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4 Essentials of an Effective Marketing Email

Businessman stands back and looks at flying objects

Email, a major pillar of any savvy company's marketing strategy, is the only channel where we have full control of our messages, design, and distribution. Plus, the ROI and conversion rates are consistently higher than other marketing tools.

So what makes a marketing email effective? Is there a secret formula that can help produce consistently great emails? There is!

AIDA is one of the longest serving models in marketing, commonly attributed to American advertising advocate Elias St. Elmo Lewis. Time tested, AIDA is a foolproof method of creating effective marketing emails with four essential elements. In fact, once you understand AIDA, you’ll start seeing it in every piece of marketing content that makes you say, “I need to buy that!”


1. Attention - Catch the Eye with A Killer Subject Line

Attention spans are shortening and you may only have seconds to attract a customer as they scroll through their inbox. So that attention-grabbing subject line is your essential foot in the door. Those few words will have to get your customer to read the first sentence of your email, which will lead to the next and the next. Peak their curiosity and self-interest with the promise of a benefit to them.

2. Interest - Why Should Your Reader Care

Now that you have their attention, the first paragraph of your email body should explain why your reader should care about what you are saying. Identify their pain points and make a promise to address them. Here is where the logos (or logic) of your message comes into play. If your customer is frustrated with the WiFi on their college campus, promise to share how they can improve it, as Apogee did.

3. Desire - HelpThem Imagine the Benefits

Once you have laid out the If/Then logical part of your message, don’t forget to include the pathos (emotional) appeal. Help your customer visualize what their life will be like with your product or solution. Bring out the emotional resonance by pointing out what your reader will feel once they overcome their pain points. Because emails read like a one-on-one conversation between customer and business, you can tailor your message to bring out the personal desires of your readers.

4. Action - Tell Them Exactly What To Do

Getting your readers in a favorable frame of mind is great, but you must direct all that energy. A clear call-to-action should always close your marketing emails. Let your reader know what their next step should be, and don’t forget to explain in great detail what that step entails. It could be as low stakes as checking out your website, or as high as buying your product or service. Just be sure that you finish your email with an actionable item for your reader to act on. You spent so much time getting them excited about your business, make sure that excitement transforms your readers from strangers to allies, partners and customers!


Attention. Interest. Desire. Action. AIDA encompasses all four parts of an effective marketing email that will drive your business. If you would like to learn more about how email can assist your digital marketing and PR goals, sign up below for a complimentary consultation with SKC’s experienced consultants.

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