Article first published June 2015, updated May 2019
If you’re like most marketers, you rely on email marketing to drive results for your business.
One of the most frequent campaigns you probably send is the marketing offer email to inform your subscribers of new products, special promotions, exclusive discounts, etc.
These campaigns are great, as they directly drive sales and revenue for your business.
But do you know what elements to include in those emails to get people to click through?
Read on to learn the 5 key elements of a high-converting marketing offer email and see some examples from our customer email gallery of marketing offer campaigns that got it right.
What is a marketing offer email?
A marketing offer email is essentially any campaign a marketer like you sends to drive sales.
This can take a number of different forms, including:
- A campaign announcing the launch of your latest product
- A campaign showcasing some of the latest stock to arrive in your store
- A campaign offering a discount or special promotion on your products or services
Essentially, any campaign created with the primary goal of increasing sales of your products or services can be classified as a marketing offer email.
Can you make money with email marketing?
Having said that, you’re probably wondering if you can really make money with email marketing.
The simple answer is yes.
“The money is in the list” isn’t just an empty statement; it’s a reality many successful email marketers live. To help convince you, consider the following statistics.
Email marketing has an ROI of 4400%
ROIs of up to 4400% make email one of the best channels to use if you want to run profitable marketing campaigns. Email marketing offers outperform newer marketing channels like social media. The reasons for this are simple:
- Email has more active users than any social media platform
- A person’s inbox is personal, meaning people place higher value on what comes into their inboxes than what they see in their social media feeds
Email affords advanced segmentation and personalization
According to Campaign Monitor, marketers who run segmented campaigns have noted as much as 760% increase in revenue. People don’t want to be treated like a number in your database. They want to be addressed as the individuals they are. And that’s exactly what list segmentation allows you to do. The result is better conversions and more profits.
Source: Campaign Monitor
People prefer to receive promotional offers on email
A report by MarketingSherpa revealed that 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email. Only 17% said they preferred to get promotional content via social media. This proves that the money truly is in the list.
It also gives us a definitive answer to our question: Yes, you can make money with email marketing.
The 5 key elements you should include in your marketing offer emails
Given Campaign Monitor is an email marketing service, we see a lot of campaigns come through our system. Over 1 billion every month, in fact.
While each marketing offer email will be different, these are some common elements in the most successful ones.
1. Value proposition
In a marketing offer email, the value proposition is a short statement that concisely explains the benefits you get from taking the offer. A good value proposition explains to the reader what the offer is and why they should care about it and take action.
As an example, take a look at the value proposition from the announcement email of our drag-and-drop email builder:
As you can see, the email contains a prominent value proposition at the top that reads “create beautiful emails in minutes.”
This value proposition succeeds because it’s clear and simple, and focuses on the benefits for the reader. It tells them exactly what the product does (creates emails) and the benefits they’ll get from using it (beautiful email campaigns in just minutes).
So, when creating your next marketing offer email, make sure to include a value proposition that clearly outlines what you’re offering the reader and the benefits it provides them.
2. Images & visuals
Research shows that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so it’s critical to include images in your marketing offer campaigns to help get your message across.
A great example is this email from Campaign Monitor customer Rip Curl, who used email to launch their new GPS watch.
Rip Curl uses high-quality images of the watch throughout the campaign, ensuring that their message (we’ve launched a new watch) was received by recipients, even if they didn’t read the text.
When creating your next marketing offer email, make sure to include high-quality images of the products or services you are offering. This will help get your key messages across, even if people only skim the email and don’t properly read the text.
3. Benefit-focused copy
In order to get people to click through from your marketing offer email, your copy must make it clear to them what the benefit of doing so is.
One of our favorite ways to do this is by using a copywriting formula, such as the BAB technique. These formulas are great because they provide a framework for writing email copy that almost forces you to present your offer in the context of how it’ll benefit the reader.
To help illustrate, consider these two email campaigns promoting Campaign Monitor. One doesn’t use the BAB formula and focuses on features, and one uses the BAB formula to focus on benefits.
Without using the BAB technique
Using the BAB formula
In the first email (without BAB), the copy is largely focused on the product features and support and does little to speak to the pain points and desires of the target audience.
The second email, however, is completely focused on the reader. It speaks directly to their pain points and desires and positions the offer (in this case, a free Campaign Monitor account) as the bridge between their painful world and their desired world.
So, when you’re creating your next marketing offer email, make sure to focus your copy on the benefits your reader will get from using whatever product or service you’re offering them. You can use the BAB copywriting technique to help with this, but there are also others, such as the PAS formula and 4P’s technique, which are equally as effective.
4. Social proof
When you present someone with an offer, like a new product you’ve just launched, for example, your readers will have some natural hesitation and anxiety towards it.
This can be caused by any number of things, including:
- Concern that your offer isn’t worth their time and/or money,
- Worry that your product or service isn’t the right choice for them,
- Doubt that your product or service is reliable or can deliver what you claim it can.
So, in order to get people to click through from your marketing offer email, you need to take steps to reduce that anxiety.
A great way to do this is by including social proof elements, such as testimonials, in your campaigns.
When creating your next marketing offer campaign, try to include elements of social proof, like testimonials, customer numbers, star ratings, etc. to reduce anxiety and reassure readers that what you’re offering them is high quality and worth their time.
5. A prominent call-to-action button
When it comes to creating a high-converting marketing offer email, the final piece of the puzzle is using a prominent call-to-action button.
This is important because buttons make it clear to the reader what the next step is and encourage them to click through.
In fact, when we recently tested using a button in our email marketing campaigns (as opposed to just using linked text) we increased our click-through rate by 28%.
This is because buttons have a number of unique attributes linked text doesn’t, including:
- Size – Often, a button will be much larger in size than a linked piece of text, catching the reader’s eye.
- Design – Buttons often have design elements that links don’t, such as shadows, gradients, and other effects. This can make them “pop” off the page and stand out to readers.
- Color – Often, buttons will have a different color from the background and text, and this contrast draws the eye and makes the reader notice them more.
So, when you’re creating your next marketing offer email, be sure to include a prominent call-to-action button that stands out and get noticed. It’ll help ensure your readers know exactly what the next step you want them to take is and make it super simple for them to do so.
Best practices for promotional emails
Now that you know the five elements that make for a successful promotional email, let’s take a look at the best practices that’ll make your email marketing offers bring in results.
Segmentation is key
Before sending out your email marketing offer, always make sure to properly segment your list. This will allow you to send targeted promotions to those who have already shown interest in your offer, resulting in higher conversion rates. Sending your promotion to everyone on your list will not only result in a poor performing campaign, but could also lead to some of your subscribers unsubscribing. Worse still, they may fail to engage with your emails.
Let readers know who you are
Unfortunately, many senders neglect to be clear about who they are in the “From” field.
Make sure to include your name and logo in every promotional email you send. This will let your readers know who you are and prevent you from being ignored.
Nail the subject line
The subject line is a critical element in every email, but more so when it comes to promotional emails. Considering that 47% of email opens are influenced by the subject line, you definitely have to invest time and effort in crafting the perfect subject line.
So how do you ensure that your subject line converts?
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid overly promotional words
- Highlight a benefit
- Personalize it
Use FOMO to your advantage
People don’t like feeling left out on a bargain. It’s called the fear of missing out (FOMO). Use FOMO to your advantage when running email marketing offers. This will create a sense of urgency that’ll drive your customers to react faster to your offer.
You can achieve this by creating an offer that is:
- Time sensitive
Source: Campaign Monitor
You’ve designed an award-winning email, nailed the subject line, and prayed to the marketing gods for success. Time to send the email, right?
You still need to test its effectiveness with a small segment of your target audience before sending it to the rest of your intended audience. Even if you’re happy with it, you’ll need to have it vetted by those who matter the most: your customers.
How do you go about testing your email?
Create another version of your email with some slight differences and see which will perform best. That’s the short version. For more insight into how to split test your email campaigns, check out this post.
The marketing offer email is one the most important email campaigns marketers can send. It directly drives sales and revenue and helps you achieve your goals and KPIs.
So, next time you are creating a marketing offer email campaign, ensure it has the 5 key elements:
- A killer value proposition
- High-quality images and visuals
- Benefit-focused copy
- Elements of social proof
- A prominent call to action
By doing so, you’re ensuring that you’re getting the best results possible from your email marketing campaign. For more tips on running successful promotional email marketing campaigns, check out this guide we created to help marketers run better email campaigns.