3 Best Styles of Emails to Engage Your Audience

Marketers, looking to increase the click-through rate on your emails? Tailor the email's style to the result you're looking for. We show you how.

I have a love/hate relationship with email marketing.

It enables marketers to speak to many people at once, which is great — but if you make a mistake, you don’t just make it once. You make it 50,000 times.


Potential errors aren’t the only hurdle.  After double- and triple-checking every comma and hyperlink, you still need to get recipients to do something beyond a simple open.

According to Hubspot, medium-sized businesses with particularly successful email campaigns report a median click-through rate between 6-7 percent. If you’re a marketer trying to earn any rate of engagement above 5 percent, start by making sure your message is relevant to your audience — and then craft a short, succinct email in just the right style.

Here are three of the most engaging styles of emails used in marketing today along with information on when these types of emails are especially effective.

1. Personalized Emails

When Experian Marketing Services personalized their email subject lines to include the recipients’ names and interests, Marketing Land reports the organization saw a 41 percent increase in their overall unique click-through rate. What caused this huge increase in engagement?

Psychologically, humans have a deep desire to feel as though they’re in control of any situation. This explains a lot of why personalization is such an effective tool in increasing interest and engagement.


Snapshot of my email inbox.


Look at these two email subject lines, both of which are trying to lure me into engaging with their email and digesting their content:

Generic email subject line (aka what most marketers send): 5 Marketing Tools Every Content Marketer Needs

Personalized email subject line: Melody, Here Are 5 Marketing Tools You Definitely Need

Types of recipients this email works best for: Although personalized emails are likely to increase any email campaign’s overall effectiveness, overuse does dilute the effectiveness of this tactic over time. Therefore, personalization is best reserved for:

  • Prospects you’ve met in person and who will recognize your name
  • Former customers you’re trying to win back

2. Newsletters

When done correctly, newsletters are a great way for brands to showcase their prowess and gain the respect and trust of their subscribers. A typical newsletter includes any or all of the following:

  • A message from the president, CEO or other C-level executive
  • Industry news
  • Blog/new content excerpts (new content can be guides or white papers)
  • Editorials (opinion pieces from staff)
  • Links to educational articles
  • Special offers or coupons
  • A survey or poll, some ability to give feedback
  • Infographics
  • Product reviews
  • Event calendar
  • Contests/giveaways
  • Photos that showcase the company’s culture

Types of recipients this email works best for:

  • Prospects who aren’t ready to buy just yet
  • Fans of your brand
  • Investors

3. Promotional/Special Offers Emails

In an industry that used to pride itself on “guerrilla” marketing skills (ugh, Dear Megan would hate that I used that cliché), it can sometimes feel contradictory to send out a promotional email asking for the sale. However, if sent at the correct time in the buying cycle, it is absolutely appropriate. Not to mention, it’s a good way to boost your company’s immediate sales.

How to do it right: Due to the nature of these emails, it’s important they be visually appealing and that the offer made be truly competitive or “special.” Don’t skimp on hiring a good designer and a programmer. Include a clear call to action that informs readers how they can complete the purchase.

Special tip: Familiarizing yourself with the basics in color psychology is worth the effort, especially considering that some colors are more likely than others to spur onlookers to complete a purchase.

Types of recipients this email works best for:

  • Those who have recently received a product demonstration
  • Those in your list who have received a fair amount of your promotional materials
  • Primary decision-makers

Engaging an audience is hardly an easy thing. With a carefully worded message, visually stunning pictures and the appropriate style, however, marketers can increase their recipients’ engagement with their brand.

What’s your opinion regarding these three email styles? Do you find these to be the most engaging styles of emails for your brand, or does your engagement go up with other email styles? Let me know in the comments below.

Tags: newsletters, personalization, special offers

Category: Distribution