Copywriter, Sagac Public Affairs
At Sagac Public Affairs, our copywriting team writes thousands of messages each year for corporations and national associations — helping their PAC campaigns raise over $18 million for political candidates in 2023.
With our expertise, we want to share some of our best practices to aid you in your communications.
Sagac’s most effective campaigns have these five elements:
A strong hook. Every message needs a strong opener, or a “hook” as it’s known in journalism, to give the reader an incentive to read your content. You want it to be catchy and pull the audience in, but you also want it to be relevant to the purpose of your message. Consider your audience and what might get them to continue reading your content.
Visually engaging and snackable content. The best performing emails are concise with at least one image.
Based on an in-depth analysis of over 2.1 million Constant Contact customer emails, messages with three or fewer images and approximately 20 lines of text result in the highest click-through rates* from email subscribers.
To put this into perspective, consider this: Do you read every email you get? And when you do open an email, how long do you read before you move on to something else? Litmus data shows that people spend, on average, just nine seconds looking at an email.
To get your audience to read as much of your content as possible, keep it short and to the point.
Study the data to know your audience. Sagac has a wealth of audience-specific insights through our talented research team. When our copywriters begin a project, one of the first steps is to research the specific client the content is being written for, which typically includes audience-specific data provided by our research team. This data enables us to cater our messages to the concerns and perspectives that matter most to our audience.
When drafting your messages, consider the goals and motivations of your audience to help bolster your long-term goals.
Calls to action. We specialize in two types of campaigns: education and solicitation. Whether your goal is to educate your stakeholders about the importance of your program, or to increase contributions and membership, it should be standard to include multiple calls to action. Give your audience multiple opportunities to respond.
Ideally, you should have a call to action early in the message, somewhere after the second paragraph, as well as at the end of the message. In longer messages, you may need to include calls to action throughout the content to keep your audience focused on the action you want them to take.
This approach gives your audience early access to the goal of your message. Remember, your audience is likely to only read the first few lines. If the only call to action is at the end of the message, most readers will never see it.
Follow a reputable style guide. It should come as no surprise that successful communications are grammatically correct. But they should also be consistent in following a style guide that dictates grammar, punctuation, word usage, and style.
At Sagac, we follow the AP Stylebook, one of the most reputable and well-known style guides used as the standard throughout the journalism industry.
If you have questions about Sagac’s copywriting processes or how we can help your internal communications, contact us today at email@example.com.
*Email click-through rates are one the most valuable pieces of data when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of an email campaign.