Email Marketing

The Anatomy of a Good Email

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Editor’s Note: We’ve invited our friends at AWeber to help BriteVerify users learn how to send more engaging emails. In this piece, Elisabeth Willits, AWeber’s Content Marketing Specialist, explores an email’s basic components and offers advice for each one. We hope you find this information useful!

You’ve done it! You collected quality email addresses and you cleaned them to make sure that your messages get delivered to the right (and real!) people.

You’re ready to go. Well, almost. There’s one more fairly important step left… And that’s write the emails. But what should you include in those emails? And how do you ensure it’s valuable?

Let’s break it down piece by piece.

The subject line

To open, or not to open? That is the question your subscribers are asking when they see your email in their inbox. And the subject line helps answer it! The subject line is a preview for what’s to come in your email. When crafting this subject line, aim to pique their interest and curiosity. You can use many different tactics when creating an interesting and compelling subject line.

For example, vlogger Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social likes to take a personal approach to subject lines. When referring to her email strategy, she says, “The more an email looks like it’s coming from a friend, the more likely it’s something my busy subscribers will want to look at it. I love to approach our email relationship like we’re friends keeping in touch on relevant things we love. The first display of that is in the subject line.”

While we wholeheartedly agree with this approach, sometimes you have to test different types of subject lines to see what resonates with your audience.

Here’s an example of a subject line we wrote for our blog digest email:

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This subject line intrigued readers, and had higher engagement rates than usual. Why would an email marketing company say that the email blast is dead? They clicked to find out!

Other ways to raise interest in your subject lines? Try asking a question, sharing a testimonial, or offering something valuable. Whatever you write, always make sure that your subject lines are honest. If you use your subject line to tease something, deliver it in the email. This will help to establish you as trustworthy and reliable!

The headline

The reader has officially opened the email. Now you want to make sure they stay awhile, read your content and hopefully click a link!

One way to do this is to emphasize the value being delivered. To do this, put the most important information at the top of your email. And not in the same sized font as the rest of your email… make it stand out! Use fun and interesting headlines to amuse readers and quickly summarize your points.

In the email below, we use headlines that are formatted differently, that are also creative and informative:


This attention-grabbing and descriptive combination engages the reader and then quickly gives context. Test this out and write different variations of headlines until you find the perfect balance of content that’s both interesting and helpful.

The greeting

Your reader should feel like your email is worth their time. To do this, make them feel special and important! Your tone and voice are extremely important here. Try using friendly greetings like these:

  • “Hi there!”
  • “Good morning!”
  • “I have great news, {!firstname_fix}.”
  • “I can’t wait to share this with you!”
  • The goal here is to create positive feelings towards your business and increase engagement.

The body content

In your content, your main goals should be to deliver value and help your subscribers. Focus on your audience’s needs and challenges. How does your business help to solve them? Add it to your email. You can include that information in many ways:

  • A blog post that addresses a common customer question
  • A testimonial from someone who uses your product or service
  • Targeted bonus content
  • An interview with a “celebrity” in your industry

This is the kind of valuable content that will motivate people to click links you’ve provided and become loyal customers. Want more tips on what to write in your emails? Check out our What to Write in Your Emails course – which includes over 45 email copy templates!

You’ve got awesome content. Now make sure it’s easy to read! Organize your email content in a way that’s easy for subscribers to digest. Use headlines, sub-headlines and bullet points to break up large chunks of text. To emphasize important parts of your message, try bolding, italicizing or underlining words and phrases.

The call-to-action (CTA)

You’ve created this awesome email and you have readers engaged. Now what?

Get them to take action!

Here’s where you can get creative. Asking readers to “sign up” or “learn more” can get repetitive. Try using more descriptive or interesting verbs and phrases that fit with your brand! In the example below, we use a fun and informative CTA:

send me more.png

The use of “Send me more information!” intrigues and delights readers, and also shows what readers will get when they click the button. We also used first-person point of view in their email, which is perfect for creating a fun and inviting tone. Here are some other ideas for first-person phrases you can use and customize to fit your brand:

  • “I want in!”
  • “Count me in”
  • “Sign me up”
  • “Yes, please!”
  • “Show me more!”
  • “I love this!”

Also, try adding a sense of urgency to encourage readers to act. Add words like “now” or “today” to the end of your copy to to encourage people to take action. In the email below, we added urgency to encourage fast action:

claim my offer now.png

The signature

Who would be the best person/name to send your email from? Your entire company? A specific person to show expertise? At AWeber, we generally send emails from individual team members. We add a little closing, followed by the team member’s name and their role at AWeber.

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However, different tactics are better for different brands and voices. Whatever you decide to do, stay consistent!

Hit send

You’ve got all the tools you need to deliver value. Now go, create your email and hit send! Love these writing tips? Get more tactics plus over 45 email copy templates to use for your next send in our free What to Write in Your Emails course!