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How to Create High-Converting Emails

Email Marketing

You spent hours crafting an email. Hit “send.” And now, you wait. There’s nothing else to do at this point but hope for clicks. But email marketing is not a “spray and pray” exercise. You can impact conversions with the right email marketing strategy. And that starts before you send your emails.

What’s a High-Converting Email?

High-converting emails don’t just get opened. They grab your readers’ attention, keep them engaged throughout the content, and make them click on your CTA. In other words, they drive conversions. 

And it’s a fact that conversion rates are one of the most crucial email marketing metrics to track:


To create such a persuasive email, you need to plan your strategy from start to finish. This means you shouldn’t only focus on writing that email; you need to take some steps before and after sending it, too.  

Prep: Before Crafting your Email

As with every aspect of digital marketing, emails are all about building on solid foundations. So, before starting out with email creation, there are certain things to cross off your list.

  1. Invest in the right email marketing software

Building emails that convert sounds like a lot to deal with at first. The good news is that you have a partner in crime. The right email marketing software allows you to design, send, and automate your email marketing efforts. There are plenty of tools on the market but what you should be looking for is a flexible email template builder and premade templates

Email templates with modern and professional designs serve as a starting point to work with. Then, you can use the email builder’s drag-and-drop capabilities to customize the template layout and add your own brand elements. So, you need a solution with no limitations in terms of customization.

For example, Mailchimp is an email marketing platform known for its wide variety of modern and attractive templates. However, as a Mailchimp user, you may have trouble adjusting the design because the customization options are limited and difficult to grasp. Also, the templates offered in the free plan are basic and non-customizable. 

To optimize your email design for conversions, you might want to explore tools with advanced customization options and built-in templates for all plan users. Some of the most reputable Mailchimp alternatives for flawless email creation are Moosend and MailerLite. These options also feature advanced automation, AI capabilities, and A/B testing at a reasonable price.

  1. Set a clear goal

Obviously, your main goal is conversions. But conversions could mean different things depending on the occasion or industry.  

For instance, if you want to inform your audience about a company update, the number of people who open your emails are your conversions. But if you send out a survey, it’s the number of subscribers who completed it that will represent your conversion rate.

This doesn’t mean that you couldn’t have more than one goal for the same email campaign. You might want to urge recipients to shop from your new summer collection through an exclusive deal and invite them to your upcoming webinar on summer trends. Whatever you choose as your objective, it must be clear and carefully planned. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • What’s the action I need recipients to take?
  • Which audience segment do I want to target?
  • What should they feel to act on my message?
  • What would the ideal outcome be?
  • How can I tailor the email design and content to my goal?
  1. Create segmented email campaigns

Generic emails won’t get you where you want. Segmented emails that meet subscriber expectations at every stage of the sales funnel are key towards moving them down the conversion path. 

First, you must pinpoint each segment’s needs. Once again, your email marketing tool is your trusted ally. Here’s how it helps you identify what your recipients expect from your messages:

  • Use your lead generation forms to segment recipients based on the information they provided, ranging from their demographics to their email preferences.
  • Group users according to their behavior on your website like their browsing habits or purchase history to offer personalized recommendations.
  • Track open rates and click-through rates to understand what type of content and promotions bring better engagement.
  • Use your recipients’ level of engagement for lead scoring, to prioritize the most qualified segments for specific email campaigns.
  • Include email surveys to gather direct feedback from recipients on their preferences. Post-purchase surveys work great, providing insights into customer satisfaction.
  • Leverage predictive analytics to analyze industry trends and audience patterns and tailor future campaigns accordingly.

Create: During Email Design

Once you’ve planned your strategy, it’s time to craft the email that will drive conversions. You should think of every email element as a secret ingredient for success. All of them together must form a unified message that represents your brand. 

But let’s break things down, one component at a time.

Email subject line

Would you enter a store if you didn’t like what you saw in the shop window? Chances are your subscribers won’t open an email with an uninspiring or irrelevant subject line either. An attractive and straightforward email subject line is the first step into increasing conversions. So, make it:

  • Concise: Most users open emails on mobile, so keep it short—40-50 characters are the ideal length to present your selling point.
  • Relevant: Readers hate misleading tactics. Think of your subject line as the first step of a consistent journey by ensuring the email content fulfills the promise made in it.  
  • Eye-catching: Add an impressive stat or a fun emoji, create a sense of urgency for time-limited offers, employ humor, or ask a question.
  • Spam-free: Including spammy words like “free,” “money,” “buy” in your subject line is simply poor email practice. Not only will recipients ignore it, but chances are it will trigger spam filters, thus hurting your deliverability.

The following example by United by Blue gets straight to the point. Asking an intriguing question and mentioning the incentive of free shipping are more than enough for the recipient to complete checkout: 

Subject line: Looking for a sign? Free shipping.

Screenshot of United By Blue Email


Email body

Your email body should finish what your subject line started. Unfortunately, most recipients won’t have the time or desire to read through the entire email. That’s why it’s crucial to create skimmable emails. 

Some ways to achieve this include using short paragraphs, headings and subheadings, and bulleted lists. Keep your email body short, concise and to the point—and that’s to highlight what makes your offer or content unique and relevant. Consider making your key points bold so readers can spot them easily. 

To break up text and excite readers, incorporate visuals like images, videos, or animations. Another way to keep readers hooked is to add storytelling techniques to your copy to make your story easier to digest. If it serves your email objective, you could add some social proof or testimonials. 

You also need action-oriented language to increase conversions. Use power and actionable words that motivate recipients to move to the next step. Whatever you do, industry jargon and complex meanings are a big no-no as they confuse subscribers. And obvious as it may seem, always proofread your copy for errors and clarity.

Email CTA

Powerful copywriting in your email body will get you nowhere if it leads to a weak email CTA. You should treat your CTA as a gateway to several business opportunities. So, you have to make it engaging. Here’s how: 

  • Place the CTA prominently so readers can spot it as soon as they open the email.
  • Turn your focus on your readers by letting them know the benefits of clicking on your call to action. For instance, if you want them to check your new skincare product, try “Refresh your skin” instead of the generic “Buy now.”
  • Use action words, such as “Learn more,” “Sign up,” “Download now” to encourage subscribers to act.
  • Opt for a single CTA to avoid frustrating readers. However, longer emails with multiple sections could work fine with more than one CTAs.
  • Make it stand out using color contrast and consider center-aligned text as it catches the reader’s eye.
  • Make sure your CTA is large enough so users with touchscreens can easily tap on it.

In Filevine’s Halloween email, the CTA button is action-oriented, and the copy is written in the first person instead of second to prompt recipients to purchase. The brand adds an eye-catching emoji and color contrast, while placing it prominently. There’s a secondary CTA for users who might not convert with the first one—and it’s timely, too, using Halloween-related wording.

Subject line: 👻 Summon Your FREE AirPods Today!

Screenshot of Filevine email


Email layout

A clear email layout helps subscribers digest email content more effectively. By using a proper structure, you make key points stand out and direct readers to them. It’s preferrable to have a single column layout with center-aligned text. Such a layout is particularly beneficial for providing an equal experience to both desktop and mobile users. 

Pay attention to the number of elements you place within your layout. Fitting too much in it will make it cluttered and unprofessional, preventing readers from converting. Adding enough white space solves the problem since it breaks up sections and gives them air to breathe. 

Another important factor for grouping different pieces of information is adding different font types and sizes. When it comes to text, background, visuals, and CTA, a good rule of thumb is to add plenty of contrast for each part to stand out. 

This email by OpenTable is well-organized with clear sections and headings while the CTAs are prominently placed. The alignment of text and colors creates a clean and professional look, guiding the reader’s eye through the content. Also, the layout allows for a balance between text, images, and white space, which is key for uncluttered designs.

Subject line: Grab reservations for the long weekend

Screenshot of Open Table Email


Mobile responsiveness

The number of people who check their emails on mobile devices is constantly increasing. Therefore, ensuring your emails render properly, with no glitches across different devices is essential. 

Here are the basic steps to provide all users an amazing experience:

  • Check the mobile optimization capabilities of your email platform. You should be able to test and preview how your emails are displayed on various screen types, too.
  • Use responsive templates or design your own with responsiveness in mind. That way, your emails are automatically adjusted based on the screen type used to display them.
  • Your buttons and links should be large enough for users with smaller screens to tap on.
  • Make your text legible by choosing large fonts and short blocks of text.
  • Keep your subject lines short and put crucial information first. Small screens may cut off part of it if it exceeds the character limit.

Email accessibility

People with disabilities form a large percentage of your target audience. And you shouldn’t risk losing them because you didn’t follow accessibility standards in your email design. So, how will you ensure every subscriber understands your content? 

  • Add alt text to images so that screen readers can convey the message to visually impaired users.
  • Use descriptive texts for your links that clearly describe the action required rather than generic phrases like “click here.” 
  • Include a plain-text version of your email for recipients who can’t view HTML emails.
  • Design your emails for keyboard navigation. That way, users can interact with your email content using just their keyboard.
  • Use clear, legible, and large fonts to enhance readability.
  • Choose colors wisely since they have distinct interpretations between cultures and avoid relying solely on them to convey messages.

Follow-up: After Sending 

The success of your email marketing doesn’t end with email creation.  Instead, you should adopt a consistent email marketing strategy to engage recipients in the long term and turn them into loyal customers. The best way to do so is through email automation.

Lead nurturing emails 

Automation allows you to set up a series of educational and value-driven emails to guide leads through the sales lifecycle. 

You could start by sending a welcome email introducing your brand and value proposition. Following up, deliver educational content that addresses your audience’s common pain points.

Adding testimonials and case studies are a great source of information on how your product or service provides solutions. For example, a SaaS company can nurture leads through a series of tutorials and case studies showcasing successful use cases of their software to educate and build trust.

With email automation, brands can celebrate important milestones, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or even significant interactions. Milestones emails may include special offers, an invitation to an exclusive webinar, or just a thank you note.

Another step in lead nurturing is to identify leads who haven’t interacted with your emails for a certain period. The great news is you can bring them back using automated re-engagement campaigns. Offer them incentives like discounts, downloadable guides, or fresh blog content to rekindle their interest. To take it one step further, use an email survey to ask for feedback on how you can better meet their needs.

Follow-up emails

With email automation, brands also ensure timely follow-ups using automated triggers. Automation tools track user behavior on your website and within your emails. This kind of information lets you craft reminders tailored to your subscribers’ activity.

This may include visiting a pricing page or abandoning a shopping cart. An effective example of follow-up emails is after a visitor purchases a product or service on your site. You can benefit from the opportunity to cross-sell similar products, too.

This cart abandonment email by Casper ticks all the boxes. The witty subject line and copy get right to the point while the clean design directs readers towards the actionable CTA. Also, the brand cleverly incorporates a customer testimonial, a token of authenticity to encourage action.

Subject line: Did you forget something?

Screenshot of Casper Email


Consider implementing a lead scoring system to send useful follow-up messages to high-potential leads. Such a system assigns value to leads based on actions like email opens, product visits, and content downloads. Email automation takes over, triggering follow-up emails when a lead reaches a certain score. 

For instance, if a lead’s score indicates high engagement like multiple visits to your pricing page, you can trigger a follow-up email offering a free trial or demo. That way, you ensure that your most engaged prospects receive timely attention.

Turn your Emails into Conversion Machines

Creating high-converting emails that prompt action doesn’t happen by chance. Start by picking the right email marketing platform, setting measurable and specific goals, and personalizing your email content using advanced segmentation. Then, you can go ahead and build engaging emails following copywriting and design best practices.

Email automation helps you take your email strategy to the next level and nurture leads towards conversions over time. But don’t forget to monitor crucial email marketing metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your emails, too. 

Your email solution’s reporting and A/B testing capabilities offer the necessary insights to understand which emails resonate most with your target audience. More importantly, they will help you refine your strategy to give them the email experience they deserve and retain them for life.


Picture of the Author

Maria Fintanidou works as a copywriter for email marketing automation software Moosend, having created the Help Articles (FAQs) and overseen the platform’s translations in Greek and Spanish. She loves exploring new cultures and ways of thinking through traveling, reading, and language learning.