The Essential Guide to Writing Emails That Get Results (+10 Proven Examples & Templates)

November 24, 2022
Updated: Nov 24, 2022
The Essential Guide to Writing Emails That Get Results (+10 Proven Examples & Templates)

Emails, plain text emails, have allowed me to build relationships across the world. They’ve led to opportunities, referrals, retainers, and —ultimately— a full-time career for me in writing. But writing effective emails is not simple. 

There are a lot of unknowns:

  • You might know nothing about the reader (nationality, background, cultural boundaries) 
  • You might know nothing about the opportunity (is it contractual? Is it remote?)
  • You don’t know their professional protocols (do they only check emails during a certain hour of the day?)

But there’s a way to write emails that combats all of these objections and any others that might come up. It takes confidence, attention to detail, and curiosity about your reader. 

But I won’t leave you guessing. 

In this blog, I break down every element of email writing for you with

  • Nine types of emails you’ll need every day 
  • Checklists for writing your own emails
  • Email examples from my own professional inbox (that have gotten results)
  • Done-for-you templates 

But first, 

4 tips and examples for the 4 elements of the email

Just to give you some instant tips to implement on your next email, here are four tips for the four things that make up an email—the subject line, pre-header text, body text, and sign off.

1. Subject Line

If the subject isn’t clear and unique, the receiver whose inbox is already crowded by generic subject lines—will ignore your email too. Use a little creativity and, make sure your subjects are—concise, unique, and state the subject clearly.

Here are some examples of the most enticing subject lines from my inbox for your reference: 

  • That’s a write-off 
  • Get unstuck with jobs and coffee
  • I almost didn’t send this

Pro Tip: Try to conclude your subject line in 5-6 words. This way the bold section of the subject line catches the reader’s eye.

2. Preheader text

You can use preheaders as effective CTAs. For example, “Follow us here: (your social handle) or start with a simple greeting like “Happy Spooky Friday 🎃! 

One of the best ways to utilize preheaders is to summarize the body of the email. That way—when your receivers don’t have time to read the whole content, they’ll still go away with something actionable. 

3. Body of the email

First things first—nobody likes a long waffling email. They simply don’t have the time and the attention span of human beings is very short. So remove what’s not needed. 

The body of the email has three parts. I like to call them the sandwich—the base, the substance, and the toppings. Start your body with greetings and an overview of what your email will talk about. 

For example “I maintain a three-day workweek through a comprehensive plan, and today’s email is all about it.” This will pique the interest and lead your readers to the next part. 

The middle section is where you answer the three Ws—what, why, and how of an email. Keep it strictly to the point but also entertaining. Use personal anecdotes and experience to make it catchy. 

The last part of the body consists of the conclusion, where you add the a final note or a call to action. You don’t have a word limit here but the size limit after adding attachments is 25MB. 

4. Footer or sign-off

You can start a footer with a CTA and then follow regards, first and last name, and designation.

Tip: Add a question in this part—this will prompt the reader to reply to your email.

Examples of effective emails 

The best way to write stellar emails is to learn from the best examples! Here are some examples—straight from my inbox to help you step up communication and avoid common mistakes. 

1. Applying to an opportunity emails

These emails can help you score your biggest client, discover new collaboration opportunities, and reach out to dream clients. Remember—since most of them are to prospective clients, you need to avoid any grammar or syntax mistakes. Check the name and emails of the client twice or thrice before hitting send.

Checklist

  • Your email subject line needs to differentiate you: You need to stand out in your prospect’s inbox amongst a sea of applicants. Use your subject line to tell your reader your value, experience, or skill set. 
  • Open with a personal comment about their work or company.
  • Briefly explain why you would be a good fit and attach staples 
  • Sign off with a question they can reply to. 
Subject Line: A B2B Writer for Klaviyo, ActivTrak, and more

Body Text:
Hey Liv,

I was going through the XYZ blog and I love how helpful each content piece is—the case studies are intriguing, the videos are informative and the blogs are detailed. 

A bit about me: I’m a B2B writer for brands like ActivTrak, and Klaviyo (among others) and I specialize in research-driven long-form content. Specifically, blogs, whitepapers, and e-guides. I have a good handle on SEO. 

I also write for a B2B Executive Mastermind with over 30 Executives across HR and People Functions. 

I’d love to write for you!

Here are some samples of my work:

[Add samples]

Sign off:
Have I provided everything you need?


Loved the example? Here is a done-for-you template, just fill in the brackets, and you’ll be saving a lot of time and effort on writing these emails.

Template

Subject line: A (your profession) (best clients)
Body Text:


Hey (First name),

I just saw your (the work you’re talking about)—I loved (add a specific reason you loved their work). 
A bit about me. I’m a (your profession—writer, designer, etc.) for brands like (mention key highlights of your portfolio) and I specialize in (add your USP here). My services include (add your services). I’ve been in this field for X years. 

I would love to work with you.

Here are some samples of my work.

(Add samples here)

Sign off:
Have I provided everything you need?

Regards,
Your name

Let’s say you’re applying to an opportunity where you have information about what your prospect needs. In this case, you should always start with where you first connected. Second, take the lead and send across the details your prospect would need to make a decision—don’t wait for them to ask. By doing this, you show initiative, enthusiasm, and expertise.

Here’s an example: 

Subject Line: The Podcast > Blog Writer from Twitter

Body Text:

Hey Todd!

We connected on Twitter about collaborating on a podcast project.

Let me give you the details of how I work on such a project:

Step 1. Listen to the recording with headphones on and a google doc open. 

Step 2. In the first session, create themes and sub-themes as I go.

Step 3. I Analyze these themes for how they relate to one another, how they relate to the topic, and how they provide value. 

Step 4. Finding quotes: 

Quotes lend credibility and context.

I note down ideas that give
actionable advice, experience-backed takeaways, or an analysis of trends.

For example, ‘in my first 10 years working for X company l learnt how to do Y in 3 steps 


Ideally quotes for the introduction, the conclusion, and one quote that summarizes key ideas.

Step 5. Once I have identified the themes, sub-themes, and quotes, I string all of these together to form a narrative after a second listen to identify nuances. 

Step 6. Add external examples, brand use cases, and/or templates to make your blog value driven and actionable for your readers.

Here is one of the many interview-based pieces I have written:

https://medium.com/@banikaur0403/how-hubspot-creates-hand-raisers-initiating-high-intent-leads-f7b9c76548f9


Sign off 


Have I provided everything you need?

Regards 

Bani Kaur

Discovery call emails

Let’s say your application emails worked, and your prospect agreed to a discovery call. One thing that’s always helped me stand out during the discovery phase is follow-up emails. 

Discovery call emails are not conventional and that’s why they’re unique. Once your discovery call is over, take some time to recollect all that you discussed on the call and send it as an email. This shows your prospect that you are truly indulged in the process, and are paying attention to each word on the call.

Checklist

  • Start with a summary of the call. Detail important points you’ve discussed, especially those that have long-term consequences. 
  • Talk about your processes: you may have done this during the call but outlining them in the email makes it easy for your prospect to reference them. They may even forward your email to the decision-makers. (For example, in my follow-up emails, I list my timelines, templates, and feedback systems)
  • Add a casual fact about yourself that ties well with the opportunity in the sign-off. 

Here’s an example of a summary call email:

Subject Line: A summary of our call

Body Text:

Hey Kate,

It was great talking to you— and your team sounds lovely.

Here's a brief of what we covered in the call:

1. Organizational structure at XYZ: Sr. Manager of Content >Demand Generation> Growth Team (sales-centered team)

2. The team: Content strategist, senior designer, senior producer, and project manager.

3. Primary goal: Recruiting new agents

4. Target Audience: Real estate agents

My Processes:

Brief Template [add link]: My process for identifying all the elements that go into crafting compelling copy: target persona, content goal, and CTA, etc. (I've added notes here for you)

Research process [add link]. Even though this is for a long-form piece, I follow this methodology for every content piece I write. For shorter paid or social campaigns, research is even more critical. You have to know your audience inside out to craft a copy that makes them go, "This person really gets me!". 

7-Step design-driven writing process [add link]. Behind the Scenes, in the weeds—the whole shebang!

Sign off:

If I could tell you just one thing about myself: I'm very curious and a quick learner. Even if we work on a previously unknown content topic or are running short of ideas, I will brainstorm with your team, find the best data and learn quickly through examples.

Have I covered everything you need? :)

Now that you’ve seen a professional email in action, use this template to create your own.

Template

Subject Line: A summary of our call

Body Text:

Hey (First name),

It was great talking to you—and your team sounds lovely.

Here’s a brief of what we covered on the call:

(Attach a bullet list of all important points of the call here)

My processes:

A brief of how I work: (Attach a link to your working process. This can be a Google doc, a video, or a recording). I’ve also added some notes for your reference. 

Research process: (Insert link) I follow this methodology for all my clients and it ensures better results and helps cover every aspect of the project.

Sign off:

If I could tell you just one thing about myself: I’m a very (attach two qualities). Even if we work on something new, I will brainstorm with your team, find the best data and learn quickly through examples.

Regards,

Your name

Professional thank you emails 

Professional thank you emails show that you’re a person who remembers acts of kindness and helps build long term relationships as well. 

Checklist

  • Remind people where you know them from (especially if you’re reaching out after a long time)
  • Outline the exact impact they had on you (did they help you in your career? offer emotional support? Be as expressive and as elaborate as you like. 
  • Ask about them. 

Sample email:

Subject Line: A thank-you note
Body Text: 
Hey Justin,
How are you? 
I just wanted to check in with you and let you know that I've been enjoying writing more each day. Thank you for your mentorship.
It helped me a lot, and I tried to improve with every assignment—a quality that is now opening doors to excellent opportunities. 
I'm grateful to you for all your comments about my work — harsh, kind, hilarious—they all helped me learn. :)
Sign off:
How has work been for you? Any exciting new projects in the pipeline?

You won’t always have the time to write a comprehensive emails. So use this template to skip the generic parts and skip write to personalization. 

Template

Subject line: A thank-you note

Body text:

Hey (First name),

Hope are you doing?

I just wanted to check in and let you know that it’s been a real treat working with you. Thank you for (reason).

You helped me a lot, and I improved with every assignment—a quality that is now opening doors to many new opportunities. 

I’m grateful for all your help on my (the work they helped you on). You helped me learn a lot. :)

Sign off:

How has work and life been for you? Any exciting new projects in the pipeline?

Regards,

(Your name)

Introducing/referring emails

You usually refer or introduce someone to new people because you admire their work and want to create value for them. 

These emails can be an introduction to a team, a new prospect, or to people who are a part of a project you’re working on. 

Checklist

  • Start with the name and designation of the person you’re referring/introducing (Explain their duties and roles in detail if they’re a new addition)
  • Outline the exact reason why you think they’re worth introducing (What are their achievements? Where did you meet them?)
  • Mention the action you want them to take. 
Subject Line: Naomi<>Bani
Body Text: 
Hi Naomi!
I'd like you to meet Bani, a stellar content marketer, and editor. She's worked with some exceptional brands and helped us whip our own editorial guidelines into shape a few months back. 
I outlined the basics of the project, but thought I'd let you take it from here!
Thanks,Ben

Introduce people through this template! Just add the names and reason—your work is done.

Template

Subject line: (Receiver’s Name<>(Name of the person you’re introducing)

Body text:

Hey (First name),

I’d like to introduce (name of the person being referred/introduced), (their designation/professions). He/She has worked with exceptional brands like (some of their key projects) and has personally helped me with (add about your personal experience with them).

Sign off: 

I’ve briefed him/her about you and the project, but thought I’d let you take it from here!

Thanks 

(Your name)

2. Connection-building emails 

Newsflash: You can’t write these unless you’re genuinely interested in building a relationship. When you’re buttering someone up to just ask for something later, people see right through it. 

But when done well, these emails can create lasting friendships. These emails are honest and express your real opinion about something related to the reader. These can be a compliment about their work, checking on their health, or congratulating a recent milestone. It’s showing that you’re eager to know about them and create a relationship.

Compliment someone’s work

When you compliment someone on their work, you build a long-lasting relationship. People—even famous ones—remember you if you take the time to analyze their work and appreciate it. 

Checklist

  • Refernece their work in the subject line
  • Pinpoint exactly what you liked, don’t give generic compliments
  • Sign off with a question about their current plans or a new event in life. 

Sample email:

Subject Line: Loved your piece for ConvertKit
Body Text:
Hey Dana,
Just writing to say I love your latest piece for ConvertKit, especially the intro. 
I always enjoy a blog that starts with an intriguing story and the one about Joshua Bell really hit home for your piece. The analogy explained the entire premise of your piece. 
I also love how comprehensive you’ve made it with quotes, screenshots, and expert advice!
ConvertKit is one of my absolute favorite brands and I’m so pumped you’re writing for them! :D
Sign off
Where else can I read more of your blogs?

Sending a time-sensitive appreciation e-mail? Here’s the DIY template that I use often.

Template 

Subject line: Loved your work on (specific project)

Body text:

Hey (First name),

Just writing to say I love your latest work (the work you’re admiring). Especially (mention one specific part you loved)

I always enjoy (add why you loved it) *Tip- Add a statement connecting it with something in your personal life*

I also love how (three qualities that made their work stand out)

This is one of my favorite projects and I’m pumped to see your name there! :D

Sign-off:

How have you been and what else is new with you?

Here’s another example of an email I sent in response to a newsletter:

Hey Ashley,
I have only recently found out that you can reply to newsletters and I am equally parts embarrassed and excited. 
I LOVED this newsletter. It literally has everything I needed: a what you're up to section, an example of great content, a video (woohoo! I am your 15th youtube subscriber), diverse thoughts on marketing during the recessions, and industry updates. 
The Mulberry example you used to explain omnichannel marketing for the Shopify blog was so thorough! Talk about a full-funnel experience (while talking about a full-funnel experience)!
This newsletter was the best thing I read all week!

Check in on someone when they’re unwell or going through a hard time

Saying get well soon—cheers the mood of someone going through a hard time. It shows you are their true friend/client/service provider and strengthens your relationship. Sending some new reads or news while the receiver is sick provides a distraction and makes them feel better. 

Checklist

  • Offer support and resources in a get well soon email.
  •  Don’t just say ‘get well soon’ and sign off. I’d also recommend adding personal experiences and a little light-hearted banter. 
Subject Line: Some things that helped me with Covid

Body Text:

Hey Amelia,

I just read that you got covid and I’m so sorry! It’s not easy and I hope it passes super quickly.

Two things that kept me going when I got covid were watching The Bold Type and Workin’ Moms.

Also, books by Sophie Kinsella are a blast. She’s the book version of a rom-com. ‘I’ve got your number’ and ‘The Undomestic Goddess’ had me literally rolling on the floor laughing.

If you want to read something more profound I’d recommend Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari. That book is the reason I became a writer.

I wish I had some profound advice but I just cribbed the entire time I had covid. Also, when I had the energy I tried on a bunch of old clothes and styled them weirdly. Thankfully good sense prevailed, and I did not wear them out. (I’m pretty sure I’d have scared some people into quarantining if I had).

Here is a quote that I really love (maybe it’ll cheer you up a bit):

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love, and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”

— PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN

Sign off: 

Sending you get well-soon wishes all the way from India ♥️


Make sure that you mention the specific problem you’re sending wishes for while using this template.

Template

Subject line: Wishing you well/Here’s what helped me with (a specific disease or problem)

Body text:

Hey (First name),

I just read/heard that you (the bad news about them). I know it’s not easy, and I hope you get through it quickly. 

X things that personally helped me in this situation were (offer personal advice).

Also, try (add a book/activity/or advice).

Is there anything I can do to make your work easier?

Sign off:

Sending you get well-soon wishes all the way from (mention your city or country)

Regards,

(Your name)

Apologize for canceling a call/meeting  

It’s always a polite and responsible gesture to apologize if you cancel a call or a meeting. After all, the person on the other end reserved time and mental space for you.

Checklist

  • Make sure to clarify whether you canceled or rescheduled a meeting/call.
  • Give your reason upfront, don’t prolong an apology.
  • Offer rescheduling flexibility.
  • Mention their time zone so they can process the information quicker
Subject line: Apologies for rescheduling 

Hey Michael,

Unfortunately, I had to cancel our appointment at 6 p.m. CET because it coincides with our product team introduction meeting at 6:30 p.m. I have availability this Friday and would be happy to reschedule it for any time that works for you. I have attached a link to my calendar so you can see what times I have open.

I apologize for the last-minute change and look forward to reconnecting at the end of the week.

Sign off:

Is there anything else you want me to add to the agenda of the meeting?

Regards,

Bani

Here is a template to send apologies when you have to cancel important calls and emails. 

Template

Subject line: Apologies for rescheduling/canceling

Hey (First name),

Apologies for canceling/rescheduling our call/meeting today at (the time) due to (reason for canceling/rescheduling). I’m available this (date/day of availability) and would be happy to set up the meeting time that works for you. 

I have attached a link to my calendar so you can see what times I have open.

I apologize for the last-minute change and look forward to reconnecting at the end of the week.

Sign off:

Anything else you want me to add to the agenda of the meeting?

Regards,

(Your name)

3. Audience Building Emails

Audiences are the foundation for your online presence. They’re the people who read and respond to your emails. These emails help attract, re-engage, and sustain an audience. These emails build your digital footprint and create a global reach. 

Newsletters

Brands and individuals use newsletters to share important information and valuable news and updates with the audience. You can send them weekly, or bi-weekly. They are usually quite comprehensive and have specific actionable tips. 

You should start newsletters after building an initial audience through your content and always add a unique aspect to new editions. 

Here’s an example of one of my favorite newsletters. Notice how each part is a real example with links that reflect on the professional experience. Your newsletter should also have a niche and be a testament to what you learn and grow through. 

Newsletter Example
Newsletter by: Kat Boogard

Welcome emails

These are the onboarding emails and the first email communication that you have with your reader or subscriber. These emails give a hearty welcome and outline what they can gain by reading your emails. They are strong engagement tools and should not be too comprehensive. 

Welcome email example
Welcome email example

Emails make the world go round

Writing an email from scratch can be overwhelming—brainstorming the subject line, body, and sign-off. But with the guide, you can press send on your email confidently. 

We live in a digital world, and emails are an inherent part of it, so write the ones that create an impact. Whatever message you need to convey, there’s an email for it. 

P.S.
This article was co-written with Wordtune. Wordtune didn’t write the whole piece. Instead, it contributed ideas, suggested rephrasing alternatives, maintained consistency in tone, and of course - made the process much more fun for the writer.

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