Copy makeover. Email and pop-up copy: giving your readers a reason to click


I’m subscribed to a lot of emails (#helloswipefile), and not all of them are from copywriters.

Sometimes I put on my copywriter hat and think about possible ways to make them more compelling.

Kenzi Green Design is a local design company. One of the emails I’ve received looked like it consisted of just a CTA button. Turning on the image display showed that there were some “hidden” elements there, which clarified “What is it?”, but still did not answer “Why should I care?”.

**Copywriter hat on**

Here’s the result of the copy makeover experiment.

A screenshot from  Kenzi Green Design ’s email newsletter

A screenshot from Kenzi Green Design’s email newsletter

Screenshot of  Kenzi Green Design ’s pop-up (as of May 2019)

Screenshot of Kenzi Green Design’s pop-up (as of May 2019)

Current challenges


  • Unless images are displayed, all of the email content is basically a “click here” button

  • Even if images are displayed, it’s still unclear why I should click & what happens after I grab the checklist (aka the value prop)

  • It’s still not clear as to what makes a brand solid (and why I should strive to have one)

This checklist is also serving as a lead magnet on Kenzi Green Design’s website – which is an excellent way to reuse content.

However, it is even more important to highlight the value proposition for the lead magnet – both in the pop-up text and on the lead magnet squeeze page.

After all, while it’s safe to assume that subscribers are interested in design, it is not a given that website visitors are at the same stage of awareness – they could be anywhere from “I think I need a redesign” to “I have a logo, so my brand is already solid, right?”.

Pop-up copy

  • Value prop: “Not sure if you have a solid brand?”.

  • It’s not unreasonable to expect the current blog subscribers to be interested in all things branding. For website visitors, this may not be the case.

  • CTA: “Grab my free checklist!” -> so what?

Lead magnet copy

  • Assuming I go through the checklist, what do the results mean?

  • Many “should’s”, not many proof points & supporting explanations.

  • How do I tell whether my logo is “memorable, timeless, original, simple but abstract”, and attracting my ideal clients? What if it’s not?

  • CTA (“Stay connected”) not related to the checklist: after I discover that my brand falls short, what happens next? Do I stay connected… or get some brand strategy help?

The current lead magnet: some ideas (in no particular order)

Checklist goal: convert leads to customers (brand audits?)

  • Add scores + how to interpret scores

  • Answer “so what?” and “prove it” for every “should”

  • Make examples section easier to follow + add comments that describe what makes them so good

  • Add custom CTAs to each score range

  • For new subscribers: add an email drip, detailing why each item matters, and additional examples of solid / not-so-solid social media presence, website design etc. (can repurpose blog posts).

How I would rewrite the email + the popup


Audience: solution-aware (they know they need branding help & are interested in finding out how to improve their branding, since they are on the list -> unless self-segmenter email or surveys indicate otherwise)

Primary goal: click through & download the checklist

Secondary goal: share with their contacts (if creating a drip, can add a second email to ask for a share, or use “pay with a tweet” to promote)


Subject: Is your branding blueprint missing a piece? Use this checklist to uncover it

Subject: Is your brand memorable, or is it instantly forgettable? Find out now


Hello {{first name}},

Branding = power.

Sometimes it is used for objectionable purposes. For example, by the infamous fraudster Anna Delvey [Note: Mackenzi of Kenzi Green Designs is using this example in one of her blog posts, a wonderful source of POV infromation]. If you have not been following this particular story, she pretended to be a German heiress and fooled hundreds of New-Yorkers by looking rich, dressing rich, and using $100 bills to back it up [Note: the "looking rich..." part is a direct quote from Mackenzi's blog post, to keep the brand voice consistent] .

But not only swindlers and scammers can benefit from building a strong brand.

Developing a strong brand is the key to attracting your ideal clients, charging what you deserve, and setting up your business for growth [Note: this is a quote from the checklist; talk about burying the lede].

Case in point: Starbucks. Every detail – from décor to coffee cups – is meticulously curated [Note: also from Mackenzi's blog post referenced above], and their upscale reputation allows them to charge above-average prices.

I’ve developed this checklist to help you uncover the missing elements in your branding [Note: this one, along with the wording on blueprint vs an element thereof, is based on Mackenzi's POV expressed in this blog post].

Click here to unleash the full power of a strong brand with this free checklist.

And remember: use this power wisely.

{{sign off}}

What changed: to answer the questions “why should I care?” and “so what?”, I went through the blog posts, and used information from those posts to add a point of view regarding the “brandlessness” problem + tied into the “you really need this… even if you are not trying to pretend to be a German heiress” motivation.

Additional emails that could be used for a little extra oomph: email 2 (opens + click-throughs): ask for a share + second invitation to check out the checklist for non-opens.


Audience: problem-aware (otherwise not clear how they got to the website in the first place…?)

Goal: signups for the checklist + warm-up drip

Are you missing opportunities to strengthen your brand? Find out with this checklist

Nailing these 9 elements of branding will help your business attract your ideal clients, charge what you deserve, and set your business up for growth [Note: This is pulled from the end of the checklist].

Sign up to get immediate access to the free checklist

FOMO is not always the right answer, so the value prop/ pop-up headline could also been the most desirable outcome for the website visitors as far as branding is concerned.

However, to nail the “benefits” angle, I’d need to conduct additional research (for example, customer interviews, or Amazon review mining) to get a better idea of what the target audience is aspiring to.

Ekaterina Howard is a Raleigh-based copywriter, helping entrepreneurs and business owners create engaging website and email copy

Ekaterina Howard is a Raleigh-based copywriter, helping entrepreneurs and business owners create engaging website and email copy