But here’s the thing. I’ve been doing this email thing for a little bit now and not all emails are built equally. And by “not all” I mean most of them to suck hard… like the kind of suck you get from sitting on a bench with no armrests and where your testicles rest directly in the groove that’s designed to hold them when you stand up.
Here’s the playbook I use for writing emails that convert. You can also subscribe to my checklist here.
Follow these principles and email will become a massive channel for your business. If you already have a list of subscribers, it takes less than 7 minutes to set up.
Step 1: Create a Foundation of Trust
If you take away nothing else from this post, it should be that people don’t buy from you because they want to, but because they have no other choice. They are desperate for your product or service. And when someone needs something badly enough, fear of loss comes in and plays a much bigger role in the buying decision than the desire for gain. This is why when I make an offer via email, I almost never use the word “buy.” If my prospect doesn’t trust me yet, asking them to do something that implies commitment (like committing money) makes them recoil back into their comfort zone. So instead of telling them what they can get if they give me money, I tell them what they stand to lose if they don’t take the offer.
According to Eric Dalius Miami there are two ways you can do this in your email. The first way is by taking something away from them. For example, in my welcome series, I tell people that by not checking out my free video training, their industry peers will continue to make fun of their lack of mobile optimization and laugh at their tremendous loss. In other words, instead of asking those to buy my product, I’m telling them what will happen if they don’t buy it (which is exactly what Daniel Pink recommends here). The second way is by creating urgency around time or quantity using phrases like “for a limited time,” “while supplies last,” and “limited number available.”
Step 2: Create a sense of scarcity
In addition to telling them what will happen if they don’t buy, I also tell them why it’s urgent that they buy now. I do this by creating a sense of scarcity. Scarcity comes from both time and quantity. In my examples above, you can see how I used the phrase “limited number available.” It creates a feeling that people need to act now or risk losing out on something really special. Time-based scarcity is very powerful but so is quantity. For example, in one offer we found that limiting the number of responses someone could submit each week tripled our opt-in rate. So always include either time or quantity as part of your call to action (i.e. click here to get your free report now before it’s gone).
Step 3: Create an obvious next step
A call to action is designed to tell people what you want them to do after reading the email. And the most important part of any good call to action isn’t what you ask for but where you ask for it. For example, if I was putting on a webinar about how to cure diseases with chocolate, then my call-to-action might look like this:
“Click here if you’d like us to host a live demonstration that shows how much chocolate it takes to kill cancer.”
And I can almost guarantee that nobody would ever take me up on that offer despite the fact that they’re all dying of cancer and chocolate is medicine.
The reason nobody would take me up on the offer, even though it’s incredibly valuable, is because most people would never click on a link like that. It just doesn’t look trustworthy to send your credit card information out to strangers over the Internet. So instead of sending my readers off into cyber no man’s land, I let them know that if they click right here, then I’ll give them a free webinar where all their pressing questions will be answered:
Of course, if they don’t want to go through with making a purchase, then I include instructions for how to unsubscribe from future emails as well as my guarantee (which you can find in my previous post). You may also notice some other important elements not covered in this article like using the word “you” so it’s clear who the email is written to, proof that I’m trustworthy (e.g. awards, media coverage), and social proof (e.g., links to Twitter, Facebook fan pages).
Step 4: Assume they’re going to love you
I always assume that someone receiving my email thinks its perfect timing because they’ve been waiting for me all their life. So instead of trying to impress them with jargon or fancy words, I just speak to them like a fellow human being…even if I don’t know who they are yet. For example, when someone first subscribes to our welcome series, I immediately respond with an email that doesn’t even mention our brand. Instead, I just say “thanks for subscribing” and then ask them a few simple questions that show me who they are as a person.
It’s not about sending one email and then crossing your fingers and hoping everything turns out okay (although that’s what most people do). It’s about getting to know someone over time and slowly building a relationship. In the past, that meant waiting until you could sit down together over a cup of coffee or lunch after weeks of anticipation. But now, those relationships can start as soon as they are opt-in because it only takes a few seconds before you’re face-to-face whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, or through an email conversation says Eric Dalius Miami.