Essential Parts Of An Email - Anatomy & Best Practices

Essential Parts Of An Email – Anatomy & Best Practices [2024]

A value-packed email is a proven way to get the attention of your recipient. You need to know and understand the different parts of email to craft highly effective and engaging emails.

Today, we will break down the essential parts of an email so that you know the necessary components to include in most emails.

And will dive deep into each part of the email anatomy to make you understand it better.

So let’s begin.

Essential Parts Of An Email (Anatomy Of An Email)

There are about 7 essential parts of an email:

  1. Subject Line
  2. Pre-header
  3. Branded Header Graphic
  4. Main Message
  5. Call-to-Action
  6. Supporting Message
  7. Footer
General Anatomy Of An Email
Anatomy Of An Email

Let us learn about all the parts of the email structure in detail.

1. Subject Line – Drawing Attention

A subject line is the first impression that you leave in your consumer’s mind. A well-written email subject line can quickly draw the attention of your buyers.

However, a poorly written email subject line can lead to your email going to the spam folder or being ignored by the recipient.

Crafting Compelling Subject Lines

Take the time to make each email recipient feel, you wrote that subject line just for them. Keep relevance, clarity, and a spam-free approach in your email subject line.

Following are a few ways to make your subject lines optimized for more engagement.

i. Personalization and Relevance

Personalizing your email subject line means using the recipients’ names or referring to their needs or preferences to catch their attention.

It helps to make your recipient feel important and valued, encouraging them to open your emails.

ii. Length and Clarity

Keep the subject line short and clear.

It’s best you use a max of 4-9 words under 40-70 characters to get your main point across. That’s because, most email clients cannot show more than 50 characters on mobile devices, or 70 characters on PC.

Besides, using too many words can easily distract your recipient.

ii. Avoidance of Spam Trigger Words

Certain words are often considered spam triggers by certain email clients.

Words such as “free,” “discount,” “offer,” “limited-time,” etc. are clear indications of marketing emails.

Sending too many emails from your email server using such words may seem suspicious. If you haven’t warmed up your SMTP, then these emails may end up being sent to the spam.

Instead, write subject lines focused on being helpful and interesting to the specific person you are emailing.

For example, “Thought you’d find this research useful for your project [First name]” is specific and informative.

2. Pre-header – Supplementing the Subject Line

Pre-header shows your buyers a glimpse of what they can expect from the email content like a teaser. So, it is a great feature to expand the subject line. The Pre-header is the text that can be seen on certain email providers like Gmail or mobile devices alongside the subject line in the inbox.

Think of the pre-header text as the sub-headline, where the email subject is the headline. If the pre-header is not set, then the first line of the email content shows instead. But that sometimes can be confusing without opening the email first.

Expert email marketers recommend using a pre-header as it works like a call to action and encourages people to open the email.

Optimizing Pre-header Text for Engagement

Here are some tips for optimizing your email pre-header for the best engagement rate:

  • Use no more than 40-50 characters to ensure maximum visibility.
  • Tease the email, but don’t give out everything.
  • Add unique value and benefits that subscribers will gain by opening the email.
  • Incorporate a clear and compelling call to action in your pre-header text.
  • Add personalization if possible to give the email a friendly touch.
  • A/B tests different pre-header variations and identifies the most effective ones for your email campaigns.

3. Branded Header Graphic – Visual Identity

When preparing the email body, you may start with a header image concerning your branding, and maybe the topic of the email. It’s a great way to start with excitement and remind the recipient who you are.

Make sure to maintain brand elements such as the brand colors and the logo in the header graphic to ensure immediate recognition.

4. Main Message – Core Content Delivery

Next comes the main message of your email – your email copy.

Your email copy will help you communicate with the recipient and persuade them to take the action you want. The main focus should be on the benefit of the recipient.

Remember, like any other copywriting task, email copywriting is also written to make the customer feel important and eager to take action.

Your email campaigns should be written with a benefit-focused approach and emotional triggers to connect. Plus, you need to make your message clutter-free with clear action items. Then, you may use additional tactics such as FOMO or urgency triggers to make the actions more necessary for the reader.

Eventually, the idea is to deliver your message while making the reader feel important and valued so that they find it exciting to take the action you require them to take.

5. Call-to-Action (CTA) – Driving Engagement

A CTA is a clear prompt directing readers what action to take such as “Register Here” or “Learn More.”

Carefully crafted CTAs can powerfully influence engagement. Place CTAs strategically to guide your buyers to take action or respond.

Crafting Compelling CTAs

To craft a compelling CTA, you may focus on the placement and the CTA text.

i.Placement and Design

Email CTAs are most noticeable when offset from body content through contrasting colors, larger fonts, button shapes, etc. Readers will spot them more easily.

ii. Action-Oriented Language

Write CTAs using active verbs like “Apply Now” “Download” “Register” etc. Tell readers the action you want them to take.

6. Supporting Message – Supplementary Information

This is often a crucial part of an email anatomy that most people ignore. The supporting message refers to some additional content after the main CTA to enhance the value of the email.

It could be some additional information about the deal, links to relevant articles, case studies, demo videos, extra instructions, etc.

This often helps to make recipients take some other action, valuable to your business, even if they are not interested in the main action you need them to take.

However, make sure to keep enough space after the CTA button so that people do not get distracted and miss the CTA. In fact, you may even skip adding supporting messages if that has a chance of losing click-throughs.

The email footer indicates the end of the email in an organized, professional manner.

The following are the key components that make up the email footer.

i. Contact Information

Display the company name, address, and contact information in the email footer. This helps to maintain your business transparency.

An unsubscribe link allows recipients to instantly opt out of further marketing emails.

This will help keep customers feel in control, and lose customers who would be wasting your time.

You may allow recipients to change their preferences with your email campaigns such as which email list they should be part of, their name, etc.

Besides the core components, you can add a few that are optional.

i. Signature

You may use a signature to refer to who you are to give a personalized feel sharing who the recipient was communicating with.

However, in certain promotional emails or newsletters, the signature doesn’t fit well in the email structure as it may distract the reader from the CTA.

So, you may often avoid using the signature if it means improving the chance of higher CTR.

ii. Social Share Icons

You may include social icons that people can click to visit and follow your social profiles.

You may include a disclaimer stating “users must agree to terms of use” to protect you legally. Proper disclosures also promote transparency with subscribers.

Is It Mandatory To Follow The Email Anatomy Explained Here?

The anatomy of an email is not a rule or an established strategy. But it works quite well for most email campaigns to deliver high results.

When preparing your emails, having a structure in mind makes it easier to deliver your message. That’s the main goal of this particular email structure.


Now that you know about the essential parts of an email, you should start using your skills to prepare great emails.

Mastering these elements can significantly elevate your email marketing campaigns, helping you get impressive results. However, don’t shy away from experimenting with different structures to suit various campaigns.

Also, make sure you use a good email marketing tool to ensure you can easily design your emails and launch your campaigns with precision.

We recommend you try using Mail Mint, our own email marketing tool, designed to make email marketing easy for you in WordPress.


== Frequently Asked Questions ==

1. How can I make my email body content more compelling?

Use conversational language, relatable messaging, concise paragraphs, bulleted lists when applicable, plus bolding and italics to highlight important points. Well-placed images also increase content engagement.

2. What is an effective email CTA?

Compelling CTAs use action-oriented verbs and specify the next intended step for subscribers. Visually differentiate CTAs from body text using contrasting colors, sizes, shapes, and prominent positioning to draw attention.

Footers conclusively end communications while providing vital contact information, legal disclaimers, unsubscribe links, etc. A professional footer design promotes reader confidence.

Samiha Nawar

Works as a technical content writer at Get WPFunnels.

Samiha Nawar

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