5 Ways to Create Responsive Emails. Tips On How to Craft Personalized Emails That Work.

| June 9, 2023

Email marketing mixes the art of communication and sales to help companies find new clients and retain current ones. In the May 2021 Small Business Expo State of Small Business Report, 70 percent of surveyed small business owners even listed email as their own preferred method of contact by another business trying to sell a product or service. Emails are clearly a needed element of any successful business marketing plan.  

Here are five steps to creating emails that can lead to high response rates and more sales. 

1. Define Your Audience

Clearly understanding your audience should be the first step in writing an email that works. “Identifying segments can make your email even more effective,” says Damon Petite, Director of Product Marketing, Mailchimp, a marketing platform for small businesses. “Across the billions of emails sent via our platform, there’s a clear and persistent trend: Businesses that send thoughtful, targeted content to segmented audiences are reaping bigger and bigger rewards.” 

Identifying segments can include age, where they live, and have they purchased with you before, he adds. 

2. Make it Personal

Once you define your audience, email marketing is all about building a relationship. 

“Email is one of the only marketing tools that allows you to create a genuine, personal relationship with your audience,” says Brandon Olson, an educator with AWeber, which offers digital marketing products for small businesses. “If you don’t have a strong relationship with a subscriber, it doesn’t matter what subject line or call to action you use; your subscriber won’t engage.” 

Email communication strategist Ashley K. DeLuca, founder and CEO of Ashley K. Deluca, encourages “the approach of a personal email as opposed to a sales newsletter email that often gets ignored.” 

3. Short and Sweet Subject Line

“The average person gets over 100 emails a day—make sure yours is one they read,” says Petite. He stresses keeping subject lines “short and sweet,” suggesting they be “somewhere around nine words or 40 characters.”  

Keeping it personal includes the subject line, says Deluca. “Instead of focusing on a subject line that was run through a headline analyzer, focus on short subject lines that intrigue their curiosity. For example, my best email ever subject line was ‘hey’.  Yep, that’s it.” 

4. Deliver Value 

“The best way to build a rock-solid relationship with your subscribers is to continually show up and provide value, over and over and over again,” says Olson. “When you do that, your subscribers will be much more likely to engage and take action.” 

He adds that you need to provide that value between the sales pitches: “If all you’re doing is pitching your products or services and you’re not providing free value in between, your subscribers will become disinterested.” 

Abbi Perets, a professional copywriter and founder of Successful Freelance Mom,  agrees that relevant content and real value for the reader is the way to get someone to open your emails. “Value isn’t ‘Hey my thing is on sale!’,” she says. “Make sure that you’re writing your email thinking about what’s in it for them — and not what’s in it for you.”

5. Include a Single Call to Action

Olson says “stick with one clear call to action in your emails.” He adds: “Too many calls to action will distract or overwhelm your readers.” 

Perets agrees that there should be one call to action “and it shouldn’t always be ‘Buy my thing.’” She adds. “It’s about what are the benefits to them; how is their life going to be different.”

About The Author


Stacey Zable is an award-winning writer who specializes in B2B and lifestyle articles for both print and digital publications. She has held senior editorial staff positions and has freelanced for major consumer magazines and websites. Stacey is also a marketing writer and branded content expert and writes about sales and best business practices for multi-part educational programs. She has won more than 60 Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Golden Bell and Adrian Awards.