How to Write a Marketing Email That Gets Attention and Results

How to Write a Marketing Email with writing hands

Marketing emails are synchronous with your brand identity — they demonstrate your uniqueness and persuade the subscriber to act. An effective marketing email comprises compelling content, audience segmentation, and personalization.

Readers typically spend 12 seconds reading an email, and marketers put extra effort into grabbing readers’ attention within that time frame. Even so, the average open rate for marketing emails stays at 20-25%. That means you must write short and effective messages to engage your recipients. 

That’s exactly what we will look at today — how to write a marketing email that gets more attention and responses from your subscribers. We will also look at the components of marketing emails, give tips to create engaging content, and share best practices along with examples. 

Table of Contents

The Components of a Good Marketing Email

A good marketing email grabs attention and encourages opens and clicks. Every component works together to bring out the desired effect for your emails.

Here are the essential components you need to have:

Subject line Grab attention and entice readers to open emails. Make it concise and compelling and create urgency where appropriate.
Personalization Make the emails feel relevant and personal.Address recipients by their name and use dynamic content.
Clever body copy Convey value proposition Focus on brand or product benefits and make it scannable.
Visual elements Capture attention and enhance understanding.Use a visually appealing layout with graphics and interactive elements.
Compelling CTADirect recipients toward the desired action.Use persuasive language and aesthetic buttons.
Components of a marketing email 

Let’s go over more important components in detail.

Segmentation and Suppression Lists: How to Use Them the Right Way

Segmentation and suppression lists are important factors that determine your marketing email campaign performance. Let’s go over them in detail:


Along with the basic email elements, your marketing emails must have a strong segmentation strategy in place. That means dividing your audiences into groups based on their likes, preferences, purchase history, and demographics.

For example, you can segment audiences based on their product preferences and send them exclusive product updates, discounts, and deals. This will allow you to solve their pain point through your email sequences, which is why they signed up in the first place.

Suppression List

Suppression is the opposite of segmentation; you create a ‘do not send’ list of recipients for marketing emails. This method avoids sending duplicate content to the same people who interacted with your emails in the past. For example, if a recipient has already viewed a product, suppressing them in future product emails saves time and resources. You can create a master suppression list and automate the process through your ESP platform. This way, your marketing emails will not reach the uninterested recipients, reducing your spam complaints.

Segmentation and suppression lists are critical to steering your marketing emails in the right direction. Without this, you may not be able to choose the right audience to send emails to and end up with a low sender reputation

Before you implement these aspects in your email marketing, let’s start with the basics — what makes your marketing email worth a read?

What Makes a Good Marketing Email?

Marketing emails nurture leads and guide them through the sales funnel. Marketers know that success depends on targeted and segmented email copy. In fact, data suggest that subscriber segmentation (78%) is the most effective strategy by far. 

A good marketing email respects customer preferences and follows email best practices such as:

  • Permission-based marketing: Utilize double opt-in to ensure your emails don’t reach the disengaged recipients. Permission-based marketing lowers spam complaints, maintains sender reputation, and increases trust in your brand.
  • Engaging content: Send exclusive content for each audience segment. This increases appeal and encourages subscribers to interact with your emails.
  • Respect subscriber preferences: Letting subscribers decide when and how many times they want to receive your emails shows you value their preferences.

Bundle these prerequisites with the guidelines below to create effective marketing emails.

4 Main Tips to Write an Effective Marketing Email 

Your marketing emails are more than the visual appeal and consistent branding — they must inform, engage, and nudge the subscriber to take action. Here are the best ways to move your subscribers to take that desired step:

  1. Craft a great subject line

The email subject line is a preview of the email body copy and must align with the topic at hand. Always include the recipient’s names and interests to increase anticipation.

Here are a few examples for inspiration:

  • ” Joe exotic, is that you? The Tiger Saga isn’t going to end that quickly 🎉”
  • ” Brighten the Mood: Open your next virtual happy hour with these conversation starters” 
  • ”Nice meeting you, Ahana  ✋”
  • “Today, you made a great decision 😎”
  • ”Introducing our (software name) — a solution to your (pain point).

You can brainstorm more like these, but ensure they stick to the spam rules. For instance, stay away from using too many exclamation points in your subject lines. 

To help you be on the safer side, we have compiled a list of spam triggers:

  1. Stuffing keywords
  2. Using ALL CAPS and bright red font
  3. Using words like 100% free, big bucks, best price, extra income, etc.
  4. Creating unnecessary urgency such as act now, get it before midnight, important information regarding, etc.
  5. Using shady words like buy direct, no hidden charges, no credit check, no interest, this isn’t a scam, etc.
  6. Using jargon words like – as seen on, accept all cards, certified, lifetime, etc

The best way to avoid falling prey to spam traps is by running a spam check on your emails. Even if you unknowingly include spam trigger words, the spam checker can catch and rectify errors. 

The best approaches to writing marketing email subject lines are:

  • Promote urgency, 
  • Create curiosity,
  • Provide offers, 
  • Make it relevant and timely,
  • Tell stories,
  • Keep it short and crisp,
  • Use a familiar sender name,
  • Utilize personalization.
  1. Use a nice preheader text 

A preheader text gives recipients more information about your email and increases the chances of subscribers opening your emails. 

This is an example of a good preheader text: 

”Get 25% off on your first order”

This is a bad example:

“Unsubscribe here if you don’t like our emails”

You certainly don’t want to be in the second category, that’s why we put together the ‘don’ts’ for writing a good preheader text:

  • Repeating the subject line,
  • Including unsubscribe option,
  • Requesting for a whitelist,
  • Adding too many links,
  • Not providing a CTA,
  • Elongating the text,
  • Adding irrelevant information, 
  • Not A/B testing.

A preheader is a second opportunity to grab the reader’s attention, and when it syncs with the subject line, your email open rates will likely increase. 

  1. Utilize Images and Videos 

Using images and videos can make your emails more appealing and incite the desired action. You can use a simple background with text on it, or a diverse image. Keep your images readable and responsive, and utilize interactive elements like GIFS and polls to make them more interesting. Also ensure your images load quickly on all devices, and that you aren’t using too many images in your emails.  

  1. Keep content crisp and clear 

Your body copy must provide actionable insights and solve customer problems. 

Ideally, a marketing email structure looks like this:

  1. Logo or email header
  2. A high-resolution image
  3. A direct and compelling headline 
  4. Relevant body copy
  5. Persuasive CTA
  6. Unsubscribe link
SoFi Marketing Email explaining how to write a marketing email
SoFi Marketing Email. Source

The ideal length of your marketing email should be 50-125 words. Data suggests that emails of this length have a response rate above 50%. If you find it difficult to stick to the word count, aim for under 200 words.

Finally, keep your CTA clear and let your readers know what they should do next. 

Here are 5 CTA examples to help you adapt:

  1. ”Buy now” 
  2. ”Learn more”
  3. “Register for our webinar”
  4. “Download your free trial”
  5. “Contact us today”

Tip: Use action verbs and create a sense of urgency in your CTAs.

Additional 6 Steps to Craft Your Marketing Emails

Start by jotting down your ideas, purpose, and target audience in detail. This will give you a complete picture of your marketing email journey. Let’s start with the basics, though:

  1. Define your goals

Your email content depends on the type of goal: do you want to increase conversions, create brand awareness, or drive traffic to your page? Your marketing emails must align with the broader marketing goals of your company. Use your email sequences to promote your products, give out updates, and reward subscribers.

  1. Know your audience

Every subscriber is different and has unique needs. Even though you segment your audience, your emails could only reach the right people if you finalize the target groups for each campaign. For example, let’s assume you own a clothing brand. 

You could segment subscribers by:

  • Time subscribed,
  • Engagement level,
  • List segmentation based on behavior, time zone, location, age, and gender.

When you send marketing campaigns, choose one audience set on the list, and create valuable content for them. For example, you can send product promotions and discounts to the audience with the highest engagement level and suppress the rest of the list. This will allow you to customize and produce tailor-made content that each of your audiences will enjoy.

  1. Personalize emails

67% of people use personal recommendations while shopping. Layer emails with customized content and personalization — use the recipient’s names, product preferences, and other relevant information in the subject lines and greeting. Also, ensure your personalization is relevant to your audience and the email content. 

Let’s see what good personalization looks like.

Personalization Strategy Purpose
Collect useful customer data To know the location, email frequency preferences, demographics, and psychographics.
Create surveys and interactive emails Use link-tracking and surveys to know more about the audience.
Connect to ESPs for more dataIntegrate with third-party platforms to understand buying habits and engagement through email metrics.
Build sequences and flows based on the customer journeyYou can send product announcements, and re-engagement campaigns, and status alerts.
Use behavior triggers You can use event registration, loyalty membership, cart abandonment, etc.
Marketing email personalization strategies

Your emails could have different purposes, but try writing them in an active voice and using the second person in your messages. Including ‘You’ can make the reader feel involved in the communication.

  1. Convey your brand value 

If you only show your readers what you can do, they won’t know your value. 

Let’s see two examples to paint a clearer picture:

Product A: 

Get 15% off on your first purchase, see you inside.

Product B: 

We know you have been eyeing the Blossom nightwear for a while. Our versatile clothing is designed to take you straight to your dreamland from the comfort of your home. Wear it for sleep or pair it with sneakers for a chic look. Here’s 25% off for your first!

Which do you think will perform well? Without a doubt, it’s product B. Combining benefits with features will tell your customers why your product best fits their needs.

  1. Proofread Emails 

Run your emails through your team to spot errors and check loading speed and format. Lack of personalization and salesy tactics are commonly linked with bad email marketing practices. That’s why it’s critical to scan your campaigns for spam words and malpractices before sending them.

  1. Test and measure results 

Marketing emails are about convincing your customers why you are the best for them. If you don’t track analytics, you will never know how your emails perform over time. Use email open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to determine your email quality. You can also send feedback emails to understand how well your content resonates with your target audience.

But how can you use these tips if you don’t know which type of marketing email you’re sending? Let’s learn about them below.

How to Write Different Types of Marketing Emails With Examples

There are plenty of types of marketing emails you can send, but today we will cover 5 of them.

Here are ideas on how to write:

  1. Welcome Email 

This is a type of transactional email that introduces your brand and provides valuable information regarding future emails. You can include your brand history, and what subscribers can expect going forward, and other relevant updates. If it’s a welcome email for a product, it’s a good place to show how everything works.

Aeropress Welcome Email
Aeropress Welcome Email
  1. Newsletters 

If you regularly update blog posts, you can send your subscribers a round-up of the latest ones. You can also include promotions and other brand-related information. Email marketing newsletters are typically scheduled once or twice a week. Anything more than that will displease your readers.

Ellevest Newsletter Sample
Ellevest Newsletter Sample
  1. Product updates

Product updates are usually scheduled once a month to brief readers on the latest upgrade. Although not as interesting as the other marketing emails, updates help maintain customer loyalty. You can also wait for a few updates and send them as round-ups.

Fitbit Product Update Email
Fitbit Product Update Email
  1. New Content Announcement 

This type of marketing email is where you spread the word about your products, offers, webinars, or e-books. You may additionally include your next sale announcement, discounts, and coupons. The main element of the email should be your offer; highlight CTA and lead customers to the product page.

Buffer Daily Content Announcement Email
Buffer Daily Content Announcement Email
  1. Event Invitation 

You can promote an upcoming event through compelling visuals and a clear CTA. Tell your readers why they must register and what they get if they do. 

Willo Happy Hour Event Invitation Email
Willo Happy Hour Event Invitation Email

It doesn’t matter what industry you come from and what your daily job entails, marketing emails are a great way for you totell your stories to the world. 

Marketing Emails Across Industries

When writing marketing emails, a few common questions include: how to write an email sequence for affiliate marketing or how to let people know about my business. Marketing emails follow a similar structure in any type of industry, and we uncover a few common ones below:

AspectE-commerceB2B Services SaaS
Subject line Use product offers and urgencySolve business challenges Highlight software benefits and updates
Personalization Recommend based on past purchasesAddress specific needs of the businessCustomize solutions based on user behavior 
Content tone Engaging and persuasive language Professional and solution-orientedClear and concise, focus on value
Visuals High-quality product imagesProfessional graphicsScreenshots, infographics, and product demos
CTACompelling and clear – ”Shop now and get 10% off”Request a demo, learn moreStart a free trial, upgrade now 
Social proofCustomer reviews Case studies and client testimonialsTestimonials and success stories
Follow-up sequencesAbandoned cart reminders, product recommendationsFollow up on inquiries and provide supportSend targeted content 
Open rates40.6%36.5%33.5%
Marketing emails across common industries

We hope this serves as a starting point to tailor your marketing email strategy. Monitor analytics and refine your emails according to the audience’s behavior. More importantly, work with a reputable email marketing service.

Optimize Your Marketing Emails With Campaign Refinery

Crafting compelling marketing emails requires you to maintain a friendly tone alongside sending the right information to your subscribers. This process includes segmentation, personalization, list-hygiene, and automation. If you are just starting out, it can be a lot to handle, and this is where a sophisticated ESP comes in.

Campaign Refinery’s built-in segmentation and automation tools can help you glide through the process without manual intervention and on a regular basis. Our automatic email list cleaning feature stamps out inactive email addresses, guarding your sender reputation and deliverability.

We also feature a campaign library with templates and elements to help you build the most engaging marketing emails while having the lowest spam complaints and highest deliverability rates. 

Want more opens and clicks?

Apply to become a client and start building your marketing emails today!

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