Resources Hub » Knowledge base » How Do You Write a Promotional Email?

In email marketing, sending promotional emails is one of many tactics used to help improve conversion rates.

After you have your list of email subscribers, your next step is converting them from subscriber to customer, and a special promotional email is a great way to do that.

However, you don’t want your email to come off as a piece of spam, so email marketing teams must navigate writing a piece of sales material and providing the subscriber with a piece of valuable content.

What is a promotional email?

While a promotional email intends to help move the subscriber to a paying customer, you want to make sure your email isn’t simply another ad.

Promotional emails should not only provide products to readers, but should also illustrate the value of the product thoughtfully and organically.

A promotional email from Grammarly that performs well

Source: Really Good Emails

Consider this example by Grammarly. They are trying to get readers to upgrade to their premium package; however, they are also telling readers why.

Their target market is the writing community, so they are not just selling a product, but they are enticing the reader by telling them that they can flourish just as big-name writers have, with the help of their product.

How to write a promotional email in 4 simple steps

Creating a good promotional email is more than simply putting an ad together and attaching it to an email in hopes that your subscribers will open it. With these 4 simple steps, you can plan and write out a promotional email that catches the reader’s attention and drives them to make that final conversion.

1. Plan it out

Before you can write it out, you need to plan it out. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are you promoting?
  • Why are you promoting it?
  • Who are you promoting it to?

Once you can answer those questions, you should be able to picture the receiver of your promotional email as well as the email itself. This will allow your team to move on to the actual writing and designing phase.

2. Establish a positive relationship

This is vital because, again, the goal may be to promote and sell something, but you need to do it without sending like spam.

You want to be getting on the same level as your subscribers. This means you must be:

  • Relatable
  • Professional
  • Providing something of value to them; not selling a product for you

3. Catch the reader’s attention

You want to catch the reader’s attention with a clever subject line and relevant preheader text as well as a reason to scroll through the promotional email.

Remember that list we started in part 1 of our process? The what you are selling and why it is important is going to be vital here. If you are selling a fitness watch to your readers, why is it relevant to them? Why do they need it?

Consider the following example by Elysium and their sale on their product, Basis.

A promotional email from Elysium

Source: Really Good Emails

  • Attention Getter: Shop Our Biggest Sale Ever
  • What are We Selling & Value to Consumer: Basis with up to 2 months free
  • Why is it Relevant: Leading the Way in Aging Research
  • Why Subscribers Should Consider It: Customer Testimonials

4. Create a sense of urgency

This step is pretty simple. You want to give the reader a reason to take the plunge, and creating a sense of urgency is going to help make that happen.

Tell them how long your promotion is going to last and what they are getting for partaking in this particular opportunity.

In the example above, readers know they have limited time to get up to 2 months free on a best-selling product.

How to measure the success of your promotional email campaign

Metrics are everything when it comes to any email campaign. With promotional emails, you want to monitor your open rates as well as your click-through rates and even unsubscribes.

These are the metrics that will help guide you on how often your emails are being opened and how many people are finding them useful enough to take action and head over to your site for more information.

Do promotional emails really matter?

Promotional emails give value to readers on some levels. However, the ultimate goal for these particular email campaigns is to convert the subscriber to the customer.

7 out of 10 individuals say that they made use of a coupon or promo code from an email in the last week.

What now?

Now that you understand how to write a promotional email, it’s time to create some content. Ready to start your next promotional email campaign?

Start with the basics and check out our piece on 30 retail email subject lines that will impress your subscribers.


This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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