Your Guide to Making REAL Money Writing Emails
Did you know you could make money writing emails? Like, real money. Not just Oh, I splurged on Starbucks today money.
I’m talking about going to Whole Foods and paying with CASH type of money (is Whole Foods still fancy?).
Yes, it’s entirely possible to make 6-figures per year writing emails. In fact, there’s an entire subsect of copywriting that focuses on just writing emails.
It’s called (wait for it)…
Email copywriting. And it’s lucrative.
How to Make Money as an Email Copywriter
So, exactly how much money can you make as an email copywriter, and how do you get there? Let’s break it down.
First, let’s talk about WHY email copywriting is so lucrative.
Simple: There’s a LOT of money in a business’s email list. An email list is where warm leads are hanging out, just waiting for the right email to come through and push them to the bottom of the sales funnel.
But, turning those leads into customers takes finesse. The right words, in the right order, in the right part of the drip sequence. And that takes the skills of an email copywriter.
The better your email copywriting skills, the better for the business.
What Do Email Copywriters Need to Know?
A good email copywriter understands more than just how to write great marketing emails, because in email copywriting, everything is a conversion factor.
Email copywriters need to know what gets an email into the inbox in the first place, what compels subscribers to actually open, how to nurture the audience the right way, and the right way to earn a sale.
Here are 4 key areas email copywriters need to excel:
Email deliverability is how likely it is your emails make it through the SPAM filters and make it into your subscribers’ inboxes.
In my Email Copywriting Accelerator course, there’s an ENTIRE module dedicated to email deliverability.
Because you could create the most compelling emails ever written, but it doesn’t matter if they’re going into the SPAM black hole. Part of this process is technical and the other part is content-based (which is where email copywriters come in), but here’s why every email copywriter needs to understand the technical side, too:
Deliverability affects your open rates even more so than your subject lines. If an email gets kicked to SPAM, there’s a very low possibility that it will be seen. If your clients complain about low open rates and low click-through rates, but you KNOW your email copywriting skills are rockin’, there’s a chance people aren’t even getting your emails. Have them look at their deliverability before they decide email marketing “doesn’t work” and think your copy is the issue.
HOW emails get kicked to the SPAM folder is pretty nuanced, and I go into greater detail inside my email copywriting course, because it’s just too damn long to put in a blog post.
The takeaway, here? Everything starts with email deliverability, and, shockingly, not a lot of email copywriters are versed in deliverability best practices. So, if you’re looking to improve your email skills, take a deep dive into deliverability. You (and your clients) will be so glad you did.
Building Know, Like, and Trust with Subscribers
You can’t ask for a sale in every email.
I mean, you could, but that’s a really good way to burn out your audience and annoy them until they unsubscribe
Building a relationship with email subscribers means building the know, like, and trust factor, and email copywriters need to know how to do this with intention.
What does it mean to build the know, like, and trust factor?
- Know: Does your clients’ audience know them? Like really know them? Can they relate to them?
- Like: People usually need to like a brand to buy from them. Are you using the right words to speak to your client’s subscribers in a way that creates an authentic connection?
- Trust: Why should subscribers trust your client? How are they building credibility? Do emails contain pertinent social proof?
As an email copywriter, you need to know how to communicate in a way that establishes all three of these key areas.
When to Ask for the Sale
Once you’ve built that know, like, and trust, you need to know when and how to ask for the sale. And by asking for the sale, I mean showing subscribers why they NEED the offer you’re writing about.
You need to know how to strike deep chords with an audience, how to position offers as a must-have instead of a nice-to-have, and when to use urgency THE RIGHT WAY to get subscribers running to their wallets.
Here’s the thing: You can’t push for a sale too soon, and you can’t do it too late. Doing it too soon turns your audience off, and if you wait too long, the excitement and momentum wears off and your warm audience gets colder.
Copy from the Subject Line to the Signature Line
A good email copywriter hooks the audience with an intriguing subject line, captures attention with the first sentence, maintains engagement throughout the email, and closes strong, giving the audience an irresistible call to action.
This is where your basic copywriting skills come in. If you have the foundational skills you need to write great copy, you can use these skills to write emails that pack a million punches.
How Much Money Can You Make as an Email Copywriter?
You can make six-figures or more as an email copywriter. Even new freelance copywriters with minimal experience can make good money writing emails.
Does that mean you’ll hit six-figures right out of the gate even if you’re brand new? It’s entirely possible. Of course, if you want to earn that kind of cash, you need to have the skills to back it up, but the more you write and the more you hone your skills, the more money you can charge. How quickly you can charge the big bucks depends on how dedicated you are to your craft.
So, how does an email copywriter make six-figures?
Let’s break it down:
Let’s say you’re a new copywriter, within the first three years or so of your career, charging $80 an hour. Let’s say you spend full time writing email copy. 8 hours a day at $80 an hour is $640 per day. There are 260 days in a working year. That totals up to $166,400.
Now, imagine you’re a more experienced copywriter, charging $150 an hour. That’s $1200 per day. That’s $312,000 per year.
The more experienced you are, the more you can charge. Some email copywriters charge $250-$300 an hour and even more. With email copywriting, your earning potential increases with your client base and industry reputation.
And…if you don’t care about making multiple six figures, you could work a minimal amount of hours and still make good money.
At the end of the day, it’s about what you want. Work more and make more, or work less and still make great money.
6 Steps to Becoming a High-Income Email Copywriter
So, you’ve decided to take the leap into email copywriting, but where do you start? And how do you go from “new copywriter” to “high income copywriter?” Here are six steps to take right now to start your career as an email copywriter.
- Take an Email Copywriting Course
Taking an email copywriting course means setting yourself up to hit GO faster than learning how to write email copy by trial-and-error.
Email copy includes the same foundational copywriting skills as you need to write sales pages or ads, but there are key nuances to writing high-converting, reputation-building, loyalty-earning emails.
- Build an Incredible Email Copywriting Portfolio
One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a copywriting mentor is “can you start copywriting with no experience?”
Copywriting is unique in that you can gain experience by creating opportunities for yourself. You can create an email copywriting portfolio without having any previous experience or any “real” clients.
When building your email copywriting portfolio, include a collection of different email types. At a minimum, you should include:
- Nurture sequences
- Abandoned cart sequences
- Launch sequences
- Transactional emails
- Reminder emails
- Special offer emails
- Re-engagement campaigns
Including several different types of email sequences shows your potential clients that you’re versatile and can write copy for all of their email marketing needs.
- Define Your Offers
Once you’ve developed your email copywriting skills and put together a SLAMMIN’ portfolio, you need to create your offers. Brand new copywriter and not sure how to create your offers? Here’s a good baseline:
Option #1: Charge by the Hour
You have the math-breakdown above for how to earn 6-figures as an email copywriter. If you want to start strong, charge by the hour. But, be cognizant of how much time you spend writing emails, because potential clients will often ask for an estimate of the amount of hours their project will take.
Option #2: Charge by the project
It’s still possible to make 6-figures writing emails when you charge by the project, and often, clients prefer project-based charging as they can more easily work a flat fee into their budget. For project-based pricing, determine how much you want to charge per email or per sequence. But, don’t sell yourself short! Do the math and make sure it breaks down to an hourly amount that’s worth it to you.
Option #3: Create Packages
Open yourself up to the possibility of higher income by offering email copywriting packages. For example:
- Launch package: 4 pre launch emails, 8 launch emails, and 6 upsell emails
- Ecomm package: 12 transactional emails, 12 abandoned cart emails, 12 post purchase sequences, and 12 upsell email sequences.
- Nurture & Newsletter package: Nurture sequence and weekly newsletters for 6 months
Email copywriting packages are similar to project-based email copywriting, but by offering packages, you can create systems and processes that streamline your content creation and you create an even stronger portfolio to pitch these services to more businesses.
- Market Yourself
Positioning yourself as a go-to email copywriter means showing potential clients that you’re a good investment. That means more than posting on social media about your offers and asking for a sale. Great positioning is value-based, meaning that you’re showing up in online spaces with the intention of making your audience’s life better through information and education.
What this might look like for you as an email copywriter:
- Posting email copywriting related content on your blog
- Contributing to applicable conversations on forums and social media posts
- Writing content that your ideal client is looking for and posting it to sites like Medium
- Creating informational posts for your social media channels
- Guest posting on high-traffic, industry-related websites
Need some foundational ideas to get started? Try creating content around the following topics:
- X Ways (The Niche You Want to Write For) Can Connect With Their Audience Through Email Marketing
- X Email Marketing Ideas to Build Trust With Your Audience
- What Kind of Emails Subscribers REALLY Want to See
- How to 10X Your Email Revenue With an Abandoned Cart Email Sequence
If you’re thinking “But, Liz, why would I tell people how to write email copy on their own? Won’t they just do it themselves? Aren’t I trying to get hired here?!” then I’m gonna stop you right there. When it comes to positioning yourself as a valuable resource in the real of email copywriting, the more value you provide, the more your services will sell themselves.
And here’s why:
You’ll always have three types of audiences:
Audience #1 is ONLY looking for free content and was never planning on paying for it, no matter what you do.
Audience #2 would DIY if they could, but they either don’t know how or don’t have the time to learn. This audience wants to know that the person they hire to write their email copy knows their stuff.
Audience #3 could do it themselves, but they don’t have time or simply don’t want to. They, too, want to know that the email copywriter they hire is an expert so that they can trust that the job is done to their liking.
Your content is for audiences 2 and 3. So, keep giving away value.
- Perfect Your Sales Process
Your sales process covers everything from lead generation to the moment your potential client books a call to the discovery call and all the way through to the follow up.
How are you finding clients?
How are you connecting with those clients?
How easy is it to book a call with you to determine if there’s a fit?
What questions are you asking on the call?
And how are you following up and closing the deal?
You need to have this process water tight. The more streamlined your sales process, the less time you’ll need to spend selling and the more time you can spend actually making money.
And, this should go without saying, as an email copywriter, you need to have a lead magnet and email sequences to show that you walk the walk.
- Focus on Sustainable Growth
If you want to make it as a 6-figure email copywriter, you need to look at your business from the minutiae to the big picture. You need to have your systems nailed down, from your onboarding process to your project management systems, and how you manage client relationships.
Once your copywriting business starts gaining traction, pay attention to the things that move the needle for your business and the things that slow you down. As you grow, ask yourself how prepared you are to scale, and how well you could handle a big influx of clients. If you find yourself starting to reach capacity, narrow your tasks down to the revenue-generating components of the business (like, writing) and start thinking about outsourcing back-end tasks like admin work, your calendar, project management, and even cold outreach.
And, I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again: if I could go back in time to when I first started my copywriting agency, the first thing I would do differently is hire my COO before I hired anyone else. Having someone handle the backend of things frees up your time to actually work on the trajectory of your business.
Oh..and once your calendar gets booked and STAYS booked, it’s time to look at raising your rates. But that’s a conversation for another article.
Yes, You Can Make 6-Figures (and More!) a Year by Writing Emails
Email copywriting is a highly specialized and lucrative business. If you take the leap, take the time to really learn the skills and the ins-and-outs of the field, you can scale your way to six-figures and beyond.
Keep in mind: It takes time and dedication to start a copywriting business. If you have the gumption, the business savvy, and a way with words that drives people to make moves, you might just find yourself in the position of the email copywriting industry’s top earners.
And, hey, like I always say, if you want it bad enough, it’s already yours. I’m rooting for you.
See ya next time!