How do you build an email that engages your customers and doesn’t get lost in the dreaded email abyss?

For this post, we’ve called in our Email Marketing Manager, Ashleigh Ange, to break down how she builds an effective email.

If a customer gives you their email address, they’ve given you permission to be in touch. How you use their email and what kind of information you send depends on the needs of your business.

Email can be used to share updates, let your customers know about special promotions or events, or thank them for their business. If you’re a construction company, you can send a quarterly newsletter with photos of your most recent projects or if your business is retail, you can use email to remind customers about upcoming events and special discounts.

To build an effective email, consider these five building blocks:


When crafting an effective email, it’s important to think about your audience and what they need. Who is on your email list and why have they given you their email? What problem are you trying to solve for them?


Your email can either come from a specific person or from your company. For a promotional email, it makes sense to come from your business while for updates, feedback, or thank yous, a specific person might be more effective.

Beware of the Do Not Reply, you’re trying to open up communication with customers, not shut it down.

Subject & Pre-header:

The best subject lines are short, 6 to 10 words. To pique your customers’ curiosity, try using a question or a headline that’s short and sweet.

Examples of effective subject lines:

For a thank-you promotion: RE: Thank You

For a re-engagement email: Did you forget about us?

For a promotional email: Save Now or Save More? You Decide.

You can also customize the pre-header to give more detail than the subject line provides.


A good rule for the body of an email is keep the text concise and get to the point quickly.

To keep your emails efficient try this formula: 1-2 intro sentences + your offer (information/promotion) + 1-2 tie-in sentences + call to action

Put the most important points at the top as people tend to read first, then skim.

Use plenty of break lines to avoid big chunks of text. It’s easier to read.

Images are a great way to highlight a product, project, or make your email more dynamic.

But remember the 70:30 rule: 70% of the email should be text, 30% imagery. This decreases the chance of an email going to customers’ spam folders.

You’ll also want to watch out for these spam triggering words.

Sign off:

Don’t forget to include your contact info, social media links, and business hours if they apply.

Be prepared for customers to reply to your email directly with questions, thoughts, and feedback so that you can respond in a timely manner.

And finally, the CAN-SPAM Act establishes requirements for commercial messages. Specifically, email recipients must have the ability to opt-out or otherwise manage their email preferences through a link provided in the email. You can find a good overview here.

These five building blocks are the foundation for building effective emails that connect with your customers and engage them with your business.


Ashleigh Ange is our resident email expert. She plans, develops, and tracks all customer emails for Swift Capital. She enjoys spending her free time as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters and is an avid runner and an aspiring chef.


Our mission at Swift Capital is to unleash the potential of every small business by providing them with fair and convenient access to working capital. We harness data and technology alongside personalized human expertise to see the true potential in every business. Did you like this post? Tell us what you’d like to see on our blog. Email us at [email protected] or tell us here.


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