Encourage users to engage with your brand with a content download email.

What is a Content Download email?

A content download email is an email that is sent to users to share a downloadable piece of content, such as an eBook, white paper, or infographic. Content download emails will contain a call-to-action (CTA) link to the asset or instructions for the recipient to access the content.

Who uses Content Download emails?

Content marketing and demand generation teams use content offers to provide value to a potential customer. A white paper, for example, may be part of a marketing campaign to educate prospects about a trend in your industry that is relevant.

A content download offer is a common “lead magnet” and is used to generate prospects that the sales and marketing team can nurture into customers.

What to include in a Content Download email?

There are a lot of factors to consider when building a content download email. Here are some of the email elements to consider.

Email Design Element

Best Practices

Send Time

Send an email with minimal delay to fulfil the content request.


Use a reputable email address with a friendly sender (avoid noreplay@acme.com).

Subject Line

Clear and compelling subject line that highlights the value of the content being offered.

Preview Text

Additional value about content to encourage the reader to open the email.

Body Content

Brief introduction to the content and its benefits. Clear instructions on how to access or download the content.

Call-to-action (CTA)

Encourage the recipient to engage with the content, such as by reading it or sharing it with others. Use a button to increase the visibility of the CTA.


Use recipient’s name.


Use the brand logo in recommended resolution; use brand fonts and colour scheme.


Standard branded footer with email, telephone, and full address.

Anatomy of a Content Download email

Let’s look at an example from Pendo.


Content Download Email Examples

Real-world examples from some of the world’s top brands. Each example has been built in Knak, which means you can use it to get inspired for your emails.

InVision - Inside 2023: The Future of Work

Email marketing campaign for InVision’s report on hybrid and remote work.

What works well:


Salesforce - Marketing ROI Worksheet

Salesforce’s best practice ROI worksheet for email campaigns, social, and virtual events.

What works well:


Adobe - Marketing metrics for CEOs and CFOs

Adobe’s eBook on how Adobe Marketo Engage drives revenue and profit.

What works well:


DesignBetter by InVision

InVision demonstrates that they really know their audience with this beautifully laid out email that’s filled with valuable resources that designers actually want to check out.

What works well:

Example-DesignBetter by InVision

Wistia - State of Video 2023 Report

Wistia immediately grabs your attention with a stat that shows the depth of their data analysis. The design is clean. The copy is clear and concise. And the benefits of downloading are obvious.

What works well:

Example-Wistia - State of Video 2023 Report
Knak Example-Knak

Knak - Email Marketing Benchmark Report

Email marketing campaign for Knak’s 4th annual benchmark report.

What works well:

Creating emails - like this one - takes less than 22 minutes*


*on average for Enterprise customers

Content Download Email FAQ

How to measure the success of content download emails?

How to segment email lists for content email downloads?

Should a content download email contain a call-to-action?

What types of content are typically offered in a content download email?

How can I ensure my content download email gets delivered to my recipients?

Is it better to offer a gated or ungated content download?

What should I include in the subject line of my content download email?

Should I use a single or double opt-in process for content download emails?

How can I create an effective landing page for my content download?

Want to learn more?

There are even more email example categories to explore.

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