Top 20 Sources of Inspiration to Create Engaging Email Copy

Email marketing is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your audience and send them to your website and product pages. However, it's not always easy to know what to write in your emails. How do you stay inspired week after week? Email marketers sometimes experience writer's block. To help you avoid this, here are our top 20 sources of inspiration to help you create engaging email copy

  1. A Thesaurus - Whether you have a print book thesaurus or refer to an online one such as, this is a great resource to help you find creative alternatives to common words.
  2. Question & Answer Sites - Visit sites such as Quora and search for questions related to your business. This is useful for finding out what issues your audience cares about. Write emails or even a whole series about a pressing question.
  3. Case Studies - An example, either from your own experience or a well-known business is an effective way to illustrate an idea. 
  4. LinkedIn Groups - If you're involved in B2B marketing, LinkedIn is a good source of inspiration. Join groups and pay attention to some of the most popular issues members discuss. Look for topics that generate lots of discussion and debate.
  5. Reddit - This is one of the most popular news curation sites. Search sub-Reddits to find targeted discussions for your field or industry. This site often has interesting and heated debates that are good source material for email campaigns. 
  6. Forums - Discussion forums have been around since the early days of the internet and were really the original social media. Join forums relevant to your business and see which topics are popular. Pay particular attention to questions asked by members.
  7. Other Email Lists - It's always a good policy to keep tabs on your competitors and subscribe to their lists. Maintain your own style and don't copy directly, but sometimes you'll find ideas and topics in other newsletters that are worth covering in your own. Don't overlook emails from other industries as well, as these can also give you more general ideas about writing effective copy.
  8. Ted Talks  - Ted Talks provide insightful and concise discussions on thousands of topics. Most are only about 10 minutes long. Watch talks in your area of interest for information and new perspectives.
  9. Podcasts - Search for podcasts in your industry and start listening to some of the more popular ones. This is a good source of inspiration because listening often gives you a different perspective than you get from the written word. Think of how interesting conversations and interviews might be turned into emails.
  10. Google News and Trends - It's always helpful to write about the latest news in your industry. Both Google News and Trends let you search by category and find some of the latest topics, such as events, new products, laws, statistics, and studies.
  11. Magazines and Journals - Sometimes it's good to go offline for inspiration. Print magazines and industry journals often give you in-depth coverage of issues that you can turn into interesting emails.
  12. The Onion  - Humor and satire give your emails more personality. The Onion and other satirical sites are worth reading to keep your sense of humor intact.
  13. Readablity Tools - If you want to make sure your audience understands your emails, make sure you're not writing over their heads. There are several free sites to check this, such as the Readability Test Tool.  
  14. Junk Mail - Most people hate junk mail, but as an email marketer you can actually learn from it. Get on some direct mail lists and study the copywriting tactics. Direct mail has been around a lot longer than email and you can learn a lot from it.
  15. Headline Analyzer - Headlines are perhaps the most important part of an email. Use this tool to improve your headlines and open rates.
  16. Content Generators - If you're really feeling stuck for a topic, try Content Idea Generator
  17. Amazon - There are a few places on Amazon to go for inspiration. See what books in your industry are bestsellers. It's great to read books, but you learn a lot even from browsing titles and descriptions.
  18. Documentaries - Check out interesting documentaries on Netflix, your library, or on sites such as Hulu or Amazon. There are lots of lesser-known docs on business, technology, science, history, health, and thousands of other subjects. 
  19. Unsuckit - This is a useful website to help you convert business jargon into more interesting copy. Use this when your writing is getting too dry or jargon-filled.
  20. The Best of Email - This website has a variety of resources to inform and inspire your email writing.

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Bryan Caplan