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Interview – Constructing Sales Emails

Recently I was asked to do an email interview, the reporter sent across their questions and I sent back my answers.  As I was writing the answers I realized they’d be relevant for everyone, so here they are:

What Sort Of Products Should A Business Be Selling With Email?

In principle there are no products or services, which can’t be sold via email. I’ve worked with businesses selling managed account services, kids toys, beauty packages, business services, real estate and much more.

With that said though, there are some guidelines you should be following as a business owner.  If you’ve got a new prospect on your email-marketing list then don’t try and sell them your most expensive product straight up.  Take time to build a relationship with them and offer them your lower priced products first.

Remember, if you’re trying to make a high value sale then you need to invest more time into the relationship.  You need to build points of trust with your potential customer so you can then call them to action on your sale.

Should The Nature Of The Medium Attract Different Sorts Of Promotions To The Rest Of The Business?

Email marketing offers you a direct line to your customer, generally they are going to open and respond to the offer quickly.  As such you should be encouraging quick and decisive actions through your promotions.  If they open an email and don’t take immediate action, the likelihood of them taking action in the future is significantly reduced.

So when crafting offers to go out over email ensure the following occurs:

  • Reward For Quick Action:  Include a price based or bonus based reward for people who take quick action.
  • Time Sensitive Promotions:  Make all of your promotions time sensitive, so they expire at a certain time and date.  This will apply subtle pressure on the reader to take more immediate action.
  • Multiple Touch Points:  When producing a promotion and sending it out via email ensure you have a set of emails to send.  A single email will not get a complete response from your database.  In my experience you need to send a set of 4 emails at least to get the best response.

How Should The Language Change With Sales Emails?

This really is a difficult question, in essence a sales email should read similar to any other email you’re sending to your database.  You don’t want to change style and language just because you are selling as it won’t seem authentic.

The best kind of sales email is one that is conversational and descriptive but leaves a few unanswered questions.  By leaving those questions in the mind of the reader they will want to find out more, thus visiting your sales page.

Which Combination Of Elements Compels Recipients To Click Through And Actually Buy Something?

Buying out of emails is no different to buying from web pages or even buying in person you need to:

  1. Build Trust:  Prove to the reader that you are a reliable business providing quality products and services at reasonable prices.
  2. Provide Proof:  Provide proof that your product solves the problem, which you are intending it to solve.
  3. Define The Problem:  Define the problem that you’re product is solving and accentuate the problem to the reader
  4. Explain The Solution:  Explain how your product, the solution, will solve their problem
  5. Justify Value:  Justify the value of your product and solution you are providing in terms of benefits to the reader


How Do You Keep The Attention Of Curios Sign-Ups Long Enough To Actually Convince Them To Become A Customer?

To keep your potential customers engaged you have to be willing to provide relevant non-sales content.  I’m not talking about just a list of tips, or a few ideas, but you need to convey great actionable content in the form of stories.

Use real life examples of clients you’re currently working with or hot media topics to convey to the reader the points you’re trying to share.  Not only that but link the emails together, so include in each email a bit of a precursor of what to expect in the next email.

To get ideas for this, watch TV shows, and just before they go to the break, some will show you a snippet of what to expect after the break.  The same concept that works for TV shows will also work for emails.