How to write a perfectly persuasive email that converts into revenue


How to write a perfectly persuasive emailWhile in Australia Nick Woodman wanted to create a surfing video.

He created the video using a waterproof camera and Velcro strap that he found in his luggage, and…

GoPro was born…

Like 99% of all births, it didn’t go exactly as Nick thought it would.

For starters, Nick’s manufactured his first GoPro product on his mom’s sewing machine.


You see, Nick started out thinking that his breakthrough product was the Velcro strap to hold a waterproof camera in place.

It didn’t take long for him to discover that Velcro straps weren’t going to cut it.

Nick needed to build a new camera.

Go Pro

And that’s when GoPro exploded into the marketplace as hottest selling camera for active lifestyles and changed our viewing experience.

Are you like Nick?

Are you using “Velcro sales emails” when it’s past time to chuck it and build a new camera?

If your sales emails aren’t working, maybe it’s time for a new email strategy?

Even if your sales emails are working, is it time for an upgrade?

I know why you don’t it.

Writing emails is hard.

Really hard.

So in the rush of everything else you need to get done, it’s easier to fall back on your Velcro copy even though you know you’re leaving money on the table.

And that’s the thing… email IS revenue; especially during a sales campaign.

If you’re using webinars to sell, you might get 40% of your sales live, but that means that a full 60% of your revenue comes in because of your post-webinar email campaign.

As an entrepreneur or busy nonprofit executive, its tough to be good at everything else you’re juggling and be a fantastic copywriter.

It’s not your fault.

I want to make writing crazy-good emails that convert into sales as easy as possible for you, even if you hate writing emails and don’t have the budget for a copywriter.

I’ve reverse-engineered high performing sales emails into three super-simple steps designed to double your email sales.

Is there more to email marketing than three steps? Yes, of course there is, but here’s the deal.

You’re super-busy and need to quickly leverage tools for what matters (revenue) and sack the rest.

So, if you’re not looking to spend days or weeks learning to become a top copywriter, but you want master-copy writing results from your email marketing, focus on these three strategies:

WHAT to say in your emails that is persuasive and yet doesn’t make you feel like you’ve just Ghostbusters-green-slimed your readers.

HOW to say it your email message that makes you memorable, makes your buyers feel like you’ve written a personal message just to them, connects at a deep level, and well… turns your readers into raving fans.

HOW MANY emails to send in your sales campaign, and when to send them to get the highest opens and clicks.

There you go.

This is as streamlined as I can get using master copy-writing skills that will double or triple your email results.


Let’s do this.

The Emails that Convert Cheat Code

Effective sales emails are all about psychology.

There’s a verified formula I’m about to share, but first…

Let’s let first start with *your* psychology…

You gotta stop focusing on what you want to say and instead…

… focus on what your buyer needs to believe to open their wallet.

Yes, you’re brilliant…

Yes, no one knows your product, service, mission, industry like you do…

Your product or service is brilliant…

Your nonprofit is brilliant; and most important…

….the 20% of your email list that is qualified to buy from you just doesn’t care about you or your product.

{Ouch, sorry, but you need to hear that from a friend}

Your buyer only cares about themselves and what they need to believe that you, your product, service, or mission can do for them.

This is big: when you shift your mindset to help your buyers get the information they need to make the right decision instead of what you want them to believe, your emails will convert like crazy.

1. What to Say in Your Emails

There’s a set of beliefs we all need to believe before we buy anything.

These beliefs make up the core of persuasive sales messaging because it’s information your buyer really wants to know.

It’s the “how did he know I was thinking about that” kind of information.

There are beliefs are applicable to everyone and every sale.

There are almost always an additional set of beliefs specific to your product, service, or mission.

Buyer Beliefs that Convert Into Sales

Let’s jump in with universal sales beliefs you need to answer in your sales letter, sales letter, and emails:

  • Your buyer must believe your Big Promise in 10 seconds or less… or they move on. Open with a highly desirable, credible promise to get your buyers attention. Mystery is for novels. You’re an entrepreneur and your buyer is busy, so cut to the chase. Because…Once you lose your buyers attention, you’ve just lost the sale. Open with a clear, even blunt statement about exactly the results your buyers will get. Here are great examples from Tempurpedic: “Not too cold. Not too hot. Just perfect.” Wake up feeling refreshed with the all-new TEMPUR-Breeze.
  • Help Your Buyer Believe the “So…” or the benefit they get from buying your product. I don’t mean the features like free home delivery or choice of colors, or no-interest payment plans. What do the benefits actually MEAN to your buyer? The “so that” of your offering. A firm mattress so you get a good night’s sleep. Or, better sleep so you can be a better you. Fastest way to write killer sales emails that convert so you can unchain from your desk and spend more time in front of clients. Here’s a trick, just when you think the “so” is obvious, that’s when you got the right “so that.” Your buyers are too busy to figure this out on their own so that when you tell them, you get the sale. {see what I just did there?} What’s your product’s “good night sleep?”
  • Your buyer must feel an Emotion to complete the shopping cart. We humans are an emotional bunch. So emotional, that we won’t really buy until we feel the right emotion. Discover the emotion people feel the most when they buy your product or donate to your charity and tap that emotion to close the sale. Is it prestige? Is it fear? Is it envy? Is it “ease.” Is it the relief that comes with financial security? Is it freedom? Is it control? How to inspire your buyers to feel this emotion is coming up next in Step 2. Stay tuned.
  • Nothing motivates your buyer like a deadline. At some point you’ll need to present your buyers with a reason to act quickly. What we marketers call Urgency and Scarcity. Maybe you’ll sell out so people need to buy quickly. Maybe you offer an early bird discount or bonus that ends in 48 hours. Maybe you’re closing the doors. The ability to take a tax deduction ends at midnight. What’s important to is be clear about a credible deadline and the loss your buyer will experience if they don’t act.
  • Your buyer needs to believe that you are Trustworthy. It’s true that people want to buy from someone that they know, like, and trust. I’ll talk about “know and like” in Step 2 below, so for now let’s focus on “trust.” You can establish trust with social proof such as testimonials, sharing how many customers or subscribers you have, that you have a 100% money back guarantee, that you have a secure online payment processor, or that you’ve been featured in media articles, or maybe that you are certified.
  • Okay… this one isn’t backed by science out of Princeton or Stanford like the others listed here. This one is purely tested in marketing only. But it’s a biggie, especially for information marketers, coaches, and consultants. I spend a lot of time in my Perfectly Persuasive Masterclass covering this one. It’s your Overcoming Objections email. I’m convinced this is where your buyer “mentally buys” even if they don’t hit the buy button until a deadline is looming. This is where you list out all the reasons your prospect is mentally not buying and answer those deal killers to put your buyer at ease.
  • No one like to be sold to, there are 26 different academic studies to prove this. You can easily take the pressure off by letting your buyers know that they have a Freedom of Choice. “The choice is up to you” are powerful words… But where you REALLY get more sales is when you let your buyer know why you are the the best possible choice of all the choices they have. You can do this factually; side by side comparisons, or with testimonials. In this day and age of too many choices, the challenge for you is to assure your buyers that they’ve made the right choice.
  • Buyers need to believe that you’re easy to do business with; what I call the “Easy Button” assurance. You buyer needs to hear how easy is it to buy and get started with you. Cuz if it’s too big of a hassle or mystery, you lose. Now some of us have products and services that aren’t “easy. When that happens, shift gears slightly to illustrating every step your buyer needs to take, so there are no surprises.
  • You’ll almost certainly have some additional beliefs specific to your industry, such as safety standards, adaptability, guarantees, access, turn-around times, or up-times. What’s important for your buyers to believe that is specific to your industry? Add it to this list.

I’ll show you optimal timing to deliver these messages in Step 3.

2. How to Say It

Have you ever felt a personal connection with an entrepreneur or nonprofit who you’ve never met and have no real reason to feel a connection with?

You actually look forward to reading their emails?

You open them no matter what the subject line because you feel like you know them—as if their emails are written as private messages to you.

Here’s how they do it and…  you can too.

Write conversationally

Give up the formal language and fancy words. Forget your high school English teacher and write like you talk. Here are my quickest tips for how to write conversationally:

  • Write as if you’re talking to a close friend …
  • Address ONE reader directly, not the thousands on your list …
  • Talk in your head as you write …
  • Eliminate formalities and complex words …
  • Write using voice recognition software. It’s the best way I’ve found to write conversationally (and saves your neck and shoulders)

Tell a story

Brain scans reveal that telling a story is the most powerful way to activate your buyers’ brain.

A good story will make or break your sales emails.

When you tell a story, your reader puts themselves in your story.

There’s a reason I opened this blog post with the GoPro story.

We’ve all experienced what Nick Woodman experienced… or feel that we could experience it.

There are 26 types of stories that novelists and Hollywood have discovered charm us, but you only need to worry about three story types right now:

1. The Challenge Plot: A story of the underdog, rags to riches or sheer willpower triumphing over adversity (WALL-E or A Beautiful Mind)

2. The Connection Plot: A story about people who develop a relationship that bridges a gap: racial, class, ethnic, religious, demographic or otherwise; (Romeo & Juliet)

3. The Creativity Plot: A story that involves someone making a mental breakthrough or attacking a problem in an innovative way (Good Will Hunting or GoPro).

Write with Your Voice

In online marketing, you can’t make eye contact.

You can’t whisper.

You can’t wink.

You can’t raise your eyebrows.

You can’t make a fake fart noise in the bend of your elbow (sadly).

When you write online you only have words and a few images to communicate that you are trustworthy, reliable, professional, and fun to do business with.

Your “voice” is a medley of your unique point of view, syntax, vocabulary, stories you tell (or don’t), sense of humor, punctuation, emotion, sarcasm (or not), and timing.

If you don’t have a distinctive writing voice yet, you can jump-start one with a three-step process to gain an immediate competitive advantage.

1. Develop your writing voice by “trying on” the characteristics of writers you love and read. You don’t take their voice entirely, but borrowing some of the characteristics that appeal to you is fine.

2. Identify the characteristics of writers your buyers or donors love and read—especially if they are not the same as yours. If you’re a baby-boomer that sells to millennials, that means your pop icons and vocabulary are on different tracks. Again, pick millennial icon and characteristics that you can adopt as your own.

3. Incorporate those characteristics into your email writing. Try one or two per characteristics per email to slowly ramp up your audience. You’ll find some characteristics work and some don’t.

3. How many emails to send

How many emails you’re going to send in a promotional campaign is mostly driven by how many beliefs  you need to help your buyers sort through and still sticking to the “rule of one.”

The rule of one is: one topic per email, because…

A confused mind says “no.”

If you have too many concepts in one email, you cause reader paralysis and shoot yourself in the foot.

Exception: some of your messages will include: urgency, scarcity, or “easy button,” as part of  your “big close,” call-to-action, so I exclude them from the rule of one.

But still.

You’re probably looking at somewhere between 7 to 12 emails, or more per promotional campaign.

Is that more than you’re comfortable with?

Don’t worry.

You can send more email than you think because every email you’re sending now is bursting at the seams full of great information your buyers are hungry to hear.

Your emails are brimming with your personality, so it feels like they are hearing from a friend, not a vendor.

And, the cold hard reality is that any new prospect or lead is unlikely to buy from you the first time they hear from you.

They need to hear from you a few times to build trust and like you.

Send emails that leave your readers thinking you know them better than they know themselves… it’s a surefire way to build that trust and fans.

Here’s a quick snapshot of a basic promotional email campaign:

E1 – Warm up or primer email with no promotional content
E2 – If warranted, a second warm up email +24 or 48 hours
E3 – Big Promise, benefits, social proof, offer, scarcity or urgency, easy button +24 to 72 hours
E4 – Benefits and features recap (with story or testimonial), scarcity, easy button +24 or 48 hours
E5 – Social Proof (with story) – + 24 or 48 hours
E6 – Overcoming Objections – + 24 or 48 hrs
E7 – Bonus ending today – + 24 or 48 hrs
E8 – Doors closing in 17 hours – + 24 or 48 hrs
E9 – Door closing in 2 hours + 15 hours

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