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Emailing probably seems like second nature to you by now. It’s been a part of the business world for years now, and email marketing has been prevalent just as long. So how do you make emails seem fresh and get people to open and then actually read yours? This run-down of how to craft a compelling marketing email will help make sure that customers are getting value from your emails, not just marking them as spam.

Write a Stellar Subject Line

A lot is riding on your subject line. It needs to be enticing enough for people to open it, and short enough to actually fit on the screen. Many people won’t even open an email if the subject line doesn’t interest them, so this one can really make or break you. You want to make it clear what the email will be about while also piquing enough interest to actually get them to open the email. Think about your audience and their wants and needs. If it’s a younger, more laid-back crowd, you might consider a funny or bizarre headline to catch their attention. If it’s a more serious demographic you might want to steer clear of the jokes and go straight to the solutions you can offer them.

Here’re some examples of great subject lines in marketing emails:

  • Groupon: “Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)”

This one is so unexpectedly funny, it could have customers opening what otherwise would have seemed like a boring email

  • Sephora: “LAST DAY for 3x points”

This one creates a sense of urgency and makes the reader feel like they have to get in on this triple points deal ASAP

  • Buzzfeed: “Shhh…It’s A Secret!”

This one piques your curiosity. What’s the secret? You have to open the email to find out!


Get Personal

Personalising emails make them seem less like spam and more relevant to individual customers. Prioritise what emails you should send to what segment of your customers and offer them information that they will actually find useful. Imagine you’re a shoe company. The emails you send to the mom of three shouldn’t be the same ones you’re sending to the stylish young trendsetter. You might send an email about a back to school sale to the mom and an email about all of your new shoes in stock to the younger customer. Get to know your customers and tailor what emails and deals you’re sending their way. It’s also helpful to use second-person language (think a lot of ‘you’ and ‘yours’). This puts the focus on what they can get from you, making for a more compelling offer.


Get Down to Business

Bluefly ImageA marketing email isn’t the place to get wordy. Make the point of your email clear almost right away, as no one wants to scan through a wall of text to get to the important parts. Customers will want to know how this email can be a benefit to them, so let them know. On that note, be brief. You generally won’t need a ton of text for a marketing email. In fact, you should have visuals illustrating the general point of your email, as people respond better to images.

Bluefly (left) does a great job here of keeping it simple and not overloading the customer on text. They include only what’s important and use images to create an uncluttered and visually compelling email.

Call-to-Action, Action, Action!

Your email needs a call-to-action. It’s that simple. Without it, email marketing has no point, and customers aren’t going to respond to the email. Use actionable verbs throughout your email, drawing customers to click through. Some good call-to-actions could be:

  • Get Started
  • View Deals
  • Let’s Talk

Your call-to-action should have action-oriented language and spurn the customer on. Make it clear what their next step needs to be, so that they click through the email.

Let Your Personality Show

Colorpop ImageJust because your email has a specific purpose doesn’t mean that you can’t let your brand’s personality shine through. Make your emails fun or interesting and people will respond more readily. Generic emails are pretty much useless when customers are getting dozens of emails from various companies every day. Make sure yours stands out.

Check out this email from Colourpop Cosmetics (left).

It gets the point across about the eyeshadow deal, includes a call-to-action, and still lets the brand’s personality shine through. Colourpop is a cosmetics brand that appeals mostly to hip young women. This email gets the job done, but by including the part about balling on a budget (a struggle young people can relate to), it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Email marketing can be incredibly useful, but without a compelling email, you won’t have a leg to stand on. Take the extra time to write for your customer and you’ll see the difference it can make. If you need any help with creating an email marketing campaign, feel free to get in touch with us by sending us an email at

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