5 Reasons Why Simple Emails Work

Let’s be honest: not all of your marketing emails need to feel like a massive production.

Just because you can cram massive files, videos and other flashy features into your marketing emails doesn’t mean that you always should. Meanwhile, it certainly pays to switch up your email formats from time to time to keep your readers on their toes!

Why Marketers Should Embrace Simple Messages

Rather than bog down your messages with needless fluff, instead consider why you should start implementing a “less is more” mentality when speaking to your subscribers.

For example, booming bloggers such as Neil Patel rely on old-school simple text emails to keep in touch with lists of thousands of hungry readers:

Stripped Down Emails - Neil Patel

Many marketers would be better off trying to get their messages across with fewer words and less images. In short, sometimes it makes perfect sense to send simple emails rather than potentially overwhelm your subscribers.

The beauty of simple messages is that they often result in less work for you in the long-run and don’t require any complicated templates to implement.

So, why should you start incorporating stripped down emails in your marketing strategy


The elephant in the room for many newbie email marketers is the fact that image blocking impacts nearly half of our messages.

Sure, you can take steps such as asking subscribers to whitelist your emails or optimizing your images’ alt-text to make sure that your messages aren’t lost in translation. And hey, you should.

That being said, image-heavy emails shouldn’t always be your go-to solution. Why not? Well…

  • Image-heavy emails can result in massive file sizes, ultimately funneling your messages to the spam folder
  • Longer load times can cause your less patient subscribers to bounce (keeping in mind that modern readers expect any given site or page to load in less than two seconds)
  • Busy messages make it more difficult for your readers to spot essential information or links (including your CTA)

Does that mean you can never use images in your emails? Absolutely not. In fact, here’s an awesome example from Boden that combines minimalism and imagery:

What makes this email work? For starters, the CTA is impossible to miss. At the same time, this email would be just as effective with images turned off (or even not as a .gif) given its subject line “SCREAM if you want up to 50%” and an accompanying killer deal.


At the end of the day, much of your success in email marketing comes down to improving your chops as a writer.

Not a graphic designer. Not a coder. A writer.

Powerful email copy, especially well-crafted subject lines, is what separates well-performing campaigns from those that struggle. If you can’t use the written word to pull in your readers via savvy subject lines, how can you expect them to actually get through your messages? 

The best way to improve your email performance is to experiment with copywriting triggers and strive to craft copy that converts. With shorter, stripped-down emails, you have the perfect opportunity to make sure that each and every piece of your email packs a punch.

From your subject line to body copy and beyond, consider how you can…

  • Implement power words that are proven to drive clicks: terms such as “immediately,” “easy,” “new,” “effective” resonate with readers
  • Present your messages as must-reads: time-sensitive and deal-based copy are king (ex: “75% Off…But Not For Long!” and “Can We Talk About This Half-Off Deal?”)
  • Personalize your messages: words such as “You,” “I” and “We” help establish a more personal connection with your readership from the start

When you learn the ropes of good copy, you set the foundation for a solid email regardless of how long, short or image-filled it may or may not be.


Ever look at a massive wall of text and thought “Yeah right, nobody has time for that.”

Yeah, me too.

The same mentality applies to your emails, though. Your subscribers don’t have time to endlessly scroll through your emails, no matter how much they might be interested in your product or message.

When you hit your list with simple messages, however, that resistance immediately goes away. Think about it: somebody’s much more likely to give the time of day to a few sentences versus five massive paragraphs, right?

This message from Nest is an great example of how “less is more” and simple images can make an email much easier to process at a glance. The large headline combined with a brief paragraph and clear call-to-action signals this message straightforward for recipients:

You can’t always assume that your list is eager to give your messages the time of day. The easier you make it for them to digest your emails, the better.


It doesn’t matter what you have to say or sell: your list is sick of one-size-fits-all marketing messages.

Anything you can do you give your emails a personal touch is always a massive plus, especially if your competition is sleeping on personalization.

Brands such as Harry’s know exactly how to make their emails seem like they were sent by a real flesh-and-blood person. Beyond using the previously noted “you,” “I” and “we,” this email is framed as a helping hand versus a sales pitch:

When in doubt, it pays to present your autoresponders as personal messages versus something a robot came up with.


As noted, the busier your emails are, the more likely your readers are to miss out on your call-to-action. On the flip side, emails with less going on ensure that your CTA is an absolute must-see.

This example from Udemy is a straightforward example of a stripped-down email with a clear CTA:

Stripped Down Emails - Udemy

When you rely less on images, small touches such as the use of color is more than enough to grab the attention of your readers. Take this terms of service email from AirBNB as a prime example:

Stripped Down Emails - Air Bnb

If nothing else, simple emails help guide your readers to take the actions that you want them to take versus aimlessly float around your messages.


The Bottom Line

Want to improve deliverability? Having trouble avoiding the spam folder? Don’t be afraid to embrace the occasional simple text or stripped-down email every now and then. Rather than leave your list accustomed to the same-old formats, it never hurts to switch up your strategy.

With all of this in mind, the first step is to make sure that your emails reach your list in the first place. If you’re looking to experiment with simple messages, we’ve got you covered. Give Sendlane a spin today to see how we can help you craft all sorts of emails that your list will go crazy for!

Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!