Baking email templates since 2008

mailbakery blog

The Anatomy of a Successful Marketing Email

The Anatomy of a Successful Marketing Email

Email is the oldest form of digital marketing, but don’t think its enhanced age makes it any less valid or powerful. Still today, 66% of consumers surveyed purchased something because of a marketing email. That alone proves that email marketing is still a highly effective means of reaching out to your customers. In fact, you can count on 91% of your audience to check their email daily. However, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they will open your email and read it before they delete it.

So, how can you get your customers to open, read, and engage with your email? While it’s not an exact science, we do have a few expert recommendations to offer you for engaging your readers.

First, let’s break up our email into three distinct parts:

  1. Header
  2. Body
  3. Footer

As you create your emails and design templates, keep the details associated with each of these sections in mind.

The header section


This section is the very top of your communication. It starts with your email address and goes down to the subject line. What you put in this top section may be the do or die factor when it comes to audience action and whether they open and read your email or delete without another thought.

Sender name

Sender name

One of the tips we offered in a previous blog, 10 ways to avoid falling into the spam box, was to be yourself with sender information. If your reader doesn’t recognize you or your company, they are more likely to delete the email without even skimming it. Worse yet, they may mark your email as spam, not showing you in a good light with the major ISPs. Instead of using a “do not reply” email address, designate a real email address (and someone to monitor it), as a bonus opportunity to engage with your audience.

Use a real name to identify yourself, whether it’s your name or the company name. The critical detail is brand recognition to the point that your recipient is curious enough to read and engage with your email.

Subject line

This section is your hook to getting your recipient to read your email. You want it short and compelling, but not deceptive or sensationalistic. Studies show that seven words (or about 41 characters) are the sweet spot to getting your email opened. Avoid these top words and phrases that are most likely to get you labeled as a spammer.

Snippet, or pre-header

Think of this as the “subheader.” For those readers whose browser allows, this pre-header will give a peek inside the content if you word it effectively. You have about ten words or 80 characters as the last chance to capture their interest.

The body section

The body section

You achieved getting past the delete button so far, and now you use the body section of your email to compel your reader to act on something – hopefully, an eventual purchase. This is the meat of your marketing campaign.

Start with a clean template

Emails are often skimmed, so start your email body with a clean and simple template to direct your reader’s eye to the critical information.. Mail Bakery has a library of free and low-priced stock templates to choose from that will make your emails stand out. Better yet, let’s make you a fresh email template specific to your brand standards. We can start from scratch with some general information, or if you have a design already and need someone to code and customize it for you, we will do your first email coding (with your design) for free as the first taste of our delicious template treats.

Keep it simple

Remember that your readers’ time is precious, so email is not the place for a novel. If anything, it can be a teaser to attract them to a blog for more information. The point is keeping your email concise out of respect for their time. Also, take into account that many will be reading your email from a mobile device, so it’s absolutely imperative to make sure formatting is mobile optimized.

Take advantage of personalization

If you are collecting names with email addresses in your contact list (and you should be), take advantage of that, too! People are more likely to read content when they see it addressed to them personally. Many email service providers can retrieve a name from your contact information and use it in the body. Be sure to mention it to Mail Bakery when you order your template coding.

If you have the opportunity to segment your email list by general interest, you can take advantage of that detail when composing your body message, as well. Segmenting is an excellent idea as it will ensure readers are only receiving emails they said they were interested in, increasing open and clickthrough rates.

Dazzle them with images

You can reduce the amount of text in an email with clever use of imagery. The right picture in the perfect place of your email honestly can say a thousand words.

Call to Action (CTA)

Think of it this way. You are emailing to compel your customers to act, so this CTA is precisely that. You want them to do something, click something, or buy something – say so! Make your CTA the punchline in your email, with all text leading to that action. Make it simple, clear, and easy to follow through. For instance, a branded button that stands out and promises a solution is a great, one-click CTA.

The footer section

The footer is often ignored, but should not be neglected. Much of this is regulatory information that keeps you compliant with best practices and off of the naughty list for the popular ISPs.

Company contact information

Aside from the reply button, provide alternative methods for contacting your company. Include details such as your phone number, email, and physical address. Including this information gives assurances that yours is a legitimate company and is a step toward creating a layer of trust between you and your customer.

Subscription reminder

Reinforce your positive relationship by reminding your readers of their conscious choice of subscribing to your mailing list. If you’re able, even include how or where they enrolled. This reminder reinforces the fact that you are not spamming them without consent.

Unsubscribe action

Your emails should always have an option for your readers to elect to unsubscribe to your mailing list if they wish. If your readers no longer want to receive emails, it is much better for your reputation if they elect to unsubscribe instead of ignoring or worse yet, reporting your emails as spam.

Templates make it easy

A customized email template from Mail Bakery gives your emails a professional design that is consistent with your branding. It also very conveniently makes sure that most of your header section and all of your footer are taken care of automatically.  All you need to do is customize the subject, snippet, and body of your message from there. Click here and let’s get start baking!