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by Laura Fox
on November 01, 2018

Six Steps To Creating Effective Emails

Email is a leading channel of marketing, and for good reason. Not only do customers prefer it – even Millennials and Generation Z – but it’s also effective. For every dollar spent on email marketing, you can expect a $38 return on investment (Litmus, 2018 survey). So how do you create an email that people will want to engage with? Keep these six strategies in mind to ensure that your emails are effective.
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 1. Use a Meaningful Subject Line

icon_megaphone_orange_bkOptimizing your email subject lines can have a huge effect on increasing your open rates. It’s essential to have a clear intent and accurately convey the topic of your email, while keeping it short and sweet. Cut characters and keep subject lines to 49 characters or less, including spaces. Make the most of that retail space and grab attention by personalizing, adding some cultural reference, insinuating urgency, using numbers, or implying exclusivity.


2. Don’t Forget the Preheader

icon_content_blue_bkPreheader text usually displays to the right or underneath the subject line. It is the perfect opportunity to offer more detail around the subject line. Together, the subject line and preheader should inform the reader and encourage a desired action. Because different email clients and devices have different character limits, the first 5–8 words of a preheader are the most important, but it’s best to aim for about 80 characters. Beware: if you leave the preheader blank, email clients may replace it with the first line of text in your email.


3. Accurately Identify Yourself/Your Company

icon_person1_orange_bkWhen deciding whether to open an email, readers are asking themselves, do I know this person? Has what they’ve sent me before been interesting? Make sure you’re being truthful about who the sender is, and don’t use a no-reply email address. Any feedback that you receive could be important, and someone should be reading it.


4. Keep it Clear, Keep it Skimmable

icon_presentation_blue_bkThe amount of time that readers spend engaging with your emails is measured in <2 seconds, 2–8 seconds, and 8+ seconds. Capitalize on this time by keeping your message concise, and the information skimmable. Utilize lots of white space between headlines, body copy, and calls to action. Images should be compelling, and buttons should be at least 40px tall/wide. Limit the use of words on images, as they tend to not resize well.


5. Deliverability – Help Your Emails Make it to the Inbox

icon_merge_orange_bkDeliverability isn’t guaranteed. To help your emails get to the desired recipients, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, own your lists. Don’t buy, rent, trade, or borrow lists. It’s not illegal, but it’s ineffective and can lead to large numbers of bounce backs and overall disengagement. Second, have a consistent volume of emails that you send – don’t be erratic. Stick to approximately the same number of emails sent each week or month. Third, don’t be spammy. Words like “FREE FREE FREE,” using all caps, lots of punctuation marks, typos, sloppy HTML codes, and all-image/no text emails can all raise your email’s chances of being flagged as junk mail. Be purposeful with your message and properly format your emails. Consistently send relevant content, so complaints are kept to a minimum.


6. Proofread Once, Then Proofread Again

icon_magnify_blue_bkEmails are relatively quick to put together, but before hitting send, you should review your email for typos or formatting mistakes. Emails are an extension of your brand personality, and any mistakes can reflect poorly. When reading through your email, put yourself in the shoes of the reader – will they understand the message? Is the tone appropriate for your brand and audience? Is there any chance that your message could be misinterpreted? Don’t forget to check your links, and test your emails across various email clients.


Email is a powerful medium, and when done correctly, it’s an unparalleled way to provide value to and clearly communicate with your audience. Optimize the space you have, be creative and purposeful. Keep these tips in mind, and you’re ready to make waves and move email marketing mountains.