How to write emails that actually make sales

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We’ve talked about how to get email subscribers and the automated emails you should set up to send them, today we’re talking about email broadcasts. 

Email Broadcasts are emails you send to your subscribers all at the same time. Rather than automated ones that are triggered by an action, these emails are triggered by a date and time, or sent straight away. 

If you’re collecting emails (which you should be) then it is important to be emailing your list regularly so you stay top of mind. However coming up with an idea each week can be draining.

A person’s inbox is a busy place and if they’ve trusted you with the keys to their inbox, we want to make sure we’re not filling it with junk or it’s likely they will snatch those keys back with the dreaded unsubscribe.

Now a quick note on unsubscribes – they are totally normal. You will have people unsubscribe from every email you write – that’s OK. They are not your people. There is no point keeping people on your email list who are not going to buy from you. Someone unsubscribing is manually helping you to keep your list clean and full of people who may purchase. It’s also important for you to spring clean your list at least once a year deleting people who never open your emails so you’re not wasting your money (more subscribers usually means a higher monthly fee) sending emails to people who don’t open them.

So now we have that out of the way and you know it’s OK if people unsubscribe. 

Emailing your list is all about building relationships. I find if you picture the number of email subscribers all standing on a football field it helps you to remember each one is a real person, and not just a number of a screen. 

So let’s take a look at what we can send those people to keep them subscribed and clicking through.

Here are some reasons to email your list: 

  • Related news and tips
  • Announce new products
  • Stock update (i.e. back in stock, pre-order now open)
  • Sales or promotions 
  • Seasonal content

Using a mixture of these emails aim to keep in touch with your list at least once per week.

Related News + Tips

I’ve put this one first as it’s something people don’t always realise – your emails don’t always have to be selling something. Shock horror I know! 

If your email is helpful and relevant to your audience, it makes your emails nice to receive and they are more likely to open the next one, which may be selling something. It’s all about building reports and relationships. Remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust.

So have a think about your target audience and what else they are interested in. 

For example if you are selling baby toys you know your target audience is mums. What else might mums be interested in rather than just your baby toys? 

Let’s brainstorm:

  • Baby sleep patterns
  • Breastfeeding tips
  • Children’s development
  • Starting solids
  • Wine! Oh so much wine! 

So rather than just sending out another email saying here’s my toys, buy them think about sending something highly relevant to what they are interested in such as:

  • How to recognise your baby’s sleep patterns to get extra zzzzs each night
  • 5 tips to better latching
  • How to know when to teach your child something new
  • When should your baby start eating solids and what should they eat first
  • When is the best time to have a glass of wine when breastfeeding

I can tell you as a first time mum any of these email subject lines would get me opening the email much faster than “our latest products” (even if baby toys are super cute!).

If your target market is mums and you’re going to send out advice style emails, you may wish to team up with a topic expert such as a lactation specialist or a pediatrician and interview them for your emails or get them to write a guest article for your site. This way, you’re introducing them to a new audience in exchange for their specialist information and you don’t have to pretend to be an expert in something you’re not. 

Collaborating or interviewing people can be great in many industries such as guest interviewing a triathlete if you sell bikes or a makeup artist if you sell fashion or beauty products.

So write your own list about the topics your audience are interested in and then brainstorm some ideas of what you could write about in your emails.

Put together a list of people you can contact about collaborating and aim for 12 News + Tip style emails – that’s one a month for a year! 

Announce New Products

Newness is always a great reason to contact your audience. When you have a new product you should be telling them all about it via your social media, paid ads and, of course, email. 

Now as your email subscribers are special, you should let them in on your new product early. 

You don’t just have to email them when it’s available to purchase you can email them:

  • We have a new idea for a product, what do you think?
  • Check out the behind the scenes of our new product design
  • Check out our new product being made
  • What do you think we should call our new product?
  • We’re launching our new product soon, pre-order now
  • Our new product is nearly live, get early bird pricing
  • Our new product is out now
  • People are loving our new product (user images + videos)

You can choose a few of these and touch base more than once around a new product launch. Bonus points for pre-selling before you make it so you know there is demand.

 

Stock Updates

Stock updates are a great excuse to email your list and can be a great way to create FOMO as well.

Try not to just email “this is now back in stock” or “pre-orders now open” think about telling them why they are so popular and ran out of stock in the first place. 

Consider including:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Features and benefits
  • Unboxing video
  • User generated images and videos

 

Sales + Promotions

Sales and promotions are a great time to contact your list. Many people will spend a long time planning a promotion and then just email their list once to tell them about it. It’s important to remember not everyone will open every email, so to ensure the biggest impact for a sale or promotion you should be sending multiple emails. 

Try something like this:

  • Our sale is starting on X date, get your wishlist together
  • Our sale starts tomorrow be ready so you don’t miss out
  • Sale starts now
  • These are the most popular products of our sale
  • Key features and benefits of your product and why they should take advantage of sale
  • Sale ends tomorrow, be quick
  • Sale ends today last chance
  • Sale ends in 3 hours be quick

As you can see, your sales and promotions can be an excuse to touch base several times over a few days or a week. Don’t be afraid to remind people, we all get busy and distracted so they will be grateful for you helping them to save. Remember if they weren’t interested in your product/s they wouldn’t be on your list. 

Season Content

Special days and seasons of the year provide us with opportunities to contact our list.

Think:

  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Easter
  • Christmas
  • St Patrick’s Day
  • Halloween
  • Best Friends Day
  • Summer 
  • Autumn
  • Winter
  • Spring

Download our free planner for all the key dates for eCommerce throughout the year. 

These are all opportunities to contact your list, even if you’re not running a sale. 

You can write tip style emails with the theme based on the season, or highlight products that would make great gifts:

  • Christmas gift guide for Secret Santa
  • How to spring clean your kitchen
  • Chocolate free Easter gift ideas
  • How to dress for your office Christmas party
  • Easter recipe ideas
  • 5 gifts mum will love this Mother’s Day
  • 3 must have looks this Winter

So there you have it, 5 different reasons to contact your email list. 

You can choose to showcase products at the bottom of your emails, or keep a mix of promotional and non-promotional emails.

If you brainstorm ideas for each type of email and put together a schedule you’ll soon find you have enough for an email each week without the pressure to come up with something on the spot.

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is an eCommerce marketing specialist specialising in Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!

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