Email copywriting is copywriting done for emails. Website copywriting is copywriting for websites — landing pages, sales pages, home pages, product pages and the like.
But aside from the medium, what really makes these two different?
Spoiler alert: It’s not just about where the copy lives.
What’s the difference between email copywriting and website copywriting?
It’s one of those questions that seems to have an obvious answer until you actually have to explain it.
Like the way everyone knows what NFTs are until they actually have to explain.
So naturally, I turned to research and couldn’t find much in the way of comparisons.
While there’s lots of information on email copywriting and website copywriting, no one seems to think they’re worth comparing.
There are endless comparisons of content writing versus copywriting, but nothing on email copywriting versus website copywriting.
So as an unrelenting INTJ, of course, I’m about to try.
Because you’re here reading and my golly, you deserve a well-thought-out answer.
Conversion copywriting includes both email copywriting and website copywriting
When we talk about copywriting in this post we mean conversion copywriting.
Here’s a quick intro if you’re new to the topic.
In conversion copywriting the goal of your copy is to sell. Wherever that copy lives — your social media profiles, your website pages, or an email inbox — it’s your online salesperson.
But while the goal of your copy is to sell, there are notable differences between types of copy and how we approach writing them.
Email copywriting uses personalization. Website copywriting often uses general messaging
Subscribers typically end up on your email list through an opt-in. They raise their hand to say ‘I want this’ or ‘I’m curious.’ This gives you leverage when crafting your email copy.
With the power of segmentation you can control your messaging and create a more personalized experience for every subscriber.
On the other hand, your website is accessible to everyone with an internet connection.
Limited information about website visitors means your website copy needs to be more general — especially for broader audiences.
Blinkist is a great example of this difference at work. Note how general their website copy is because they aim to appeal to a wider audience.
Their email copy is less vague and even goes as far as recommending specific book titles.
Email copywriting is often text-based while website copywriting is design-focused
That’s not to say design doesn’t matter at all in emails. Note that there are design elements present in the Blinkist email above.
While design matters, we’ve made a solid argument for why simple text-based emails are better.
Website copywriting, on the other hand, needs to be done with design in mind.
You must consider how you want the words to sit on the page — the headlines, subheadings, images, tables, testimonials, buttons.
And that’s where wireframing by messaging hierarchy comes in.
Email copywriting allows for ongoing engagement while website copywriting provides a single touch point
Email copywriting allows you to maintain a long-term relationship with the reader.
This means you can tailor your message to include personal storytelling. You will also have more opportunities to drive action with email sequences triggered by user behavior.
Conversely, when a visitor leaves your website that’s it.
There’s no way to make sure they come back to take the action you want them to take.
Your website copy is a single opportunity to grab and retain their attention in a few seconds.
Let’s replace ‘vs’ with ‘and’
Email copywriting and website copywriting are more partners than adversaries in marketing.
It’s like that Sinatra song about love and marriage…
Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage.
This I tell ya brother, you can’t have one without the other.
Your email copy and your website copy work together to cover different stages in your customer’s journey.
And you really can’t have one without the other in a successful marketing strategy.
Ready to learn conversion copywriting so you can write your own email and website copy? Get the free conversion copywriting course.