How to Write a Marketing Email That Drives Action?

How to Write a Marketing Email Copy That Drives Action?

How to Write a Marketing Email - blog image

Creating an effective marketing email is more than just following pre-written templates or relying on clichéd slogans. It’s about crafting a message that speaks to your audience’s needs and desires, using language they relate to, and providing incentives that encourage action, whether it’s making a purchase, downloading, signing up, or more.

Step by step, we’ll explore crafting effective marketing emails with clear goals. We’ll use real-world examples to demonstrate how to engage subscribers and guide them to take the desired actions.

Takeaways
  • Focus on the main goal of your email campaign
  • Ensure you don’t miss any vital elements in your email structure
  • Prioritize the personalization and preferences of your target audience
  • Use AI-powered email tools and automation software
  • A/B test a few versions of your writing copy

What Is a Good Marketing Email Structure?

A proper structure is pivotal for writing a successful marketing email. The right structure ensures clarity, guides the reader through your message, and enhances engagement. It can help you improve communication with your audience and make it more likely for customers to take the action you want, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service.

Below, we’ll break down the essential elements of an effective marketing email structure, using an example of an email message from Similarweb:

1. “From” label - The “From” label shows who sent the email. It helps users recognize the sender and can make the email feel more personal.

2. Subject line  This is the first line you see in your inbox that tells you what the email is about. A good subject line grabs your attention and makes you want to read more.

Subject line example

3. Preheader – The preheader is a short summary text that follows the subject line in your inbox. It gives you a sneak peek of the email content before you open it.

Preheader example in a marketing email

4. Email body text – This is the main part of the email where the message is written. It should be clear and to the point, providing the information or story you’re meant to read.

Marketing email example

5. Call to Action (CTA) – The CTA is a clickable button or link in the email that encourages a reader to take action, like buy a product, sign up, download a resource, or learn more. It’s highlighted to stand out. Its placement is usually strategically located within the email’s content, often near the end, to capture the reader’s attention.

CTA button example

6. Signature – The signature is at the end of the email body. It matches the “From” label, showing the name of the person or team who sent the email. It adds a personal touch.

Marketing email signature example

7. Email Footer – The footer is at the very bottom of the email. It ensures compliance with legal requirements and provides recipients with essential options and information, enhancing transparency and trust.

Marketing email footer example

A good email footer should include:

    • Company contact details
    • Well-visible unsubscribe link or button
    • Legal disclaimers
    • Social media icons

How to Write a Good Marketing Email

In crafting a marketing email, every element must align with the primary goal of your campaign and be tailored to resonate with your target audience. Each part plays a role in creating a cohesive, effective email that speaks directly to the needs and interests of your recipients.

Key Steps to Consider When Creating a Marketing Email

We’ll explain each step separately to assist you:

  • Strategizing your email message
  • Defining an email sender
  • Writing a subject line
  • Writing a preheader
  • Writing an marketing email copy
  • Writing a CTA
  • Designing a marketing email signature
  • Optimizing a marketing email footer

How to Strategize Your Email Message

  • Identify Your Purpose: Decide what you want to achieve with your email. It could be to boost sales or conversions, enhance customer engagement, gather feedback, or a combination of these. Focus on what’s most relevant to your campaign’s objectives.
Note

The most common purposes of email campaigns typically include:
  • Awareness: Raising the visibility of your brand or product.
  • Sales: Driving purchases or conversions.
  • Engagement: Increasing interaction with your audience.
  • Lead Generation: Attracting potential customers.
  • Re-engagement: Reconnecting with former customers.
  • Promotion: Highlighting specific products, services, or events.
  • Gathering Feedback: Collecting opinions or responses from your audience.
  • Collecting Information: Acquiring data for various purposes.
  • Updates: Sharing news or changes related to your business or products.
  • Focus on One Goal: Choose a single main goal for your email. This helps in crafting a clear, focused message that resonates with your audience.

Top Email Marketing KPIs - chart

Source: The 2023 State of Email Workflow Report, Litmus.com

  • Target the Right Audience Segment: Tailor your email to match the interests and needs of the specific audience segment you’re targeting. This ensures that your message is relevant and engaging to those who receive it.
Important

According to Inbox Insights 2023 Report by Mailjet, at least 15% of marketers don’t segment their email lists at all. If you’re one of these marketers, learn more about how to implement email segmentation from this article.

How To Define a Marketing Email Sender

  • Using a real person’s name instead of just the company name builds trust and personalizes the email.
  • For increased credibility, it’s recommended to go beyond a generic company name and give the name of a person representing it, like ‘John from Acme Corp’.
  • If you can’t use your own name, consider using the names of staff, content creators you regularly work with, or company founders for added authority.

Using a personal name instead of a generic company email address can increase your email open rate by up to 35%.

Source: SuperOffice.com

How To Write an Email Subject Line

How to Write a Marketing Email - Ela - Cluster: Email Marketing

  • Personalize: Address the recipient by name or tailor the subject line to their interests for a more engaging touch.

Subscriber name is the most commonly used data for email personalization, as reported by 53.1% of email marketers.

Source: Mailjet

  • Use Actionable Language: Encourage the recipient to take action by using verbs or phrases that prompt them to open the email such as: “Grab Your Exclusive Offer Today!”, “Discover the Secrets to Success Inside!” or “Unlock Your Savings Now!”
  • Keep It Short: Aim for brevity, with subject lines ideally under 50 characters for mobile compatibility. Short subject lines are crucial, as they ensure the recipient’s ability to quickly grasp the email’s content.
  • Deliver a Clear Message: Ensure the subject line clearly conveys the email’s main purpose or benefit. Your subject line should leave no room for confusion; prioritize clarity in conveying the email’s main purpose or benefit. While catchy subject lines have their place, being crystal clear about what’s inside is paramount.
  • Align with Tone of Voice: Match the subject line’s tone with the overall tone and style of your email. If your email is casual and friendly, your subject line should reflect the same tone, while a formal email should have a subject line that mirrors professionalism.
  • Consider Emojis: Use emojis thoughtfully to add visual appeal and convey emotion, but avoid overuse. Ensure that the chosen emoji appears correctly on different devices and screen sizes, as some emojis may display differently depending on the platform and operating system.
  • Utilize FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Create a sense of urgency or curiosity to entice recipients to open the email. For instance, you can use phrases like “Limited Time Offer – Act Now!” or “Hurry, Sale Ends Tomorrow!” to create a sense of urgency that motivates recipients to open your email.
  • Try Including Numbers: Numbers can make subject lines more specific and compelling. These numbers can take various forms, such as:
    • discount percentages (“Save 30% on Your Next Purchase!”)
    • dollar amounts saved (“Get $50 Off Your First Order!”)
    • quantity or quantity limits (“Only 5 Spots Left for the Webinar!”)
    • countdowns (“Last Chance to Register in 3 Days!”)
    • listicle or tips (“5 Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle”)
    • year or time frames (“2023 Product Launch – Be the First to Know!”)
    • statistics (“Join the 90% Who Improved Their Skills”), order or step numbers (“Step 1: Sign Up for Our Newsletter”)
    • days or hours (“Limited Offer – Ends in 24 Hours!”)
    • rankings (“We’re Ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction!”)
  • Avoid Spam Filters: Steer clear of spammy words, excessive punctuation, or excessive capitalization that may trigger spam filters. To ensure your email doesn’t get flagged as spam, avoid using words like “free,” “guarantee,” or too many exclamation marks. Instead, craft subject lines that are both enticing and spam filter-friendly, like “Exciting News from [Your Company]” or “Your Exclusive Invitation Inside.”
  • Test Mobile Compatibility: Ensure subject lines are readable on mobile devices. A good target is around 35-40 characters for optimal mobile view, as shorter subject lines are more likely to display effectively and capture recipients’ attention on their smartphones or tablets.

How To Write a Preheader

Example of an email preheader and a subject line seen on a mobile device

Source: MailerLite

  • Align Your Preheader with the Subject Line: Ensure that your pre-header corresponds with the subject line in terms of style, tone of voice, and purpose.
  • Encourage Users to Open/Read More: Utilize the pre-header to provide a sneak peek or incentive for users to open the email. For example, you can tease an exclusive offer like “Unlock 20% Off Inside” or hint at valuable content with “Read Our Latest Tips.”
  • Optimize for Mobile: To optimize for mobile, keep the pre-header concise, ideally under 40 characters. Mobile screens have limited space, so ensure the preheader remains engaging and informative within this character limit. Additionally, test how it appears on different mobile devices to guarantee readability.
  • Highlight the Main Benefit: Use the preheader to emphasize the main benefit or value proposition of the email content. Whether it’s a special promotion, a new product launch, or educational content, make it clear in the preheader how the recipient will benefit from opening the email.

The test conducted by Autoplicity.com revealed that adding a preheader text to their email campaigns led to an increase of 7.96% in the email open rate. This comparison was made between similar emails, differing only in the presence or absence of a preheader.

Source: Rejoiner.com

How To Write an Email Marketing Copy

  • Prioritize Personalization: Start emails with the recipient’s first name. Using “you” language makes the message feel more direct and personal, fostering a stronger connection with the reader. But, remember that personalizing email content extends far beyond that. Here’s what else could be personalized in your copy:
  • Content tailored to individual interests, past purchases, or website interactions
  • Relevant offers or discounts based on past behavior or preferences
  • Personal milestones like birthdays or subscription anniversaries
  • Location-based customization with region-specific information or offers
  • User-specific data like loyalty points or program progress
  • Enhance Brand Awareness: Consistently use your brand’s color scheme, logo, and style. This repetition helps recipients immediately recognize and associate the email with your brand.
  • Create a Scannable Message: Structure your email with headers, short paragraphs, and bullet points. This approach caters to readers who quickly scan content, improving engagement.
  • Find Your Tone of Voice: Your email’s tone should reflect your brand’s personality. Whether professional, friendly, or quirky, consistency in tone makes your brand more relatable and memorable.
  • Address Pain Points: Identify and directly address the recipient’s challenges or needs. This shows understanding and positions your product or service as a solution.
Note

Addressing pain points in an email copy is crucial and should be strategically positioned after an initial introduction but before presenting your product or service as the solution.

 

This placement ensures that you first establish a rapport with the recipient, making them more receptive to your message.

 

Start with a personalized greeting and a brief introduction to set the tone. Then, identify and discuss the recipient’s challenges or needs, demonstrating empathy and understanding.

  • Highlight Benefits: Clearly articulate how your product or service benefits the recipient. Focus on practical advantages rather than features, emphasizing value. Highlighting benefits can be effectively done using bullet points for clarity and ease of reading, especially when benefits are straightforward. Alternatively, for more complex benefits, weaving them into a narrative within the email creates an engaging story around how the product or service improves the recipient’s life or business. Both methods should focus on practical advantages, clearly demonstrating the value to the recipient.
  • Use Appropriate Visuals: Incorporate images or graphics that complement and enhance your message. Ensure they’re relevant, add to the clarity of your email and align with your brand’s identity. Personalization can extend to visuals as well, such as using images that resonate with the recipient’s interests or previous interactions with the brand. Use visuals in moderation, to prevent overwhelming the reader.
  • Incorporate Bullet Points and Lists: Break down complex information into bullet points or lists. This makes your email easier to digest and key points more memorable. This is particularly effective for presenting product features, benefits, pricing options, or event details.

Appealing bullet points used in an event invitation email from SEMrush

Visually attractive bullet points listing event details in an email invitation from SEMrush

  • Use Statistical Data: Include relevant statistics to add credibility and support your claims. Ensure data is accurate and from a reputable source.

Use of statistics in a marketing email by Sprinly

Sprinly uses statistics to prove how their vegan meals can improve one’s health

  • Include Social Proof: Mention customer success stories, endorsements, or user statistics. Social proof can significantly increase trust and interest in your offering.

Example of a social proof - TrustPilot review in a marketing email from Noom

Noom has used a TrustPilot review from a satisfied subscriber in their marketing email

  • Use Testimonials: Feature customer testimonials to showcase real-life experiences and satisfaction. This provides relatable evidence of your product’s value.

Marketing email example with a testimonial

Founders of Sprinly share their personal experiences leading to starting a business in an marketing email

  • Quote Experts: Enhance your email marketing copy by incorporating quotes from experts or authoritative figures in your industry. Their insights add credibility and engage your audience, making your content more persuasive. Use these quotes strategically to support your message and build trust with your readers.

Expert quote used in a marketing email

Lucidchart quoted an industry expert in their marketing email

  • Link to Relevant Resources: Direct readers to additional content or resources on your website. This not only provides more value but also increases website traffic. This strategy works well for educational content like blog articles, tutorials, or webinars. It can also be applied to case studies, customer testimonials, product demos, and downloadable resources such as eBooks, templates, or whitepapers.

Resources used in a marketing email from SEMrush

Useful resources listed in a educational email from SEMrush

  • Avoid Spammy Wording: Steer clear of overly promotional language and common spam trigger words like “guaranteed,” “free,” “buy now,” “limited time,” and “amazing.” These are commonly recognized as trigger words by spam filters and can impact your email’s deliverability. This ensures your email is more likely to reach the inbox.
  • Consider Adding a P.S.: A postscript can be an effective tool to reiterate a key point or call to action, often capturing attention even from those who skim the email.

P.S. example in a marketing email from Search Engine Journal

Informative P.S. in a SEJ Webinar invitation email

How To Write a CTA

Creative CTA example by Lucidchart

Creative CTA example by Lucidchart

  • Optimize Your CTA Button: Ensure that your CTA button stands out by using a contrasting color and clear, concise text. Make it easily clickable on both desktop and mobile devices. Use action-oriented verbs like “Buy Now” or “Get Started” to prompt immediate engagement.
  • Utilize Color Psychology: Choose the color of your CTA button carefully, considering the emotions and associations it evokes. For example, red can convey urgency, while green may imply safety or go-ahead. Align the color with the desired user response. You might like to read more about color psychology.
  • Clearly Promote the Desirable Action: Use unambiguous language that explicitly tells the reader what they will achieve by clicking the CTA button. For instance, instead of “Learn More,” use “Learn More About Our Exclusive Offers.” This clarity helps set expectations and encourages clicks.

For more tips on creating the perfect CTAs step by step, visit this article: How to Write a Call-to-Action That Works.

How To Design a Marketing Email Signature

Email signature example from HubSpot

Email signature example. Source: HubSpot

  • Align Your Signature with the From Label: Ensure your email signature is consistent with the “From” label, creating a cohesive and professional appearance. This alignment helps recipients recognize your brand and trust the email’s authenticity.
  • Enhance Credibility with Detailed Information: Boost the credibility of your signature by including additional details such as your job title, contact number, and physical address. These elements provide recipients with more ways to connect and verify the legitimacy of the sender.
  • Promote Your Website and Social Media Channels: Leverage your email signature as a promotional tool by including links to your business website and relevant social media profiles. This encourages recipients to explore your online presence and stay engaged with your brand.
  • Highlight Events, Books, or Case Studies: Elevate your email signature’s impact by adding links to upcoming events, recently published books, or pertinent case studies. This offers recipients direct access to valuable resources and promotes your offerings effectively.
  • Utilize Email Signature Generators for Creativity: While email service providers offer various signature customization options, you can also explore creative ideas using free tools like HubSpot’s email signature generator. These tools simplify the process and allow for unique signature designs that align with your brand’s identity.

How to Optimize a Marketing Email Footer

Mailmodo email footer example

Marketing email footer example from Mailmodo

  • Include All Contact Information: The email footer is crucial for ensuring recipients know how to get in touch with your business. Include clear and concise contact details such as your physical address, phone number, and customer support email.
  • Make Unsubscribing Accessible: Including an unsubscribe button or link in the email footer is not just a legal requirement; it’s also a best practice for maintaining a positive sender-receiver relationship. Make sure the unsubscribe option is easily accessible and functional. This gives recipients the opportunity to opt out of future emails if they wish, promoting transparency and trust.

 Marketing Email Writing Tips

In addition to addressing the most crucial email elements, there are a few essential tips that can simplify your email writing and creation process, ensuring the professionalism of your email marketing campaigns.

Consider These 5 Tips

  1. Proofread Your Content
  2. Use AI-powered Tools
  3. A/B Test Your Emails
  4. Use Email Marketing Automation
  5. Follow Up on Email Marketing Campaigns Sending Times

1. Proofread Your Content

Proofreading is crucial in email marketing to ensure error-free and professional communication. Mistakes in your emails can harm your brand’s image and credibility. To maintain quality, consider using professional proofreading tools.

Here are examples of tools that can facilitate proofreading of marketing emails:

  • Grammarly: Grammarly is a widely-used writing assistant that can be integrated with email marketing platforms. It checks for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style errors, ensuring your email content is polished and error-free.
  • ProWritingAid: ProWritingAid is another comprehensive proofreading and writing improvement tool. It offers in-depth analysis, checking for issues like overused words, sentence structure, and readability. Integrating it with your email marketing platform can help refine your email content.
  • Hemingway Editor: Hemingway Editor focuses on improving the readability of your content. It highlights complex sentences, passive voice, and suggests alternatives to make your emails clear and concise. While it may not catch all grammar and spelling errors, it enhances the overall quality of your writing.

When proofreading, it’s essential to go beyond content alone. According to the State of Email 2023 Report by Mailmodo, email marketers commonly make minor mistakes that affect user experience and conversion. These errors include failing to optimize for dark mode, omitting alt text for images, or using incorrect links.

Minor Email Marketing Mistakes Most Commonly Made by Marketers

Minor Email Marketing Mistakes made in 2022 - A Graph by Mailmodo

Source: State of Email 2023 Report, Mailmodo.com

It’s valuable to learn from these mistakes and review the technical aspects of your emails, especially those related to conversion and user experience. This comprehensive approach ensures your emails are error-free and deliver a seamless experience to your recipients.

2. Use AI-powered Tools

AI-powered tools can be invaluable for generating creative ideas and enhancing the effectiveness of your marketing emails. ChatGPT, among other AI tools, can assist in brainstorming compelling email content.

In addition to ChatGPT, there are several other AI-powered tools that can assist in email marketing, such as Copy.ai, Phrasee or AI features of OmniSend, a marketing automation platform recommended for eCommerce.

These tools provide suggestions, refine language, and help tailor messages to your audience. They analyze data to identify trends and personalize content, making your emails more engaging and impactful. Utilizing AI in email marketing can streamline your writing process and boost campaign performance.

3. A/B Test Your Emails

A/B testing your marketing emails is a crucial strategy for optimizing their effectiveness. Experiment with variations in email content, subject lines, CTAs, and even visual elements like images. Test different layouts and the placement of CTA buttons.

Email versions build by marketers - a graph based on Litmus stats

Source: The 2023 State of Email Workflow Report, Litmus.com

This data-driven approach helps you identify what resonates best with your audience, ultimately improving your email engagement and conversion rates.

4. Use Email Marketing Automation

Email automation offers numerous benefits. One of its notable advantages is streamlining the email writing process. Automation tools often provide content templates that serve as a structured foundation for your emails. These templates include suggestions and guidelines, making it easier to compose engaging and effective email content.

Email automation enables a high degree of personalization. You can customize emails based on recipient data, such as their name, location, and past interactions with your brand. AI-powered automation tools can even generate personalized content for each recipient, increasing the relevance and impact of your emails.

Another valuable use of automation is in setting up drip campaigns. With pre-written emails scheduled at specific intervals, you can ensure a consistent and timely flow of communication with your audience. Additionally, automation tools often include A/B testing capabilities.

To explore the full potential of email automation and get recommendations on the best marketing automation tools, we invite you to refer to our articles and guides on this topic:

5. Follow Up on Email Marketing Campaigns Sending Times

Timing plays a crucial role in optimizing the effectiveness of your marketing emails. By analyzing recipient behavior and engagement patterns, you can determine the ideal times to send emails.

Note

Research has shown that the most effective time to send marketing emails is typically between 9 AM and 12 PM on Tuesdays.

 

For more stats and facts, read about the Best Time to Send Marketing Emails: Peak Hours, Best Days & Frequency Tips for Email Marketing

This optimization ensures that your emails reach your audience when they are most likely to be receptive, increasing the chances of your well-crafted email copy making an impact. Keep a close eye on data and adapt your email sending times accordingly to enhance the performance of your marketing emails.

Final Word: Focus On Your Email Campaign Goal

In creating your ideal marketing email copy, always prioritize your campaign’s main goal. Whether it’s boosting sales, nurturing leads, or increasing engagement, tailor your content and design to match that objective. Make the most of personalization to form stronger connections with your audience.

Don’t overlook the importance of details and avoid minor mistakes to keep your email writing professional and maximize its impact.

To understand how well your email campaigns work, explore measuring marketing performance.

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About Email Marketing

Frequently Asked Questions

How to write a marketing email to a company?

When writing a marketing email to a company, it’s crucial to begin with a clear subject line that captures their interest. Personalize the email by addressing it to a specific contact within the company, if possible, to make it more relevant. In the body of the email, clearly convey the value proposition of your product or service and how it can benefit their organization. Make sure to include a specific Call To Action (CTA) that guides them on the next steps, whether it’s scheduling a demo, requesting more information, or exploring your offerings. Keep the email concise and focused on the company’s needs and potential benefits.

What is a good email address for marketing?

A good email address for marketing is one that’s clear, branded, and easy to remember. Ideally, it should reflect your company or campaign name, making it instantly recognizable to recipients. Example: marketing@yourcompany.com Avoid generic or complex addresses and prioritize a professional and trustworthy image to build credibility with your audience.

 
Can I send email marketing to anyone?

No, you cannot send email marketing to anyone without their consent. It’s essential to comply with anti-spam laws, like the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States, and obtain explicit permission from recipients. Sending unsolicited emails can harm your sender reputation and may lead to legal consequences. Always build a permission-based email list for effective and ethical email marketing.

 
How do you lay out a marketing email?

To create an effective marketing email, follow these steps:

  • Craft an engaging subject line.
  • Include a header with your logo and a clear “From” name.
  • Organize the body with a compelling message, visuals, and a clear Call To Action.
  • Add a footer with contact details, an unsubscribe option, and social media links.
  • Ensure mobile optimization for easy reading on all devices.
  • Personalize content to recipients’ preferences for better engagement.
 

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