November 10, 2021

How to Write a Marketing Email: 15 Powerful Tips

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Learn how to write a marketing email with these 15 powerful tips. Everything you need to successfully create emails that get high open rates and lots of clicks

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You spend hours carefully crafting the perfect email. You spend even longer coming up with a witty subject line, and finally, you’re ready to click send. You’re hoping for an influx of responses, high conversion rates, and open rates that are through the roof, but instead, you’re met with crickets.

Writing an engaging marketing email that gets the results you want is hard, but it’s a crucial part of effective content marketing. People receive so many emails that it’s difficult to stand out, which is why it’s important to know the successful ingredients of an email marketing strategy. We’ve got you covered with these email copywriting tips. 

15 powerful email marketing tips that increase open rates and click-throughs 

1. Write a catchy subject line

Your subject line is the first thing subscribers will see. If it’s not punchy enough, they simply won’t open the email which makes everything you’ve written inside completely pointless. Your subject line needs to do a number of things at once: 

  • Describe what’s inside the email
  • Incite curiosity 
  • Encourage subscribers to click through into the email


There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for creating the perfect subject line and it’ll depend on who your audience is and what you’re emailing them about. However, it’s worth writing out a few subject lines before choosing one. Some quick tips for writing compelling email subject lines include: 

  • Personalize
  • Incorporate numbers
  • Ask a question
  • Be clear and specific about the topic
  • Keep it short
  • Don’t use spammy techniques, like adding “Re:” to the beginning 
  • Consider the preview text as well 
Stitch Fix subject line example

This subject line from Stitch Fix is personalized and includes a question. 

2. Make it personal

Consumers crave personalization. They want to know that a brand has their unique interests at heart, and the easiest way to do this is to make your email messages personal. Use the recipient’s name and, if you can, communicate about topics they have shown an interest in or that are fueled by their past interactions with your brand.

This is where list segmentation comes into play. For example, a manager who is using your product to organize their team is going to have slightly different needs than someone who has invested in it for personal use. 

CoSchedule email marketing example

CoSchedule sends an email when a user hasn’t logged on for a while. 

3. Keep it simple

Simplicity is key when it comes to marketing emails. On average, people send and receive 121 business emails a day, making it hard to compete in a busy inbox. The last thing you want to do is confuse subscribers with lengthy emails packed full of industry jargon that will only serve to turn them off.

Instead, be direct in your marketing efforts. State your intentions clearly, keep it to a couple of paragraphs if you can, and avoid using any complicated terms that not everyone will understand. 

Social Video Plaza email marketing example

Social Video Plaza keeps its emails short and sweet with just a couple of lines of text. The emails also use second person pronouns for a more personal feel. 

4. Leverage your call-to-action

Every digital marketing email will have a different goal, but it’s important that you outline what you want recipients to do next. Do you want them to click through to your latest blog post? Check out your upcoming sale? Reply and share their stories? 

Your call-to-action (CTA) will prompt them to take the next step, so it’s important you get it right. Ideally, you want just one CTA in the email so that there’s no confusion about what you want recipients to do. Other than that, experiment with:

  • Using action words, like “download” or “sign up”
  • Keeping it short and sweet
  • Changing the color or making the CTA button stand out with a colored background or bolded text
Shopify email marketing example

Shopify’s CTA stands out with a dark background and simple, action-focused words to encourage higher click-through rates. 

5. Have an end goal 

For best results, your marketing emails should have an end goal. When you don’t have a goal, it’s easy to go off on a tangent and lose direction, which makes it difficult to connect with readers and encourage them to take the next step. 

Before you start writing a marketing email, consider what you want to achieve with it. Do you want to sell a product? Do you want to simply start a conversation with your target audience about a trending topic? Are you sending an email newsletter? Or do you want to drive traffic to your latest blog post? 

When you know what the purpose of your email is, you can make sure your email copy and CTAs match the intent you want to achieve. 

Washington Post email marketing example

The Washington Post has one simple goal with this email: to get people to subscribe. 

6. Test your words

A/B testing your email marketing campaigns will give you an insight into what kind of copy and message resonates best with your email list. It basically means sending two different versions of the same email to see which one gets the most opens and click-throughs. 

You can A/B test a number of elements, from your subject line and opening paragraph to your CTAs and any visuals you include. Don’t try and switch up too many things at once as that’ll make it harder to determine what it is your email subscribers prefer about one email than the other. Instead, tweak one element at a time. 

7. Write like you speak

Lots of brands make the mistake of packing their marketing emails full of industry jargon in an attempt to increase credibility. In fact, this can have the opposite effect and confuse new subscribers. If you want to make a deeper connection with your audience, write as if you were speaking to them. Use simple language, short sentences, and questions - you can take it a step further and dictate and transcribe your emails. 

Outer email marketing example

Outer’s emails use a casual tone that reflects speech. 

8. Use FOMO

The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) can have a huge impact on how subscribers feel. After all, no one likes to miss out, especially if they believe lots of other people are getting something they’re not. 

Leveraging FOMO works particularly well if you’re trying to sell a product or encouraging subscribers to take fast action. For example, you might let them know that there are only 10 places left on your upcoming course, or you might tell them that 25 people have already bought your latest product at its cheaper launch price.

Europcar marketing email example

Europcar promotes a final-day offer to inspire a sense of FOMO. 

9. Include social proof

Social proof builds a sense of community into your emails and gives on-the-fence subscribers a nudge in the right direction. Showcasing reviews, user-generated content, and testimonials from past customers show that you can provide a great experience, but they also provide a less-polished picture of your brand that increases trust and credibility.

Social proof might include reviews from past buyers, a case study, user-generated photos and videos, or testimonials. 

Blume email marketing example

Blume includes a review from a previous customer to add clout to its email content. 

10. Understand your audience

Knowing who you’re talking to in your emails helps you choose the right words and create marketing copy that actually resonates. Understanding the unique needs of your customers as well as their demographics can help you pitch your products right and make sure you tap into key pain points to make an impact.

But how do you get to know your audience? 

  • Send out surveys
  • Interview your best customers
  • See what they’re talking about on social media
  • Check out forums and Q&A sites 

11. Talk about benefits, not features

It’s a classic copywriting strategy, but it’s a good one. Instead of focusing on the features your product or service offers, try highlighting the benefits and how it will solve a prominent pain point your audience has.

For example, if you have a time tracking app, instead of stating that it has a one-click timer or background tracking, you can highlight the fact that it helps people work smarter and save time. 

Animoto marketing email example

Animoto highlights the benefits of its product rather than the features in this catchy email. 

12. Tell a story

Stories have been a part of humanity for millions of years. Weaving a narrative that has a beginning, a middle, and an end feels comfortable for people, and it’s more likely to keep them hooked and engaged (because who doesn’t want to know how a story ends?!). 

One of the easiest ways to do this is to think about the “before” and “after”. What does life look like for people before they use your product or service? What does it look like after? Subscribers should be able to put themselves in the shoes of this person and see just how your product or service can change their life. 

Scratch email marketing example

Scratch uses a story to guide subscribers towards their CTA. 

13. Tackle objections 

Almost every single consumer will have some kind of objection before they make a purchase. Maybe they’re questioning the price, or maybe they’re unsure whether your product will really do what you say it does. 

If you can tackle objections in your marketing emails, you remove any potential friction. Customers don’t have to wait to get their questions answered, leaving a clear route to purchase. 

14. Answer the who, what, why, and how 

If you don’t know how to get started with your marketing emails, consider answering the who, what, why, and how of your product or brand. These are the common questions subscribers will have: 

  • Who are you? 
  • What are you selling?
  • Why should they choose you?
  • How will you help them?

Answering these questions in your emails will help tackle objections and give subscribers all the information they’re looking for. 

Bluehost marketing email example

Bluehost is quick to state what they do for subscribers. 

15. Make it scannable 

This is less of a copywriting tip and more of an overall layout tip. Make sure your emails are scannable so that subscribers in a hurry can pick up the gist of them without having to read every single word. 

This might include using bullet points, headers, and short paragraphs, as well as bolding important text and making sure your CTA is clear and stands out so that it can be easily read on mobile devices. 

Framebridge scannable email example

Framebridge uses bolded text and short paragraphs to make its emails scannable. 

Using Jarvis to craft the perfect marketing email 

Jarvis has a number of powerful, plug and play email templates you can use to level up your marketing emails. The Email Subject Line template comes up with creative ideas, all you have to do is type in your company name, the tone of voice you want to reflect, and a little bit about the email in question. 

Jarvis email subject line

You can also use Jarvis to map out the rest of your marketing emails. Simply plug in the title of your email, a brief description of the content you want to include, the tone of voice, and any keywords you’d like to incorporate. Then, let Jarvis work its magic:  

Writing marketing emails with Jarvis

Want to see it in action? The Charlotte Ledger recently wrote an entire marketing email using Jarvis:

Charlotte Ledger AI written marketing email


For best results, join the Bootcamp to learn how to use Jarvis effectively. Get started with Jarvis today and start creating memorable emails.

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Meet the author

Dave Rogenmoser
CEO of Jarvis

Dave is the Co-Founder Jarvis and Proof, a Y Combinator-backed tech company base in Austin, Texas. He is also a husband and father of 3 boys. You may be surprised to hear Dave once ate the beating heart of a King cobra & is 6'8" tall.

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