Email is one of the most effective marketing channels with an average open rate of 20-25%.
In other words, emails can convert prospects into customers. Not only that but sending out a promotional email or newsletter to customers at regular intervals also helps gain loyal customers.
Customers who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who don’t receive promotional emails.
Besides, email marketing has an ROI of 4400%. That’s huge.
Let’s understand the concept of promotional emails in detail and learn the best practice for drafting the most effective marketing emails.
What Is a Promotional Email?
A promotional email is a commercial email campaign that aims at getting the word out to potential customers about your product or service. It usually offers incentives or coupons, access to exclusive discounts, or invitations to an invite-only event.
The main goal is to move a potential customer through the sales funnel to a conversion.
Generally, the most common conversion is to get your prospect to buy your product or service. But it also includes other conversions such as downloading an ebook or taking a survey.
These promotional email offers are only valid for a limited number of days, creating a sense of urgency in your prospect’s mind to take action.
Let’s now understand how to segment your audience and draft promotional emails that convert.
What Is Email Segmentation, and Why Is It Important?
Basically, email segmentation is a way of dividing all the subscribers into smaller groups based on specific criteria.
Segmentation is generally used as a personalization tactic to deliver more relevant content to subscribers based on their interests, geographical location, history with the brand, and various other factors.
Rather than creating one single message for every subscriber, campaign segmentation enables you to send different messages to different users based on the targeted groups.
A user can be in two or more categories depending on their interests. Some of the most common ways to segment your email list are:
- By gender
- By location
- By age
- By purchase history
- By interests and needs
- By activity
According to a study by MailChimp, segmented email campaigns receive 14.31% more opens and a little over 100 percent more clicks than non-segmented email campaigns.
Segmenting your audiences will help you send relevant promotional emails to recipients who might actually be interested. Another advantage of segmentation is that it allows you to identify your high-quality leads who are more likely to convert into a purchase.
How to Write a Promotional Email
Want to write perfect promotional emails for your subscribers, but not sure where to start?
Here’s a video that explains about the key elements in email marketing and how to write a promotional email:
Promotional Email Best Practices
Whether you want to promote a brand new product or an existing one, sending promotional emails is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic towards your product page.
However, you also need to ensure that your promotional email is catchy enough for your subscriber to open and engage with it. Your main aim is to get your recipient to make a purchase.
Here are a set of guidelines to follow while designing stellar promotional emails for your next email marketing campaign.
1. Include the Sender’s Name
Due to the increasing cyberattacks, people are skeptical about an email if the sender’s identity is questionable. They delete or move to the spam folder even without opening it.
According to Convince & Convert, 43% of the email recipients decide to put an email in the spam folder based on the email address or ‘from’ name.
That’s why one of the promotional email best practices is to include your brand name in the email so that the recipient knows that it is not spammed.
You can either just include the name of your company (e.g., EngageBay) or make it a bit more personal by adding the word “team” (e.g., EngageBay Team) to it. If you have more than one email campaign, you can name each one of them—for instance, EngageBay Marketing Team, EngageBay Sales Team, etc.
The most preferred way of gaining attention is to add a personal note by using a representative’s name along with the company name & their designation.
It doesn’t matter what approach you take. You just need to ensure that recipients find your email trustworthy and don’t flag it as spam.
2. Keep Your Subject Line Concise
Recently, Invesp CRO discovered that 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone. That means, if the subject line of your email is poorly framed, your open rate will reduce drastically.
Your subject line needs to be concise and should deliver maximum information in minimum words.
Besides, emails with 6-10 words in their subject line had an opening rate of almost 21%. However, another study by Nectafy discovered that a subject should have four words at maximum.
Even though the ideal length of a subject line is open to some interpretation, you should try to keep your email line as short and concise as possible. Do not exceed more than ten words.
Furthermore, your email subject line is the first thing the user reads. It should invoke some sense of curiosity for them to open the email and read what it offers.
Check out these promotional email examples where they have used concise subject lines.
3. Personalize the Subject Line
According to research conducted by Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened than those with a generic subject.
The best way to personalize emails is by adding the first name of the recipient. For example,
<xyz>, here’s your special Black Friday discount.
When you add the first name, it makes them feel special. It shows that you know your customer and are willing to take the extra step to offer them the best shopping experience.
In other words, personalization plays a huge role in the performance of your promotional email.
Here is an example of a subject line that addresses a person using their name.
4. Prevent Your Promotional Email From Going Into Spam
Email subject lines with certain words like Jackpot, Extra Sales Offer, etc., are often suspected as spam emails.
You won a $100,000 lottery, claim now!
Isn’t it too good to be true?
Today, many ISPs filter out emails with spammy words and directly put them in the spam folder without displaying them in the inbox. Moreover, recipients would not think twice about flagging such promotional emails as spam.
Besides, people today might also put your content to spam even after willingly subscribing to the email list.
A study shows that 57% of people mark a sender as spam if they receive too many emails or find the content irrelevant
That’s why you also need to keep a check on the frequency of your promotional emails.
When a new user subscribes to your list, ask them how often they want to hear from you. It should give you a hint about whether to send them an email weekly or monthly.
5. The Main Content of the Promotional Email
You addressed your recipient with their first name, wrote a compelling subject line, and made them open your email. Now what?
It’s time to make your content interesting so that they actually spend time reading it. Some of the things you need to consider:
- Always include a CTA (call-to-action) button
- Keep your content short & crisp
- Use readable font style & size
- Make it conversational
- Give a proofread before hitting the send button
After reading your email, the user must be motivated to take further action.
Don’t try to fit into a mold as it might become predictable and can be boring for the audience. Keep your content intuitive.
In other words, it should help connect your brand and audience rather than just sending a monotonous message.
The main aim of the email is to promote your product, but it is also essential to build relationships with customers.
Here’s how Swiggy does it —
See how well Swiggy reminded me of the items I had ordered the most on their platform with this beautifully designed email on Valentine’s day.
6. Sell, Don’t Force
The main reason why a ton of marketing campaigns fail is that they force their product on to their customers.
I’m sure you must have come across emails that bluntly blurted out, “Buy Our Product.”
The chances are that you have unsubscribed to their list. You need to try to sell your product without being abominable.
The essence of product email marketing lies in gradually building trust and relationships with your customers.
If you treat your customers as friends, you won’t use dirty tactics to sell your product. Your only concern should be how you can make your customers’ lives better with your product. The product will automatically start selling.
One perfect example of what ‘Sell, Don’t Force’ means —
Rather than explicitly describing its product features and being intruding, it is simply reminding the recipients that the brand exists and how it could simplify your lives.
Create and execute innovative and impactful email marketing campaigns the EngageBay way.
7. Make Your Content Keyword-oriented
Another crucial thing to consider is that you need to make your content scannable.
Hardly any reader has the time to read the full text. People generally try to skim through important keywords that might catch their attention.
Bold words that are important and sprinkle keywords in your email that people would typically look for in an email.
Besides, you should also break your content into small management chunks with lots of which space. Avoid writing long paragraphs that are hard to scan.
Look at how Headspace does it.
8. Use Graphical Content
There is no denying the fact that visuals attract people more than plain text. Moreover, graphics deliver content quickly and in a more effective manner.
Thus, including a few images in your promotional emails is definitely a great idea to make it more intuitive.
According to research by Constant Contact, emails with two to three images generally receive the best click-through rates.
In order to maintain a balance of textual and visual content, your promotional email must contain 60% text and 40% images. As a matter of fact, nothing is absolute.
Sometimes, companies just use a single image for the whole promotional campaign, and it still does the job.
DepositPhotos have nicely used the image to convey their message with just 1 line of text.
However, while using images, you need to be mindful of their size. It should look great on both mobile as well as desktop.
Images are a great way to convey your messages and catch your user’s interest without inserting too many texts.
If there is a feature that you need to showcase, instead of describing how it works, just take some quality screenshots or create a GIF to display the action.
Here is an example of an EasyJet promotional email where they have not only described the features of their app but also included a screenshot to portray its ‘User Interface.’ Notice how elegantly they have subtly used icons wherever possible.
One more thing — avoid using stock images as they don’t create much impact.
9. Make Your Email Mobile-friendly
According to a study by Litmus, 53% of the total email opens are via mobile devices. The number has rocketed by 500% from 2010, and it is going to increase even further in the coming years.
If you want to increase your user base, you need to make all your promotional emails mobile-friendly.
Making an email mobile-friendly means optimizing it to look great not only on desktops but also on mobile and tablet devices. Your emails need to be responsive so that they look great on a wide range of devices.
The best way to optimize your email for mobile devices is by either using pre-build mobile-ready email templates or code your email to be mobile-friendly. The latter process is time-consuming and requires some technical knowledge.
With EngageBay appealing email templates, create and customize your emails in a way that attracts attention.
What’s more, you need to take care of pre-header text too. It’s the pre-header text based on which your target audience decides whether or not to open the email and engage with it.
Though its length may vary depending on the mobile device and the operating system, on average, it is around 40 – 50 characters in length. By keeping your pre-header text relevant to the subject, you can reach a wider audience and certainly boost your open- and- click-through rate.
Also, the call-to-action buttons in your promotional email need to be big enough for the user’s thumb to reside. According to MIT’s study, the target button should be between 45 x 45 pixels to 57 x 57 pixels for the user’s finger to fit perfectly.
If the button is too small, the users probably won’t click and, in turn, won’t convert.
10. Make subscribers Interact With the Call-To-Actions
A CTA is a link or a button that redirects users to a webpage.
It’s essential to have a compelling CTA in your email copy so that users know where exactly to click to get more information.
In general, CTAs should have a bright color and should be placed so that they gain the reader’s attention. In most scenarios, it is appropriate to use buttons instead of link-based CTA as they are simply more eye-catching.
Don’t try to clutter the CTA button with the rest of the content. Leave some white space around the CTA so that it stands out and draws attention.
For this to work, you should use action-oriented phrases like ‘Download the brochure,’ ‘Reserve your spot,’ and more.
Keep in mind that most of your emails will be first opened on mobile devices. So, ensure that your CTA buttons are large enough for users to click.
Besides, the number of CTA to include in your email is purely experimental. However, if you have more than one, make sure that all of them are pretty distinctive in terms of placement and colors.
Canva’s promotional email example with a single CTA button.
11. Proofread Your Emails Before Sending
This may sound so obvious, but you should proofread your email before sending it.
Having any grammatical mistakes or typos can leave a bad impression on your reader’s mind.
Poorly written content can diminish your credibility and hurt your brand. There are various tools like Grammarly, Hemingway App that allows you to check your content for grammatical errors as well as spelling mistakes.
In fact, these apps also give a readability score to your content. You can accordingly edit your emails.
12. Know Your Goal
Lastly, the most important thing to do before you even start crafting your promotional email is to define your goal — the one thing you want to achieve from a particular email.
It’s best practice to have a single goal. Having a goal will help you focus on the key actions you want readers to take and build your marketing copy around it.
Every email promotion doesn’t have to be about selling something. Sometimes, it must offer something that will help you nurture your relationships with them.
Now that you know the secrets of writing email copy that converts, check out our marketing guide that shares Fifteen Secret Hacks to Grow Your Email List.