Why ‘Copy and Paste’ Email Templates Almost Never Work

Back when made my living writing code instead of copy, I had a dark secret:

Sometimes I would “swipe” chunks of code from the Internet without fully understanding what the heck they did.

Truth be told, most software devs do this from time to time.

And in some cases, it works out just fine.

More often than not, you wind up with an application that “kinda sorta” works—but it causes strange errors and glitches.

And now you’re in worse shape than ever, because you don’t understand the foreign code well enough to roll up your sleeves and squash all the bugs.

That’s why software developers mercilessly mock “copy and paste coders,” people who glue together entire applications from chunks of code “borrowed” from blog posts and Q&A forums like Stack Overflow.

The most effective software developers rarely resorted to “swiping” boilerplate solutions to the problems they encountered.

Because most situations have their own subtle, unique differences
that make boilerplate code all but useless.

It’s the same way with the “copy and paste” email templates you see some marketers peddling.

These “fill in the blanks” templates seem like an easy and efficient way to go—but just like a copy-and-paste coder, you’re really just setting yourself up for problems down the road.

It’s entirely possible (likely even) that a “proven” email sequence that just killed it for someone could completely bomb if you send it to YOUR list.

What’s the alternative?

In the programming world, the most productive, efficient developers are well versed in “patterns.”

Patterns are tried and true solutions to common scenarios.

They give you a mental framework for tackling a specific problem (but NOT the line-by-line code).

Patterns ARE a genuine shortcut.

Rather than approaching every situation as a brand new, never-seen-before challenge, you already have a sturdy skeleton to build on.

You still have some code to write yourself, but because the structure is already in place, you know exactly what is needed to flesh out your solution.

This concept of “patterns” works in writing emails and email courses, too.

You look at email courses that are working, but rather than swiping the copy verbatim and changing a few words here and there…

You look at the structure of the course, and the emails themselves.

What is going on in the welcome email?

How does the course mix teaching with entertainment?

How do the emails build toward a pitch for the paid product?

You model the same structure for your course, then put your own “meat on the bones.”

Your own stories and examples that are relevant to YOUR audience and YOUR product.

And instead of an email course that’s full of bugs and glitches, you’ll have one that’s authentically *you*.

Trust me, your audience WILL know the difference.