You open your inbox and keep scrolling until you find an email that catches your eye. Whether it’s one where you find out about super discounts at your favourite store, deals at Lidl or maybe one from the experts you follow.
You open it, you read it (that is if you read your emails 🤭), you digest it and eventually you say to yourself “yes, I think I need this product too.” And depending on how strong the need and emotion is (and how convincing the email was), you buy it.
Maybe after you’ve completed an email in which you’ve learned a few new things – about yourself, about the world, about business – and you couldn’t let go until you finished it (imagine “hmm” and “how cool” in the background), you get to wondering: “shouldn’t I be doing this? Send emails on behalf of my company/me?”
And you keep thinking about it, until a small-but-voiced voice replies, “but what are you going to write?”
Suddenly all your enthusiasm is cut off and the idea goes into the dustbin of your mind.
Throw in a few limiting beliefs like “I’m not creative”, “I can’t write”, “Nobody cares”, “What am I going to do if people don’t respond” and you have the perfect recipe for never opening a blank sheet of paper and unleashing the creative juices that could increase your company’s notoriety and sales.
Here we come, the Upriserz team, with a few solutions to help you put this idea into action: writing sales emails to your potential customer base.
We’re going to share 8 principles that both our copywriters and industry experts rely on when building sales emails. We’ll show you that there’s more than inspiration behind a credible, converting email – there are clear, systematic concepts that once you apply them, you increase your chances of success.
- Clearly (and emphatically) define and emphasize how you are different from your competitors
You and your employees know how great the product or service you create is. You are aware of the effort and value that goes behind it. Your potential customers don’t know that.
And it’s your job to tell them.
Go beyond the company’s mission, vision and values. Take your product or service to the cleaners and find the ways you create value.
It could be the delivery, the content, the backend support, the warranty you offer, the way it’s produced, the quality, etc. Get a sheet of paper, write them all down and share them in your email.
It’s important though not to include in every paragraph how wow your product/service is. It will sound “spammy” and tire them out.
Here’s how we do it at Upriserz:
When we create a sales email, we start from what the Upriserz Premium subscription offers:
The chance to access the lectures in audio, transcript and summary format.
Chance to watch extra material: Premium Webinars and Books a Minute.
That’s what it looks like at first glance. But to the trained eye, who is aware that there are so many alternatives, that will make him shrug. Say, “okay, anything else?”
And then we get into the bread, as they say. We bring out the heavy artillery. We show the last act. Whatever metaphor you like, the point is that we’re still presenting what those features are that turn Upriserz from just another platform into a learning experience.
In the case of Upriserz Premium, these are the features that help our members personalize their learning experience:
The values test, the dream chart, the solution identifier, the (personalized) learning paths, the notes and the calendar.
And we also mention: the VIP Facebook group and the chance to watch Upriserz materials on the offline app.
Now we encourage you to find those things that set you apart from the competition. Put them down on a piece of paper for starters, and once you’ve got them out of your system, go to step 2.
- Turn them into tangible benefits for potential customers
You’ve pulled out all the benefits of your product, put them beautifully on paper, and feel your heart leap out of your chest with joy. Now it’s time to polish those advantages and turn them into clear and tangible benefits for your future customers.
The moment they open the email and you tell them what the offer is, they’ll wonder: “what’s in it for me? :D” Because every one of us, when we give money, we want to get value back. We want to understand as much as possible why you, and not someone else, deserve our attention, time and money.
At Upriserz we tailor the benefits of the platform to the client’s pain points and needs. If you still don’t have a clear idea of who your client is and only have the ideal in mind, just think: what are the most common problems they may have?
Here’s an example of how in Upriserz, we start with benefits, tap into pain and turn it into benefits:
“But what no one tells you when you start dreaming insanely is how hard it is to stay persistent while you’re achieving your goal.
So in Upriserz Premium, we really wanted members to have that dose of motivation to keep working on their goal, not just dreaming.
That’s why we created the dreamchart, which not only allows you to describe your goal in moon and stars, but also gives you the chance to set intermediate goals. So that you can see that even though it doesn’t seem like it, you’re actually making progress. However small.”
“The values test can help you clearly define your goal. It helps you understand what is most important to you and it will be easier to translate that into a goal.
Because for example, if your goal is to learn, you’ll be overwhelmed. Because you’re not answering the question “what? What do you want to learn?” On the other hand, when it’s clear that you want to earn 10,000 euros a month, it’s something else. And learning is nothing more than a technique by which you tick off your goal.
But it’s easy to set goals that you write down on a piece of paper and forget about them. That’s why I created the dream chart. So you can always have it in front of you. To be able to connect to it by setting a picture, by describing it and by recording a message.”
We found the customer’s pain – time – and showed them, both emotionally and practically, how functionality could help them solve their problem.
- Tell them briefly who you are and what was the journey that brought you here
This point only applies when you send your first email to a contact base that doesn’t know you.
But even if it knows you sporadically or starts to grow from month to month, you can briefly mention who you are and what experience recommends you. For example, in Lorand’s case, in certain opportune contexts, we recall details of his experience to emphasize the veracity of the content.
For example, when it comes to limiting beliefs, money, or any pain the client can relate to, we include Lorand’s experience (even though some may know it.)
“I grew up in a large family with a modest income. In all my years at home, I was no stranger to lines like ‘money is hard to come by’, ‘you can’t become rich if you were born poor’ and so on. I was also told not to dream foolishly, because I would be disappointed.
And I could go on and on.
Despite what I’ve heard over the years from my family.
Despite experiences in Portugal when I was a gardener or a college administrator, when I only had a pair of jeans.
Despite the fact that I couldn’t afford to organise a lavish wedding for Vanya on our wedding day and we ate at a restaurant around the corner for 5 euros, which we paid for separately…
Despite the fact that in 2019 when we opened Upriserz we were on the verge of bankruptcy…
I never gave up.“
It’s important not to abuse this – your email should be customer-centric.
But you can instead use your experience to better relate to your customer. To imply that “I understand you. I’ve been there. Here’s how it was for me.”
Our advice is that if you want to talk about yourself/firm at the beginning, sprinkle in phrases like “you’ve probably felt it too…”, “you’ve experienced it too…”, “you know what I mean”, etc.
- Give them a chance to get to know your product/service before you sell them
Give them a chance to see for themselves what value you can bring to their lives. What your expertise is, how you work. How your product works (if it’s digital).
If your product is physical, give them a test video (for example) or a video showing them a solution they can get without your product, but emphasize the effectiveness of the product.
For example, at Upriserz we want to make sure people know what we’re offering. Which is why we create blog posts, upload videos from courses to YouTube, create social media education pills inspired by resources, reels of interviews and audio summaries, and in some cases even upload the full interviews to YouTube.
Because we want people to get a taste of the Upriserz experience, to convince themselves that Upriserz can be a solution to their needs in the least intrusive way possible.
- Dismantle the objects before they appear and on this occasion tell them what your product/service can offer
When you define your list of benefits (point 1), once you’ve finished your list, get your team together and turn them into Gigi Contra: look together for possible objections that potential customers might raise and ways you can combat them before the readers realise they are appearing in their minds.
And you can use this opportunity to also clearly and emphatically point out how your product can solve other problems they may not have thought of yet.
At Upriserz, for example, we debunk objections on a per-advantage basis. But this time we’re going to share with you a counter objection about dream chart:
“How is the dream chart in Upriserz different from a mana-created dream chart?
You can set intermediate goals.
You can think about the steps you need to take to achieve it.
Then you can search the platform for courses that will help you work towards that goal, create a learning path and take them one at a time. Every day, a little bit at a time.
You’ll suddenly see how things start to get clearer and clearer.
And if you have several goals, several values you want to honor, you can create a dream chart for each one.
I admit, I can’t promise you’ll cross off everything that comes up on your dream chart.
But I do know that if you know your values, clarify your goal, find the resources you need and start pursuing and applying them, something will change.
You won’t feel overwhelmed and gradually-slowly things will become clearer.”
Objection: can I get a free dream chart.
Counter objection: you can, but it might be ineffective and here’s why.
Tip: if your product has several advantages that tie together, use them to support your argument.
- Demonstrate the impact your product/service has in reality
Ever since the phishing started with the Nigerian prince who wants to offer you his fortune in exchange for clicking a link, of sorts, people have been skeptical. Not just because you’re going to steal their card details. But because you might be selling them something that doesn’t exist.
Even you, as an entrepreneur, as a professional, have a certain reluctance when you receive bombastic emails with unrefusable offers.
That’s why it’s important to demonstrate the impact of your product/service through real testimonials. Or testimonials, as they call them.
Attach clear evidence in your emails from real people who give their honest opinion of the product. How it has affected them, what they think of it, how they use it. That evidence will make the difference between “what does he want and this?” and “ok, sounds interesting”.
At Upriserz, fortunately, we have a number of testimonials we can use: from customer emails, their comments, and some even make posts. Some give their opinion after a month, others after several. But each testimonial helps us show other potential customers what Upriserz can do for them:
And in addition to our suite of written testimonials, we also create case studies that we share with both our clients and potential clients.
What do you do when you don’t have testimonials to prove?
Admit that you don’t. You can say you’re just starting out and encourage them if they trust your product/service to give their opinion.
If however before you write the email you have a few customers who have tested your product/service, reach out to them and ask them to give you as honest a testimonial as possible.
If they can’t, no problem. You can rely on your experience, how it helped you and urge them to try it – here you can include a guarantee of X days (at Upriserz Premium it’s 14 for example), in which they test the product.
7. Don’t forget to call them to action (and end on a high note)
You’ve gone delirious (as they say) in writing your email. You typed non-stop, the information came pouring in, you even felt pride and a rush of emotions as you wrote.
Before you send it, don’t forget what the purpose of the email is: selling. That means including actionable buttons, whereby your reader manages to click before they lose patience with not finding the button.
How many buttons to put in an email?
The jury’s still out on this one. Some say one button, some say 3, some recommend including in PS. So we’ll tell you: choose according to the length of the email.
At Upriserz we also write 7-page emails, where we try to press buttons to break up the email, and 1-page emails, where you find a maximum of 2 buttons.
How to name buttons?
When writing emails for Upriserz, we play between putting a call to action in the form of a button and including the link in a sentence.
Here are concrete examples:
And as for the closing (which is said to crown the work), the emails from Lorand keep the form Lorand (something to somewhat summarize the email) Soares Szasz.
Lorand (hoping to find the answer to your why) Soares Szasz
Lorand (who is grateful for these 4 lessons) Soares Szasz
And in Adele’s case, we keep the same form:
Adela, the one in charge of your Upriserz experience
But sometimes, when our copywriters are feeling creative, they include a parenthesis at the end:
(and resources to help you find answers to solutions.)
Or change the order:
Adela, the one who wants to make sure you turn your dreams into reality
(And in charge of your Upriserz experience).
8. Give them the option to stop receiving emails from you
We know! You want to keep them there, reading your work and buying. We know. But you can’t hold anyone by force.
(And emailing platforms don’t even allow that.)
That means the unsubscribe button in the footer isn’t going away. Instead, you can choose when they unsubscribe to unsubscribe directly, without right of appeal (word-of-mouth) or give them the opportunity to choose the frequency or types of email to unsubscribe from.
(Here a lot depends on the frequency of the emails you send.)
Either way, don’t mind if people unsubscribe. Better to keep those who are curious about what you offer, than to have frustrated potential customers.
What to take home from this article: You probably feel overwhelmed by the plethora of information and as you were mentally going through your what and how, you realized that maybe…you’re not ticking off all the steps.
It’s no problem. The principles I’ve laid out for you are based on our experience, 4 years in the market as Upriserz and another 10 years behind us. In other words, a long time.
We encourage you to look at them as a guideline and include in your email only those principles that are relevant to you, your company, your product/service and your potential customers. Furthermore, feel free to experiment with your emails until you find the most optimal form.
And if you need extra guidance on how to create a sequence of emails, what to write in them or extra tips on how to write, we recommend you to watch on the Upriserz platform the courses “Copywriting techniques that don’t change over time” signed by Dacian Pășcuță (blogger coach, ex-copywriter) and the course signed by Ioana Bălănescu (entrepreneur and marketing coach), “How to build trust and sell through email marketing.”
P.S.: There’s also an article on crisis communication on the blog. You can read it here.