C-Suite Advisory

Everything You Need To Know About Increasing Your Email Conversion Rates

Freelance writer

Creating an email that converts is by no means a simple feat. It involves the careful planning and execution of different email elements—from the subject line down to the timing of your message.

If you want to increase your email conversions, here’s everything you need to know.

Email subject line 

It all starts with the subject line. It’s what grabs the attention of subscribers and compels them to open your email. Regardless of how great your inside offer may be, it’s impossible to convert a subscriber who doesn’t open your email.

To encouarge subscribers to open your emails, you need to know how to use the right language in your subject line. There are plenty of tactics you can try—it all depends on the kind of offer you’re making as well as the type of subscribers you’re sending your emails to.

If you’re offering discounts, you can tap into the natural fear of missing out (FOMO) on great deals by creating a sense of urgency in your subject line. Include time-sensitive language such as limited time, last chance, or available today only.

Another strategy is to include numbers in your subject line whenever appropriate. YesWare analyzed 115 million emails and found that emails with subject lines that included numbers had higher open rates than those that didn’t.

Last but not least, don’t forget to add the subscriber’s first name to your subject line. Data suggests that personalized subject lines can increase open rates by 26%.  

Email copy 

It may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the keys to increasing your email conversion rates is to avoid overselling. Rather than writing copy that promotes a product or service, the copy of your email should reinforce the benefits of your offer.

Avoid stuffing the content of your email with too many buzzwords. Start with an attention-grabbing headline then follow it up with concise copy that clearly relays the benefits of your offer. The ultimate goal is to convince subscribers that clicking through to your offer will directly help them.

To illustrate what benefit-focused copy looks like, here’s an example of a great email from Freshbooks.


As you can see, the email is simple yet effective. There aren’t any fancy images or graphics. The email is clear, concise, and informs readers how Freshbooks can help solve their problems.

Your product or service may be wildly different from what Freshbooks is offering, but don’t worry. You can still apply the same copywriting principle to your email. 

Email call-to-action (CTA) 

The purpose of a CTA in an email is to prompt the reader to click. To do that, you need to design a CTA that stands out and uses language that urges readers to take action.

In terms of CTA design, it’s best to use bright colors that contrast with the rest of the elements in the email. This ensures that the CTA stands out. You can also use shadows, gradients, and other effects to make the CTA seem three dimensional and pop out of the screen.

When designing a CTA, remember to use the right amount of whitespace. Doing so helps to emphasize the CTA and draws the reader’s eyes to it. To make the CTA even more noticeable, make it large enough to be easily read—but not so large that it distracts from the other elements in your email.

Once you have the CTA design down pat, you can focus on copy. Use strong, specific, and action-oriented words like Grab your tickets now or Reserve your seat. Avoid using generic CTA copy such as Click here or Download here. You can also try using the first person in your CTA copy. Instead of Grab your tickets now, your copy can be Grab my tickets now.

It’s also important to keep CTA copy as short as possible. Two to three words is the ideal length, with five or six words as your maximum limit.

Email design 

Now that you have a compelling subject line, benefit-focused email copy, and a prominent CTA, you can bring these elements together.

To unify all the elements of your email, design your email using the inverted pyramid model. This layout makes your email easy to read and guides readers to your CTA.

The inverted pyramid model contains:

  • A headline that grabs the attention of readers and highlights your email’s primary message
  • Short email copy and accompanying visuals that let readers know why they should click.
  • A CTA that stands out and contains benefit-focused action words.

See the inverted pyramid model at work in the email below.

Email design

As you can see from the example, the email has a short and punchy headline that lets readers know what they’re in for. Below the headline is a brief, two-sentence paragraph that explains the benefits of what the brand is offering. Finally, below the email copy is a brightly colored CTA that tells readers exactly what they’ll get if they click. 

Email send time and day 

You’ve crafted a great-looking email and you’re ready to send it.

The question is: When should you send your email?

The short answer is that there is not a perfect time for sending emails. It all depends on what you’re sending, who you’re sending it to, and where these subscribers are located.

You have to determine the most suitable send time for your brand as well as your audience. Look at your data and figure out what days and times a significant portion of your email opens occur.

Another way to find the best send time to send emails is to perform A/B testing. Send emails during different times (morning, afternoon, evening) and different days (weekdays vs weekends). Whichever time and day gets the most responses is the one that you should follow.

You can also take a look at other data when deciding on your email send times. Research suggests that the hours between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (standard work hours) are ideal. Meanwhile, according to Campaign Monitor’s 2019 Email Marketing Benchmarks, the day with the highest open rate is Thursday and the day with the highest click-to-open rates is Saturday.

In order to craft an email that is optimized for conversion, you have to consider a wide range of email elements. This includes the subject line, email copy, CTA, email layout, and even the time and day you send the email.

It may seem complicated, but you don’t need to worry. As long as you follow the steps detailed in this guide, you’ll see a significant improvement in your conversion rates moving forward.

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Faye Napigkit
Senior Demand Generation Coordinator. Faye is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.