Email provides a direct line to subscriber inboxes, allowing you to build relationships over time. It is highly measurable, providing data to refine your strategy. When combined with automation, email enables hyper-targeted, personalized messages that speak to individual needs. The potential impact on brand awareness, sales, and loyalty is immense.
In this guide, we look at the process of crafting effective marketing emails. This includes learning how to write subject lines that elicit clicks, introductions that grab the reader’s attention, and adding email design elements that keep subscribers engaged till the end.
Define Your Goals
The first step in crafting compelling marketing emails is to define your goals. Email marketing is more relevant than ever, but now when you’re sending messages to the wrong people, at the wrong time.
Once you know exactly what your goals are, it’s easier to determine who and when to send emails to. Well-executed emails will help you cut through digital noise to deliver engaging messages to your readers.
Is your goal to promote a sale, announce a product, or share news? Get quantitative with goals. Do you want 500 clicks or 100 new subscribers this month? Concrete goals shape messaging and strategy.
Understand your target audience’s demographics, pain points, needs, and interests. Put yourself in their shoes. What challenges are they facing? How can your email help address them? Speak to their wants and needs.
Craft Engaging Subject Lines
Your subject line is the first thing subscribers see – so make it count. Keep it concise, typically 30-50 characters. Subject lines 300% longer have lower open rates according to marketing research. Anything too lengthy risks getting cut off on smaller screens.
Make the subject relevant to your email content. This is crucial because according to research, 69% of recipients marked an email as spam based solely on its subject line.
Give readers a taste of the value they’ll find inside without giving everything away. For example, if you’re announcing a sale, the subject could be “Our biggest sale of the year starts now!”
Intrigue subscribers with urgency or curiosity-building phrases like “Last chance for…” or “Wait until you see…” Just avoid being overly salesy or spammy.
Steer clear of overused words like “Free” or “Act Now” which may get flagged as spam. Excessive capitalization, punctuation, or emojis can also hurt deliverability.
The goal is to grab attention while keeping your email out of the junk folder. Test different subject line options and lengths to see what resonates most with your audience. Try adjusting wording, emojis, urgency, etc.
Check open and click-through rates to guide optimization. Just remember – the subject line sets the stage for everything that follows in your email, so take the time to perfect it.
Get the Salutation Right
A well-crafted salutation makes subscribers feel seen and builds rapport. Use the recipient’s first name if you have it. Studies show emails addressing readers by name have higher open rates – some indicate an increase of over 26%. Even a simple “Hi [First Name]” creates a more welcoming tone and personal connection.
If you don’t have names, tailor the greeting based on your audience. “Hey, fellow runners!” or “Good morning entrepreneurs!” helps them feel part of a relevant community. Avoid generic greetings like “Dear Subscriber” or “Hello!” which feel impersonal and lazy.
Match the formality to your brand voice and subscriber relationship too. “Hi, friends!” is fine for an informal brand nurturing casual buyers. But “Dear Mr. Stevens” shows more respect for higher ticket corporate clients.
Testing greetings like “Long time no see” or “We miss you!” for re-engaging inactive subscribers is another way to personalize while being relevant. Emails with personalized subject lines have open rates about 20% higher than generic ones.
Make subscribers feel recognized as individuals, not just another nameless member of a faceless crowd. That personal touch fosters engagement and loyalty. Dial in your greetings with testing – the extra effort is worth it.
Write a Strong Introduction
Your email introduction should do the following:
Grab the Reader’s Attention
Your introduction sets the tone for your entire email. Start strong by hooking readers right away. Ask a thought-provoking question, share an intriguing statistic, or promise value readers won’t want to miss.
Just clearly state your purpose up front too – for instance, are you announcing a sale, promoting a new product, or sharing industry insights? Transparency builds trust.
Build Credibility and Authority
Strengthen your brand credibility in the introduction as well. Subtly mention your product or company’s reputation if it lends credibility. “As the #1 provider of X for over 10 years…” For example, customer testimonials and recognizable logos of brands you’ve worked with add trust signals. Don’t overdo it, but spotlight your expertise.
An engaging introduction primes readers for what’s next. Capture attention while quickly establishing legitimacy to maximize impact. Then move into the main content equipped to deliver your message credibly and persuasively.
Craft a Relevant and Compelling Email Body
Focus on High-Quality Content
The body content should engage readers while delivering value. Provide information tailored to your subscribers’ interests and needs. For example, send tips and tricks relevant to their work, or provide insights into overcoming common pain points.
Present information clearly and concisely using short paragraphs of no more than one to three sentences. Bullet points or numbered lists can also increase the skimmability of your email for quick takeaways.
Add a Strong Call to Action
Every marketing email needs a strong call to action or CTA. Clearly define the desired action, like “Register now” or “Learn more.” Use persuasive action-driving language like “Register now and save $20 today only.”
Make the CTA stand out visually by using contrasting colors, larger bolded font, or clickable buttons, as shown in the examples below from Netflix:
Hyperlinked text like “See New Arrivals” is effective for guiding traffic, while clickable buttons with “Shop Now” in bold red text make CTAs hard to resist. Test different CTA approaches and placements to determine what converts best.
Highlight Benefits and Features
Showcase how your product or service uniquely benefits the customer’s life or work. How specifically will it make their job easier? Will it save them time or money?
Before-and-after examples and customer testimonials can illustrate real-world value. Highlight special capabilities, features or advantages while keeping the focus on what they enable the customer to do.
For example, explain how a faster processor speeds up work productivity. Keep it about the reader, not just facts about your product.
Email body content should inform, inspire action, and speak directly to the customer. Keep paragraphs short, highlight CTAs, and emphasize customer value. Deliver an easy yet engaging read.
Add Attractive Visual Elements
Images and Multimedia
Enhance engagement with relevant eye-catching images, graphics, or videos. For example, showcase a new product with pictures or a demonstration video. Ensure images are optimized for fast loading – compress files and use SRC properties. Low-resolution placeholder images deter clicks.
Design and Layout
Mobile responsiveness is key – over half of emails are opened on mobile devices. Avoid complex desktop-centric designs that won’t translate well. Use a clean, simple layout with enough white space for easy reading. A professional design consistent with your brand builds trust and credibility.
Focus visual elements on enhancing user experience and engagement. Drab text-heavy emails are easy to ignore – use great images, video, and design to create an immersive experience that people respond to.
Use Testimonials and Social Proof
Using testimonials and social proof is among the best email marketing strategies to boost your results. Include reviews, ratings, or endorsements from satisfied customers to build trust and credibility.
For example, quote a customer explaining specifically how your product solved their problem or made their life easier. Positive 4-5 star ratings and reviews are highly persuasive forms of social proof for potential buyers.
Try incorporating video testimonials to make the experiences more personal. User-generated content directly from customers carries more weight than claims from your company alone. Experiment with testimonial placement as well – they may resonate more towards the top to establish credibility upfront.
Showcasing social media mentions or awards can also establish authority and trustworthiness. For example, displaying logos of high-profile publications or large companies you’ve partnered with lends an air of legitimacy. But always get permission to use other brands’ names or trademarks first.
A few strong testimonials and proof points integrated throughout the email have more influence than overloading with excessive logos and quotes at the end. Weave social proof in naturally rather than letting it feel forced. When done right, it speaks volumes.
Make sure to include contact details like your email address, phone number, and physical address so customers can get help if needed. Providing links to your website, social media channels, online knowledgebase, etc. also gives continued access to helpful resources.
Email regulations require a clear one-click unsubscribe option in all marketing emails. Typically this is in the footer as text that says “Click here to unsubscribe.” When someone opts out, ensure you immediately remove them from your list. Respecting recipient preferences helps build trust and maintain deliverability.
Providing relevant supplementary information and an easy opt-out demonstrates care for subscribers. Take a customer-first approach with contact details, links, and an unsubscribe option in every email. Keep them informed and in control.
Don’t Forget Your Email Signature
Sign off the email by including your full name, title, and company. This lends an air of expertise and trustworthiness. For example, close with “Sincerely, [Your Full Name], [Position Title] at [Company Name]”. Consider also adding a compressed version of your headshot or logo image to put a face to the name.
Follow up with your logo, contact details, social media links, and any required compliance information to look polished and professional. This reinforces brand recognition while conveniently providing multiple touchpoints for subscribers to continue engaging.
Display your phone number, email address, and physical office locations in case customers have questions or want to reach out. Hyperlinked logos for your website, Facebook, Instagram, etc make accessing your other channels seamless.
Required details like confidentiality statements or one-click unsubscribe links are also important to include. An email signature covers all the bases – personalization, branding, access, compliance, and professionalism. Take advantage of this final opportunity to connect.
Add a Postscript (P.S.)
Briefly recap or summarize the main point or value proposition of your email content in the P.S. This drives home the core message and takeaway you want readers to remember most. For example, “P.S. This new app will save you 10 hours a week on administrative tasks – so you have more time focusing on growing your business.”
You can also restate your call to action or create a sense of urgency. For example, “P.S. This limited time 20% off sale ends tomorrow at midnight, so grab your discount before it’s too late!” If you really want the CTA clicked, the P.S. presents one final opportunity to compel action.
According to marketing studies, including a postscript can increase open rates by 18% and CTRs by 25% or more. The P.S. gives you valuable real estate for a final thought. Use it strategically to hammer home your most important point, recap value, or prompt to your call to action. This last impression sticks with readers, so make it count.
Express sincere appreciation to close the email. A simple “Thanks for reading!” or “We appreciate you taking the time to review this.” goes a long way. Giving thanks for their attention makes subscribers feel valued.
Encourage further interaction by inviting them to reply, connect on social media, or send feedback. For example “Let us know if you have any other questions!” or “We’d love to hear your thoughts on our new product line!”. This keeps communication open while providing an opportunity to gather insights from customers.
You can also suggest subscribing to receive future content if they found it helpful. Recommending next steps nurtures engagement beyond a one-off email.
The closing frames the experience in a positive light. Thanking the recipient, soliciting feedback, and prompting for next steps leaves them feeling appreciated rather than dismissed. A thoughtful, interactive sign-off nurtures relationships and furthers conversation. Make your subscribers feel heard.
A/B Test Your Email
Test different email elements like subject lines, content sections, calls to action, designs, etc. to see what performs best. For example, split your list and send one version with a promotional subject line and one with an informational title.
Compare open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. This can help you optimize your emails for maximum engagement and response. Test one element at a time so you know what impacted results. Over time, fine tune each aspect through continual testing and learning.
Experimenting with different versions is crucial to perfecting your approach. Let data and customer response guide you to the most compelling emails. Turn on A/B testing and optimization features in your email service provider and consistently work to improve.
Make Sure Your Email is Mobile Optimized
With over half of emails now opened on mobile devices, optimization is crucial for flawless delivery.
Start by ensuring your email template responsively resizes for small screens. Content should be readable without zooming, columns and sections should stack cleanly, and images should not overlap or get cut off.
Check that links, buttons, forms, and any interactive elements work smoothly to provide a seamless UX. Tap targets should be large enough for fingers and loading times reasonable over cellular data.
Preview on different device sizes or use developer tools to identify any formatting issues. Sign up for a free trial of a tool like Litmus to catch technical problems across email clients and mobile OS versions. Fixing display errors and confirming functionality now prevents frustration later.
Mobile optimization is all about understanding the user experience. Put yourself in their shoes as you refine and test every aspect on both mobile and desktop. Don’t let preventable quirks sabotage great content. Do the diligent prep work so your message can shine through anywhere.
Proofread and Edit Your Email
Before sending, carefully proofread your email at least twice for any spelling, grammar, or formatting errors. Read the email slowly, word by word, to catch minor typos. Have a colleague or team member review the email as a second set of eyes to spot issues you may have missed.
Refine the wording and sentence structure to ensure information is conveyed as clearly and concisely as possible. Verify that all content sections, links, buttons, and interactive elements work correctly and lead to the right destination.
Polish any rough edges in the writing, design, or functionality to maintain a professional, high-quality standard throughout every aspect of the email. Consistent proofing and refinement will help your email look polished, cohesive, and error-free.
Testing and Preview
Before sending your final email, send test messages to inbox accounts across different providers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc. to check to render.
Images, fonts, and formatting display differently across email clients. Testing allows you to catch inconsistencies and troubleshoot issues early. Sign up for a free trial of a service like Email on Acid to test at scale.
Click every link and button to confirm functionality. Check mobile and desktop views. Preview obsessively so you know every recipient will see the email looking flawless. Don’t just blast it out – thorough testing is the sign of a savvy sender.
Sending and Follow-up
Choose the optimal time to send your email for the highest open and engagement rates. Test sending at different times of day (morning, afternoon, evening) and days of the week to determine what resonates best with your audience. Sends on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays generally see higher response.
After sending, closely monitor performance metrics like unique open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. These provide valuable insight into how compelling your email is. High open rates but low click-throughs may indicate strong subject lines but weak CTAs.
Importantly, follow up in a timely manner with leads who actively engage with your email. If a recipient clicks your CTA button or an email link, call or email to discuss the next steps while their interest is piqued. Quick relevant follow-up on connections fosters conversions.
Carefully orchestrate both the initial timely send and strategic prompt follow-up. Timing dispatch, tracking engagement metrics, and conversing with interested contacts will result in email success. Continually measure performance, then refine and repeat the process to optimize response.
Analysis and Optimization
After sending your campaign, dig deep into the data and thoroughly analyze the results. Review key metrics like open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, unsubscribe rate, and more. How did each of these metrics perform compared to your goals or benchmarks? Did any significantly exceed or fall short of expectations?
- Look at engagement visualizations to see how far down the email people scrolled on average before dropping off.
- Check which links were clicked most frequently.
- Break down performance by demographic segments if possible.
- Look for any overall trends or variances from which you can draw insights.
Getting clear on what specifically worked well versus areas for improvement is key. Analyzing across multiple data points will reveal strengths to double down on and weaknesses to address moving forward.
Learn from these insights to make data-driven improvements for future emails. For example, if a version with a coupon subject line performed 20% better, use coupon promos more often. Consistently optimize using performance data.
Don’t just blast one email and move on. Take time to understand what resonated with recipients and what didn’t. Let this inform enhancements to your strategy, creativity, segmentation, timing, and more. Continual analysis and refinement is the key to maximizing impact.
Crafting high-converting marketing emails requires optimizing key elements. Start with strategic goals and audience research to shape relevant messaging. Write subject lines that captivate and introductions that resonate.
Fill the body with value-focused content and irresistible calls to action. Embed design, multimedia, and social proof for engagement. Round off with a helpful signature, recap, and polite close. Continually refine through testing, ensuring mobile responsiveness, and analyzing performance data.
With rigorous attention to detail, you can create emails that cut through noise to deliver results and build loyal audiences. Use these tips to craft inbox-worthy emails that convert.