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How to write sales emails that get responses

Category: Grow Your Business

How to write sales emails that get responses
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Read time: 5min

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. When you have a healthy email list, you can communicate with your prospects and customers directly.

However, building a list is only part of the battle. Next, you have to write sales emails which will convince readers to respond.

You’ve probably deleted your fair share of email over the years. Maybe you recognize the sender, but the subject line doesn’t grab you or the content turns you off.

Whatever the case, that email winds up in the virtual trash bin — useless in terms of sales for that brand.

Often, it all comes down to copywriting. The better your writing, the better your chances of eliciting a response from your subscribers.

Other things come into play, too, such as your choice of images and the type of CTA you create, but you need good copy if you want to get off on the right foot with your email list.

If you’re not a seasoned copywriter, don’t worry. Anyone can learn how to communicate effectively through email, and you can develop your persuasion tactics just like you’d strengthen a muscle.

You don’t want your emails getting sent off into virtual oblivion by disinterested prospects.

That’s why we’re going to teach you how to write a compelling sales email that will convert prospects, engage customers, and evoke responses.

What Is a Sales Email?


A sales email is any communication which persuades prospects to buy something from your business. After you create it, you send it via email to everyone who has subscribed to your list.

Sales emails have one goal: Conversions. You want everyone who reads it to click on the CTA, visit the landing page, and buy your digital product.

However, even if some people don’t buy, your sales emails aren’t a complete bust. As long as your subscribers actually read your emails, your business has benefited.

Why? Because you’ll gain trust and recognition. Some prospects need to see your different communications multiple times before they know, like, and trust you enough to purchase your product.

At least, that’s the hope.

Starting out with a slam-dunk sales email is the first step toward more conversions and greater brand loyalty.

You have plenty of creative control when it comes to drafting sales emails, but most such documents have similar components:

• Persuasive subject line

• Powerful introduction

• Mention of a specific digital product

• Answers to potential questions or objections

• Powerful conclusion

• Compelling CTA

You’ll probably want to add a signature, as well, which we’ll cover later on, and many sales letters have P.S.s and P.P.S.s to keep readers on the page.

When to Send a Sales Email

The best time to send a sales email is when you have something exciting to share with your subscribers. It could be a new product launch, a discount on one of your online courses, or a special bundle that comes at a reduced rate.

You can send sales emails even when you’re not offering a promotion, but those emails tend to have poorer open and conversion rates. Consumers have gotten used to being sold to.

They’re looking for the answer to a single question: “What’s in it for me?”

In other words, they want to know why they should bother buying from you now. What incentive are you offering that makes the proposition too good to pass up?

Additionally, you might discover that your sales emails perform best at a specific time of day or during a particular season. You’ll often read advice geared toward all marketers that states you should send emails at 10:05 a.m. on Thursday mornings. However, the truth is that the ideal time varies from one business (and one audience) to another.

You might want to ramp up sales emails during the holidays in case your prospects decide to give your digital products as gifts. If your niche revolves around a certain activity at a specific time of year, consider that, as well.

For instance, if you write for an audience of outdoor sports enthusiasts, you’ll probably get more engagement during the spring and summer months.

How To Write a Sales Email


The most important thing to remember about a sales email is that every word needs to help persuade your audience. You don’t want to sound like a slick salesperson, but neither do you want to miss the opportunity to score a conversion.

A conversational style usually works best. Strive to write like you talk. We can’t emphasize that enough : )

”Focus on building rapport with your audience so they trust and like you. Sales often follow when a consumer feels connected to you and your business. #Kajabi”— Tweet this!

Additionally, remember that your readers don’t have much free time. They power through their email inboxes every day — probably just like you do — and if they think you’re wasting their time, they’ll get irritated.

When it comes to email marketing, irritation often results in the consumer hitting the “unsubscribe” button. You don’t want that.

The length of the email should reflect your goals and the amount of customer education you need to do. If you can write the entire email in four sentences, do so. If it takes four short paragraphs, that’s okay, too.

Finally, remember to focus on benefits instead of features. When describing your digital product, ask yourself what specific advantages your prospective customer will enjoy as a result of buying your online course or signing up for your membership site.

Get as specific as possible. Think about your buyer personas and how you can speak to each one individually. Writing multiple sales emails for your segmented audience can result in a better conversion rate.

Now that we have the generalities out of the way, let’s focus on the specifics.

Personalize the Subject Line

A personalized subject line lets the recipient know that he or she is the intended party. You’re not just sending an email blast — you’re targeting this single person.

Most email marketing programs, including Kajabi’s, allow you to personalize each message you send based on the information you have about the subscriber. That way, each email feels like a message sent from a friend instead of a marketing pitch from a business owner.

However, you don’t want to go overboard. Using the recipient’s first name provides sufficient personalization in terms of each individual subscriber.

However, you can further personalize your subject lines based on the recipient’s position in the sales funnel.

For instance, let’s say that you’ve segmented your audience into three categories:

1. Top of the funnel

2. Middle of the funnel

3. Bottom of the funnel

In this case, you would probably want three distinct subject lines.

The subject for those at the top of the funnel might be less specific than those aimed at the middle and bottom. These prospects are still considering their options, and although they’re brand aware, they’re not close to making a purchase.

Your subject line could look something like this: “Hey Trevor, welcome to the family.”

The following email might welcome Trevor to your tribe and explain the types of products you offer. Then, you might highlight a specific product that the fictional Trevor might want to purchase down the road.

For the middle of the funnel, you can get a little more salesy. Your subject line could look like this: “Hi Trevor, don’t miss your 20% discount!”

In this case, you’re offering a specific reward for opening your email and reading its contents. Our customer, Trevor, can save money if he acts now.

For the bottom of the funnel, you’re targeting motivated buyers. They’re right on the cusp of conversion.

You might write a subject line like this one: “Learn public speaking for 20% less, Trevor.”

Here, you’re using a double incentive. First, you’re letting Trevor know the benefits of signing up for your online course (becoming a better public speaker) and advertising the monetary discount.

Avoid Words That Might Trigger Spam Filters

Certain words alert email carriers, such as Yahoo! And Gmail, that your email might constitute spam. The carrier then automatically shoots the email to the spam folder.

That’s the last thing you want. Many consumers never even look in their spam folders. They just delete everything because they assume it’s full of junk.

Your email isn’t junk! So avoid words, phrases, and symbols that might trigger spam filters. Some of the most common include the following:

• Order

• Dollar sign ($)

• Free

• No fees

• Income

• Free trial

• Save money

• Cheap

• Affordable

• Cash

• Price

You can also avoid using those words in the body of your email — especially more than once. After an email carrier sends one of your messages to spam, it’s hard to recover.

A great litmus test for spam triggers is your own experience. Read your subject line and email body, then ask yourself if any of your words, phrases, or sentences sound too spammy or salesy.

If the answer is “yes,” revise the content. You can bet that other people will consider the email too spammy, too.

Add the Prospect's Name

In the body of your email, don’t hesitate to use the recipient’s name again. You want to reinforce the personal connection between your brand and your subscribers.

It’s true that brands all over the world use filters to include recipients’ names in their emails. It might seem a little tired by now.

If you’re not keen to use prospects’ names, you can get even more conversational.

Think about the last non work-related email you sent. Maybe it was to your mother or your best friend. How did you start the email?

You might have just started typing your message. Alternatively, you might have started with a salutation like these:

• Hey!

• What’s up?

• How’s it going?

• How are you?

• Hi there!

You don’t need a formal salutation for these people because they already know you. But isn’t that the relationship you want to create with your prospects, too?

If you don’t want to double up on the use of prospects’ names, consider using a more familiar salutation. This strategy can seem even more personal despite the lack of the recipient’s name.

Your sales email structure with the elements we’ve described so far might look like this:

Subject Line: Hey Trevor, get 20% off our new online course!
Salutation: Hi Trevor!

Refine Your Opening Line

The first line of your sales email — after the salutation, of course — is perhaps the most important. You’ll either engage the prospect or lose him or her.

The opening line should establish rapport and give an inkling of what’s to come. Your prospect should feel compelled to keep reading right away.

It’s kind of like writing newspaper copy. Journalists always spent the most time on the lede — the opening sentence of a story or article. They don’t want their readers to skim the piece or abandon it entirely.

You might have heard the phrase “don’t bury the lead.” It means that you shouldn’t delay telling your reader why you’re writing — whether it’s an article or a sales email.

How you craft your opening line will depend on your subject line. You don’t want to repeat yourself.

For instance, if you used the subject line to advertise a discount, avoid mentioning the savings in your opening sentence. Instead, address some benefit of your online course or other digital product or target a pain point.

Let’s go with the public speaking example from above:

Subject Line: Hey Trevor, get 20% off our new online course!
Salutation: Hi Trevor!
Opening Line: Do you suffer from stage fright when asked to speak in public? Worry no more!

Here, we’ve worked in the discount and hit on a pretty popular pain point.

Write Persuasive Body Copy

When you’re satisfied with your subject line and opening sentence or two, it’s time to focus on the body copy. Again, you want to keep your message as brief as possible, but not at the expense of information.

Get straight to the point after your opening line. You could include a small image or graphic to help entice your reader, but make sure to include text, as well. Some people don’t allow images to show up in their emails.

In the body copy, use persuasive language to convince your reader to click on the CTA that follows and take advantage of your offer. You don’t want to be too pushy, though, so steer clear of ultra-salesy language.

Continuing with our example from above, your body email structure might look like this:

Subject Line: Hey Trevor, get 20% off our new online course!
Salutation: Hi Trevor!
Opening Line: Do you suffer from stage fright when asked to speak in public? Worry no more!
Body Copy: For a limited time, we’re offering 20% off our most popular online course. Learn how to get over your fears of speaking in public so you can shine on the stage. Our full-length course offers 10 videos, each geared toward a different aspect of public speaking. Learn our best tips and tricks for getting over stage fright, writing the perfect speech, enjoying your time in the spotlight, and engaging your audience.

That’s a fairly short sales email, but you get the point. Drill down on the particulars right away so you don’t lose your prospects’ interest.

There are a few things you can take away from our example.

First, we called the product “our most popular course.” This alone is persuasive because it’s a form of social proof. It suggests that lots of other people have bought the product.

People don’t like to be “first.” They want to know that other people have spent money on a product so they don’t take as big a risk.

Next, we describe a clear benefit that goes above and beyond: “...so you can shine on the stage.” In other words, the course will not only help you build your public speaking skills, but will also make you more impressive when you give speeches.

After that, we share that we’re offering our “best tips and tricks.” We also outline three important benefits to persuade the reader.

Your sales email doesn’t have to be identical to this one, but you can use the same strategies to make your body copy more persuasive.

Again, you can insert images, photographs, and other elements, but don’t let them detract from the copy. You want your reader to stay focused on the benefits and offer you’re describing so they don’t get distracted or click away.

Additionally, make sure there’s plenty of white space. Breaking up your body copy makes it more readable, like this:

For a limited time, we’re offering 20% off our most popular online course.

Learn how to get over your fears of speaking in public so you can shine on the stage. Our full-length course offers 10 videos, each geared toward a different aspect of public speaking.

Learn our best tips and tricks for getting over stage fright, writing the perfect speech, enjoying your time in the spotlight, and engaging your audience.

In this example, we’ve spread out the sentences so they’re easier to read. If you throw a big clump of text at your reader, he or she might click away without bothering to read your words.

Engage Reader Interest With Your Closing Copy

At the end of your sales email, reiterate your offer and a primary benefit. You want to instill in your reader the notion that you’re offering an incredible deal with maximum value.

To go with our previous example, the email structure might look like this:

Subject Line: Hey Trevor, get 20% off our new online course!
Salutation: Hi Trevor!
Opening Line: Do you suffer from stage fright when asked to speak in public? Worry no more!
Body Copy: For a limited time, we’re offering 20% off our most popular online course. Learn how to get over your fears of speaking in public so you can shine on the stage. Our full-length course offers 10 videos, each geared toward a different aspect of public speaking. Learn our best tips and tricks for getting over stage fright, writing the perfect speech, enjoying your time in the spotlight, and engaging your audience.
Closing Copy: Get your 20% discount today and discover how to become a polished public speaker.

You’ll notice that the closing copy is just a sentence. You don’t need more than that. State your offer, then follow it up with a benefit.

It’s like a cause-and-effect statement. Do X to get Y.

Add a Unique and Consistent Signature

Your sales email signature should be similar or even identical to the signature you use on other emails. Consistency is key because you want your prospects to know what to expect from you.

There are a few elements you can use in your signature:

• Closing: The opposite of a salutation. Common closings include “Best Regards,” “Sincerely,” and “All the Best.”

• Name: Include your full name after the closing.

• Business Name: On the next line, add your business’s name. That way, readers associate the messaging above with your brand.

• Tagline: You can also add your tagline after your business name.

• Contact Information: Include one or two methods of getting in touch, such as your phone number and website address.

You can decide how formal or informal you want to make your signature. An example might look like this:

Best Regards,
John H. Smith
Best Online Courses
Public Speaking for the Shy

Always Include a Call to Action

The call to action, or CTA, is perhaps the most important part of your email. As long as your prospects have stuck with you until the end, you have a chance of converting them on your offer.

In a sales email, statement CTAs often work best. You’ve already reiterated your offer and its benefits in the closing line, so there’s no need to restate them.

Your CTA could look like one of these:

• Yes, I want my 20% discount

• Sign me up now!

• I want the course

• I’m ready to get started

Think of these as affirmative statements. You’re telling your prospects how you want them to feel without being too pushy.

Sales Email Template

If you’re still stuck on creating your sales emails, you can follow this template to help you refine your copy and remember what goes where:

Subject Line: Hook your recipients with an offer or incentive and address him or her by name.
Salutation: Greet your prospect by name or in a familiar way.
Opening Line: Ask a question or reveal a benefit that hooks the recipient.
Body Copy: Use persuasive copy to explain benefits of your product and to highlight its selling points.
Closing Line: Reiterate the offer or incentive and at least one benefit of the product.
Signature: Include a closing, your name, your business’s name, the tagline, and contact information.
CTA: Tell your recipient what you want him or her to do next.

Sales Email Examples

Let’s create another example. Maybe you sell online courses related to beginner fitness. Your sales email for an introductory fitness course might look something like this:

Subject Line: Save $10 and shed those last 10 pounds!
Salutation: Hey Trevor!
Opening Line: Are you sick of fad diets and ineffective workouts? Try our course for an easy solution to your weight-loss goals.
Body Copy: Getting rid of those last few pounds can be frustrating. They’re the hardest to shed, but we’ve created an online course to help you get over the hurdle and reach your weight goals. Discover pro-quality tips and tricks for trimming your waistline without starving yourself or spending hours at the gym. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the house.
Closing Line: Act today to save $10 off our online course and start busting those last stubborn pounds.
Signature: Best Regards, Jane Smith, Bountiful Fitness, www.bountifulfitness.com, 800.555.2222
CTA: I’m Ready to Get Rid of Those Pounds!

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