The Anatomy of A Perfect Email : Detailed Email Building Guide for 2022

July 9, 2019
the anatomy of a perfect email

A Perfect Email

If you’re running an email marketing campaign you might be aware that its success depends on the quality of the emails being delivered. Of course, having a better redacted email will improve said success.

Since most of us are accustomed to write a regular email and sent it regardless of the purpose. It would be in our best interest to clarify what the anatomy of a perfect email looks like. Yes, the anatomy of a perfect email includes several key parts. Here, we will be providing a detailed description of each, along with a guide to writing a great email.

If you want to distance yourself from "generic templates" and generic forms, then keep reading. While many options, both paid and free, are available to take care of this for you, not all have the best quality. If you want to ensure the best outcome then it would be better for you to handle the writing yourself.

The perfect email might depend on what you need that email for, from email marketing to notices. There are, however, key elements common to all email purposes. The structure for all high-quality emails is simple yet efficient and provides the clearest message to all your clients.

For the most part this is the anatomy of a perfect email. Keep in mind that you might add a few twists here and there.

  • The Header.
  • The Body.
  • The Footer.

Here we will begin covering each and their respective parts.

The Header.

Of course, the first part is the header, it makes sense going from top to bottom, and it does as well in an importance sense. This part contains the first elements that you recipient will see of your email. Is a key point that will determine whether the recipient keeps reading or just discards the emails you send.

The header itself is a relatively small part of your email, but as you’ll see there are critical points in its construction. It comprises 4 main parts.

  • The Subject Line.
  • The Pre-Header.
  • The From Name and Address.
  • The Reply-to Address.

Each part plays a crucial role in ensuring a clear, nice and professional first impression. Taking advantage of this and using them properly is a good way to ensure that the recipient won’t discard you at a first glance.

The Subject Line.

When it comes to the subject line. You have to make sure that its compelling enough to make any recipient want to open the email. Personalizing it can only improve your chances of success with this, and further there is a limit of how many words should be in order to maintain the reader’s focus. Optimally for all devices there's a limit of 7 words, or 41 characters, that has proven to be the most effective. Having a good subject line is important for the anatomy of a perfect email. This is one of the first things the recipient will see and creates a sense of real communication.

The Pre-Header.

Considering the subject line the title of your email the pre header would be, and actually is, called a “snippet” otherwise known as a subtitle. Most of email templates will have a text that says something like “view this message in your device” or something like that. A good subtitle has 10 words, or 80 character, as a pre-header. So, having a bland and insipid subtitle is really a waste of an useful spot for information. It should be use as a preview of the content available in the email, be simple, compelling and clear.

The From Name and Address.

This field displays a recognizable and clear name and address from you, or your email marketing campaign center. Some companies use a pale and simple "[email protected]", honestly, that is a really bad move. Your credibility and commitment come from your name, or your company’s name. If you’re not confident enough to put it in your emails, then why would somebody want to read them?

Most of the emails that fail to put their real information are often deleted or listed as spam.

The Reply-to Address.

This part takes care of informing your recipients about where to reply to your email. For this you need to make sure to have an available address ready to receive all the emails that could possibly be replied from your campaign. Remember, a high volume of emails also means a complex email sorting system. This sometimes can be a liability since some replies might not me delivered straight to your mailbox. And as such some of your campaign targets won’t be able to contact you. Sometimes this the address can that of your customer service, sales team or even your own.

The Body.

When the header is perfect, or as good as it needs to be in order to get your recipients to keep reading. Then it comes the body of the email, this section is key for the anatomy of a perfect email. This is the actual content of the email and should pursue a clear path and interest. This is the chance to convince your recipient that they should get on board with you.

What you body section needs, rather its parts, depend highly on your email campaign. However, there are several parts that will be listed here and that are common to emails in a marketing campaign. This also includes, of course, advice on how to get the most out of every tip.

Use a Simple Template.

The best emails make use of a simple and clear template. Use a single-column layout and a responsive design. In turn this means that you will have an easy time optimizing the desktop or mobile device interface. Highlight the important parts of your message, this is images and calls to action. Aside from that be sure to get a visually pleasant template with a lot of space.

Speak to your Subscribers.

Taking the personalized approach mentioned earlier you should address your subscribers and recipients directly. Studies show that personalized emails actually are well worth your time and effort. They increase the engagement of your subscribers, the click-through and conversion rates. Take advantage of tags to allow personalization.

Strategic Use of Pictures.

Remember a clear and concise picture that’s on point, will always say more than words using less space. Using pictures is a way to add a better view and feel to your email, as well as creating a better atmosphere for it. Pick the right picture, or couple of pictures, and add graphics to your emails. Keep in mind that a logo isn’t a picture and it’s considered a mark of your business, like a signature, so use it minimally. One picture at the beginning of your email and one at the end is a good word/picture ratio.

Call to Action.

A good marketing campaign email today has to include what you want your customers to do. Whether you want them to visit your webpage or subscribe to your mailing list, make sure to specify to them what you want out of every email you send. Call to action should be clear, easy to accomplish and the message should be real and organic. The more commitment to can get from your recipients the better.

Keep it Concise.

While there are a lot of tips and you might be really eager to put them into action, please do remember that your recipients time is valuable. A 5 minute read from a marketing email is way too much time to be spend in just one email. You have to be clear, concise, convincing and precise with your emails. At the end you’re sending emails as a part of your business and the best businesses are straight forward and swiftly resolved.

The Footer.

When it’s time to close the deal and get the final result out of your email, then it’s time for the footer. Every part of the footer is important and does have an impact in the way your email marketing campaign performs. There are 3 main sections of importance in the footer.

  • Contact Information.
  • Reminder of Subscriptions.
  • Unsubscribe Links.

These 3 parts are necessary to have a clear view of the anatomy of a perfect email. Make sure to keep them on point and follow the structure and function presented here.

Contact Information.

Ok, everybody knows that you have to put your contact information, the footer is a great place to put it, and it’s common sense to put it there. It comprises phone numbers, email address and other contact details. This is a good way to show transparence and confidence in your business. However, it’s not all about publicity, putting your legal contact information and details is often a requirement in some countries, so, please make sure to get this part as clear as possible.

Reminder of Subscription.

Sometimes people get to the footer and just forget that they have to subscribe. Put a reminder at the end and make sure to get that address in your mailing list. This reminder should be accompanied by a short and simple statement that comprises what you’re getting through with your mail. No harm can come from a short reminder of why they should be interested in your information.

Unsubscribe Links.

Ironically enough the anatomy of a perfect email also includes freedom for the recipient to unsubscribe to your mailing list. Remember it’s about playing fair, not dirty. Giving people the option to unsubscribe shows confidence and reliability as a brand. Sometimes people just don't want to receive more emails. If you keep on sending emails then these might end up in a spam folder and in the worst-case scenario it might get you blacklisted. So, be safe and put a unsubscribe link for your recipients, this can only be good for your campaign in the long run. Also, as you might be aware, in the United States, and a long list of other countries, an unsubscribe link is a legal requirement for operation.


Keep in mind that all the elements presented here are essential part of the anatomy of a perfect email. Making sure that all of the parts and tips presented here are properly taken cared of is a great way to ensure the success of your email marketing campaign. From a convincing statement to a personalized and engaging message, every part of the email is vital and fundamental for your email accomplishing what it’s meant to.

Do make sure to have emails with clear headers, quality content in the body and a clear footer. Use every part in each section as an opportunity to get across to your recipients and getting them to do what benefits you using a convincing call to action. The more engagement you can get from them the better it will be for your email campaign. Do make sure to use our tips and insight about the anatomy of a perfect email.

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