.

Use Daily Life Happenings

When you’re stumped for content, you have to look no further than what’s going on in your daily life. It might sound odd to use your daily life happenings to create email content, especially if you’re doing business emails. But in reality, it might be some of the best content to build relationships and keep your readers coming back.

Let me explain.

Stories sell.

Everyone wants to know the real person, not just the business. Stories keep people interested and reading. And people remember stories more than anything else.

The thing about stories, though, to attract connections and engagement, you have to actually get personal. That means sharing pieces of yourself.

That’s where your daily life happenings come in.

Take something that happened to you or around you today, tie it into your niche, product, service or whatever your promoting. Then send it out to your readers.

Here’s an example:

“It’s been one of those days when it seems everything was against me. The coffee machine decided it wasn’t going to spew out that rich, wake-me-up brew today. The hot water heater decided to take the day off. The older dog decided she didn’t have to share my favorite pair of shoes with me. The cat brought me a rodent present, proudly dropping it at my feet. As I was sitting at my desk, my chair suddenly rolled, throwing one it’s rollers across the room and tossing me to the floor. And all this before 10 a.m.

As I sat there stunned, I suddenly started laughing. I realized that today the Universe was trying to tell me something. And it took throwing me on the floor for me to listen. I needed stop and take time for myself and rejuvenate.

You see, I’ve been burning the midnight oil on a project for work, I haven’t been taking the time I need to relax and was trying to do it all myself. I was letting everything build up, and stress me out. Instead I should have been doing what I teach you.

We all need to take time each day to meditate, plan and delegate out the stuff that we don’t really need to be doing.

The It’s About Me-time course shows you how to ….”

It’s easy to take some event that happened or something someone said and turn it into an email. It shows you as human while building a connection to your readers they can relate to.

Repurposing and Curating

Repurposing and curating are both great ways to create content for your emails. Not only is it a quicker way to write content but it helps you build your credibility as being a trusted resource.

Repurposing is the process of using content you’ve already created. For example, if you do a video, you can repurpose that content into an email. Use a portion of the video along with a bit of text and you have an email.

Other types of content that can be repurposed includes

  1. PLR (private label rights) content you’ve purchased. Take portions of the PLR and use it to create a compelling email.
  2. Ebooks you’ve written. Use excerpts from the book to create a buzz in your email, teach them something or share a story from the book.
  3. Templates you’re using or have created. Share how you are using them or how they can benefit your reader.
  4. Webinars you’ve given.
  5. Podcasts you have. Share interviews you’ve given or been interviewed in.
  6. Portions of a talk you gave.
  7. Video transcripts. Pull out the transcript and share to your list.

Content curation is the process of adding your voice and value to a selection of other people’s content.  This content can come from a variety of sources, around a specific topic. You publish it and share it with your added comments.

Content curation is a great way to build your authority. You’re bringing the information of others, their expertise, together in one place so your readers don’t have to go searching for it all over the internet. This helps you be seen as the go-to source for your audience about all things in your niche.

For emails, you want to keep the content shorter so don’t curate say, 10 pieces for one email. Instead choose two or three pieces to comment on. No matter what content you use, be sure to give a reference to the original content.

Types of curated content you can use include:

  1. Ultimate guides on a topic
  2. Roundups of content, videos, resources
  3. Case studies
  4. Best of (books, webinars, videos)
  5. Customer stories
  6. Top sites/experts

You can use tools to help you find curated content more easily.

  1. Buzzsumo
  2. Pocket
  3. it (,
  4. Feedly,
  5. Hootsuite

Repurposing content and using curated content are both excellent ways to create email content quickly that relates to your niche. Done right, either method can help you get through a period of “what should I send my list today” slump.

26 Scenarios or Topics to Use

  1. Follow-up with an email after an interview as a thank you and to continue the relationship.
  2. You’re having an exclusive sale for readers.
  3. As a thank you for a recent purchase
  4. You have good news that’s relevant to the reader you want to share.
  5. Send them holiday wishes for Valentine’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Happy Holidays or any other holiday.
  6. Share success stories, case histories or customer reviews your especially proud of.
  7. Let your readers know about upcoming events or webinars.
  8. Send them information about an event you’re sponsoring or taking part in.
  9. Tell them about milestone anniversaries your company is celebrating.
  10. Answer their frequently asked questions (FAQs).
  11. Relate a before and after story about how one of your products helped someone.
  12. Send them free resources that are useful to them.
  13. Present them with exclusive tips only your subscribers get.
  14. Show them what goes on behind-the-scenes at your office.
  15. Let them in on breaking news in your industry or with your company.
  16. Check in on them when they haven’t engaged recently.
  17. Give them a roundup of your best content from your blog.
  18. Send them to conferences or fundraisers you are attending.
  19. Talk about the weather if it’s impacting your business.
  20. Ask their input on a decision you need to make. Ask them to share their ideas.
  21. Create an announcement encouraging your readers to connect with you on your social media channels.
  22. Give your readers a sneak preview of a new line of products or some big improvements.
  23. Send a follow-up message. It can be a follow-up on some recent event or connecting with new customers.
  24. Let your readers in on updates of ongoing projects.
  25. Ask for feedback using online surveys.
  26. Celebrate holidays with them. Send them what’s happening during the holidays in your business, special sales and events you’re having or how you celebrate the holidays.

Other Reasons to Send Emails

There are several other reasons besides the previous 25 topics or reasons to send an email. In fact, there aren’t too many reasons why you shouldn’t send an email to connect with your readers.

Here are several other reasons to send emails:

  1. Keep your subscribers up to date on industry news that might affect them.
  2. New product or service announcement emails help your subscribers be in the loop of what you have to offer.
  3. Let your readers know about last chance offers that you have going (or your affiliate products your promoting have).
  4. You goofed or made a big mistake, so send an email to let your subscribers know and how you’re rectifying it.
  5. Ask your readers for a referral or recommendation. If you don’t ask, most won’t remember to give them.
  6. Reminders to renew, attend, sign up or of a sale that’s about to end
  7. Send them information about similar products to the ones they’ve purchased. These cross-selling helps introduce them to your other products or services.
  8. To give them early bird access to sales, new releases, products or webinar access.
  9. Limited time reminders are great for readers who may have missed the first email.
  10. Introduce new employees, members, products or services to your readers. They are interested in what is new in your business.
  11. Appointment requests for qualified leads. You have their interest now ask for the appointment.
  12. You’re having an open house. Give it a name and invite your readers to take part.
  13. Send confirmation of an order received or a change in their password. Confirming their action reaffirms that you are aware of your readers.
  14. Send out an email offer a free gift for subscribers only. This is great way to re-engage subscribers who have gone cold.
  15. Send out an email when a customer has contacted your support department. Let them know you received their problem and that it’s being addressed.
  16. Send a “Why are you here?” email that asks the customer what made them sign up, what they are hoping to learn and how you can help.
  17. Create a beginner’s guide or a series of beginner’s guide emails.
  18. Share interviews of industry experts.
  19. Share advice from other experts.
  20. Share a calendar of your upcoming events your company has happening.

Besides sending the normal welcome emails or sales emails, there are many reasons to send emails to your subscribers. Providing relevant information, updates on your company and building relationships are always good reasons.

Subscriber Engagement Hacks

It’s often hard to remember that email marketing isn’t just about you. It’s about building relationships and communicating with your subscribers. There are many hacks you can use to get more engagement and response from your subscriber.

Email engagement is how people interact with your emails. It is measured by open rate, click rate, and conversion rates. It is how you define success.

Here are hacks to get better email engagement.

  1. Teach your subscribers something useful about you or themselves. It might be how many books they’ve ordered from you over the past several months or some other interesting fact about them or their buying habits.
  2. Celebrate their successes, their birthdays and other special occasions. Recognized theirs and they will respond to you.
  3. Send relevant, targeted recommendations. Segmenting your list is how you send targeted and relevant emails that your subscribers want to read.
  4. Be personal. Use their name. Make them feel special and appreciated. Tell them they are a valued customer. This is where you can give them exclusive access, sneak peaks and other special privileges. Being able to connect with your audience on a personal level builds a long-lasting relationship that drives customer conversions.
  5. Be helpful. Emails that add value but don’t create more work for your subscribers are helpful. Think about what you can send to your readers that will help them How can you help them keep track of things they need to do. Reminder emails, cart abandonment emails or time to refill your supply emails all help the reader in some way.
  6. Use dynamic content and storytelling content. Content that engages uses storytelling that inspires the reader with its unique value. Relevant, dynamic content helps relate your brand’s message to the interest of the subscriber.
  7. Use strong subject lines that appeal to your readers. Powerful headlines are short, descriptive and often promise something. Use different styles of subject lines, like personal, clever, cliffhangers or how-to styles.
  8. Create emails that have a clean design. Include white space so it’s easier to read. Use eye-catching and relevant images. Short blocks of copy and bullet points encourage subscribers to read the whole email.

When you send out your emails, your goal is to get engagement and responses from your subscribers. You want to build relationships that will convert with them. Use the tips above to help make your emails more responsive.

Do This Next

Emails don’t have to be just about the sale or strictly business-like (unless of course, that’s what your readers want). But trying to come up with email content or ideas for content can be hard.  In this guide we learned that content for emails can come from almost anything.

Swipe files are a hidden gem when it comes to boosting your creativity. They can give you ideas when you’re stuck. Begin building your stash of good content, headlines and good designs now. That way you’ll always have a backup if you draw a blank on what to write.

Take a page out of the happenings in your everyday life when you are looking for things to write about. You can easily tie what happened into your business niche or industry. And it gives your email a personal slant.

You probably have a ton of content already created you’re using in your business. Why not repurpose it into email content? Take parts of what you have and send to your list in another form or with added content. The same goes with curating other people’s content. Add your own comments and send to your subscribers to build credibility as the go-to source in your niche.

There are many topics and scenarios around you that will inspire you to send an email to your readers. It might be to welcome them to your tribe, give them a sneak peek at what’s happening in your business or sending them a holiday greeting.

Getting your subscribers to engage and respond takes a bit of the right content. Make it personal, relevant and helpful. Tell them stories, show them you are concerned about them by celebrating their milestones, birthdays or anniversaries and be helpful to them in some way.

In the next guide, we’ll learn about the four pillars of emails.


  1. Blog:  Always have your own internet property.  It help Brand you, Gives you a spot for your sales pages, lead capture page, special offers, etc.  I recommend the “Profit Center“.  It comes completely set up and is point/click easy to expand as you build.  You won’t need anything else for funnel building either!
  2. Email Automation:  “Aweber is our automation choice.  I’ve been with them since the late 1990s.  They are continually improving and building your capabilities in email automation.  Excellent support even for newbies.
  3. Secret EMail System:  Matt Bacak’s premier system, the “Secret Email System” is definitely one you should get, study and use for life to build your online business.  I guarantee it will be the best $6 you spend today… and for life.
  4. Follow-up – or Die:  My killer article is just as applicable today as the day I wrote it back in 1997.  “Follow-up or Die” holds one of the most closely held secrets in marketing that even newbies can implement from day one to succeed where few have.  This is a MUST READ for all marketers, both online and offline.
  5. $100 Per Day System:  Really works.  Get off to a great start with your online marketing career with this 20+ email funnel you can import with one click.  Perfect for newbies (and failing long timers.)
  6. Freebies:  The more freebies you can give away to folks, the bigger your email list will be.  The 5DollarFriday site gives away 24 or more marketing tools, software and training each week for you to use for yourself or as giveaways and bonuses in your promotions.
  7. Next Lesson:  The next lesson of this “EMail Marketing Mastery” series will be out soon.
Until next email;

Fred The Submarine Guy Raley <== Exactly what you need to be successful in business.  Drop by NOW!

P.S.  Two VERY useful downloads for you from this lesson:

1 – Email Topic Worksheet

2 – Email Topic And Engagement Checklist


Lesson #1:  How to Write Effective & Impactful Emails That Bring in Money

Lesson #2: Anatomy of a High Converting Email

Lesson #3:  How to Turn Anything into Email Copy and Email Engagement Hacks