10 Step Checklist for Creating Effective Promo Emails

OstapWritten by OstapNov 27, 2018

You’d like your email marketing campaigns to drive more purchases, wouldn’t you? As you look for ways to improve the efficiency of your emails, you may be tempted to pay all your attention to more sophisticated techniques. At the same time, some basic flaws may go unnoticed and unaddressed. This article will help you make sure this doesn’t happen to you.  

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Let’s take it for granted that the offer in the email is relevant for the recipients. This is the key criterion of an effective email. But what are the rest of the must-haves that help your message catch your customers’ attention and convince them to say ‘yes’ to your offer? Before we go through the 10 questions to ask yourself as you check through your email, let's make sure you understand what an effective email campaign is. According to the Campaign Monitor Benchmark Report for 2019, you should strive to get these numbers:

  • Average open rate: 17.92%,
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.17%,
  • Average click-to-open rate: 14.10%,
  • Average bounce rate: 1.06%.

These rates are not obligatory though. Remember that every industry has its own benchmarks to measure the success of the campaign. But the answers to the following questions might be essential disregarding of your business field.

1. Sender name. Is your sender name easy to recognize?

People are more willing to open emails sent from a familiar person or brand. Try using the name of a person who communicates with customers on behalf of your business: a founder, a marketing manager, or a customer support representative. Make sure the sender’s email address is meaningful and easy to remember. This will increase the chances that recipients will whitelist your email address and read your messages more often.

2. Subject line. Is your subject line short and to the point?

A great subject line stands out in the inbox, highlights the core content of the email, and doesn’t get cut off on mobile devices. To craft the subject lines that drive opens, use phrases that stir up сuriosity and add urgency. Do your best to avoid cliches. However, don’t get ‘too creative’ to trick your customers into opens and ruin the trust they’ve already put in you. Make sure to keep your subject line relevant to the email content.

3. Greeting. Do you address your customers by name?

The easiest way to make emails feel more personal for every subscriber is to add subscribers’ names to the emails, for example, using merge tags. Check the contact list carefully before you merge data into your email. A misspelled recipient’s name or a merge tag that wasn’t replaced by mistake can spoil your efforts of building a friendship or even offend the person.

personal greetings

source: reallygoodemails 

4. Content. Does your message feel personal?

Collect data about your customers, ask them questions, analyze the data and use the insights to create highly targeted personal emails. Create the copy in your messages taking into account everything you know about the customer from your prior communication. A personal touch in your emails will let your customers feel that you really care about them.

5. Call to action. Do your CTAs imply benefits for customers?

Avoid using generic texts for CTA. Try to replace the words that may cause friction, such as ‘download’ or ‘buy’, with words that imply a benefit, such as ‘get’ or ‘learn’. To reduce anxiety, support your CTAs with a piece of text that clarifies what will happen after clicking and addresses all possible objections and concerns.

CTA examples

source: reallygoodemails 

6. Design. Is it clear from the first sight who the email is from?  

When you create your email design, strive to tie your emails with your brand to make them recognizable and memorable. Your logo at the top of the email is a must-have. Second, use headlines, fonts, spaces, and pictures to add a logical hierarchy to the message content and attract the reader’s attention to the main idea of the message.

7. Layout. Is your email responsive and mobile-friendly?

Subscribers check email on different devices and expect their experience on desktop, mobile, and tablet to be equally excellent. Crafting responsive emails is all about the proficiency of an email marketing specialist and the tools they use. Some email software vendors offer their users email editors that simplify the creation of responsive layouts. For example, the drag-and-drop email editor by eSputnik allows building fully responsive emails without HTML coding. To get an image adapted to any screen size or hide some content on mobile devices, all you need to do is turn the responsive features on with a single click.     

mobile friendly layout

source: Esputnik

8. Technical pitfalls. Was the email double-checked before sending?

Always test emails before sending them to actual recipients to check whether everything works properly. Fonts, links, images, alt-tags and email structure, everything should be in place and displayed correctly across different browsers. Also, remember to check how the message will look in the email clients that block images.

9. Compliance with standards. Does your email include Unsubscribe and Manage Preferences links?

According to the CAN-SPAM and GDPR regulations, every email should provide recipients with an opportunity to unsubscribe. That said, if a customer clicks unsubscribe, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose them that very moment. Instead, you can use the unsubscribe page as the last chance to prove the value of the subscription. Try to provide your subscribers with a link to your email preference center in addition to the unsubscribe link. This way, you’ll let them adjust the frequency and topics of emails they want to receive rather than unsubscribe from all your emails. It’s best that you use email services that don’t let an email to be sent without an unsubscribe link; so there is no chance to break the rules even unintentionally.

10. Email Signature. Does the email provide full contact information?

Provide your full contact information in emails: address, phone, website, and links to social media. This will help you build trust and let your customers feel that you are reachable. Structure the contact information in the same manner in every email to make your email campaigns feel more consistent.

email signatures created by NEWOLDSTAMP

Although some of the rules may seem obvious, only a few email marketers follow them when crafting their promotional emails. Check your own Inbox, and you’ll easily find marketing messages without proper branding or the ones that look weird on smartphones. Asking yourself the above 10 questions will help you make sure that nobody will use your emails as a negative example.  


Ostap is a strong marketing professional with 2+ years of experience in the software industry. Skilled in Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, SMM, Content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Analytics and Google Adwords.

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