The “secret sauce” of my best clients? Email. A good email program can scale a company’s revenue in record time. That’s because it’s more personal than social media. An email from friends or family is meant only for you. But social media posts are always for the masses.
Email is much more intimate because it feels private, like it was written exclusively for you. At least, it feels that way if a good copywriter is behind the keyboard.
Despite all the different channels you can use to communicate with your audience… email STILL has the highest ROI of any channel. The research shows that for every $1 you invest in your email marketing, you’ll get at least $32 back. Some studies cite the ROI as high as $40 per $1.
Despite the shiny appeal of social media, email has always been the one truly mandatory part of our digital lives.
“There’s certainly a place for messaging, but email is still the centralized communication portfolio for many things that happen in our work and personal lives.
When you want to reach out to a new client, you’ll use email. When you need to file your month-end expenses, you’ll find those receipts in your email.
Email is still the focal point for containing our digital memories and footprint; and for most of our outbound, cross-organization communications.”
source - Wall St Journal, “Why we’re entering the golden age of email.”
That’s why 96% of consumers check their email everyday. If you know what to say when you email them, you will reach them and they will buy from you.
It’s why my fees are higher than a generic social media manager or content writer. Email strategists and copywriters aren’t here to publish nice content. We’re not glorified VAs. We’re here to scale your business.
Good email strategy combined with good copywriting is proven to increase open and click-through rates…
Build trust and credibility with your audience…
Personalize the customer experience…
And best of all…
Increase sales conversions.
Let’s dig into how it accomplishes so much in as little as 150 words per email.
Next time you’re in your email inbox, glance at the emails.
Do you notice how bland most subject lines are? That’s because most business owners are trying to write their own emails… but they don’t have the time to study copy.
Many of the best copywriters (who get paid 50k-100k+ per client) practice writing headlines, subject lines, and bullet points every day…
Just like Kobe insisted on shooting hundreds of daily shots during the offseason. That’s how critical a good subject line or bullet point is… it’s like a scored basket in basketball.
If you don’t have time to practice, I don’t blame you. You’re busy running the rest of your business.
As you can see, good email copy with a proven strategy increases open and click-through rates. This is because a good subject line and email copy will get more people to open the email and read all the way through. That means more chances for them to see your products and go buy them.
You may forget that you’re competing with all the other brands in your reader’s inbox. It is more difficult now to get and keep their attention than it used to be. Can you imagine that there was a time when people read every single email in their inbox?
Back in the ‘90s and 2000s… if you simply sent a newsletter (even if it sucked) your readers would eagerly gobble it up. It’s more important now to learn and utilize good copywriting principles in your email campaigns. It’s the same for your social media, ads, website and product copy too.
The bottom line is this: compelling subject lines and captivating email copy can be the difference between your email being opened, read, and acted upon…or being ignored or sent straight to the trash.
Now open some of those emails that have crappy subject lines.
Do they compel you to buy anything? Or make you want to click whatever link they include?
Even worse, do they include links to 10 different things? That’s so confusing.
A good email has one goal, one story, one main benefit, focuses on one emotion, and has one call-to-action (link) at the end.
In copywriting, we call this “The Rule of One.”
My guess is, the emails you clicked on all look like 95% of the material in my email inbox. “Here are our products, buy now…”
Or the emails are irrelevant and uninteresting.
They give you no reason to care…
They don’t talk about how their product solves your problem or pain point…
No entertainment value… no stories… no theme… no strategy… just blah.
This lack of strategy and creativity in email marketing not only leads to low open and click-through rates, but also damages your brand's reputation. When you send irrelevant or uninteresting emails, it tells your customers that you don't understand their needs or don't care enough to find out.
On the other hand, a well-crafted email that follows “The Rule Of One” can create a lasting impression on your customers. By focusing on one benefit, emotion, and call-to-action, you can create a sense of urgency and compel your customers to take action.
But to achieve this, you need to understand your audience, their interests, and their pain points. You need to tailor your message to their needs and offer solutions that are relevant and valuable to them.
Stand out from the crowd with storytelling and entertainment value in your emails. This will build a strong emotional connection with your audience. A strong emotional connection will build your brand and increase conversions.
Thus, email helps you achieve great marketing and branding all at the same time.
A good email program is not just a way to get more sales each day. It’s a branding tool. You’re building a deep, personal, intimate (whoa, I hope this doesn’t sound weird) relationship with your audience. When you send them good-quality emails every day, they start to feel like they really know you.
Many entrepreneurs say their email readers know them better than people they know in real life. They share things with their readers that they don’t typically share with others. I’ve read emails that share some of their most painful moments, but also some of their most joyous ones.
I’m not asking you to send these kinds of emails as a way to torture you… nope, it’s for your own good. Your audience will love to see the human side of you instead of “the brand.” Go back to your email inbox - you see lots of brands right? But how many real people do you see?
Remember: people like good personal emails, letters, and text messages from friends and family. You can be a brand while still adding a personal touch.
It’s a little counterintuitive, but this is actually great for your brand. A good relationship with your readers can only strengthen your brand image. People like to buy from brands who have established trust and credibility with them.
Bad emails from a company = bad branding.
Now let’s talk about email as one of the most effective marketing channels of all time. It allows you to track your customers' behavior and preferences, so you can improve your campaigns and optimize for higher conversions. By analyzing your email metrics, you can identify what works and what doesn't, and then go do what the data is telling you.
Moreover, email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. Unlike traditional marketing channels (think direct mail, or any type of paid advertising), you can send thousands of emails at a low cost.
This makes it ideal for businesses who want more customers without paying an arm and a leg. It works especially well when you combine it with social media or your website for lead generation… then, simply send great emails to nurture those leads and prospects.
Email is more versatile and customizable than any other channel
A good email program also caters to each individual on its list. Each reader will feel like you crafted the email just for them. That’s not something you can do on social media unless you write really good copy.
Even then, you’re very limited. This is because you can tailor email communications to different people based on their behaviors, preferences, and purchase history.
So if you have different products for men and women, you could send separate emails to these groups. If they have different pain points, you will speak their language better if you send them separate communications.
Got an offer for newbies? Then filter out the advanced folks. Got a premium high ticket offer? Then don’t send it to newbies. You get the point, there are nearly unlimited segments just depending on what industry you’re in and who’s on your list…
You can also use “merge tags” to call a reader by their name. One specific copywriter likes to tease the reader with all sorts of pranks and wild stories… then he shouts their name in the middle. They become part of his stories.
Things like, “and then - RACHELLE came in the door and XYZ happened!”
It has shocked me many times even though I immediately know it’s a merge tag. You can really get your readers’ attention with these. And it’s not just for names. You could use it for all types of collected data.
Here are more ways to personalize with email:
My ecom clients automatically send emails with abandoned cart items, asking readers if they still want to buy those products. “We’re holding these for you for a few days…”
Another good one is the order confirmation email. You can set up automated emails that confirm the items they just bought. And it looks like the founder took the time out to personally thank the customer for their order.
Both of the above are examples of “dynamic content,” so every email is different depending on the customer’s specific circumstance.
See how versatile that is compared to social media? There’s just no comparison. It’s no wonder that email beats out every other channel every single time.
Email delivers what you really want… more sales
At this point, an email program isn’t an option. Every day you fail to nurture your audience through email, your competitors take your $$. Don’t wait any longer.
A good email program always increases conversions. With better copy, you’ll see more people make a purchase…
Fill out a form…
Consume your content…
Go through your course (big one that even my mentors usually miss - after you sell someone a product, you gotta keep selling them on using it!)
Need to do market research? Want customer feedback so you can make your products better? Pull out those ole copy chops so you can persuade them to do that.
You must communicate the benefit(s) of any action you want them to take. But not too many benefits. Focus on the primary one related to that action… and the main emotion they’ll experience related to that benefit.
More advanced techniques paint the picture of a benefit for a reader… we call it “dimensionalizing” the benefit. But we will talk about that another day.
It’s one of those things copywriters practice a lot because it’s not that intuitive. That’s part of the “ninja stuff” that makes your reader feel like you’re reading their mind.
Most ecom brands have not even adopted the basic principles of direct response copywriting. That’s actually the hardest part of my job - convincing ecom companies they need to do things a little differently from the norm.
Everyone else is sending emails with bad copy. Let’s try something a little different so we can get atypical results, yeah?
This is the type of effort that will help you win business from your much larger competitors. For example, one of my clients was in an affiliate contest. His list had fewer than 40,000 subscribers, yet more than doubled the sales of a famous author with a list of 4 million subscribers.
More subscribers doesn’t always equal more sales. But better strategy and skills will get the job done.
Now, you’ll also increase sales conversions by having great offers. I have a list of 12+ different types of offers. Most companies only use one kind. That’s very boring. And that’s another reason why people think email marketing doesn’t work. Because they send bad offers to their list…well, it’s no surprise that readers don’t engage or buy anything.
But it's not because email marketing doesn’t work. Businesses just don’t know the right strategy. They’re not mixing up their offers to make it interesting and valuable for their audience.
They’re also not sending enough nurture content and social proof. Educate and nurture your audience. For example, I work with a sportswear brand that partners with World Champions and national teams. They post interviews and articles with their World Champions.
One of their influencers had to walk a marathon that he used to win because he got cancer. It was an emotional story. I’ve seen other blogs on the site that tell the story of a new collection of sportswear…they introduce the theme and concept and why they created it. I’m not an endurance athlete, but I love these blogs.
You’ve got to be creative and think outside the box. Tell stories. Partner with people to tell their stories. Send an emotional, “cinematic” experience to your email list using words and a few images here and there (plain text emails have always consistently performed better for many reasons we can get into another time).
Finally, more conversions come from great call-to-actions (CTAs) at the end. Yikes, so many companies get this wrong. One of the biggest sins is pasting a bunch of links for people to visit.
Every email has one main goal: to get readers to click one main link. Tell them the benefit of clicking the link and what they’re going to get.
The whole email should be a “slippery slope” from one sentence to the next… until they’re salivating at the end… dying to get to the link so they can click it already.
What To Do If You Don’t Have Time (Here’s Your Cheat Sheet)
This post gives you a basic understanding of why good email strategy and copy are important. After reading until the end, you know these aren’t just any ole emails. These emails contain persuasive magic.
Your email program is clearly an essential investment for your business. Whether you invest the time and money to learn email marketing strategy and email copy skills for yourself…
Or whether you hire someone else to simply do it for you so you can focus on other parts of your business…
You can’t afford not to have a good email program any longer. You might think you “don’t have time” for all this…
But that’s my point exactly…
You need to figure out a way to get this handled since you have so many other things to do in your business.
If you don’t know how to write high converting sales copy based on a proven rock solid strategy, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Grab the Ecom Automatic Millions Playbook here to get more help with your email marketing strategy. It’s still free for a limited time. The playbook gives you the best practices I’ve used with my clients.
I also offer a limited-time free consult to folks who read the short report. You’ll get the Calendly link in my emails after you grab the report.
This article was written by Rachelle C Davis. You can connect with her at rachellecdavis.com.