How To Write Emails that Sell (and that People Love to Read)

How To Write Emails that Sell (and that People Love to Read)

Reader Comments (43)

  1. If the email doesn’t get opened, it doesn’t matter what is inside. So it’s worthwhile spending time on the subject line. Maybe create the title after you finish with the body so it is relevant to what is contained inside. It’s good to use phrases that leave the reader wanting to know more such as teaser statements or unanswered questions that compel them to click on the message to find out more.

    Very relavent and useful tips. Thanks.

    • True enough, and subject lines matter, but an even more important factor to get the open is *who’s sending the mail*. It’s a circle — if you send stuff people want to read, they’ll open the next one. The best subject lines on earth won’t work if readers learn that the message isn’t worth reading once they open it.

      • Shamelle, Sonia,

        I agree Subject Lines are useful as they give the reader a quick summary of the content and From Address help with credibility as to who is sending the email.

        I took-away the point of the article being that content of your emails are the most important component. Looking at a single email or an acquisition blast, I could buy the argument that Subject Lines and From Address determine if the email gets read. But as most of us know, email marketing is more effective at continuing the conversation and building a relationship with our customers.

        If that is indeed the purpose, then unless this is the first email ever sent, the reader has already received an email from us and decided whether it had value or not. If we write the best subject line or the worst, they will remember the last email we sent and that will determine if they read the next one.

        This article shows just how important it is to engage with them in every email and put your best foot forward with personality, stories, and relevance. Leverage your analytics which look at click thru rate and conversion rate to determine if you’re hitting your email marketing goals. Open rates are important but like subject lines, they just scratch the surface.

        Great article and comments!
        – Cody

  2. What a way to do the email marketing. This article and your system of emails looks very good.

    I like that you are adding some culture into your emails, and that’s what separates you from all of the other many boring emails.

  3. Ben,

    Thanks for a fantastic article… This is my first time reading your work so I’m definitely headed over to your site after this comment.

    From my own personal experience I’ve found that anytime you can interject comedy into an article you’ll see some very good results as well.

    Thanks again,

    Ryan H.

  4. ‘If nothing else, it keeps your emails fun, loose and interesting (all of which combine to make emails more readable and “buyer-friendly?).”

    I think that’s a great idea. If you’re strapped for a witty line, pull a fan favorite from a hot comedy! It shows you don’t take yourself too seriously.

  5. Ben!

    Welcome to Copyblogger! Anyone reading this article needs to know that Ben knows exactly what he’s talking about. I’ve been on his list for years, used his methods for years, and the power of infotainment is exactly what works in ALL media to keep people coming back. I know, because I use the same principles that he teaches for my own list.

    This is why you can stay glued to the TV for a marathon of Storage Wars.
    This is why you can’t wait for another issue of your favorite YouTube show.

    Ben’s strength is that he uses his daily life and random stories and keeps you coming back for more. Glad to see he made it over here.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  6. I read Ben everyday he writes something… his stories are amazing…If you are looking for the best selling strategy just study his stuff… plus the truth is that he is so fun to read it is additive.

  7. Love how you make it sound so easy. Well, it’s easier than doing a looooong email without any personality. But hey, to each his own style. Glad this one worked for you. Maybe I ought to try it out in my next email blasts.

    Thanks Ben

    • Simple, not necessarily easy. 🙂

      But everything is easier when you focus on the right things — and for a lot of content producers, lightening things up a little does make it easier, or at least more fun.

  8. If any of you are subscribed to Ben’s list you know he practices exactly what he preaches.

    Sean, he does make it look easy and I really believe it is easy for him. From what he has shared he doesn’t spend tons of time crafting copy, split testing or worrying. He just naturally writes and sends often. In fact, he sends daily.

    I believe this is a style that relieves the pain of email marketing.

  9. Two thumbs up Ben. From a guy who use to be a “nothing but the facts” writer, your tips will triple the effectiveness of any boring info post.

  10. To anyone reading Ben’s work for the first time, I cannot encourage you enough to sign up for his daily email list.

    Stop what you’re doing right now, go to (do not pass Go) and sign up! Whether you’re into marketing (be it email, online or otherwise), learning how to write with your own voice, or just want to be entertained by a very astute, savvy and shrewd wit – Ben is your man! He is The Man! And his work is Awesome!

    Hey Ben – congrats on yet another Copyblogger appearance – clearly one more home run to pad your stats!

    • You just convinced me to subscribe. I know nothing about Ben but the post was great and I did go to the signup page.

      But since I am very cautious about newsletters, I decided to subscribe later. Going to read his blog now. 🙂

  11. Ben,
    What a fantastic article, I believe that making more money does require more interesting content especially via email. Taking the time to be sincere and honest while simultaneously informing of your product will definitely let people know more about you and the product you are selling. I think that when buying any product people want to feel connected somehow to whatever it is that they are buying. by being more of a “human”, instead of a “product” helps people to identify with you and not some object that is being pushed down their throats. Great post Ben!

  12. Great article, but I’d like to play the devil’s advocate for a moment. Personally, I receive emails every day, once or twice or week, or even on the weekends from professionals who are trying to sell me something or giving me a free teleseminar or webinar. I may open the emails or hit delete/spam. Do you constantly want to bombard people with emails when they’re probably received more than they want? What’s considered overkill?

    • I think you missed the point… Provide infoTAINMENT. The key part “tainment” as in entertainment.

      I guarantee.. guarantee… that many people on your email list, listen to the same morning radio show EVERY morning. Will watch the same news program every night. Tune into watch the same TV show every week.

      If you tell people that you are doing to send a daily email, and they sign up for a daily email, why would sending a daily email be “overkill”?

  13. Great post and I think the concept of infotainment is brilliant.

    I always try to be real and inject my own personality when sending emails, so I’m glad I have the going for me. I haven’t really telling “stories” in my emails, but I’m definitely going to give it a shot.

    By the way, I’m pretty curious to read about those “well over 50” ways to infotainment in emails. Any chance we can get more of those? 😉

  14. You’re absolutely right Ben. Finding the right balance between content and selling is what makes or breaks an e-mail marketer, but when we use the skills unique to each of us, therein lies the opportunity to build a fantastic connection with our readers that make them want to buy even if they don’t want to.

    I was a total blog virgin 2 months ago. If you would have asked me then what an e-mail marketer was, I would have told it’s that guy that wants to sell you the pills that will make your ……… Well, you get the picture.

    Flash forward to today and my Inbox is filled with ALL kinds of e-mail marketing offers for a free ebook, webinar, or course. But you know which ones I look forward to opening? It’s the one that has no sales pitch, just an incredibly hilarious story that makes me laugh to the point of peeing my pants. It’s also what keeps me wanting to open each and every single e-mail after that. It’s refreshing to be treated like a plain ‘ol human being and not a highly researched buyer persona.

  15. The subject line is obviously important but they are all pretty similar so I would say the content is key. If the email has a bit of a different twist to it the reader will definitely take note of what is being said esepcially if you put some of your personality in there so the reader can relate to you.

  16. Hi Ben,

    Certainly great tips to get your email interesting and get the intentions by the readers and I think on internet people wants some real things and if they get that they’ll love reading and also gives you the benefits. Thanks for sharing great tips 🙂

  17. Greeting Ben,

    I need to thank you million times for this great post which will be seriously useful for most of the newcomers into the world of Internet Marketing and List Building. Thanks again for sharing such post..:)

  18. Ben, My target market is Baby Boomers and their parents. It is my understanding that many of them use search engines to look up information on the internet, which explains the posts on my blogs. Almost all of them know how to use email. I like your idea of referencing pop-culture. My question is if I should reference today’s pop-culture to Baby Boomers or the stuff that was popular when we were kids. Sonia, a few months back you suggested building a “course” for autoresponders. I wanted to let you know that I am about half-way through with a course for Insurance Retirement Planning. Although each lesson has practical ideas of what people can do with insurance, at the end of each lesson I direct them to a place where they can buy my ebooks. I’m trusting that your concept of giving away free education will result in sales. I have seen the model work before. My concern is over what to do after the course is prepared to get people to subscribe. If it has no subscribers, it will not be read and will be a lot of work for nothing.

    • On Father’s Day this last week, my fiance and I got her father a board game called “5 Second Rule”.

      You draw a card that asks you to name 3 things. The trick of the game is name 3 things in “5 Seconds.

      What I noticed in the game… the answers we gave all had us reverting back to our youth. Teens and early 20’s.

      I’d also point out what are they reading, paying attent to know. AARP magazine, etc.

  19. I couldn’t have read this at a far, better time. Just when I am thinking about creating my email list and planning on the things that I’ll be sending as soon as I start, your blog came out. Very helpful tips indeed. Cheers!

  20. Thanks for this article, Ben! Even I myself would like to admit that sometimes, when emails don’t sound interesting, we don’t read them at all. Aside from a catchy phrase/title, we should also try to sound “human” to our readers, and rapport starts there. Stop sounding like a robot, to avoid getting mistaken as spam.

    Keep sharing more tips!

  21. Hi,
    Your articles are very impresseve and attractive, this is my first time I came across you blog, it is so good to read, keep writing.

  22. Thanks Ben.
    Sadly, in my startup website we dont’ capture user emails ?
    Doing so has helped us, as well as harmed us in some ways. We take classified ad without having the user to login, and later validate their post through sms (they need to send one). People find it easier to do than register, login and remember password for eternity. So in a way, our userbase has grown substantially. But the problem is, we don’t have user emails to communicate with them later. What would you suggest me in this case? Sending sms to their numbers periodically is costly. Currently, we’re on Facebook and Twitter as well, and that has helped a lot as well.

    On Facebook, we offer a lot of infotainment though 🙂 And that has helped. I think using facebook to engage users is the best option in our case. And ya, as you mentioned, storytelling as well!

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