Knowing how to write copy your own sales pitches isn’t as easy as it seems. Depending on the type of audience you are addressing and the overall reputation your brand enjoys, there are conventional and unconventional methods that may or may not apply. This is why having good copywriting examples is crucial to sales success.
However, your Return on Investment (RoI) depends heavily on the judgment calls your editors, writers and marketing staff makes when creating these emails. Let’s take a look at some of the universal rules that might cost you sales and revenue should you break them in your email sales pitches.
1. Features Before Products
Writing sales emails usually consists of what the industry likes to call “cold calling”. This technique entails that the person receiving your email doesn’t have a clue as to who you are or what you want. Not to mention how you came about their email in the first place.
Writing cold call emails is difficult, which is why you should always focus on the important aspects of your sales pitch before introducing additional information. In practice, this means that you should list, describe and possibly demonstrate the product or service that you are trying to sell.
This should usually be done without mentioning the product or service by name. Trying to explain it to the reader without showing them images, videos or other forms of multimedia content can be difficult if you don’t have the experience and the know-how. That’s why we are here now.
Focus on the features of your sales pitch first and then move on to the technical details. Using the “Why, How, What” model is also a good idea if your readers have submitted their emails willingly. If they are expecting you to contact them, you have the necessary benefit of the doubt needed for them to read the email thoroughly.
2. Individualize the Reader
There is an unwritten rule in copywriting that states that your copy should individualize the reader in an “80:20” ratio. This means that 80% of your text should be directed at the reader themselves and addresses them as “you”, “yourself”, “your family”, etc. The remaining 20% are open to you, often including “we” or “ourselves” as a brand or a company trying to deliver a good sales pitch via email.
There is an unwritten rule in copywriting that states that your copy should individualize the reader in an “80:20” ratio.
There is a strong psychological truth to the “80:20” rule, meaning that most people prefer to be the center of attention when reading private correspondences. As we all know, emails are usually read in the privacy of a home or an office computer where the reader has your full attention for several important minutes.
Use that opportunity to address them with professionalism, actionable information, and value which you can monetize as a salesperson.
3. Be a Storyteller
Presenting raw information and asking for the money to fall from the sky never worked as a sales strategy. As copywriters, we are often asked to write stories and formulate testimonials. These vital tools can help the readers identify themselves with the email they are reading.
Storytelling techniques have often been implemented in sales emails, letters, and pamphlets throughout history. Learning from these examples is important because it allows us to mitigate the mistakes they may have made before us.
A good example is Jack Daniels and their humorous slogans, stories and advertisement campaigns. They are making sure that the customers feel as if they were old friends, not just people that buy their products.
Storytelling can be done in several ways, including fictionalized scenarios that implement your products or services in their situations or by simply paraphrasing or formatting actual testimonials that you may have gathered over time.
Use every tool at your disposal to breathe some life into your sales email and help the reader identify themselves with your brand and product.
4. Use the K.I.S.S.
Writing simple sales pitches when you have a lot of features and technical terms to go over can be difficult. That is why copywriters often employ a technique called K.I.S.S., or “Keep It Simple, Stupid”.
As the name would suggest, this technique emphasizes simplicity and straightforward information over convoluted jargon.
Individuals that are genuinely interested in your product will likely pursue further information without receiving a data dump in their inboxes. Copywriters often look for help with online writing services and their colleagues that specialize in developing K.I.S.S. sales pitches.
This is sometimes a good idea if your copywriter is new on the job or simply inexperienced to deliver a simple yet cohesive sales email.
Failing to capture the audience’s attention on the first try sometimes results in a complete failure of the sales campaign, so be careful as to how much your information is really necessary. It’s likely you won’t get a chance for a do-over.
5. Edit, Delete, Rewrite
Self-confidence is an important feature of every salesperson, apart from when it represents blind confidence. Editing, rewriting, deleting and otherwise fixing the initial draft of your sales pitch is an extremely important part of the writing process.
If you think that you wrote a perfect sales pitch and an email on the first try, think again. Consider sending it to your coworkers, family members or a colleague copywriter to see what they think about it.
The truth is that the sales creation process only begins once you are absolutely confident that what you have created represents the final product.
If you are ahead of deadline and have some time to spare, take a breather and come back to your copy a bit later. Clearing your mind and distancing yourself from the sales email you just wrote can be difficult.
Objectivity is essential if you want to deliver revenue and not a loss of investment to your company.
6. S.L.A.P. the Reader
Think of your favorite movie or a TV show scene. One in which a character slapped another character across the face in a moment of anger, desperation or surprise. Then, think of the reaction the receiving character made shortly afterward. The S.L.A.P. method in copywriting consists of demanding attention and action from the reader and translates to:
This simple train of thought and action can help you gain the attention you need. Say what you need to say and actually have the reader pay attention to your copy.
You can do this by including discount codes, additional value for quick replies or similar extra features. Doing so might incentivize a reaction from your reader.
Allen Edmonds, an American shoes company has done a great job implementing their customers’ testimonials into marketing. Applying the S.L.A.P. method and combining it with K.I.S.S. can give you great results as seen on the image below.
The company was able to induce a state of nostalgia and homeland warmth with their readers. All by using vintage decoration and a real-life story. Writing a sales email that is both simple and effective from the get-go isn’t easy, and you will have to pay close attention to the opening lines. This is usually where users decide whether or not they will continue reading.
Don’t be shy of showing your readers exactly what you have to offer as a brand. Be confident in your own product. If you don’t like what you are selling, why should the audience care for it? Love what you are doing and S.L.A.P. the reader with it firmly and confidently.
7. A Sense of Urgency
The number one rule of sales is to create a sense of urgency with your reader. If you tell them they have all the time in the world to make a purchase or order your product, chances are that they won’t bite anytime soon.
Make sure to include limited-time offers. Or first-come-first-serve features, as well as limited quantity, offers that may or may not actually be true.
You are not lying to your audience by stating limited quantities. By actually telling them that is the case, there is a much greater chance of them actually making a purchase.
We are constantly surrounded by sales and discounts in retail stores and online e-commerce websites. It’s only natural to use the same technique to benefit your sales emails and establish direct communication with your potential buyers.
8. Use Calls to Action
Just as it’s important to start your sales email on a good note, so it is important to end it on an even higher one. The last sentences your reader receives in a sales email are the ones that will stick with them the longest should they consider making a purchase.
This is where copywriters often include calls to action as a means to ensure that the reader makes a purchase instead of just considering one. Calls to action can be anything from a question to the reader or a demand punctuated with an exclamation point. Telling the reader to make a purchase now instead of later is an essential part of online sales – why would you do with it otherwise?
Use your best judgment depending on the type of audience you are dealing with. Try to balance the fact that you are demanding an action from the reader while still giving them an illusion of choice in doing so.
Writing sales emails without a call to action included at the end is a wasted opportunity that will cost you precious sales almost every time.
The Best of All Worlds
It’s important to note that these techniques and rules can and should be combined depending on your individual needs. Relying solely on one of them might not work if your product is multifaceted and not straightforward like books or video games.
Don’t overstay your welcome with the readers. Only include the essential information needed to make a decision whether or not to make a purchase.
Teasing the hidden features and benefits of a product is sometimes better than sending information dumps to your mailing list and hoping for the best. Maximize your sales email efficiency by making smart decisions and by following universal copywriting rules that can be applied to almost any niche out there.