• What Makes a Good Marketing Email?

What Makes a Good Marketing Email?

Marketing emails are an easy and effective way to stay top of mind with current and potential customers. They’re inexpensive, action-oriented, and guess what? Everyone checks their email! On average, personal email is checked 3 times a day. So how do you write a good marketing email? One that will have good open and click-through rates? One that will get more people interested in your brand and products? Well, continue reading to learn more.

What Makes a Good Marketing EmailThe Anatomy of a Good Marketing Email

A good marketing email is a complete one, with all of the components necessary for a cohesive message. These components include:

The “From”

Humans like humans. Readers are more likely to open your email if it’s from “Sandra Jones”, rather than “ThriveHive.” If you’re concerned that they won’t know who Sandra Jones is, you can use “Sandra Jones – ThriveHive” or “Sandra from ThriveHive”  to give context to the name.

Subject Line

Studies have shown that up to 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone, so make sure your subject line is:

•  Short and to the point (between 40 to 50 characters, or 9-14 words).

•  Specific and relevant to the email’s content

•  Catchy. Humor and wit can make for effective email subject lines, depending on your brand voice.

•  Free from spam filter triggers, such as words with all caps or spaces between each letter, and phrases like “buy now” or even “free”.

For more tips on writing a great subject line, take a look at our post on email marketing subject lines.

Preheader Text

Preheader text appears after the subject line and before the preview of the emails in your inbox, and offers a brief description of the email. Preheader text isn’t necessary, and not all email clients support it, but it can influence users to click by giving them a clear idea of what the email is about (especially if you want to be a little more mysterious with your subject line). Preheader text character limits vary with email clients, but 40-50 characters should work for most.


The header is the content at the top of your marketing email. The text of the header should be engaging and relevant to the rest of the email, as this is what shows up in the inbox preview. The header should also be styled with your logo and other visual design elements to give your email a professional look and make it more recognizable.


The body of your marketing email is where you convey your message to readers, so keep it clean and concise. Spare your readers from information overload by offering brief descriptions followed by links to more in-depth information on your website. Also, keep the most important information above the fold, so the reader sees it before having to scroll down.

Another tip for the body of your marketing email is to avoid large chunks of text. Break it up with subheaders, hyperlinks, calls to action, and images.  Keep in mind that not all email servers support pictures, so make sure that all of your graphics are captioned.


Having links to pages in your website will help to eliminate congestion in your marketing email (as mentioned above) and drive traffic to your website. Just make sure to not overuse them, otherwise the click-through rate of your email will go down. Links in marketing emails should be:

•  Visible: Links should be a different color from the body text so people will know where to click.

•  Trackable: Tracking links allow you to see what information is most engaging among your readers and to separate campaigns by channel.

•  Specific: Instead of “Click Here!”, use call to action phrases like “Visit this blog post to learn more” or “Save your spot for our next pottery class here.” Links have a much higher chance of being clicked on if the call to action phrase reduces uncertainty.




The footer of a good marketing email holds lots of information about your company, including

•  Website homepage link

•  Unsubscribe link

•  Update email preferences link

•  Contact information (address, phone number)

•  Social buttons to follow your accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)

This is a lot of information, but many email marketing platforms offer templates for you to customize, to avoid producing a cluttered footer.

The Content of a Good Marketing Email

When filling in the above items with content, it’s important to use the proper tone to engage your readers and connect with them on a meaningful level.

Be Personal

Email marketing platforms typically allow you to pull and insert specific information from your contact list, such as names. This is a great way to make your email more personal, just don’t go overboard. “Hi [First Name],” works great, while “Hi [First] [Middle] [Last] is too personal and impersonal all at the same time.

Have the Right Voice

To avoid disengagement and unsubscribes, make sure that your marketing email content reflects your brand and caters to your readers. Be professional, but don’t use fancy jargon they won’t understand. Be friendly and approachable, but not overly casual or out of line with your brand voice.

The Characteristics of a Good Marketing Email

Now that we’ve covered the components and content, it’s time for some final characteristics of a good marketing email.

Organization and Skimmability

People are busy, and there is a good chance that many will open your email on their commute, in between meetings, or while waiting in line for coffee. Make sure your email is well organized and flows well. Your readers should be able to skim through and get the full gist of the email first. They can always go back and read specific parts in more detail later. If it’s too hard to digest they are likely to move on to the next email without finishing it.

Brand Consistency

When people receive your email, you’ll want them to recognize that it’s coming from your company. That can be done by making sure your logo is in the email, often in the header and footer, and that the color pallet is on brand with what your company uses elsewhere.

Mobile Friendliness

Today, over 50% of emails are read on a mobile device, so when writing a marketing email, make sure you are not leaving out half of your subscribers. Emails should have a single-column layout, with a max of 600 pixels for best viewing on mobile. Call to action buttons need to be centered and tappable, with a minimum size of 44 x 44 pixels as well, so a reader can interact with it on their mobile device. Check out this post on mobile email optimization to learn more.

Reader Respect

People unsubscribe from email lists for a myriad of reasons. By law, you need to give them the ability to opt out of your emails. Furthermore, when they click on the unsubscribe button, they should be automatically unsubscribed or have to simply enter their email to unsubscribe. Don’t make it complicated for them to unsubscribe, as not only can it cause legal ramifications, but overall it is bad for your company’s reputation.

You are now armed with a complete picture of what makes a good marketing email. Use these tips and tricks to send emails that your audience reads and looks forward to receiving!

ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

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