The 8 Most Effective Words to Use in Your Next Email

There’s a simple way to transform your email copy from passable to powerful — choose the right words. Effective words will inspire your subscribers to open, click, and buy.

In fact, we’ve found 8 words that can have a huge impact on your email engagement. And you might be surprised. Some of the most effective words are ones you use everyday.

1. Now

The word “now” is one of the most effective words to use in email, because it invokes action and urgency. It asks subscribers to do something right away, rather than putting it off until later.

“Now” is a good word to use in your subject line to increase open rates. Or, include it in your call-to-action (CTA) button to increase click-through rates.

However, when using this word in your emails, you want to make sure that subscribers understand what action they need to take. The next step should be clear since you’re asking them to do something immediately. You can achieve this by making your email focused on one specific outcome with one CTA, a top trend in B2B emails in 2017.

Rifle Paper Co. utilizes the word “now” by incorporating it in the CTA button and focusing the email on one outcome: shopping for planners.

effective words in email

2. You/your

You can also make your emails more compelling by using the words “you” or “your” instead of speaking in the third person.

“You” and “your” are effective because they give your message a personal feel. This viewpoint can make your subscriber feel like you’re speaking to them exclusively, rather than a group of people. We use second person in our emails, blog posts and ad copy. (It’s even in this blog post’s title!)

This email from Sky Sports incorporates “you” and “your” to get subscribers excited for their own summer of sport. The email does a really great job of letting subscribers visualize the impact in their own lives.

email words

3. Thanks

Thanking your subscribers is more important than you think. Not only does it add a human quality to your email, but it also builds brand loyalty. When subscribers know you appreciate them, they are more likely to have positive feelings toward you and your brand.

Then, when they are ready to make a purchase, they may not remember why they like you, but they know you made them feel good at some point in the relationship.

Not sure how to thank subscribers through email? Here’s an idea: send an email celebrating the anniversary of when they subscribed to your list. You can take this opportunity to thank them while also reminding them of their long-term loyalty.

And there’s an easy way to do this with email automation! Just add your anniversary email to your follow-up series for 365 days after the first message.

Here’s a great example of how Harry’s said thank you in an anniversary email.

thanking customers in email

4. New

The word “new” is a great word to give subscribers that extra push to download your content or buy your product. To subscribers, “new” can signify that the content offered in the email is fresh, and they have the opportunity to get it before others.

It may also guarantee that the content was created with the most recent information. For example, if you are offering a download of a new industry report, subscribers want to know that the information found inside is up-to-date.

“New” works especially well for sales emails when you are introducing a recent product that has just been released because it invokes excitement! Who doesn’t love something brand new and shiny?

5. Easy

Using the word “easy” in an email emphasizes to subscribers that what you’re asking is not difficult.

Also, if you’re speaking to a beginner audience, it can alleviate worries about not being able to complete the task.

For example, let’s imagine that you are a personal trainer and your audience doesn’t know how to get started with weightlifting. To make them feel more confident, you can assure them that your services or content make it easy to get started and begin seeing results.

Check out this example email from Uber, which informs new customers that using the app is easy:

easy email writing

6. And

Try this in your next content offer email: phrase the offer in a way that makes subscribers think they’re getting a great deal by using “and.”

Even when you have nothing else to give (or time to create more content), restructure the way you promote it to make it sound like a great deal!

For example, we offer a guide called “What to Write in Your Emails” and when we promote this guide we often call it the “What to Write guide and 45+ email content templates.” The templates are a part of the guide, but by using “and,” we phrase it in a way that adds more value to the guide.

Applying this principle, we sent out an email offering free content when subscribers signed up for an AWeber account. The email bundled two pieces of content using “and” to maximize the value of our offer:

words to use in email

7. Free

“Free” is one of the most persuasive words in the English language, and for good reason. Because who doesn’t love free stuff?

It can get subscribers to take action, because there is no risk involved.

It can also signal that the subscriber is saving money. For example, online retailers use this effectively when they offer free shipping on purchases.

8. [Insert name here]

Personalization is key in your emails. Not only does it help you connect with subscribers, but it also catches attention in the inbox and in the email itself.

Consumer behavior research shows that when we hear our own name, it signals that important information will be directed at us. After all, it’s the first word we learn to read and write – even dogs and cats recognize their own name being called.

Adding a subscriber’s name to an email can earn more engagement and trust from the subscriber reading the message.

The email below from Simple uses the subscriber’s name in the headline to immediately catch his attention.

personalization in email

Notice any trends?

If you can’t fit these words into your emails in a logical way, use the principles behind these words to brainstorm your own! Here’s some guidelines to help you apply these principles to your own emails:

  • Keep it short – The longest word of these eight is only six characters long (besides the subscriber’s first name). Use short words in your emails because they’re easier for your audience to read quickly.
  • Make it easy to understand – All of these words are simple, one or two syllable words that are commonly used by anyone who speaks the English language. Avoid complex words and make it easy for your audience to understand your email.
  • Be specific – When you use these words, there is no ambiguity about what they mean. Being simple and specific ensures that the message gets through to your subscribers – especially since you only have a few seconds to get their attention and make an impact.

Using these effective words in your next email

If you’re stuck on how to effectively use these words in your emails or you just don’t have time to write your emails, try the What to Write guide. It includes 45+ email content templates, already loaded with the most effective words to use in your messaging.what to write


  1. Prasad

    8/5/2017 12:06 am

    Very well written article, Shelby. Great job! Cheers, Prasad

  2. Shelby McGuigan

    8/7/2017 10:56 am

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! Khawar, we’ve definitely seen similar results with personalization improving the CTR of emails.

  3. Hannah

    8/8/2017 2:14 am

    Hi Shelby,
    Thanks for the article, it was an interesting read.
    I was a little taken aback when I got to the section where you say to keep the words short (less than 6 characters) and to keep them easy. I’m sure that it must have a positive impact on CTR however it is sad to think that a lot of people are struggling with literacy.

  4. Shelby McGuigan

    8/8/2017 8:15 am

    Hi Hannah,
    Thanks for the feedback! It’s not necessarily that people are struggling with literacy, it is just that they don’t want to take the time to read a more complex email. They want to be able to figure out the message of the email in a matter of seconds so using short, simple words gets that message through more clearly and quickly.

  5. Lisa

    8/8/2017 1:43 pm

    Is there any way to print this article without all of the ads?

  6. Shelby McGuigan

    8/8/2017 1:51 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    The images are not ads, they are actually real examples of how you can use each word in emails! They will be a good reference to look at and get inspiration from when deciding how to use the words in your own writing.

  7. Dhaval

    8/9/2017 3:01 am

    Very well compiled. Used it right away for a campaign we are working on! Good job and to think you’re only an intern! Bright things ahead for you!

  8. Shelby McGuigan

    8/10/2017 3:36 pm

    Thanks everyone for the kind words! Dhaval, I’m so glad this came at the perfect time for your campaign. I hope you see great results!

  9. Kelvin J.

    8/10/2017 3:53 pm

    Is “Free” still a good word to use? I feel that “free” comes with a slightly negative stigma.

    By the way, excellent article.

  10. Bob Angus

    8/10/2017 4:24 pm

    “Don’t use a five dollar word, when a 50 cent word will do.” – Mark Twain

    Great list. Keep it simple and powerful.

  11. Shelby McGuigan

    8/10/2017 4:32 pm

    Kelvin, I think “free” is good to use as long as it isn’t too overdone. For example, I wouldn’t use the word in all caps or use it more then 2-3 times in the same email. If the content or product is proven to be valuable throughout the email, when subscribers see “free” they will realize that they’re getting a great deal. Thank you for your feedback!

    Bob, I love that quote! It’s so relevant and true in email marketing.

  12. Aliza

    8/10/2017 5:27 pm

    Shelby I didn’t even get to the end of the article yet but had to say THANK YOU for the “Anniversary email”. I LOVE to say thank you and send note cards but I had never thought of this!!!

  13. Kenneth Johnson

    8/11/2017 4:57 am

    Great list Shelby, I often uses “New” and “Thanks” for my email template. It’s increase my conversion and make people feel comfortable (thanks) and something will happen (new). Now, I knowing awesome words more , I will try it in next email.

  14. Collins Agbonghama

    8/13/2017 5:46 pm

    Great list. Thanks for sharing. The screenshots were very helpful too.

  15. Shelby McGuigan

    8/22/2017 10:00 am

    Aliza, I’m so glad I could give you this idea!

    Kenneth and Collins, thank you for the feedback, I hope these tips will help improve your emails to subscribers.