Email Marketing: The 5 Hidden Secrets For High-Converting Emails

Email marketing is one the most important tools for anyone with a business, whether you have a product to sell, you’re an affiliate marketer marketing other people’s products, or you are a business owner, if you don’t know how to convert email subscribers into customers and buyers, you are missing out on a lot of potential sales! In this contribution by Alison Wolf, you will learn the 5 secrets to high-converting emails.


There is a lot of noise (again) about how email marketing is dead. News flash: Email marketing is only dead when you are doing it wrong!

Did you know that Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audience? While for B2C, 80% of retail professionals state that the biggest driver of customer retention for them is email marketing.

There are about 105 billion emails being sent every day. And reports show that 68% of millennials’ purchase decisions are greatly influenced by the promotional emails they receive.

Email marketing is definitely still a strong marketing asset and it is not going anywhere soon. But the tactics and the strategies to use, to best utilize it, do change from time to time, and it is important that you remain up to date with all the trend changes.

Read along to learn the 5 important, and surprisingly often overlooked, tips that will help you get your emails opened and read and have your links clicked.

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Email Marketing: The 5 Hidden Secrets For High-Converting Emails

Secret #1: Create Short & Snappy Subject Lines

When your customers log in to their email account, the first thing they see is your email subject line. From that subject line, customers make a snap decision as to whether or not to open the email or to send straight to the bin.

47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone. Avoid having your emails go straight to the bin by creating short and snappy subject lines.

Don’t know how to create the perfect subject lines that get your emails opened? Here are 8 tips to doing so!

1. Keep it 5-7 words

A report by AWeber shows that 82% of the top marketing experts send emails with subject lines of 60 characters or less.

When customers are looking through their inbox at their new emails, they are mostly just scanning through it. So keep your subject line word count to a minimum.

2. Generate curiosity

Generate curiosity in your subject line by teasing your customer. Here is an example (although not short) of this subject line from Quick Sprout.

3. Ask an open-ended question

Open-ended questions will pique your customer’s curiosity.

4. Add scarcity

Scarcity, such as a deadline or only a few pieces of a product left, will leave customers with fear of missing out (FOMO).

According to this study, 60% of millennial consumers said they make a reactive purchase after experiencing FOMO, most often within only 24 hours.

5. Make an announcement

Perfect if you are running a competition, a subject line such as ‘And the winner is…’ is always a winner. 

6. Behind the scenes

Got an event coming soon, new product, or a refurbishment of your business premises?

Give your readers a sneak peek of what it looks like and what is going on. Doing this creates a buzz amongst your customers and increases sales.

7. Add a bit of controversy

A little bit of controversy is proven to grab the attention, and it can actually do so with men better than women.

So, add a bit of controversy if it matches what you would normally do; matches your personality and what you talk about. You don’t want to turn people off from you.

8. Use innuendos

Add a little bit of saucy language to your subject line, but only if it matches your customer’s age range (so if you sell products aimed at under 18’s, stay clear).

Add an innuendo such as ‘he has a big one for you’ or ‘threesomes are better.’ As long as it is something that makes you slightly chuckle or puts a smile on your face, it will increase the chances of your email being opened.

Running out of ideas for emails to send? Read The Best 10 Email Types To Send Your Email List Subscribers.

Secret #2: Tell A Story

As an affiliate marketer, you can be tempted by doing the short email copy that just says buy me, buy me. But by telling a story, you are more likely to generate sales, as it is a powerful marketing technique.

Create a story that is a narrative to the product you are promoting but resonates with your reader.

For example, tell a story of a problem you were experiencing and how that problem was getting bigger and bigger. And then you found the product and it transformed your life. Ultimately the product was the solution to your big problem.

When writing your story, use feelings all the way through and always remember the reader. Talk about the benefits, not the features, as the benefits are what matters more to the customer, so this is what sells the product not the features. 

Storytelling is not just for affiliate marketers but for all businesses. In today’s world, customers want to know about the brand they are buying from and their stories.

A great example of storytelling is Airbnb. Their message lies around the community of hosts and taps into the holiday-makers’ desires, with experiences of people who have been using the service and the Airbnb hosts.

When brands nail their storytelling strategy, it helps develop that much-needed relationship between company and consumer. When a story is told well, it connects with the customer on a personal/emotional level and that increases their trust in the storyteller.

What story could you tell and incorporate into your email marketing strategy? Learn more about how you can implement storytelling in your emails from this article.

Secret #3: Images speak louder than words

Email Marketing: The 5 Hidden Secrets For High-Converting Emails In 2020. Pinterest.

Heard of the saying images speak louder than words? Images let the customers visualize what you are putting across to them.

Children have large picture books and very little writing. Why?

Because even at a young age, we are visualizing what we are being told, whether through words in an email or ones spoken. 

Treat your customers as if they are a child opening a book for the first time. Did you know that 80% of customers are more likely to read an email when it has when it contains an image? When your customer opens the email, they are first drawn to the images before anything else.

Still not convinced with the use of images?

Take a look at the rise of popularity of the social media platform Instagram. This platform mainly uses images and videos. This in turn has helped many people on this specific platform get a substantial increase in sales.

So what images can you use? 

Here are a few ideas of images you can use in your emails.

  • New Product
  • Aspirational (if you are promoting a service)
  • Personal (if you are using a personal story for the narrative of the email)
  • Behind the scenes (of your workspace)
  • Event

Whichever image you are going to use, for best results, have a person/people in it. Make sure it fits with your brand and it fits within the content of your email.

Secret #4: Focus On Call To Action

Increasing clicks on your call to action is what you are ultimately aiming for, so you want to get your copy absolutely spot on at this point.

You have grabbed the reader’s attention with the subject line, image, and story; do not let all that hard work go to waste at the final hurdle. 

According to Wordstream, emails with a single call to action increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.

Now does email marketing sound like a great way to generate sales for your business? What would your potential ROI (Return on Investment) be?

First things first, you need the right words for your call to action. Here are 31 examples of calls to action you can’t help but click on.

Secret #5: A Killer Landing Page

After the customer clicks on the call to action, they will be redirected to a landing page. Your landing page is what will make it or break it. This is what will decide if your customer will buy your offer from you.

Therefore, you really do want to optimize your landing page so that your conversions increase. Here are 5 sure fire ways you can optimize your landing page for the best results (increased conversions and more profits).

1. Keep it clean

Cut out the clutter and keep your landing page simple so that it is clear to the customer what your message is.

Create a natural flow from one section of the landing page to the next. Customers do not want to scroll around the page jumping around to try and make sense of what your offer is. 

2. Use a consistent message

Having a consistent message in your landing page through the whole page is how you drive home what your message is. Do not go off track and start talking about something else.

If you are promoting a product about Facebook, do not go off track and just start talking about email marketing, for example. Keep focused on your product! What it is, what problem it solves, and what results it delivers.

3. Use an image or video

Images and videos, that is what customers are drawn to when they land on your page. So, use images that best illustrate what your product is and the results they can expect.

Videos on landing pages experience 34% higher conversion rates. When creating a video, make sure that it is full of energy and charisma to capture the customer’s attention and keep them watching.

4. Have social proof

Social proof on a landing page builds trust with the customer and shows them that the product actually delivers what you say it will, and that this is a business that they should buy from.

According to, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as testimonials. If you are an affiliate marketer (promoting other people’s products), then use the companies’ testimonials that are on their website instead.

5. Adding scarcity

Scarcity or FOMO, whatever you prefer to call it. Adding scarcity is a powerful marketing weapon because it creates a more impulsive decision as to whether or not they are going to buy the product.

However, if you are adding scarcity, you have to stick to it! Customers are savvy, and if they see that you are always making the same offer and not sticking to the deadline date or time, then you will LOSE that impulsive decision making.

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In a nutshell…

  • By using a consistent message throughout your emails and landing page, you will see an increase in conversion rates.
  • Always keep your message to the point, have words that are powerful and a story that resonates with customers.

By applying these 5 secrets, you will get a massive return on investment (ROI). 

Do you have other tips that you think can increase the chances of having customers read your emails and click to get your offers? Let me know in the comments!

Contributor: Alison Wolf

Alison Wolf

Digital marketing blogger and business coach.
Creator of Living Laptop Lifestyle.
Find her on Twitter


29 thoughts on “Email Marketing: The 5 Hidden Secrets For High-Converting Emails”

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  2. This post is so true Ray! The internet and email marketing space is very competitive and always evolving. You share some very valid points of how to properly market to your clients in needing to provide value and trust first. I have really benefited from your information on how I approach my subject line, and the structure of my email content to my customers. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. This is so great to read! It is such an important field and we all have something new to learn every day! Glad to know you found this useful! ?

  3. Pingback: 5 Hidden Secrets For High-Converting Emails | Living Laptop Lifestyle
  4. Thank you for this very helpful post. Not only does it apply to my blog, but I found many of the tips applicable for my full time job.

  5. Amazing tips and unique because I never seen anything like this. I’m a bit struggling at the moment with my Email marketing but this will help, thank you.

    1. Happy to read you found it a unique insight, take each aspect of Email Marketing one step at a time and you will lose the struggle

  6. Extremely useful post — I really appreciate these tips and will use them to enhance the new montly newsletter I’m sending out which is part of my small business’ long-term marketing strategy. E-mail marketing is definitely not dead, it is a great way to generate leads and spread the word about your business and I can attest to that.

    1. True! It’s going strong and we keep learning new strategies and techniques about it every day. So glad you benefited from this article! And good luck with applying these strategies. Let us know if you need any help ?

  7. Thanks again for the post! Your blog is so helpful. Do you have any advice on building an email list? Please email me if you do!

      1. In building an email list, I would like to add that you need to create a lead magnet that people would be rushing to get as it solves their big problem and follow that up with an autoresponder that solves the really big problem.

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