Writing emails that convert can be one of the trickier marketing methods you’ll need to learn, as an online business owner.  Scroll down for tips on how to find inspiration and be effective in this necessary task.


emails that convert

To open or not to open? Writing emails that convert must first tackle the open rate!

Help getting started

Many how-to articles jump right to the specifics of writing promotional emails that convert, but for beginning SMB business owners who are looking to craft an effective customer email, just getting past the blank screen can be a big step. If you find yourself in this position, unsure of how to begin a compelling customer email and in need of inspiration, try these easy steps:

  1. Look at the websites of successful companies that you compete with directly.
  2. Sign up for their email list. (You might want to create an email account just for this purpose.)
  3. Check out how others in your field handle persuasive email content and large promotional roll-outs.
  4. Look at the layout, content, and other factors that grab and keep your interest.
  5. Label the emails you find most effective.

After perusing these emails for a while, you will get a feel for what works and what you might want to avoid. Simply put, if emails make you want to click a link to learn more or purchase a product, they are good examples of emails that convert… save them for reference!

Getting their attention and keeping it

Like a store name in lights, your sender name lets your email recipients know it’s you. It’s a simple but important detail. Even before the subject line, most people glance at the sender line, and unknown or unwanted sender email gets sent to the dreaded spam box. To ensure sender recognition, make sure your business name is clearly identified.

If the sender line is the equivalent to your store’s ‘name in lights’, your subject lines are the online equal of the appealing banner in the window.  Like the window dressing, the subject line of your customer emails should draw your audience in, making them want to see more… and hopefully shop. According to Listmus, the average person only spends 3-4 seconds deciding whether or not to open an email, so it’s important to make the most of these two tools, the sender name and subject lines. So since we’ve already sorted out our sender name, here are some tips that will help optimize your subject line, making an open irresistible:

  • Make them curious enough to open the email.
  • Build trust by making the content match the subject line.
  • Leave them wanting to know more.
  • Use a single clear call-to-action.
  • Consider and test putting your call-to-action in the subject line to help open rates.
  • Even if someone doesn’t open your emails, the subject line is like a billboard. Use it to spark interest!
emails that convert

To deliver emails that convert, you must first stand out with a powerful subject line.

Clean content design helps convert

E-commerce sites usually have better conversion rates when they reduce their content, keeping it to a minimum. This is especially true if you are including a promotion or discount. Offer your discount with an attention grabbing headline and/or clickable banners. Be informative and concise to make scanning the email easier for your subscriber.  Keep in mind that most people are looking for instantaneous understanding and decision making so the less content they have to run through, the more powerful your email marketing will be.

A single, clear call-to-action will increase click rates while multiple offers on one page will possibly distract and overwhelm. It’s far more effective to send two short emails for two different marketing messages than to send a cluttered combination.  Just be sure your two emails are appropriately spaced so you don’t turn your followers off with excessive emailing.  All email marketing content content needs to be crisp and clean. Avoid large sections of text when you can, but if they are necessary, be sure to break it up. White, open space is essential but you don’t forget you can also use images, bullet points, or numbered lists to craft attractive customer emails that convert to sales.

emails that convert

A sense of urgency is a key factor in emails that convert.

To convert they have to click

For email to produce a high conversion rate, you should ensure that it highlights the need for immediate action to work against your audience’s natural tendency to procrastinate. You can do this by focusing on the benefits of responding to the email quickly or by emphasizing the possible negatives of not responding in time. Some ideas you can use to create ‘click now’ urgency include:

  • Act now!
  • Only 5 remaining!
  • Ends tonight at midnight!
  • Only 3 hours left!
  • Available to the first 10 customers only!
  • Limited-time offer!

Don’t let a click go to waste

No matter how well you write your email, there are a few things that can cause the best email copy to deliver a low conversion rate. One of the main issues that may effect conversion rates is an email that isn’t developed with mobile commerce in mind.  People check their email on the run, with a variety of mobile devices, so your email format needs to be mobile-friendly. According to Knotice, at least 48% of all emails are opened on mobile devices  and some studies indicate that number is closer to 91%. When your email isn’t built on a responsive template, potential customers who are interested in your offerings may open your email but not be able to read your message or click on your call-to-action. Consequently, email that is not mobile-friendly can have a drastic affect on convert rates.

A second issue that affects an emails ability to convert doesn’t have anything to do with the email itself, but rather, the landing page its call-to-action links to.  After making sure your email is mobile-friendly check the landing page you are sending your subscribers to. Purchases are often are made on-the-go so the website also must be mobile-friendly. Most people will not remember to log in to the site after returning to their desk.  Don’t waste an interested click from a properly styled email with a website that can’t be navigated on a mobile device. If your website is not running a responsive design template, contact your eCommerce software immediately for help with the upgrade.  For your emails to convert, it’s crucial that your audience be able to read your offer, click your call-to-action, and complete the transaction without an outdated design template ruining the flow of the sale.

For SMB owners, creating emails that convert to sales can seem daunting at first, but take these tips into account and soon, you’ll be delivering quality customer emails, too!

Do you have questions about writing emails that convert or tips that have helped your business emails succeed? Let us know in the comment section below.