How to Create a Successful Email Ad

This article will show you how to create a successful email ad. To start, it pays to spend a bit more time and energy than just writing what comes to mind. You need to put some thought and time into putting together an email that is professional, provides value and will compel the readers to act.

how to create successful email adsWriting an effective and successful email ad can be not only time consuming but frustrating especially if you are a newbie to the whole process.

Key Points to Successful Email Ads

Subject line (headline) – you only have a few seconds to get the attention of your reader and if your subject line is weak or lame, they are not even going to open it to read your offer. This is by far the most important part of sending a successful email ad.

The subject line needs to be something that is eye catching and grabs the reader’s attention. You can use a free resource like this Headline Analyzer to analyze the emotional marketing value (EMV) of your headline. Not only can but should use this free resource. One of the biggest ‘secrets’ of successful copy writing is to reach readers on an emotional level so this is a great tool to use to check the emotional content of your headline.

CoSchedule also has a great headline analyzer tool. This tool evaluates your headline with regards to number of words, length, and emotional and power contents. It then assigns a grade to the headline. (And you thought you were finished with grades!)

H.M. Bourne, former Advertising Manager of H.J. Heinz Company, years ago stated that “a good headline is half the battle.”

Body of the mailing – make sure that the text of your solo ad is not too long, is easy to read (keep the paragraphs short) and flows well. Break it up with subheadings if it makes sense, and add the appropriate number of links to the copy (more for longer copy, fewer for short copy). Remember, long paragraphs and sentences are difficult to read on a computer screen or mobile device, so keep them short.

Limited time offer – once you have your reader‘s attention, make sure that you are giving the reader a sense of urgency to act fast by letting them know it is a limited time offer. It’s important to get the readers to act NOW instead of later. The longer they wait to act, the more likely they will forget. Make sure you re giving them a reason to act now and not tomorrow.

Call to action – this goes hand in hand with tip #3. Have you ever read an email, got all the way to the end, then wondered what you were supposed to do with it now? That is an email that lacked a call to action. Just as you want to create an urgency to get readers to act today instead of tomorrow, you have to tell them what to do. That Is what your call to action is for. If you want them to go to your website, give them the link and be specific – tell them ‘click here.’ Do not be shy or subtle. Tell them exactly what it is you want them to do! I also recommend repeating the call to action in a post script (P.S.) giving them an additional advantage as to why they should take action.

Finally, make sure that your email is tailored for the audience that will be receiving it. If the market is highly technical, using industry jargon will make sense. If the market is total newbies, though, those unfamiliar terms will turn them off. This is not your audience, so find out ahead of time what they expect, and then deliver it. You will have a much better response if you do.

Email Ad Tips

Mobile device in handThe following email ad tips will improve results:

  1. Subject lines should be no more than 60 characters long. My mobile device shows 30 characters in the subject lines.
  2. Subject lines should be 6 or 7 words. The CoSchedule headline analyzer indicates 6 word headlines tend to earn the highest number of click-throughs.
  3. Avoid using spammy words in the email subject line (headline). Words like urgent, make money, $ signs, cash, opportunity, cheap, free, and a whole bunch more. HubSpot Marketing has the Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words. Spammy words will get your email ad sent to the recipient’s spam folder. Not a good place to be if you want it read.
  4. The body of the mailing should have the important parts first. Readers only spend a couple of seconds looking. They tend to read only the first sentence and the Post Script (P.S.) If these do not hook them, they will not read rest of the email ad.
  5. Use lots of white space in the email body. The text body should not be much wider than 55 – 60 characters. The text definitely should not go to the right margin!
  6. Use an active voice and write short sentences. An active voice is direct and to the point.
  7. If you are using a time limit as the means of creating urgency, then make it a hard and fast limit. Too many marketers use countdown clocks. If the offer ends at midnight, then it ends period. None of this recycling the countdown clock business.
  8. Use a very clear call to action. Tell the reader exactly what you want them to do. Go here, do this.
  9. Provide contact information so that they can contact you if they need help or want more information.
  10. Do not put images in your email ad. My Microsoft Outlook application and Google Gmail as well as other email programs do not load images.
  11. Always add your first and last name in your signature block.  There are many Bobs, Jims, Sharons among others advertising by email.  Adding your last name is important in creating your personal brand.


I hope you now know how to create a successful email ad. The subject line (headline), body of the email, limited time offer, and call to action are the key points to a successful ad. There are many email ad tips that can improve the success of the email ads.

I love feedback. Please fill in and submit the form below if you have any questions or comments.

What do you think?


  1. Great information for anyone writing an email ad. This also is good info for just communicating with your readers on a regular basis. I love the fact that you are targeting the veterans. Any free help they can get is a plus. Just a little something that was throwing me off is when I clicked a link your website closed. Maybe consider having the links open in a new window.


    1. Thank you, Dennis. I appreciate your input. That’s a good suggestion. I will change my links to open in new windows.


  2. I love how your website is so geared and focused on helping out veterans. I think this post on creating a successful e-mail ad is especially helpful.

    The headline analyzer tool is such a great idea to improve on your copywriting skills and I think could even come in handy for coming up with various blog post titles. This is something I definitely would like to use for my own blog.

    Appreciate you breaking down the important sections of a successful e-mail ad as well. You really went into the finer details of what makes a newsletter great. I think writing your ideas in short sentences is very key. Amazing tips here!


    1. Thanks so much, Peter! I appreciate your kind words and the time you took to respond. It’s amazing how little details can impact the results of email marketing or advertising in general. I use the headline analyzer tool a great deal of the time.


  3. Very interesting tips. I will try to remember them and will make sure to apply some of them to my ads.
    These tips are good for any type of advertising I think.
    Your post is very organized too. I will bookmark it and get back to it while I am making a new advert.

    Thanks a lot, Glen


    1. Thank you very much, Mahmood. I appreciate your kind words.


  4. Great work and very helpful and thoughtful tips. These small things make big difference in all types of advertising.
    Thanks a lot, Glen


  5. Thanks for the concise article on how to create a successful email ad. Great advice. I recently learned that the average attention span has diminished to about 8 seconds!

    The internet has taught us to scan and skim rather than read. 8 seconds is not much time to convinces someone that your email can help them.

    For me, it boils down to how my offer can help someone and also, building and maintaining a relationship with the people on my email list.


    1. Gary, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It is important to build and maintain a relationship with people as you say. This is one of the reasons to provide contact information in email ads. It can be email address, telephone, or website.


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