Imagine if every email you sent was opened, read, and responded to. Seems pretty impossible, right?
Marketing emails are integral to 21st-century business. Attracting new leads, building relationships with existing customers, and selling your product or service requires effective email marketing. But crafting these emails can be daunting for several reasons: inexperience, poor organization, writing relevant content—the list goes on.
Now is the time to set those hesitations aside because this guide covers tips and examples for writers of all levels to develop better marketing emails. Let’s go!
What are the benefits of email marketing?
In the digital age, marketing emails offer brands the opportunity to talk to consumers directly, cutting through the noise of social media and the internet.
In addition, email gives you direct access to new and existing customers. Fostering communication and building your email community gets more eyes on (and hopefully business for) your brand.
Exactly how powerful is email marketing? It’s all about growing…
Revenue, relationships, and trust
The hype of email marketing isn’t unfounded—it’s supported by research and numerous statistics.
Take this example: a Campaign Monitor survey found that nearly 72% of small businesses use email marketing to reach consumers. That’s higher than Facebook correspondence, which hovers around 60%.
The same survey also highlighted how revenue is generated through email. Despite being the second largest investment for small business owners (behind traditional marketing efforts), it has the biggest return on investment.
Leveraging email marketing makes your other marketing efforts even more effective. In other words, you can spend more money on campaigns, advertising, and additional costs because your ROI from emails will make up the difference.
Beyond generating revenue, when you write good emails, you build relationships and trust with your audience—often leading to recurring purchases and brand loyalty.
Email effectiveness depends on these key factors
Content quality: relevance of offer
Even the simplest sentences can be persuasive if tailored to the recipient’s needs and preferences. And an impersonal email is less likely to be opened or clicked through than a message that empathizes with the reader and offers them something they want.
Your campaigns for discounts and deals should offer real value to your specific audience. Send a discount code for a best-selling item or a buy-one-get-one-free campaign.
Timing: know when to send
Timing is the difference between an email being lost in someone’s inbox and getting the attention it deserves. Subtle nuances, such as the day of the week or the hour of the day, can influence the open rates.
According to HubSpot, the best time to send emails is between 9am-12pm, followed closely by 12pm-3pm. The best days of the week are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Keep this in mind if you want higher engagement rates on your campaigns.
Audience segmentation: know who you’re sending to
Email marketing is also impacted by the demographics and preferences of your audience. Segmentation allows brands to tailor their emails to specific groups, which can lead to higher engagement.
This ties back to ensuring your email content matters to your target market. You’ve probably heard the old adage, “The right message to the right person at the right time.” That’s the goal. 🎯
Now that we’ve covered the power and effectiveness of marketing emails, you might be wondering…
What are the different types of marketing emails?
Newsletter emails share information from a business and news standpoint. Sofi Daily News, for example, is a daily email filled with stock updates, from changes in the market to how new laws could affect prices.
While Sofi is a niche example, the point remains: allowing your audience to read updates on your business and their impact can keep more people interested. I’m not a stockbroker, but I read Sofi’s daily email because it’s full of interesting information.
Promotional emails are the driving force behind the email boom. If you can get a person to see your product, there’s a higher likelihood they’ll purchase it.
A big dilemma with promo emails is overloading your reader. If you send too many emails, there’s a high possibility that a reader will overlook it (or unsubscribe entirely). These emails should be subtle, timely, and cleverly crafted reminders of products or services.
Consider Academy, the sports retail giant. When Academy sends a targeted email, it plays a vital role in persuading customers down the sales funnel.
Take the above example and look at some of its components. Academy focuses on back-to-school, shoes, and discount prices. By highlighting shoe discounts, potential customers can find a deal that suits their needs—at a time of year when their customers are likely shopping.
Like a first impression, welcome emails are essential for establishing a foundation for a long-term relationship. They help to set the tone and start a conversation. One example of a welcome email could be as simple as reaching out to thank a new member for joining your list.
Once they’re on your list, you can point people to all different parts of your website. As long as you’re thoughtful, and it makes sense for your business, don’t be afraid to email often.
For example, Matt Voegtli, President of QWV Assets, emails his lists daily.
Daily emailing is the best way to monetize your list. Don’t believe the naysayers who say it will kill your list. The people who unsubscribe were never gonna buy anyway, and those who do buy are going to be “fan”atical about you.
Re-engagement emails are like a gentle reminder to the customer, nudging them to finish incomplete tasks or abandoned carts (the most common example). They play a vital role in customer retention.
Duolingo, the language-learning app, has mastered the art of re-engagement emails. Their light-hearted and motivational emails gently encourage users to return to their language lessons in an effort to drive continuous engagement.
Personalized emails are an expectation. They cater to individual tastes and preferences, making readers feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation with the brand.
A notable example is Spotify, which offers highly personalized emails with curated playlists that reflect each subscriber’s unique musical taste. The biggest is Spotify’s annual “Wrapped,” which details users’ listening habits for the previous year.
Spotify’s personalization adds to its user experience and makes consumers even more invested in the service. This personalized touchpoint helps them connect with their listeners on a deeper level.
These emails add value to customer interaction—offering insights, tips, and information. They’re akin to soft marketing, subtly building credibility. For example, Cook Smarts Weekly Eats newsletter sends out delectable recipes and cooking tips. These emails don’t sell anything directly but reinforce the brand’s authority in the cooking and meal-planning space.
If you build loyalty through fun and factual emails, the logical next step is to email deals or discounts. From there, your possibilities for growth are endless.
Can anybody write great marketing emails?
Email marketing is like dating.
– You contact a girl (Email sent)
– She thinks you’re interesting (Subject line)
– You introduce yourself (Email content)
– You ask her on a date (CTA)
– She accepts (Purchase)
If you’ve gone on a date, you can do email marketing.
Email marketing is a skill that can be learned by anyone, even without professional email copywriting experience. Copywriters have an advantage in persuasion and creative expression, but anyone can compose a well-written email with the right tools and audience knowledge.
Email copywriting basics
A common pitfall in email writing is being overly wordy or unclear. It’s crucial to write clearly and concisely while still conveying all necessary information. This involves practicing good sentence structure, avoiding jargon, and ensuring each sentence adds value.
Emails, particularly in a business setting, require a certain level of professionalism. While you should (generally) avoid overly casual language, slang, or inappropriate humor, your brand voice should be recognizable and consistent.
Structure your email with a greeting, an intriguing hook or relevant story, clear body text, a call-to-action (CTA), and an appropriate sign-off. And, of course, being respectful and inclusive can significantly impact how your emails are perceived.
The power of a well-written email (or several)
Let’s look at a real-world example:
The Honeycomb Collective is a women-owned hair salon in Los Angeles. The salon had almost no email marketing experience before the pandemic.
But during the pandemic, the salon realized they needed to stay connected with their customers and promote the new online booking system.
The salon utilized welcome, promotional, and educational emails to connect with new and existing customers. And it paid off. The Honeycomb Collective saw a significant increase in bookings after it started using email marketing.
Email, even for inexperienced users, impacts business outcomes.
6 Examples of how to write a marketing email that converts
Applying these tips will take your emails from good to great. Check out these email marketing examples:
1. Spark curiosity with your subject line
The average email open rate is 17-28% (depending on your industry). And whether or not people actually open your email is directly related to this email cornerstone: the subject line.
The subject line is the first thing that your leads will notice once your email reaches their inbox. A subpar subject line can relegate your email to obscurity or, even worse, sentence it to the spam folder.
—Olivia Smith, email marketer
Check out these examples from our weekly broadcast:
You’ve carefully crafted your email, so don’t treat your subject line as an afterthought. It’s the foundation of your email, as it grabs your reader’s attention and increases the likelihood that your email will be opened.
2. Use bullet points
Bullet points and strategic formatting make your emails easy to digest and more readily scannable, increasing reader engagement.
Bullet points facilitate the structuring and organization of your message, enabling you to draft your message more swiftly. Furthermore, they offer the reader an easy way to reply—simply by inserting their responses under the bulleted items.
Take Axios, for example. Axios’ easy-to-read format uses short sentences and bullet points to add details while keeping readers engaged.
If used properly, a good bulleted list can highlight major talking points and still leave the reader wanting to know more.
3. Ask your audience
It’s no secret that consumers want their voices to be heard. Emails that solicit feedback or comments satisfy this need and provide a wealth of ideas for your business—at no cost.
A quick rating scale, link, or optional survey within an email can help businesses improve with minimal interruption to a consumer’s day.
Retail companies often use this method to get feedback on recent purchases or overall customer experience.
Check out this email example from the popular beauty brand, IL MAKIAGE. They ask for feedback using a simple 1-5 ranking scale embedded in the email and also incentivize their audience with a giveaway to fill out a quick survey.
4. Give away value
The most important thing to ask with any marketing efforts—including email marketing—is, “How am I providing value to my customers?”
It’s easy to get caught up in the success of your business, but at the end of the day, what matters most is meeting customer needs. How will you provide valuable products, services, or information that solves a problem? And in this case, how can email marketing aid in that effort?
One example of adding value could be an instructional follow-up email. Let’s say you bought a new toy or gadget. Wouldn’t it be great if the company sent you an email with tips on multiple ways to use it?
PopDarts, a popular new toy brand, uses TikTok to show customers how its game can be played, manipulated, and experimented with. Why not use an email to show your customer that same level of care? Sharing ideas on how to use your product makes it more fun and creates a sense of community.
5. Tell a friend
Use email marketing to tap into other forms of marketing—for instance, word-of-mouth. This translates to referrals. When readers truly enjoy the content you’re creating, they’re more likely to forward it on.
Some businesses even offer small gifts or discounts if you refer friends.
Morning Brew, the daily email newsletter filled with must-know news, encourages its audience to share with friends in exchange for branded merchandise. It’s a win-win: the brand gets the opportunity to reach more people, and its current audience gets rewarded.
6. Hint hint, nudge nudge
Reminder emails can be beneficial to your sales by helping customers remember what they were shopping for. These emails include an intriguing subject line, discounts, or a simple nudge to remind customers to finish their purchases.
Reminder emails benefit both the business and the customer. For the business, it’s an effective strategy to recover potentially lost sales and boost revenue. For the customer, reminder emails act as a personalized service, helping them remember products they were interested in but may have forgotten.
Lastly, reminder emails keep customers informed about new products or services, upcoming events, or changes to the business. This can increase overall customer engagement and repeat business in the future.
No matter your business, there’s an email strategy for you
The key to writing the best marketing emails is understanding your audience. When you know your customers and what they want, you can create relevant and engaging content—even without email copywriting experience.
By providing value, sharing your story, and showing your appreciation, you will create a loyal following that keeps coming back for more.