Defining your email tone of voice

Defining your email tone of voice

Your tone of voice reflects the personality of your brand. Helps you connect with your subscribers, and makes you stand out from competitors. What do your customers expect from your emails? Understanding this is key to providing them with the right content at the right time.



Write like your subscribers are busy

After all, they likely are. A successful email should aim to stand out from the crowd in the inbox. Draw upon the right emotions, and provide the incentive for subscribers to want to find out more. Ensuring your tone of voice aligns with your audience’s needs, as well as your own marketing message is vital.
Your tone of voice should acknowledge your values and personality. It might help to think of your brand as a person, what type of person would you want representing it? How do they talk, are they humorous, empathetic or serious? This may help to break down that forth wall, choose words that would come naturally to that person.



Content is king

Your tone of voice should be consistent. But it is also important to recognise it should adapt based on the type of email you are sending.


  • Product launch email – An effective launch email should speak directly to your subscribers. This email gives the opportunity to re-engage lapsed customers, showing you have something they need. Your tone of voice should feel personal, not promotional.


  • Birthday emailThis email is all about making the recipient feel happy. A great opportunity to get your customers thinking positively about your brand, what value can you bring them? A birthday email can show off your personality in a fun way, allowing you to speak with a friendly tone.


  • Transactional emailA triggered email can be more to the point. What do you want the customer to do? And is this message clear throughout the copy? Personalisation works well in a transactional email. Use cleverly to look like your campaign is unique for each subscriber.


  • Subscription email – This is the perfect opportunity to welcome new subscribers. Tell them what you’ll be sending them, and why they should look out for your email. Show off your brand personality, they subscribed to your newsletter for a reason.



Need some inspiration?

Here are a few examples of people who are getting it right:


Jack Daniels – Story telling

Jack Daniels is a brand with a very distinctive tone of voice. With a relaxed, story telling, and friendly approach in all their marketing activity. Their email copy never feels rushed or overly promotional. Communication is key for them and they do a great job at making their subscribers feel like part of the family.



Frank Body – Talking to a friend

Frank Body opt for a very personal and friendly approach to their emails. They tap into their customers interests and lifestyle, and base content around this. Through this common ground they can push the boundaries, and make readers laugh. The Frank Body brand has a playful nature, and don’t take themselves too serious.



Innocent – Informal approach

One of the most significant things about Innocent’s brand voice is their chatty and witty tone. The quirkiness of their copy highlights their down to Earth approach, coming across as playful and fun. Customers know what to expect from Innocent. Making them more likely to connect with them and become brand advocates.



Cards Against Humanity – Dark humour in an email

Cards Against Humanity have a very distinctive tone of voice, matching with the game perfectly. Demonstrating your brand doesn’t need to appeal to everyone, it needs to appeal to your target market. They use lots of humour, and keep all copy short and punchy. A great example of how being brave and original can pay off.



When you finish writing your email copy, read it out loud. It’s a good idea to get a second opinion to ensure everything flows, and people are receiving the message(s) correctly. Maintaining an authentic brand tone will allow you to create similar experiences for customers. These recognisable actions will help to drive customers into your marketing funnel.

Bex Highfield
Marketing Manager @ Action Rocket