How to write a marketing email your customers will read

Email marketing: it’s a crucial part of business, but it can also be one of the hardest things to get right. That’s because inboxes fill up quickly and online attention spans are short. If you want to be welcome in your customers’ inboxes, you’re going to need to stand out from the crowd.

Let’s take a look at some of the stats. The average email user receives 88 emails per day, and marketing messages, newsletters and spam account for almost half of these. Only 30% of all emails received will be opened, and just 3.2% of marketing emails will get a click-through to the sender’s website.

Those are tough odds to go up against, so how do you make sure your emails get noticed? Look no further – here are 5 tips for creating marketing emails your customers will read.

  1. Segment your audience

People only want to read emails that are relevant to them, so rather than keeping all your contacts in one master list, you should divide them into categories and target different emails at different segments. For example, you could categorise your customers according to location, age, job or industry, depending on the information you hold about them, and then send personalised content to each segment. Yes, it’s more work for you, but it could increase your open rates by 39%.

  1. Use enticing subject lines

Writing a subject line is an art in itself, but here are some pointers. Good subject lines are short and snappy. They address the reader directly (e.g. with their name or ‘you’), they are clear and readable, and they usually include some kind of actionable language (e.g. ‘Don’t miss…’ or ‘Come and see…’). Try to be specific about what you’re offering, and make it sound exclusive and also timely – a sense of urgency will make readers feel they have to open the email now to benefit.

  1. Write good copy

Email copy should be clear, concise and to the point. Your readers will not seek out an email – you are trying to grab their attention, so get your point across in a brief and friendly way, and don’t outstay your welcome. Keep the form of address the same as in your subject line (e.g. if you’ve used ‘you’, use it in the email body too). Tell your reader what you’re offering and how it can benefit them, and then include an obvious link with a ‘call to action’ (e.g. ‘Click here to receive your discount’). Understanding what you’re offering should be as quick and easy for the reader as possible.

  1. Show off your brand personality

Customers connect with a brand’s personality, so it’s important to have a consistent tone of voice across all your marketing materials. Whether your brand is positioned as a knowledgeable authority figure, a daring rebel or a cheerful best friend, make sure to get this tone across in your email marketing. You should also use consistent design: marketing emails aren’t just about the words, you can also include eye-catching pictures, colours, logos, fonts and even moving images (e.g. gifs) to tie in with your brand and make your message jump off the screen.

  1. Send it at the right time

Lots of research has been done into the best time to send a marketing email and, of course, the conclusions vary. Some studies claim that Tuesday is the best day, and mid- to late morning is the best time. Others indicate that you should avoid Mondays and weekends at all costs, and make sure you send your emails when most of your audience will be awake. Of course, you can always run some tests with your own audience – try sending emails on different days and times, and see which get the best response.

Need a hand with your email marketing? Our virtual assistants will be happy to help. At Get Ahead VA, we offer professional marketing services for your business, so please give us a call on 01483 332220 or email us at We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.


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