If your marketing email is NAKED, then you’re f*cked. Period.

Instead, how can you improve the aesthetics of your marketing email.

Jay Kalansooriya
5 min readMar 10, 2019


Now, you might be wondering,

“What the heck is a ‘naked’ email?”

‘Naked’ emails are the ones with no text formatting or any styling in the body.

Just. Plain. Text.

Even sometimes (well, most of the time) with the default font.

Ring any bells?

It looks something like this.

Credits — Hubspot

It’s so frustrating and painful. I felt like there was a pack of needles, just a couple of millimeters away from my eyes.


If only I could just reach out through these wireless networks and cables and all that, and just strangle them…….

Well, since I can’t do that, I might as well write an article about it, so that you don’t get f*cked up in your email game.

I mean, I can live with the fact that we (all?) get those type of emails from our friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances. God knows we all do that.

But a marketing email? No, you’re not allowed to do that in something like that.

A marketing email is something like this.

Starbucks might have sh*tty coffee. But, you gotta give it to them for their outstanding emails. (Credits — MailBakery)

Not something like this.

Credits — Hubspot

Like I said, it’s irritating to the reader.

So it’s only logical for us marketers, copywriters, and the like, to not to send those type of emails to our beloved subscribers.

It’s like going on a date with someone and giving them one-word answers for their questions.

It makes no sense.

Why ‘naked’ emails are so bad?

You want me to answer that? Really?


  1. We go through our feeds every day, looking for something that stands out. We don’t like patterns. We already have that in our lives. Now, we’re looking for something that pops out of the ordinary and say “Whassaaaaaaap!”
    So if your email copy doesn’t do that, then you don’t get enough conversions.
  2. Throughout the years, we’ve been desensitized for average marketing techniques. So, now, the audience (people) have standards too. If your marketing campaign doesn’t contain the ‘minimum requirements’, then you don’t get their attention, trust, and ultimately, their money.
  3. We don’t have all the time in the world. We’re not gods that live for thousands of years. We have sh*t to get done every day. So we won’t likely put up with crappy marketing emails.
  4. People like aesthetically pleasing stuff. We all do. On the other side, we don’t hate ugly and crappy emails. We just don’t like them. So if the readers don’t like your emails, you know what happens next.

You want me to go on?

I once had a client, whose emails only contained plain texts, and hyperlinks. Not even a bolded text. They were promoting online courses, and had about 10–20% open ratio, and around 50% CTR. Hardly a failure, because their courses were really good, with a lot of value, and a good reputation.

But I knew it can be improved. So I did my thing, along with their designing team (because I really suck at creating graphics) and after 3 months (a quarter), their numbers had gone up by 200%.

That was the only client I had whose emails were that sh*tty. Though I’ve had some others who had similar, but not-that-bad emails.

‘Naked’ emails are a big no-no in terms of branding too. I mean, with branding, you want to play the long term game. That includes establishing the fact that your brand is something with a ‘taste’ and a sense of aesthetics.

Why do you think Coca-Cola spends billions to make sure that their name is on top of a billboard that people see everyday, or run commercials so that people see their name in anytime of the day? (Hint: It’s not marketing. It’s branding.)

We’re not talking about spending any money for advertising. We’re talking about doing the same thing that they’re doing, with the already-established audience you have, through something you’re going to do with them anyway.

Okay. So WHAT should we do about it?

Simple. Be thoughtful and conscious when planning (and creating) a marketing email.

But HOW?

1. NEVER send marketing emails from the phone. Always use a computer. With a phone, you’re not offered much (or any) text formatting and styling options.

2. Make sure the email platform you’re using has necessary styling and formatting options on it.

3. Make sure that the email copy is on point, and has a clear CTA, that stands out from the rest of the email. Marketing emails MUST NOT be long ones. If you need more time from them to close them, then use the email to visit them to a landing page, where you can do back-flips and whatnot.

4. Don’t be afraid to highlight the highlights. Headlines, subheadings, quotes, claims, promises, etc. Make sure they’re either bolded, italicized, highlighted, or something else. Don’t underline, because an underlined text can be mistaken for a hyperlink.

Even though this email is on point, they haven’t used any text formatting or styling to highlight the benefits, or any other phrases that demand the reader’s attention. (Credits — BeeFree)
This is a good start. Bolding the “last day of your trial” phrase, and the benefits. (Credits — CopyHackers)

5. Space out. You’re not paying for the page you’re writing the email on. So don’t hesitate to take space if necessary. Push ‘Enter’ twice for a new chapter.

6. Don’t put links just as they are. Always use hyperlinks instead. A plain link, laying around, is really ugly. Look at the picture below. Do you think anyone would like to see that?

Credits — Hubspot

6. Make sure that the smallest text size in the body is actually readable in any condition. Don’t make the readers squint to read something. They won’t read it and/or like it.

7. Make sure that the email is not only mobile responsive, but also looks good on a mobile screen. A ton of people check their emails on mobile devices.

Most importantly, send yourself a copy of the draft before you send it to anyone. See if you like it. If you don’t like it, then go change what you don’t like.

One more thing. Just don’t try to be a perfectionist. It’s a marketing email. You’re not looking to win the Pulitzer.