Amazon's accidental email template

21 January 2020

This is an old post, so may include broken links and/or out-of-date information

Amazon accidentally sent out an email template. But it wasn't blank. It included some really useful copywriting tips, set-out as placeholder text …

Amazon's email template – full wording transcribed in the blog post

First off, the placeholder image gives the image dimensions – 600x200px which is pretty helpful for folks making the email.

There follows some really useful placeholder text, with plenty of tips about copywriting. Short, simple and easy to understand. You can tell that someone’s put a lot of thought into making this placeholder text useful. Nice. It reads:

Enter a short headline summarizing why this email is important

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length.

And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbal sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

Enter a compelling CTA i.e. NOT "click here"

🎩 Hat-tip – Labnotes

Update: I'm reliably informed that this placeholder text is pretty famous in the writing world. And it is indeed all over the internet as an example of how to write the most goodest copy. Thanks, Taras! And thanks Matt, for the info that the quote is from Gary Provost.

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