How to Build an Offer Into an Email: The Step by Step Guide

Carl Taylor | December 30, 2019


Your emails are only as effective as the offer you make in them. This article examines how to structure your offer so you get more people clicking through.


Every single email you send out has a purpose. It doesn’t matter if it’s part of a nurture sequence or a full-on pitch. You’re looking to make a conversion, however you define that, with your email.

In other words, you want your readers to take action on an offer. 

That offer varies depending on the email’s purpose. You may want to direct them to a specific product. Or, you may want to send them to a piece of content on your website.

Either way, it’s crucial to build your offer into your email effectively. If you don’t, you’re going to see a below-average click-through rate.

And that ultimately affects the returns the campaign generates.

The good news is that there are some key steps you can follow to structure an offer into your email.

Here are six that you need to start following today.

Step #1 – Choose the Right Offer


Structuring your offer starts long before you actually create any of the email content. You need to know what you’re offering and why before you create the email.

This is where many slip up. Instead of having multiple offers, they use the same one in every email. The issue here is that each recipient may be in a different stage of your sales funnel.

For example, let’s say you’re offering a 10% discount on one of your products.

There are some people on your email list who will snap up that discount in an instant. These are the people who are at the bottom of your funnel, and have displayed an interest in your product.

However, a person at the top of your funnel doesn’t trust you enough to buy from you yet. They’re much less likely to take advantage of the discount. And in some cases, the pitchy nature of the email could put them off from interacting with you at all.

In other cases, you have people lower down the funnel who have no interest in the specific product you’re making that offer on. Again, they’re unlikely to convert. Plus, you’re showing them that you make offers without considering their personal needs.

This is where the data you’ve collected within your CRM can prove useful. It’s important that you segment your audience based on where they are in your funnel and what products they’re interested in.

From there, you can ensure you create offers that appeal specifically to those segments.

This is something Automation Agency can help you with. We can help you create audience segments and automated email campaigns that target specific customer groups. Just contact the Concierge Service to get started.

Step #2 – Create Your Subject Line


When it comes to subject lines, the temptation is to place the offer directly into the subject.

In fact, research from Marketing Land shows how common this practice is. They say that 44% of all emails contain an offer in the subject line.

However, the prevalence of this practice may also lead to it being ineffective. Email recipients find themselves increasingly bombarded with offers before they even open their emails. As such, they start to see subject lines that contain offers as spam. This could result in them refusing to click, which means fewer conversions.

Crafting a subject line is a far more delicate process. And again, it requires knowledge of your audience and what will trigger them emotionally.

We’ve looked into crafting subject lines before. 

But we want to share a key tip here – conduct A/B testing.

This involves sending out the same email content under two different subject lines. You examine the performance of each email over a set period of time. And the data you collect shows you which subject line had the highest open rate.

From there, you can either run with the superior subject line or test it against other ideas.

Eventually, you’ll identify specific phrases and subject line structures that lead to higher open rates. From there, you can incorporate this information into all of the subject lines you create in the future.

A/B testing is another area where Automation Agency can help you. Just send a task to the Concierge Service to find out more about what it is and how you can create a test.

Step #3 – Create the Copy


Your email copy has one main purpose.

It needs to show your readers why you’re the best choice for them. Remember that everybody on your email list has the option to go with another supplier. All your copy needs to highlight the value you offer.

That means you’ve got to come up with a value proposition. In other words, your emails need to focus on the benefits your company, product, or service offers your prospect.

It’s likely that you can come up with a bunch of reasons why people should buy from you. The key with your copy is that you don’t bombard the reader with every possible reason. That’s just going to dissuade them from clicking through to the offer because you’re making an obvious sales pitch.

Choosing a specific benefit that relates directly to the recipient is a far better strategy. This shows that you’ve taken the person’s needs and pain points into account.

Beyond this, the copy also needs to follow a clear and logical path through to the offer. The offer has to make sense within the context of the copy. Otherwise, it’s just a call to take an action – you haven’t elaborated on what that action entails or why the prospect should do it.

It’s a good idea to look to your audience segments again when you’re creating copy. Ask yourself what each segment needs to hear from you. Some are ready to dig into a specific product’s benefits, while others may need more nurturing. Structure your copy so that it appeals to the specific needs of the person you’re sending the email to.

Step #4 – Create Visual Aids


Presentation is just as important as the copy you create. And it’s important to remember that the internet is a very visual medium. Images play a huge role in engaging an audience and maintaining a reader’s attention.

The data backs this up:

  • The use of images in a piece of content increases a person’s willingness to read by 80%. This means that images make it more likely your email recipient will actually get to your CTA.
  • According to a 2019 HubSpot report, 65% of people prefer to receive emails that contain images.

Simply put, your customers expect to see images in your emails. If you’re going with a purely text-based approach, you’re increasing the risk of your emails getting consigned to spam folders. 

Of course, the images have to make sense in the context of the copy you’ve created. This is another area Automation Agency can help you with. Simply send us your copy and we can help you create effective imagery to go with it.

Step #5 – Offer Social Proof


This step ties into the content creation mentioned above.

Your recipients want to see more than just an offer. They want to see proof that your offer actually has a beneficial effect on their lives.

That means they want to see proof that you do what you say you do.

This is where your testimonials and case studies come in. Each acts as independent social proof of the benefits of your offer. 

There are several ways you can leverage this social proof. The most obvious is to include some quick testimonials within the copy. However, you may also wish to create a case study email that’s specifically focused on providing social proof.

For example, you may have copy that encourages the reader to watch a video from one of your clients. You can even tie this video into a landing page that makes your offer more directly.

Step #6 – Consider Using FOMO


FOMO stands for “Fear of Missing Out.” It’s a marketing technique you’ve likely seen before. If you’ve ever seen a limited-time or exclusive offer, you’ve seen FOMO in action. The same goes if you’ve ever landed on a website to see a timer attached to the offer.

Using FOMO can be an effective way to encourage people to click on your offer. However, you have to use it in the right circumstances. FOMO typically works best when used for an offer related to a product that the prospect has already shown an interest in. You’re offering them something they want and you’re limiting availability. That makes the prospect more likely to convert.

However, FOMO isn’t as effective when used for the emails you send to people at the top of your funnel. In these cases, the recipients are more likely to click away because they feel like you’re trying to force an offer.

Again, knowing what your audience expects from the email plays a key part here. FOMO is most effective when used on people who are ready to buy a specific product.

The Bonus Tip – Match Your Landing Page to Your Email


In some cases, you may make the offer immediately after the prospect opts in. This usually means you’ve run an ad campaign that sends somebody to a landing page. They opt in and you make an offer related to the landing page.

With these campaigns, it’s crucial to maintain consistency. The copy, design, language, and offer made in the email must match the expectations you set on the landing page.

Automation Agency can help you design effective landing pages. We can also help you design imagery for your emails that matches what you use on your landing page. Just send a ticket to our Concierge Service.


Creating Emails That Convert


An offer is so much more than a random CTA that you dump at the end of an email.

It’s something you have to build into the structure of the email itself. You have to understand what your audience expects and what you hope to achieve with the email. Furthermore, you have to optimize the subject line, copy, and imagery used in the email.

Automation Agency can help you with various aspects of this, such as creating audience segments and designing visuals. Send a task to the Concierge Service to get started.

But if you’re not yet a member, why not find out if we’re a good fit for you? Chat with our Right Fit Chatbot today to learn more.


About the author 

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.

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