How to write irresistible sales emails your customer can’t wait to order from
By Sean Tinney December 5, 2022
Email is your most powerful digital tool for sales.
Yes! 60% percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email they received from a brand. That beats out sales from social and direct mail, making email your most effective sales tool.
But there’s more to it than just sending an email with a product or service you want to sell. There’s a strategy for creating a sales email that actually gets results.
Not sure how to create an effective sales email? After reading this post, you’ll know how to write a sales email that gets opened, gets clicks, and gets sales.
Jump to a section:
- Create catchy sales email subject lines
- Write email copy that gets a sale
- Drive action with a stand out call-to-action
- Get the timing just right with segmentation
Create catchy sales email subject lines
Each element of your sales email is important. But unless you capture your subscribers’ attention with a strong subject line, nothing else matters.
So how do you create a catchy sales email subject line? By being direct. Don’t get cute with your subject line. Most people are going to open your sales email for one of three reasons, so make sure you’re catering to those reasons:
1 – You’re addressing a pain point
This example from Advance Auto Parts addresses a potential pain point for many of their customers – making sure your car’s engine is protected during the winter months.
2 – You’re offering them something they need or want
Sometimes the timing of your email is what matters most. Like with this email from Dormify: It was sent in August, just as college students are preparing to go back to school. Dormify addressed a timely need right in the subject line.
3 – You’re providing them a discount or special offer
Everybody loves a good sale. If you have a promotion going, mention it in your subject line.
Here’s an example from Gap where they add the promotion to the subject line.
Create a sense of urgency and scarcity
Don’t underestimate the power of FOMO. Adding a sense of urgency encourages subscribers to take advantage of offers while they still can. If they don’t act quickly, they might miss out on a great opportunity.
To create this effect in your emails, try subject lines like these:
- “Act fast! Limited quantity available”
- “24% off for 24 hours”
- “We don’t want you to miss this”
- “Deals expire tonight. These savings will be gone in a flash.”
I love how Pura Vida grabs your attention with “Congratulations,” then teases that you’ve reached their next tier level.
Shutterstock follows a similar approach but teases about surprise savings.
STARZ creates urgency with their offer by putting a time limit at the beginning of their subject line.
Write sales email copy that gets a sale
When writing the copy for your sales email, keep these principles in mind:
Be influential and helpful
In your emails, you want to present yourself as someone who is helpful and an industry thought leader. But you also want to do this in a way that influences subscribers to purchase. So how do you achieve this perfect balance?
Influence comes from uncovering and delivering what other people need and/or want. So rather than telling readers about your product, try helping them realize what they need, and how your business satisfies that.
Keep your content personal and aim to solve the problem of each individual you’re reaching out to.
Communicate like a human and a friend, not an automated marketing robot. Even though you’re writing an email, you want your content to feel like it was written by a human who’s speaking to other humans. Some email copywriters imagine their ideal reader sitting across from them as they write.
Here’s a great example of this from Miracle-Gro. They’re adding additional value to their sales email by including landscaping tips.
Don’t add too much “salesy” language
When you’re writing your sales email, try not to think of it as selling. Instead, think of it as helping your readers solve a problem.
Just focus on the value your product or service brings to people. If you can show how your product solves their problem, then give them a clear reason to buy from you now, the sales will take care of themselves.
I love this promotional email below from Brooklinen:
When I first saw it, I thought, “Ooh, I want better zzzzs!” I didn’t feel overwhelmed by a sales pitch.
Focus the content in your emails around the solution, not the product features alone. Use phrases like “to improve your…” and “to help you do…”
Clear and powerful headlines
While you’re focusing on being kind and helpful, don’t sell yourself short. You’ve got awesome things to offer… so make sure that’s clear throughout your content, especially in your emails’ headlines. Headlines and subheaders are one of the first elements your subscribers will see in your emails.
If you’re offering a coupon or promotion, some effective headlines include:
- “Scroll to the bottom for a special deal”
- “We promise, this is worth the scroll”
- “Good news for your wallet”
- “Our way of saying Thank you!”
- “Just for you”
If you’re including testimonials from actual customers, here are a couple of headlines to include as well:
- “Don’t just take it from us”
- “Here’s what people are saying about [insert product name]”
Avoid marketing jargon
As you write the best sales email ever, be sure to use appealing words that don’t scare readers off. Avoid marketing jargon and acronyms (like CRM and CTA), unless you plan on defining these terms in your message.
Focus on the benefits
Think about what makes you buy. Is it the versatility of the product? Can you imagine yourself using the product and how it will make your life better? What about it matters most? Is it free shipping and returns? The more benefits-focused you can be, the more intrigued your reader will be.
This email from Public Lands is awesome. At the top of the email it lists two benefits – free shipping or one-hour curbside pickup. Right from the start of the email, they’re focusing on the convenience of ordering with them.
Offering exclusive discounts or freebies like an ebook is a great way to capture a subscriber’s attention – but it’s the benefits that will influence them to take action.
Add some testimonials
Let your customers speak for you! Testimonials are an amazing way to give that extra push and encourage readers to buy. People are often more willing to trust information from a fellow consumer than a business.
Your testimonials should answer “what-if’s” and squash objections. Think about the questions that potential customers might have. Maybe they want to know what makes your product different from other products. Or they’re wondering about the primary benefit of what you offer.
Here’s a great example of how to use a customer testimonial from an email we sent promoting our 24/7 Email Marketing Master Class.
Drive action with a stand out call-to-action
At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that this is still a sales email. It has one goal: Make a sale!
So if your call-to-action (CTA) button is hidden or non-existent, take it out of hiding! Make it impossible to ignore.
This email from Design Within Reach makes use of multiple CTAs scattered throughout the email to catch you at various points of interest.
Get the timing just right with segmentation
Try to send your sales emails when it makes the most logical and/or economic sense for someone to buy something from you. This is a best practice, but it can be tricky to pull off. Every subscriber is unique and some may take a bit more convincing than others.
That’s where segmentation comes into play. Consider segmenting based on your subscriber’s unique interests, as well as previous engagement with your emails (e.g., if they opened a previous email or clicked a specific link).
Related: 7 simple steps to get started with segmentation
Time to create your sales email
Now it’s your turn. Take what you learned and apply it to your next sales email. We’d love to hear about your results in the comments.