Email Best Practices Guide Pt. 2: Building Anticipation

Megan Croke

Megan Croke

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Email marketing is one of the best ways to create personalized experiences for consumers, in our previous article linked here we explored how to grab consumers’ attention through exciting subject lines and previews. 

In this edition of the “Email Marketing Best Practices” series, we are exploring how creative assets and compelling copy can drive engagement once consumers have opened your email.

Dynamic Images

The first component many contacts notice when opening an email is the visuals. Engaging visuals like GIFs can increase a brand’s CTR by 73%. (Rule). 

Although not always applicable for communications, brands should look to leverage dynamic images in the following scenarios:

  1. Announcing a new product
  2. Communicating instructions
  3. Demonstrating products directly in the mailing
  4. Reporting data 
  5. Capturing the reader’s attention
  6. Creating a sense of urgency
  7. Visualizing events
  8. Deploying copy-heavy communications

While GIFs may not always be applicable for email campaigns, exciting high res imagery still has its importance and can go a long way in driving consumers through to conversion. 

In the below example from Hawthorne, they use an engaging GIF to highlight their Play and Work scents and make it relevant by leveraging Stranger Things as a pop-culture moment. 

Interactive Forms and Interactive Content

Outside of dynamic images, there are other ways to build engagement within emails, such as with interactive forms and interactive content.

Take the below example from Harry’s. The CTA / interactive form comes at the top of the email, increasing the likelihood of clicks. The form consists of a single multiple choice question,  making it simple (vs. freeform) for users to complete. The answer can inform the type of products the user is looking for and provide a valuable data point for future personalization.


Once your assets have grabbed consumers’ attention, your next step is to take them on a journey through to CTA.

It is important to leverage exciting and dynamic language to keep consumers engaged. Industry Best Practices suggest keeping copy between 50 to 125 characters. (Campaign Monitor)

Knowing that this may not always be possible with newsletter content, we recommend A/B testing different copy lengths with various portions of the audience to determine which performs better.

In the example below from Cotton On, copy is roughly 84 characters and uses fun and directive language to seamlessly guide consumers to the CTA.

Optimizing creative assets or copy within the body of an email, increases engagement with consumers and helps to build anticipation ahead of conversion. By building this anticipation ahead of conversion consumers may be likely to spend more time on site and purchase more quickly. While these variables and rules may not always be possible to follow it is important to test what resonates the most with your consumers and what will ultimately encourage engagement. 

Our 3rd and final article in this series is also live here.

If you’re ready and need help crafting exciting copy or creating exciting imagery to increase engagement and conversion rates, get in touch with us at or or on our website



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