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How to Write Marketing Emails That People Will Read (Tips & Examples)

Email marketing has been a strong bridge for communication between businesses and customers for decades, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon as some have been predicting. Our inboxes are often brimming with sleek, professionally polished promotional emails and newsletters as brands continue to leverage this powerful communication tool. However, creating emails that people would actually read and engage with is where many hit a snag. In fact, the way you write your emails can make or break their success. Without adhering to the core principles of effective email marketing communication, you risk having your messages ignored, marked as spam, or leading to unsubscribes.

In this article, we’ll break down the essential components of a standout email and share strategies on how to write a marketing email that goes from sparking interest to actually encouraging actions.

What is a marketing email?

A marketing email is best defined as an email message with a commercial purpose. By nature, such commercial emails aim to provoke action and serve your business objectives such as engaging people to read your new content, drive sales, generate traffic for your website, keep clients engaged with your brand, raise awareness about a new product or service, or foster other unique interactions.

Marketers and small business owners often invest considerable time to create what they believe to be the perfect marketing email. Still, the true criteria for a marketing email’s perfection is its capacity to achieve your business goals and hit specific performance metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately, conversion rates. Let’s deep-dive into the topic and see what it takes to create these perfect emails that people will want to read and take the actions you want them to.

The Key Components of Writing Marketing Emails

A well-crafted email has a few essential elements and when used thoughtfully and strategically, can significantly enhance your email message’s impact:

Now let’s dive into each one and explore strategies that will encourage your recipients to open, read, and interact with your marketing emails, ultimately driving conversions and customer engagement:

The Subject Line

The first thing your readers will see when they receive your email is the subject line. It’s the make-or-break factor for many email marketing campaigns. A half-hearted email subject line can easily erase hours of crafting a perfect email copy. Therefore, the subject line is the deciding factor between an email that’s opened and one that’s overlooked.

To grab your reader’s attention and spark their curiosity, aim for a subject line that teases the content inside and prompts the recipient to open the email for more details. Your subject line should grab attention, set expectations, and of course, be actionable and relevant to your recipients.

The Email Body 

The email body is the heart of your message, where the substance of your communication is. It’s where you deliver your main email copy, whether that’s detailed information about a new product, a special offer, an informative newsletter, or a personalized message. A well-crafted email body should include a clear and concise message, structured in an easily digestible format. Just as a compelling subject line is crucial to get the email opened, the content within is what keeps the readers engaged and motivates them to take the action you expect from them. To maintain their interest, the email copy should be coherent, focused, and relevant, providing clear value to the readers. 

Use concise language, engaging visuals, and a structured layout with headers and bullet points to enhance readability. Every element, from the greeting to the conclusion, should direct your reader to the ultimate aim of your email, which often comes in a compelling call-to-action.

The Visual Elements

Breaking up text with bullet points, images, and graphics can make your email more visually appealing and easier to digest. People often skim emails, so these elements can help highlight key points:

  • Bullet points serve as an effective method to break down information into smaller, digestible bits, making it easy for readers to scan through and absorb the most important messages faster. They are ideal for listing benefits, summarizing features, or presenting any information in a clear and organized manner.
  • Images have the power to convey emotions, demonstrate products, or complement your email copy in ways that words alone cannot. They can capture the reader’s attention and, when used appropriately, can enhance the storytelling aspect of your email, making the content more memorable.
  • Graphics, including infographics and charts, can be used to present data, processes, or complex information in a more accessible and visually engaging way. They can help to simplify complex information, providing a quick visual reference that supports and enhances your written content.

The Call to Action 

A call-to-action (CTA) is a critical component in your email that instructs the reader on the exact action you want them to take. It’s the culmination of your email’s purpose, designed to transition the reader from engagement with your content to taking a concrete step that aligns with your business goals – whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a service, downloading a resource, or visiting a webpage. A well-designed CTA is clear, compelling, and easy to find, often taking the form of a button or a hyperlink with persuasive text. It transforms passive reading into active engagement, driving conversions and furthering your business objectives.

How to Write Marketing Emails That People Will Actually Read

Including the fundamental components of a marketing email like a subject line, a body, visuals, and a call-to-action is a great start, but it’s the strategic implementation of these elements that truly drives results. Without a well-defined strategy guiding the structure of your email marketing campaign, you might end up with a visually appealing yet ineffective message. So let’s dive into the strategies that will elevate your email content and inspire your recipients to take action!

Create Engaging Subject Lines That Get Emails Opened

Use actionable catchy phrases, but focus on relevance

Crafting an email subject line with actionable and catchy phrases can drastically increase your emails’ open rate. However, the charm of catchy email subject lines must be balanced with the promise of relevant content. Misleading your audience with a subject line that doesn’t deliver can lead to frustration and ruin trust and credibility. To keep your email subject lines both enticing and honest, use verbs to clearly indicate what the recipient can expect to achieve by reading your email. Moreover, ensure that your subject line accurately reflects the body of your email.

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Personalize your email subject lines

Adding a personal touch to your subject can increase the chances of your email being noticed. People are more likely to respond to something that feels like it was crafted specifically for them, so use their name, mention a recent interaction, or refer to a topic of interest to make it personal.

Julia, Your Opinion Matters: Share Your Thoughts on Our New Product

Avoid subject lines that may trigger spam filters

Certain words and phrases, excessive punctuation, and all caps can trigger spam filters, causing your email to land in the spam folder. To navigate around these filters, opt for subject lines that are direct and avoid potentially problematic terms like “risk-free,” “no credit check,” “urgent,” or “make money.” By choosing a straightforward and simple language, you’ll improve your chances of successful email delivery and high open rates.

Use emojis, numbers, and statistics

Emojis can introduce a playful touch to your subject line, making it more visually appealing and helping it to stand out in a crowded inbox. Just a simple smiley or relevant symbol can capture attention and set a friendly tone. Meanwhile, incorporating numbers and statistics lends a sense of specificity and authority, enhancing the credibility of your email.

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Don’t be afraid to experiment with different subject lines

Don’t hesitate to try out various subject lines to see what captures your audience’s attention. Regularly testing different styles and tracking their open rates can guide you in understanding your audience’s preferences. Simple A/B testing, or sending two different subject lines to two segments of your list, can quickly reveal which is more compelling, allowing you to adjust your email marketing strategy for better engagement.

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Strategies for Building Engaging Email Content

Writing marketing emails goes beyond just getting them opened. The real challenge lies in holding the readers’ attention and guiding them toward a desired action. When you think about how to write a marketing email that captivates and converts, don’t forget to deliver content that resonates with your audience and compels them to engage further with your brand. Here’s how to write emails that not only captivate but also convert:

Craft a magnetic start

The opening of your marketing email sets the stage for the entire message and can be the deciding factor in grabbing your recipient’s attention. It should be compelling, personalized, and relevant, immediately conveying the value that the rest of the email will provide. Many people won’t go much further if you don’t do that right.

Start with a friendly greeting that resonates with your reader, followed by an opening line that hooks them with intrigue or addresses their needs directly. This could be a provocative question, a surprising fact, a brief teaser of the benefits to come, or a direct value proposition. The goal is to engage the reader from the first sentence, making them eager to continue reading and learn more about what you have to offer. An effective opening should also align with the subject line to ensure a smooth transition from the inbox to the heart of your email. Here are some examples for different occasions:

  • Product launch

Hello Jane, ready to revolutionize your morning routine? With our smart coffee maker you can wake up to a perfect brew, tailored to your taste, every single day!

  • Service promotion

Ever wondered how much time you could save if you had a personal assistant, Mike? We’re offering you an exclusive trial of our award-winning virtual assistant services – efficiency is just a click away!

  • Newsletter

Greetings, book lovers! This month’s must-read list is here, and it’s filled with page-turners that you won’t be able to put down.

  • Special offer

Sarah, we’re saying ‘Thank You’ to loyal customers like You with an exclusive offer – 20% off your next purchase with us.

  • Webinar invitation

Hi Alex, join our free SEO webinar this Friday and unlock the secrets of digital success with our expert panel.

Choose a conversational tone

The choice of the right tone is extremely important in order to not irritate or put off readers. It can be salesy, drily informative, or else. Normally, the tone of voice would depend on the topic of your email and the profile of your audience, but for marketing emails, in order to be on the safe side, we recommend you to choose the “conversational tone”, which can bridge the gap between you and your readers by creating a feel of a dialogue. To achieve this, write in a way that mirrors a natural conversation

Use language that’s friendly, approachable, and easy to understand as if you were speaking to the reader face-to-face. This can involve asking rhetorical questions, using contractions like “you’re” instead of “you are”, and choosing words that are common in everyday speech. Avoid jargon or overly formal language that can create a barrier.

The goal is to make your reader feel as though they’re engaging with a human, not a corporation, which can lead to a higher level of engagement and a stronger connection to your brand.

Use AI to improve your email content

Leverage the power of AI to improve your email copy, refine your writing style and ensure it aligns with your desired tone of voice. Luckily, our SiteGround Email Marketing Tool has a built-in AI Email Writer to help you create compelling marketing emails with ease. It’s like having a friendly writing coach right at your fingertips, ready to help you find the perfect tone – whether you’re looking to inform, offer a special deal, or just send your monthly newsletter.

Not sure where to start and how to talk to AI? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a collection of custom AI email prompts – set of ready instructions that you can give to AI systems to generate specific content for you. Our AI email prompts are ailor-made by our AI experts to make your email writing process faster and more efficient with ChatGPT and with SiteGround’s AI Email Writer.

Incorporate storytelling and social proof

Incorporating storytelling into your marketing emails is a technique that can significantly elevate the impact of your message. A well-crafted story can easily guide readers, create an emotional connection, and make the information you’re presenting stick. When you share stories about real-life challenges and how your products or services have provided solutions for such, you help readers envision themselves in similar successful scenarios

Moreover, stories can simplify complex ideas, making your message more accessible and relatable. For instance, instead of simply listing product features, you can tell the story of how these features have benefited a real customer, which brings those features to life.

To improve the persuasive power of your stories, start with integrating social proof into your message. Social proof, such as customer testimonials, user reviews, or case studies, serves as evidence that others have benefited from what you’re offering and are satisfied with the results. This kind of proof can significantly enhance your brand’s credibility and can be the nudge a reader needs to move from consideration to action. Here’s an example:

Bring value to your readers

The content of your marketing emails should always offer something of value to your readers. This is what makes them open your emails and engage with your brand. Value can take many forms, depending on what resonates with your audience. It might be practical advice contained in tips or how-to guides that help solve a problem, or a new blog post, free templates or a free ebook, the latest industry news that keeps them informed, or exclusive offers and discounts that save them money. The key is to understand what your audience truly values and then deliver it consistently through your email marketing campaigns. When your readers know that opening an email from you will always give them something beneficial, you earn their trust and reinforce their loyalty to your brand.

Find the right balance between text and visuals

To maximize the impact of your email marketing efforts, incorporating visual elements is key, as previously mentioned. However, the art of crafting easily digestible email content lies in finding the right balance with your visual elements. Here’s a strategic approach to effectively using them:

  • Start with a strong framework: select one of our tailor-made templates that best fits the message you want to convey. Our designs are crafted to strike the perfect balance between text and visuals, ensuring your email is both appealing and functional.
  • Highlight key information with bullet points: Use bullet points to summarize critical information such as product benefits, key features, or steps in a process. This makes it easier for readers to quickly scan your email and understand the main takeaways without getting lost in lengthy paragraphs.
  • Enhance with relevant images: choose images from our AI gallery or use custom images that align with your message and brand. 
  • Customize to fit your brand: While our templates provide the foundational layout, customize them with your brand’s colors, fonts, and logo to maintain consistency and brand recognition.
  • Test for balance: Before sending, preview your email to ensure there’s a harmonious balance between text and visuals. The goal is to create an engaging experience that doesn’t overwhelm the reader but rather guides them through the content with ease.

Don’t go for filler or fluff content

When it comes to effective marketing emails, conciseness and relevance are your best friends. Your readers are busy, and their inboxes are likely full, so it’s crucial that every part of your email packs a punch. Avoid using unnecessary filler or fluff in your email message. Instead, focus on providing content that is direct and to the point. Each sentence should serve a certain purpose, such as informing the readers, entertaining them, or motivating them to act. By removing the unnecessary and focusing on what is genuinely important, you respect your reader’s time and attention, which can result in higher engagement and a better reaction to your calls to action.

Incorporate strong CTAs

To ensure your CTA has the desired effect, it must be unambiguous and easy to spot. Use action-oriented language that leaves no doubt about what you want the reader to do, such as “Buy Now,” “Register Today,” or “Discover More.” Make your CTA buttons or links visually distinct with contrasting colors or bold text, and place them where they’re easily found – typically at the end of your email, or even prominently at the top for immediate action. A compelling CTA is one that feels like the natural next step for the reader, seamlessly moving them from interest to action.

Create a relationship between your brand and audience

Establishing a relationship with your audience through email marketing is about fostering trust and connection. Your emails are an opportunity to not just sell a product or service but to share the story of your brand. By including insights into how your business operates, such as behind-the-scenes glimpses or stories about your team, you can give your audience a sense of being part of your brand’s journey. Personal stories that resonate with your brand’s values can create a powerful emotional connection, making your audience feel like they’re part of a community rather than just a target market. This sense of belonging can encourage loyalty and turn readers into advocates for your brand. 

Be there for your audience

Accessibility is key to maintaining the connection you’ve built with your audience. Your email should not be a one-way communication. Instead, encourage interaction by making it simple for readers to contact you. Provide your email address, social media profiles, and a contact form to offer multiple channels for feedback or questions. When readers know they can easily get in touch, they feel valued and heard, which can strengthen their loyalty to your brand. 

Open lines of communication also provide you with invaluable insights into your audience’s needs and preferences, allowing you to tailor your content and offers more effectively.

Proofread and test your emails before sending

The final step before you hit ‘send’ on any email campaign is critical: proofreading and testing. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and formatting issues can undermine your professionalism and distract from the content.

Take the time to thoroughly review your email, or even better, have a second pair of eyes look it over to catch errors you might have missed. In addition to proofreading, send test emails to a variety of email clients and devices to ensure everything displays as intended. This includes checking that all links are working and lead to the correct pages. A well-proofed and tested email reflects your attention to detail and commitment to quality, reinforcing the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand.

How to measure your marketing email effectiveness?

Measuring the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns is essential for optimizing your strategy and achieving better engagement with your audience. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as open rates, click-through rates (CTRs), conversion rates, and bounce rates are critical metrics that shed light on how your emails are received.

Open rates measure the appeal of your subject lines, CTRs and unsubscribe rates indicate the engagement level of your content, and conversion rates assess the number of recipients completing a desired action, reflecting the direct impact of your emails. Email bounce rates and spam complaint rates are not necessarily a direct metric for the effectiveness of your emails, but should be monitored since they are correlated to everything else.

Leverage the power of A/B testing 

To further refine your approach, A/B testing is an invaluable tool. By sending out two or more variations of an email with one or more differing elements, such as the subject line, CTA, or even email body and layout, you can compare the performance of each version. 

This method allows you to isolate the most effective elements and incorporate them into your future email marketing campaigns. Regularly analyzing these metrics and employing A/B testing can guide you in making data-driven decisions, ultimately leading to more effective email marketing strategies and improved outcomes.

Write Marketing Emails That Engage and Convert

To stand out in the clutter of a busy inbox, writing marketing emails is crucial. It requires a mix of essential elements – crafting a subject line that grabs attention, composing content that engages readers, and including a clear call-to-action that encourages them to take the next step. So make sure you follow all the tips above because every email is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with your audience and pave the way for increased sales and new business opportunities.

Ready to take your email marketing strategy to the next level? Explore SiteGround Email Marketing and turn your email communication into effective conversions.

Svetoslava Ivanova

Digital Marketer

Enthusiastic about adopting new ways of storytelling Gen Z-er who lives and breathes digital marketing.

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