Write a Powerful, 83-Word Email About an Elliptical Exercise Machine

Hand with marker writing the word Contest in multi colors

This could be your first taste of what it's like to be a freelance copywriter!

I’m going to brief you on an online copywriting assignment, right now, in this article.

You’re going to be promoting a high-speed elliptical trainer for in-home exercise. (I’d like one of those … maybe!)

We’re doing this because we want you to have immediate, hands-on experience with writing for the Web.

And we want you to have that experience TODAY.

Here’s How It Works …

First, keep reading.

I’m going to brief you on the job, just like a real client would.

Then I’m going to give you some tips on how to write the copy.

Finally, once you’ve written your copy and gone through a few drafts to make it the best it can be, you’ll have a professional copywriting project you can put in your portfolio!

It’s a great opportunity to get a sense of what it feels like to be given a brief to write copy for a real client.

Are you in? I hope so.

Let’s get started …

Here’s Your Brief …

Your job is to write promotional copy for the Amitus Stridemaster.

This copy is going to appear in an email.

There’ll be a headline of 8 words or less that appears at the top of the body of the email itself.

Then a photo of the Amitus Stridemaster, then up to 75 words of text, followed by a button for readers to click if they want to learn more.

You probably get emails like this yourself … selling clothes, vacations, books, household items, and so on.

To be clear …

Headline of up to 8 words

[photo of Amitus Stridemaster]

Up to 75 words of body text

[The More Info button]

Don’t worry about the photo or the More Info button. And don’t worry about the email subject line.

Your task is just to write the headline and 75 words of compelling text.

And … in answer to a question we got last time … if you use just 6 words in the headline, no, you can’t use 2 extra words in the body copy.

And … the answer to another question I get asked … yes, two words connected by a hyphen still count as two words!

Up to 8 words for the headline.

Up to 75 words for the body text.

Basic Product Info

Your client will always give you some briefing information like this, whatever you’re going to be writing.

The product name is: Amitus Stridemaster. (I made the name up, but it’s based on a real product!)

Target Audience: People who care about their health and want to train at home using a high-tech piece of equipment.

Product: This is an elliptical home exercise training machine with a sleek design.


  • Goal Track capability enables users to set individual exercise goals
  • 22 programs: 9 profile, 8 heart rate control, 2 custom, 2 fitness test, and 1 quick start
  • 20 levels of resistance for a wide range of workout intensity options
  • High speed, high inertia drive system with a perimeter weighted flywheel for easy start up and smooth, consistent workouts
  • 6-position manual ramp adjustment with large articulating footplates with cushioning
  • Dual Track LCD displays

What’s unique: The Amitus Stridemaster Elliptical Trainer features the DualTrack LCD multi-display console with goal tracking functionality enabling the user to set and track their individual exercise goals of workout time, distance traveled, and calories burned.

Price: This is a $700 purchase.

(Pro tip: Don’t mention the price in your copy. The price will be revealed on the website, after readers have clicked through from your email copy.)

How to Research and Prepare

Copy and print out the briefing information above.

Then go to Amazon and look at the features and descriptions of other elliptical exercise machines …

Take notes. Get a feel for the products and the buyers.

In other words, do your homework!

This is how it goes with real clients. They give you a briefing, then you do your own research too, digging deeper and immersing yourself in the product or service.

Pro Tips for Making Your Copy Better

Once you’ve done all that research, you might think it’s time to start writing.

Not so fast!

That’s just Step One.

Step Two is to immerse yourself in the lives of your buyers.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the home of someone who might be interested in buying an Amitus Stridemaster.

Will this be their first purchase of this kind or product? What’s motivating them? Why now?

Are they motivated mostly by the need to look more attractive? Or is it about making lifestyle choices because they’re trying to improve their health and well-being? Are they purchasing this at-home piece of exercise equipment because they want the safety and convenience of not going to the gym right now? Or do they believe they’ll work out more with it in their home?

Not sure how to answer those questions?

Here’s another pro tip for you …

Go back to those Amazon listings. Now, instead of reading the product descriptions, read the buyer reviews!

THAT’S where you get to know how it feels to be in your prospects’ shoes.

Totally immerse yourself in those reviews and opinions. Get a feel for the language buyers use when talking about these products.

Do that and THEN you’ll be ready to start writing.

Remember … nobody truly NEEDS an Amitus Stridemaster. We’ve all managed to survive without a $700 piece of exercise equipment in our homes! But a lot of people might WANT one.

Why? Why do we want it? How will our lives change if we have one?

Answer those questions and you’ll be well on your way to writing some great copy.

Three More Important Tips

First …

I’ve been a professional copywriter for 40 years now.

But still, after all those years, my first draft is NEVER my best draft.

Keep writing new drafts until it’s the best you can do.

Second …

Almost every purchase we make is driven more by our hearts than our brains. We buy stuff to satisfy our emotions. We buy stuff to make ourselves feel good.

So … don’t focus just on the features … give thought to the emotional triggers too.

Third …

You’re not trying to close the sale with this copy. There’s no buy button.

Your task is to make the reader want to click through to a sales page on the company website.

The purpose of the email copy is to make people interested enough to want to learn more.

Make them click that More Info button!

Remember, the value here lies in the practice, and in having a piece of
writing for your portfolio.

Time to dive in …

Practice your writing every day, and you will improve. Guaranteed.

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments.

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Published: May 12, 2020

22 Responses to “Write a Powerful, 83-Word Email About an Elliptical Exercise Machine… And You Could Get Paid $200!”

  1. Sounds cool! Please advise: Is this contest open to anyone worldwide or only good for USA residents?

    Guest (Claire)

  2. Does our Amitus Stridemaster come with arm handles? I'm not sure if it's standard on elipticals

    Thanks ~

    Nicole T Bergstrom

  3. Well alright - here we go again - another writing contest! I thought I had the last one - the Boston chiropractic business - nailed, but alas, my entry did’nt finish in the top three. I wish I had an idea if my submission was in the finalist group. Would it be possible that someone at AWAI could send a very short email to finalists (the group of 20-25 writers), to let one know if they came close? I’m going to tackle this one with the determination to cross the finish line to the winner’s circle.

    June Frost

  4. In researching Amazon reviews, there's one feature mentioned prominently in almost every review: How quiet the machine is. However, there's no mention of that in the description. Is this machine silent? Seems to be important to the reviewers. Thanks!


  5. Do I have to write around the features described here or I can add my own found on Internet?


  6. Do numbers count as words? would 6, 20, 22 count as 3 words? Also, is it required to include a "prompt" to instruct the reader to "click link below"?

    Gary Koerber

  7. Should we use the name and information of the product given by you or is that just an example?

    Guest (Sumansona)

  8. Does this Amitus Stridemaster have a cup holder?

    Does it have a personal device(Ipad,phone) holder?

    Does it have wheels to make it easily moveable.
    Thanks, John


  9. The most difficult thing for me was the 75 word limitation...What I found helpful is, after I had settled on my preliminary 8 word headline, I cut it
    (saving it to replace later), and then observed the total in my word counter. Seeing that "75" pop up gave me a psychological boost, and then I could proceed with my proofing and editing.


  10. Does a contraction like "won't" or "don't" count as one or two words?

    And does punctuation like an ellipsis ("...") count as a word?

    Mark K

  11. If the prospective(the candidate who applies),in what way do you make payment? i.e do you only use checks?
    BehailuA May14,2020

    Guest (Behailu)

  12. Why did the consumer sign up for our email in the first place? Was it to be updated on hot deals or new products(or both)? What did we promise we would do when they agreed to become a part of our list?
    Just trying to gain perspective of the consumer expectation.

    Kat T

  13. I have noticed that a very BIG deal for almost all customers is the ease (or lack thereof) of assembly. There is nothing about that in your specs... but am I at liberty to at least mention it in the copy?

    Thanks...having a lot of fun with this!

    Guest (JoAnn)

  14. I'm a strict constructionist about rules governing contests. Follow the rules as written. If it's not in the description (e.g., is there a cup holder? Is it whisper-quiet?) then don't risk disqualification by including it. Otherwise anything goes: E.g., It has a built in TV! And a slot machine! And, um, a video of your performance! WOW!

    Richard Lacey

  15. If I summarize benefits in bullet points, does the bullet symbol (glyph) count as a word?


  16. Does it need to be standard plain copy or are we allowed to JAZZ it up with color, font size and punctuation? Thanks, Mary

    Guest (Mary Fancher)

  17. This is my first contest submission, and I'm trying to fully grasp the concept.

    So do the responses to comments, so far, mean that the structure, or format, of the copy has no bearing on the outcome, for example, bullet points, lists, italicized words, etc?

    Scotty W

  18. Can one be able to view submissions so far?

    Guest (Brian )

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