How to Write a Promotional Email That Converts

Avatar for Kat Garcia Kat Garcia
Avatar for Kat Garcia Kat Garcia

December 6, 2021

8 min read

How to Write a Promotional Email That Converts

Do you want to write a great promotional email, and want to make sure that they are converting? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Email marketing is more than just sending out an email with a special deal or discount code to entice your users to sign up or purchase. It is a delicate dance that you need to master in order to get the open emails into actual sales.

Email marketing is the best way to increase your ROI. Regardless of how progressive technology has come, it still remains the most effective and proven way to see more profits and return on your investment. When it comes to promotional emails, you are sending something of value to your customers that will eventually be valuable to you too (show me the money!).

A lot of hard work and thought goes into your promotional emails, so you want to make sure that they are actually converting into profits for your company.

Let’s start by defining: What Is a Promotional Email?

A promotional email is a message that is sent out to your subscribers, they will typically have promotional messages, promo codes, or special offers. This is a form of advertising where businesses can send promotional content to their customers or potential customers in an attempt to boost awareness of products or services.

These emails have the potential to build trust with your customers by providing them with real value. This can be in the form of a discount, free insider information, an update of company information, or announcements of upcoming sales. This makes promotional emails a great and essential tool to help increase conversions.

They are also a great way to build engagement with your audience, this can be done through an incentive to engage with your content. For example, we’ve seen companies offer a $10 Amazon gift card to the first 100 users to use a specific promo code. Promotional emails that contain both content and incentives actually see the highest click-through rates (CTR), conversions AND customer loyalty.

Content + Incentives = Higher CTR, Conversions, and Customer Loyalty

Promotional emails also help your company save money. Promotional emails are a cost effective tool that targets audiences that have already shown interest in your product or service based on browsing behavior. And an added bonus, most email service providers (ESPs) will have reasonable fees that are more affordable than other marketing strategies, such as PPC (pay per click) advertising.

To continue, these kinds of email also boost your overall ROI. Since they are targeted towards audiences that have already shown interest in your business or product, they will have a higher ROI because you’re sending relevant content to people that actually want to see it.

We attribute this to the fact that promotional emails are providing personalized and real value to the recipient. This helps them build a sense of trust and appreciation for your business because you’re not sending irrelevant or random emails to them.

We have successfully covered what a promotional email actually is, and what it’s capable of. So let’s dive deeper into the most important aspect, how to write a promotional email that converts.

How do we make our promotional emails work for us?

Start by hooking your recipients with a great subject line

If you’re wondering how to do email marketing ‘right’, the best place to start is with the subject line. But it should be the last thing you write.

Let me explain. Start by writing your content and promotional offer first. This way you have a clear understanding of what you are offering and will give you more of an idea of what you want your subject to say.

The perfect subject line quite literally can make or break your email marketing. It can be the difference between recipients opening your email, deleting it, or even WORSE, marking it as spam.

When people open your emails, it means they feel it will benefit them or are having FOMO (fear of missing out) on a great deal. I know it’s quite a lot of pressure to put on a single subject line, but never forget that these few words hold a great deal of power.

Next, Take Advantage of the Preview Text

These days, it’s not just the subject line. ESPs give a preview text option on your emails, regardless if your users are on a desktop or mobile device. They show the first few lines of text that your promotional email contains.

This is a great thing to keep in mind, especially because many email marketers forget that this happens. Skilled and overturned email marketers use this as an additional tool to increase their conversions.

If your preview text shows instructions on how to read the email or unclickable links to social media profiles, it’s a waste of time. With the email preview text ranging from 35-140 characters, this is something you don’t want to neglect.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is so important when you’re writing promotional emails. Not everyone on your list wants to receive the same message. When writing your copy make sure to keep in mind the best ways to meet their needs, it is a great way to increase your conversions.

Put yourself in your consumer's shoes. You like it when companies make you feel special and feel like they took the time to curate content to your liking. The customer knows that you go the extra mile when you mention them by name, send them content that they have actively engaged with, or a special discount just for them.

By knowing your audience you’re able to write email copy that meets their needs.

This helps improve your conversion rates because by making your emails more personal and specially curated for a customer, they’re more likely to click because they want to see the deal they’ve received. This also goes hand in hand with email segmentation.

Segment Your Email List

Another great tool to help boost your conversions is list segmentation. It will help ensure that your email campaigns are aligning with your audiences.

You can segment your list by looking at the parts of your list that your subscribers don’t engage with and put them in a different list to receive emails less often. By doing so, you are able to minimize the risk of your subscribers clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ button or ‘mark as spam. This also increases the likelihood of them engaging with your content.

Have you seen a chunk of subscribers who haven’t clicked on your emails in months? You will have more luck reminding them of your product or service by using a re-engagement email campaign. If successful, you will have a revitalized email group where they are more likely to engage than the rest of your list. If not, you should consider removing them from your list entirely because they aren’t contributing to your email marketing campaign and provide a bigger threat to your sender reputation.

Avoid Being Marked as Spam

Try to avoid being marked as spam at all costs. This can not only harm your sender reputation score, but it can also lead to your emails never getting delivered.

A spam complaint can make or break your campaign and jeopardize your ROI. If you are putting your emails at risk, then what’s the point of a great promotional email? If you are noticing more and more spam complaints, inbox providers (ESPs) will hesitate to put your email in the desired inbox. Because their first priority is to protect their subscribers. Some email subscribers will eventually get tired of your email and churn, but unfortunately, this is inevitable. But, you can do your part to decrease complaints and keep yourself in good standing with ESPs as well as off of any blacklists.

Start by making sure that you have a clear opt-out option on your emails. Not only does this help keep you in the good graces of CAN-SPAM but it’s also a great way to keep your lists naturally clean and only engage with subscribers that actually want to receive your emails. If your recipients can’t find how to get off your email list, then they will just send you to spam which will put you at risk for spam traps and blacklists.

Secondly, if you are sending too many emails, you will become annoying, overwhelming, and obnoxious. Subscribers are then more inclined to mark you as spam. You can even offer the solution of “taking a break” from your email list and only sending a select few of your emails instead.

Clean Your Email Lists

When you send an email, you need to make sure that the address is correct as well as valid. Especially when sending a promotional email. The content of these messages has more added value than your update emails, so you want to make sure they’re being sent.

Sending an email to an invalid, misspelled, or incorrect email address can land you in the heart of a spam trap and on the fast track to getting blacklisted.

Blacklisted is when an email service provider (ESP) marks your IP address and puts it on a list that rejects and blocks any emails coming from your company. So despite all the hard work you’ve put into your email marketing campaigns, your emails will never get delivered.

A spam trap is the email address used to stop and prohibit any spam from entering their user’s folders. An ESP has several spam traps in order to protect the integrity of an inbox and reduce the amount of spam getting delivered. If you end up sending to one of these spam traps your emails will never be delivered. Which will affect your deliverability score as well as your sender reputation score. And all your hard work will go down the drain.

Sometimes you will find yourself caught in a spam trap because companies buy email lists that have old or outdated email addresses as well as those that could potentially be spam traps. When you acquire lists such as these it is imperative that you clean your lists before sending out any emails. You can use an email checker service like Emailable, where they can verify your list and give you metrics such as “deliverable” “undeliverable” or “risky”.

By cleaning your lists, you are on the right track to having a successful promotional email campaign, boosting your inbox placement and ensuring that your emails get delivered.

Final Thoughts

Above we have covered what a promotional email is, the value of a successful promotional email campaign, and how to write a promotional email that actually converts. By following these six steps you’re on the fast track to having promotional emails that convert which helps boost your overall ROI. We know that as email marketers, you put a lot of time and effort into what you are sending to your subscribers so we want to help you get those emails delivered, read, and converted into sales.

By starting off strong with a killer subject line you’re able to hook the reader. That’s just the first step. After, take advantage of the preview text next to the subject line (only the most skilled email marketers are using this tool), by knowing your audience and segmenting your list you’re able to make even more personalized campaigns that will help boost conversions, the next two steps of avoiding spam traps and cleaning your email lists are crucial. You want to make sure your emails get delivered before you send them out and make sure they don’t get delivered into a spam folder.

Taking all of these steps before sending out your promotional emails, you will be able to see a boost in conversions.

Happy emailing!

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