1. Email Marketing

Understanding and optimising the 5 important parts of an email

With over 3.1 billion emails sent out every second, it’s fair to say email has become a vital communication channel in our daily lives. With the sheer volume of emails going out daily, companies need to set themselves apart from the competition. That means crafting an intriguing email is incredibly important for any kind of email marketing campaign.

The way you use the various parts of your email can impact the effectiveness of your campaign. Your delivery rates, open rates, and click-through rates can all be affected by the messages you send. So while you might have crafted an attention-grabbing subject line, it won’t be enough to convert your audience. Each part of the email has a role to play and will ultimately decide whether the reader clicks on the call to action (CTA) or not.

So, how can you design an appealing and highly engaging email? At EmailOctopus, we know all about effective email writing. It all comes down to optimising the different parts of the email. Let’s take a closer look into what these parts are and how they can be optimised.  

What are the five parts of an email?

Emails can be broken into 5 major parts: the sender, subject line, salutations, body, and CTA. These pieces make up 99% of emails and provide an optimal format for engaging with clients and optimising conversions.

So what does each part entail?

Sender (From)

The “from” tag shows the sender’s email address. Everyone notices this part of an email since it’s usually the first thing they see when they go through their email inbox. Because the “from” tag is such a valuable space in your recipient’s inbox, you should make sure it matches your company name. 

The name that shows up should be who your receiver signed up to hear from when they joined your email list. This makes it simple enough to identify the sender of an email and helps avoid accidental deletion.

Subject line

The subject line is perhaps the most vital part of an email. It’s usually the main factor determining whether your message gets read. If you use a spammy tagline, the receiver’s Email Service Provider (ESP) could send your email directly to the spam folder. Using a string of characters like currency signs will also have the same effect.

Your subject line should be accurate and informative, and it should entice the reader to want to learn more about what your email is saying. Thus, you should try to incite a feeling of curiosity from your reader while remaining truthful. The recipient will lose trust in you if your email has no connection with the subject line you used.

Examples of great subject lines include:

Note that these subjects are short and to the point, but not too short. They also leverage scarcity tactics since they are all limited-time offers. Check out our article on how to write engaging subject lines for more information.


Another part of the email that comes with the subject line is the pre-header. It acts as a companion to the subject line and is your email’s initial line of text. The pre-header is usually included after the subject line in certain email providers, such as Gmail or mobile phones, so the reader may gather some additional information before reading the main email.

If used properly, pre-headers can be a great way to get your readers’ attention. It’s best to write something that expands on the subject line and explains the email’s purpose to the recipient.


The tone of your email body is established at the opening. The reader is forming an opinion about you and what you need from them based on the first few lines. These first lines will also determine whether or not they will continue reading. They might get a negative impression if you appear overly formal or impersonal. On the other hand, you also won’t want to appear unprofessional, as that might turn people off too. 

Start by greeting them by name if you know the recipient’s name. If you don’t, instead of “To whom it may concern,” say “Hi.” The former is stuffy and formal. You need to create relationships in business, so being friendly yet professional is always a smart strategy.

Below is a great example of a personalised greeting that starts the interaction off right: 

Email body

Now it’s time to get down to the business end of your email: the body. First off, it is important to ensure that your message always provides value to your reader. Educate them about your brand, give them a discount, or keep them up to date on new goods and services. Ensure that the information is clear, precise, and relevant to your readers, whatever your purpose is.

You should also dedicate yourself to maintaining a quality standard in your emails. This will set your emails apart from countless others swimming in your readers’ inboxes. Your email body should have content your subscribers will want to read consistently. You want your consumers to anticipate receiving your emails. Every email should be error-free. You don’t want to lose trust by sending an email full of misspellings and grammatical mistakes.

Long, rambling emails are a mood killer for everyone, especially for people who receive dozens, if not hundreds, of unsolicited emails every day. Even if the receiver opens your email, seeing a page-long essay will likely cause them to close it. Nobody has the time to read about your life in an email. 

This email is quick and to the point – no rambling here: 

Keep your email communications as short and sweet as possible and convey information in a style that is easy to understand. The aim of your writing should be obvious, and you should express it in a way that will engage the reader.

You should also diversify the kind of email content you send. You can’t send only promotional emails to your subscribers’ inboxes. You’ll drive consumers away if you try to sell too aggressively. 

Let your emails contain a diverse variety of content. Diversity can be one of the strongest weapons in your emailing arsenal. You could alternate between product recommendations, brand updates, or a company newsletter.

To keep their subscribers engaged, Nomad Cooks uses EmailOctopus to send out weekly newsletters, including chef profiles, dinner party tips, and kitchen gadget tips. This diverse content keeps customers aware of their brand and helps them stay top of mind.

Call to action

Every email’s goal is to persuade recipients to take some form of action. A strong call to action makes it easy for the reader to do what you want, whether you want them to complete an online survey or make a purchase.

Before writing your email, you should always ask yourself what you want your readers to do. You should add a “Buy Now” button in the email if you need them to buy. If you want subscribers to participate in a survey, attach a link that directs the readers to the survey.

In the below email, there is no rambling before the call to action. It is clear that the email is asking subscribers to take part in a survey:

The most important thing to remember when crafting a call to action is that your messaging should be obvious. It must be crystal clear. A clickable button is one of the most effective methods to generate a clear call to action.

Keep your call to action no longer than five words. You want to have something straightforward, without any fancy verbiage. You want subscribers to take action immediately, not in a few days. 

To get your consumers going, use active language. “Try our new service now” or “Buy now” are great examples of active language you can use. To create a sense of urgency, give them a cause to take action right away. Put a time restriction on promotions, for example, so buyers have no reason to wait. 

Here is a great example:

Take a look at our other resources for more tips on how to optimise and personalise your call to action.

Assembling the various parts of your email

Now, let’s take a moment to review an example of a whole email.

Note the following:

  • The Sender. This email is from DigitalOcean. As you can see, the “from” tag matches the company’s name, which is who the recipient would expect to hear from when they signed up.
  • The Tagline. The subject line aligns with the content of the email. It is clear and concise.
  • The Content. The body of the email is clear—they get straight to the point.
  • The Call to Action. The call to action here is brief, simple, and, again—clear!

Every part of an email has a specific role. When creating a campaign, keep the appearance and feel consistent. You should also give subscribers the option to opt-in or out of future messages. Your email’s structure should also enhance your brand’s image and be recognisable to your receivers. These 5 examples can provide a good idea of what an optimal newsletter should look like.

It’s important to understand the various parts of an email and how they affect your marketing activities. All your emails should stick to the above style. While the body content may change, keeping the rest of the components consistent can help to build brand identity. It could also raise click-through rates. Check out our article on email marketing for more tips on how to increase click-through rates.

EmailOctopus helps put all these email parts together easily with our user-friendly email builder. You can create amazing emails with all the crucial parts set up correctly in minutes with our tool. Optimise your emails to get the best conversion rates and turn more readers into buyers.

Get started with EmailOctopus – it’s entirely free for up to 2,500 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month. Plus, we want to make email marketing easy and affordable for everyone – so we’re up to 70% cheaper than other email marketing platforms and our paid plans start from just $9 per month. Get started now.

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