How to Write Promotional Emails That Make Bank

If you’re not promoting your business with email marketing, you could be missing out on huge profits. 

According to HubSpot’s latest research, you’ll generate $42 for every $1 you invest in email marketing.

That’s a 4200% return on investment!

But you can’t send out any old email and expect to make money. Successful email marketing requires strategy, experimentation, and a good understanding of your customer.

We’ve talked before about the 3 types of emails you should be sending: transactional, promotional, and educational. Today we’ll focus on promotional emails – emails intended to get the reader to make a purchase.

Here are 7 simple steps you can take to improve your promotional emails and generate sales!

1. Write a captivating subject line.

You can’t generate sales from email marketing if nobody opens your emails. Use the subject line to convince your reader to open the email. 

The best subject lines for promotional emails offer the reader something of value like an exclusive discount code, flash sale, riveting story, or sneak peak at a life-changing product you’re launching soon. Persuade your audience this email is worth opening.

Keep these tips in mind when you’re brainstorming subject lines:

  • Use “you” and speak directly to the reader.
  • Tap into your reader’s emotions with powerful verbs.
  • Try starting a story the reader can only finish by reading the email.
  • Be direct and specific about your offer.

2. Entice the reader with preview text.

Preview text appears after your subject line but before the reader opens the email. Sometimes, preview text is a snippet of text from the body of the email. But you can (and should!) use your preview text to elaborate on your subject line.

Don’t simply repeat what the subject line says. Leverage the preview text to pique your reader’s curiosity. Interesting preview text could be the difference between your reader opening your email and putting it in the trash folder.

3. Include a clear call to action.

Make sure your reader has a clear, concise call to action (CTA). Use simple, easy-to-understand language like “Shop Now!” or “Sign up Today!” 

The CTA in an email should include a link to your store, contact form, or landing page for your product. Try using all caps, bold font, or a colorful button your reader can click. 

Depending on how long your email is, you can include the CTA multiple times. Don’t worry about sounding too repetitive – your reader is probably skimming the email instead of reading every word.

Your reader’s biggest takeaway from the email should be what you want them to do next and why they should do it now

4. Personalize it.

Your email service provider (like Mailchimp or Klaviyo) can help you individualize the text of your email. 

Try including the recipient’s first name in the email so it feels more personal. Put their name in the subject line or preview text to grab their attention. But be careful. Doing this too often can make your emails feel spammy.

5. Up the urgency.

"FOMO,” or the fear of missing out, is a powerful motivator. Your audience is more likely to make a purchase when they’re afraid of losing out on an opportunity.

Emphasize how urgent it is for your reader to make a purchase. Try phrases like these:

  • “Flash sale ends in 24 hours!” 
  • “Products are flying off the shelves – only 12 units left!” 
  • “Seats for this event are limited so reserve yours today!” 


Include urgency in your subject line and the body of the email. Your reader might need to see it more than once before the feeling of urgency sinks in.

6. Know why your customers buy your product.

Are you a lawn-care service that specializes in maintaining trees? Maybe you sell embossed kitchen gadgets and personalized cookware. Perhaps you help people create custom fitness and nutrition plans. 

Whatever your product or service is, your business does more than meet a customer’s physical needs – it fulfills their deeper, emotional needs too.

Your customers buy from you because they have internal needs your product can meet.

You offer lawn care services, but your customer is buying relaxation on the weekends and an enviable front yard.

You sell cooking gadgets, but your customer is buying confidence in the kitchen and an Instagram-worthy home.

You sell nutrition plans, but your customers are buying a healthy lifestyle, longevity of life, and confidence in their body.

Think about why people buy your products. Then write emails that tap into those emotions.

Give your readers a picture of what life could look like with your product not only solving their immediate problems, but also meeting their deeper needs!

7. Repeat what works.

Revisit your past promotional emails and look at your metrics. Which emails got the most opens? Which ones generated the most sales? Is there a certain time of day your audience is more likely to open your emails?

Use this data when you’re crafting new emails. 

You probably shouldn’t repeat a successful email word for word, but you can use similar language and ideas.

Maybe your audience opens emails with an emoji in the subject line or responds better to an email with intrigue and mystery. Perhaps they prefer emails with lots of personalization.

Do some experimentation, review the data, and repeat what works.

When you follow these 7 steps, your email marketing will go from being “blah” to making bank!


Need a hand figuring out what kinds of emails work best for your business? Schedule a call today and let our team create and execute an email marketing strategy that sells your product or service. We’ll write, design, and send promotional emails for you so you can focus on running your business! 

Ready to tell your story? Let's get started.

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