6 Keys to an Effective Promotional Email


Promotional emails can attract new customers, retain loyal customers, and rack up sales.

“Promotional emails can inform subscribers about special deals, new product offerings, and programs that could be of interest to them,” Alli Heinz, email marketer for online office supply store, Shoplet, says.

What makes a promotional email effective? Good question. To get your customers to take action, we’ll outline the key components of a successful promotional email.

1. A catchy subject line
If you want customers to click on a deal or learn more about your business, they have to open the email first. Entice customers to open your email with a killer subject line. You want something that describes what’s in the email, grabs a reader’s attention, and intrigues the reader enough to click on your email. Here are a few catchy subject lines:
Catchy Subject Line Example

2. A clear call to action
Every email should have a call to action. A call to action, or CTA, tells readers what you want them to do. For example, if you want customers to take advantage of a deal, there should be a button or a link that says “Claim this deal” or “Learn more” like the example below. Notice the CTA is easy to spot and it’s set apart by a bright color and capital letters.
Clear CTA in Promotional Mails

3. Keep the text brief
Your readers don’t have a ton of time to decode your deal. Make the deal easy to understand. You should be able to describe the deal in a few words. Take a look at the example below from a pizza delivery business. In just a few words, the company sums up the deal and offers an easy way for customers to act
Papa Johns Promotional Email Example

4. Use attention-grabbing pictures
Text based emails feel more like than office memo than a promotional deal, so make sure your email has a fresh, attention-grabbing look to it. One of the easiest ways to make an email standout is to add a picture or a graphic. Take a look at the email below. How boring would the email be without the image at the bottom? It would be a whole different email. Use pictures to captivate your customers.
Apple  Promotional Email Example

5. Create a sense of urgency
You want customers to act now, not tomorrow or next week. Encourage quick action by offering a limited-time deal, Heinz suggests.

“By generating a sense of urgency, customers not only feel prompted to buy, but also feel fortunate to take advantage of the deal,” Alli says.

Set a deadline for the deal to expire. Whether it’s a one-day sale, like the example below, or a weekend event, keep the timeline short so customers act.
all to Action in SMS

6. Test your email
Conduct a split test to check the “clickablability” of your email, Heinz suggests. For example, you can test two different subject lines to see which one gets higher open rates.

Take a small portion of your list and split it into two lists. Both groups get the same email, but with different subject lines. See which one gets higher open rates and use that subject line when you email the rest of your list.

You can do the same thing with the deal you offer. One group gets a 10 percent off coupon while the other group gets free shipping. See which email gets the most response before firing off the email to our entire list.

Have another email marketing tip? Share it in the comment section below.

Lisa Furgison

About the Author:
Lisa Furgison is a freelance journalist and co-owner of a media company, McEwen’s Media. Find her on Twitter @lfurgison.