While social media is an excellent way to connect with your target audience, you are 600% more likely to get a click-through on email than you are on social. And the number of Facebook and Twitter accounts out there can't hold a candle to the number of email accounts. Email is a big thing, and you should invest in email as part of your marketing strategy.

But how do you get started? By designing your marketing emails and adhering to best practices. You want to drive click-through rates by appealing to your audience. Here are some tips that will help.

1. Craft a Magnetic Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing that a reader sees. It should pique the interest of your recipients so that they want to open the email. Your subject line may be the most important part of the email.

There are some bare minimums that you have to meet to get it right. Make sure you can grab the attention of the readers instantly. One way you can do that is by keeping it brief. Less is more, and brevity is the soul of wit.

The subject line should also provide some value. It should give the recipient an idea of what to expect. It should also build trust - make sure that the subject line is consistent with the content of your email. Think about the mindset your reader will be in when they get the email. If it's a Monday, you can imagine what kind of mood they'll be in. If it's a Friday afternoon...you get the idea. Match your subject line to the anticipated mood for a sure-fire open.


2. Be Concise

You have about 1.1 seconds to connect with your readers, so your email needs to get straight to the point.

Other than grabbing their attention, you also have to recognize that your customers are busy people. As such, they want to get to the meat of the piece without having to deal with any weeds.

To create concise emails, start by organizing your email. Identify the message you want to convey, your audience, and how you will persuade them. Next, outline and revise your email copy so that you have the shortest but most relevant version possible.

3. Think Mobile First

In 2018, 58% of people were using mobile devices to access the internet. As such, you can expect more people to be reading your emails on phones instead of desktops and laptops. Therefore, you should create emails for mobile devices first. Here are good ways to do that.

Keep it small. Your email should be 102KB at most. If it's larger, Gmail will prompt recipients to download the rest of it. Though the message may not be broken, recipients are fickle - they may consider it a broken email and delete it, or worse, mark it as spam.

Also, use single-column layouts to make it scrollable with nothing more than a thumb. By and large, embrace one-handed navigation.

4. Personalization

People want to be seen as individuals, and nothing does a better job than personalization. Personalized emails stand out as tailor-made, and recipients consider them more relevant and engaging. Consequently, they are more likely to be opened, and they strengthen customer experience with the brand.

Related: Using Personalization Without Being Creepy

But personalization is more than including the recipient's name. You can include it in the subject line to increase the open rate by more than 26%.

Beyond text, you can use imagery to appeal to different audiences. You can use images that match the recipient's location, increasing the click-through rate by 29%.

You can also use dynamic content offers. With geographic and demographic data, you can change entire sections of your email to make it more appealing to your readers.

Finally, you can use personalization to encourage customers to come back.


Email is an important element of marketing. It's inexpensive and has the potential to yield an extremely high return on investment. The design tips above are an ideal place to start if you are looking to increase your click-through rate. For help with your email marketing, and other digital marketing needs, contact the team at Ironmark. We're always happy to help!

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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