You’re a Michael Scott in the making. Admit it, you’ve binge-watched The Office more times than you can count, laughing at the hilarious awkwardness and cringe-worthy moments. But behind the comedy, the show is full of valuable lessons for anyone in marketing or sales. The characters might work at a paper supply company in Scranton, but their techniques apply perfectly to crafting emails that sell.
Deliver the punchline: Michael Scott’s signature move
The Office’s Michael Scott is the king of bad jokes and awkward humor, but he always delivers on the comedic punchline he promises. Your email subject lines should do the same. If you promise the reader they’ll learn “5 Ways to Double Email Opens,” you better deliver exactly that.
Subject lines that overpromise and underdeliver will only frustrate your readers and damage your credibility. Be clear and concise in your subject lines, focusing on the main benefit or key message you want to convey. Some examples inspired by The Office:
- “5 Classic Pranks from The Office (that you should never pull at work)”
- “What Michael Scott taught me about public speaking (the good, the bad and the awkward)”
- “How to avoid being the ‘Toby’ of your office”
These subject lines clearly communicate what the reader can expect in the email content. They pique interest in a fun, relatable way for show fans. Your email content should deliver helpful information, entertainment, or tools that map directly back to the promise in your subject line. Keep your content focused and avoid going off on tangents. Click here to learn practical techniques to write high-performing subject lines.
Jim Halpert’s warmth: building trust through tone
Jim Halpert from The Office is the master of using a warm and likable tone to build trust with his email readers. As an email copywriter, you can learn from Jim’s approach.
Build rapport through warmth
Jim is depicted as a good guy who is considerate and has a warm tone. He comes across as someone you’d like to get a drink with after work. Jim is known to be likable and has built trust with others through his tone. Your readers will trust you more if you:
- Use words like “we value”, “we care about”, “we’re committed to” when describing your brand. This shows you prioritize your customers.
- Share some behind-the-scenes details about your company to seem more transparent. But don’t overshare – keep things professional.
- Thank your readers for their business and loyalty. Say something like “We appreciate you choosing our brand. Your support means a lot to us.”
Use humor strategically – but don’t overdo it Like Andy
Andy Bernard from The Office is the perfect example of how not to use humor in your email copywriting. His jokes were awkward, ill-timed, and often offensive. But when done right, humor can be highly effective.
Use tailored jokes
Make lighthearted jokes or witty remarks tailored to your audience and product. For example, if writing for a productivity app, you might say “Helping you get more done since [founding year]…not that we’re bragging or anything.” Targeted humor shows you understand your customers and makes your brand more relatable.
Avoid being too silly
While humor is good, don’t overdo it. An occasional joke is great, but don’t make every sentence silly. Your customers still want useful information. Look at Jim and Pam’s pranks on Dwight for inspiration. They were strategic, not constant. Your humor should be the same.
Get a second opinion
Have a colleague review your draft to ensure the humor will land as intended. Explain the context and ask if any parts seem inappropriate or might offend certain groups. Make changes as needed. It’s always better to be safe than risk alienating your customers with an ill-advised joke.
Angela Martin’s organization: key to conversions
Angela Martin from The Office is the queen of organization. Her meticulous methods can teach us a lot about designing effective email copy.
Angela’s files, desk, and daily schedule are perfectly ordered. She knows exactly where everything is at all times. Your email’s content and layout should have a similarly clear structure. Group related ideas and sections together under headings. Use numbered or bulleted lists to organize key points. Make it easy for readers to follow your train of thought.
Angela assigns levels of importance to all of her tasks and responsibilities. In your email, make the most significant content, calls-to-action, or messages the most prominent. Use tools like font size, color, and alignment to create a visual hierarchy that highlights priorities.
Attention to detail
Angela notices the smallest details and ensures maximum efficiency in all areas of her work. Proofread your email for any errors or inconsistencies before sending. Double-check that links, images, formatting, and content are working properly. Your meticulous attention to detail will make a professional impression.
Follow the rules
Angela believes strongly in policy, protocol, and “the rules”. Make sure your email copy follows all applicable laws and best practices regarding privacy, transparency, spam, and marketing. Carefully review any company policies to guarantee your content is compliant before distributing.
PAS, AIDA, and Dwight Schute’s sales magic
Dwight Schrute knows how to sell. You can also outsell your competitors by following his tips. His unorthodox methods, and sometimes cringe-worthy antics in The Office, provide valuable insights into writing persuasive email copy. He uses two proven sales techniques: PAS (Problem Agitate Solution) and AIDA.
PAS: create a problem, stir things up, and save the day
Dwight is a master of PAS. He frequently invents problems to make himself seem essential to solving them. For email copy, focus on a real problem your product or service solves. Describe the problem in a way that resonates with your readers and makes them nod in agreement. Then, agitate their frustration with the status quo and make the problem seem intolerable. Finally, present your solution as the hero that saves the day.
AIDA: grab their attention, pique their interest, make them desire, and call them to action
Dwight keeps people engaged by putting on a show. His antics are memorable and make people pay attention, even if they don’t always approve! In your emails, capture attention with an interesting subject line and compelling opening. Pique interest by focusing on benefits and using vivid language to help readers imagine using your product. Create desire by tapping into emotions and sharing exciting possibilities. Issue a clear call to action so readers can easily take the next step.
Speak conversationally, not corporates like Pam Beesly
Like Pam Beesly from The Office, adopt a conversational tone in your email copywriting. Talk to your readers like you would a friend, not in stiff corporate-speak.
Keep it casual
Pam’s emails were always light and casual, even when communicating about work topics. She spoke naturally like she would in person. Your readers will appreciate an informal, friendly tone. Say “Here are the details for our next meeting” instead of “Please see below for the agenda pertaining to our upcoming assembly.”
To strengthen your connection with readers, consider including a personal detail or story, as Pam frequently did when emailing Jim or her friends. say something like this: As I was driving into work this morning, I found myself reflecting on this new product launch and would like to share some ideas with you.” Including personal touches helps build familiarity and trust between parties involved.
Creed’s creativity: thinking outside the inbox
Creed Bratton, the Quality Assurance representative at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, is known for his unconventional and eccentric behavior. This extends to his unique email writing style. Creed thinks outside the inbox and his emails often contain unexpected and amusing content, which grabs the attention of recipients.
Creed’s emails are random and erratic. You never know what to expect when you see a message from Creed in your inbox. This element of surprise catches readers off guard in a good way and makes them want to see what Creed has to say. In your own email copywriting, inject some unpredictability to keep subscribers engaged. Throw in an interesting factoid, fun image, or witty comment when they least expect it.
Creed values conciseness. His emails are short and to the point, usually only 1-2 sentences. He doesn’t waste words or the reader’s time. When crafting your email copy, be succinct. Get your message across in as few words as possible while still being compelling. Keep paragraphs and sentences short and avoid unnecessary verbosity.
Creed’s emails reflect his unique voice and don’t try to pretend otherwise; his messages perfectly capture his quirky and eccentric self, earning reader acclaim for authenticity. When writing email copy, allow your true personality shine through by being yourself; speak directly to your audience as though talking directly with friends – this way they’ll connect more closely with genuine messages than manufactured ones.
Sealing the deal, The Office style
Do you also want to seal the deal in Dunder Mifflin’s style? Be authentic and let your company’s personality shine through. Dunder Mifflin’s quirky and earnest approach is key to the company’s success. You want to maintain your professional image but don’t be scared to let your company’s unique voice and personality shine through.
Readers will be more connected to a human touch than an anonymous corporation. you should reiterate and make a clear call-to-action, such as scheduling a demonstration, starting a trial or making an immediate purchase. Make it easy and compelling for your readers to “Yes!”
In the email game, The Office’s unconventional charm offers a treasure trove of insights. From punchy subject lines to warm tones and unexpected creativity, there’s a lot to learn. So, let your emails be a unique reflection of your brand, striking a balance between professionalism and genuine personality. With The Office’s offbeat wisdom, craft emails that captivate, connect, and ultimately, clinch the deal.