Email copywriting

How to Get Started With Email Copywriting.

If you want your emails to be read and acted upon, you have to get to know your clients well before you begin your email copywriting.

There are plenty of great ways to do this, in this post we’ll look at two powerful approaches.

Also in this post we’re going to focus on the latest studies that show why people buy.

Later, we’ll look at ways you can write to people, so they welcome you with open arms.

You may already be familiar with the term, direct-response copywriting.

If you are, then you’ll know that it means writing persuasively to get people to take the action(s) that are best for them.

You’ll learn how do email copywriting so well that what you say doesn’t appear to your prospects as advertising, but more like you’re doing them a favour.

This means you will be most welcome in their lives.

They’ll see you as a trusted friend.

Let’s look at what really motivates people.

Influence Intelligence

In my book ‘Influence Intelligence – Why People Resist You and what to do about it,’ I talk about four ‘drivers’ that motivate action.

Here’s an excerpt…

“There are four core motivators in email copywriting, getting the things we want, having great relationships with others, learning new things, and keeping all that we have.

Let’s look at these in order.

The need to acquire

We all love to acquire new things. We are a nation of consumers well trained by advertising of all kinds.

The need to continually learn

We love to learn about the things that interest us. The news is massive business worldwide. It’s constantly bombarding us with things we didn’t even know that we didn’t want to know.

The need to make connections

Another compelling motivator is bonding with people, making friends, having love relationships and being a member of a group of likeminded people.

The need to protect ourselves

But over and above all of these is the need to defend what we have acquired, what we’ve learned or believe in, and our relationships. This survival instinct runs deep within us.”

Influence Intelligence

As you can clearly see, you and I have these four core drivers affecting our everyday decisions.

These run so deep inside of us we are totally unaware of their impact.

That’s why you MUST know and understand these before you write another word to your customers or prospects.

Back to email copywriting psychology.

“Underlying every decision to do anything are these four core drives.

  1. Getting the things we want
  2. Having great relationships with others
  3. Learning new things
  4. Keeping what we have

Why we need to acquire

Most people love to buy. It’s an addiction. I have a friend who loves watches. He has about fifty of them, yet he can only wear one at a time!

When someone has a desire, it’s rarely satisfied for long. Men buy more shirts than they need… women buy more shoes than they could wear in a lifetime!!!

Look to see where your product meets an on-going need.

Okay on to the next driver…

Why we need to continually learn

We love to learn about the things that interest us. People read books, magazines, newspapers, and anything that grabs their attention.

Some people even read novels with over 1,000 pages.

Learning is something most people HAVE to do. It’s another addiction that we can’t avoid.

People watch TV because they think they are learning something new.

However there’s a new trend that’s taking people away from watching the news because it’s so horrific they can’t stand it.

So give people interesting, positive news that’s good for them.

Next we have…

The need for relationships

Another craving we have is connecting with people, making friends, having love relationships and being a member of a group of people who like the same weird things we like.

It’s rare to find a person who doesn’t want to have friends, be in the company of others, or have a romantic partner.

This need drives so many of our decisions at an unconscious level it’s hard to fight it.

Before you begin with your email copywriting ask yourself how your product or service appeals to this desire.

Moving on…

Why we need to protect ourselves

We need to defend what we have acquired, learned, or believe in, and our friendships. Don’t believe me? Try attacking someone’s beliefs and see how far you get.

Or try insulting your friend’s choice of romantic partner. And if you really want a challenge, question   your friend’s religious beliefs.”

Okay, now it’s time to show you how to use what you’ve just discovered.

I want you to ask yourself this question for each of the four core motives:

Let’s start with the need to acquire.

How does having your product or service satisfy this drive?

For example, if you’re providing a time management course, your answer in your email copywriting may be to acquire the ability to get more done in a day. Or to acquire more leisure time for golf.

Next the need to learn.

How does having your product or service satisfy this drive?

Staying with time management for example, you could say that having more time on your hands can help you upgrade your knowledge and learn new things that can get you further ahead in life.

The need to connect with others.

How does having your product or service satisfy this drive?

For example, having more time available because you’re more efficient can get you more time to spend with your family and friends.

The need to protect what we’ve acquired.

How does having your product or service satisfy this drive?

For example, in your email copywriting you could argue that having more time allows you to protect yourself against redundancy.

As the body of knowledge doubles every three years, you have to continually upgrade your skills, or you could risk losing your job.

When you have the answers to all four drives you have the basis for writing persuasively.

Take the time to write out your answers on a clean sheet of paper before moving on to the next section.

Mapping Empathy

You can go one step further if you really want to make the biggest possible impact when doing email copywriting.

Let me explain.

The top email copywriters work hard to craft words that are so compelling they can live off the proceeds of their work for years.

Bill Bonner of Agora wrote a sales letter that was mailed for twenty nine years.

He made millions as a result.


Because he understood his market so well.

In fact the word ‘Agora’ means marketplace.

If you get even a fraction of what he earned from that one letter you’ll still be doing very well.

So let’s take your understanding of your readers to another level.

Here’s a diagram I want you to study intensely.

It’s called the ‘Empathy map.’

The original version can be found in the book ‘Business Model Generation.’

However I’ve modified it a little.

Here’s what it looks like:

Empathy Map

The easiest way to use it is to get ‘stick – it’ notes in four colours. These can be pink, blue, yellow, and green.

Get an A2 artist’s drawing pad and recreate this image.

Using one stick-it note per answer and one colour for each section. Then brainstorm with a friend to find plausible answers to each question.

Let me give you an example for a possible email copywriting project.

Let’s go back to selling a time management system.

You could answer the question, ‘what does she think and feel?’ like this:

“I never have enough time to get everything done.”

The question, ‘What really counts?’ could be answered like this:

“I must get the most important things done first otherwise they get forgotten.”

The major preconceptions could be:

“I need two more hours a day.”

And the wants and aspirations question could be expressed this way:

“I want to be more efficient and proactive instead of reactive.”

All these answers could be written on the blue stick-it notes as they are all part of the same section.

Then the other sections would have their own colour.

This makes each section different and clearly defined from the others.

When you answer all of the questions you’ll have created a map of empathy that allows you to connect deeply with your prospects.

When you’ve completed all the questions see if you can fit the answers into the four core drivers.

For example, the answer “I need two more hours a day,” is a desire to learn something new.

Before we leave this exercise let’s talk about the pain and gain section at the bottom.

You’ll see the words – “fears, frustrations, obstacles.”

These are self-explanatory.

However on the other side where you have the word “gain,” you’ll also see the word “obstacles.”

When people are in pain they see only the obstacles. This is known in some circles as a ‘moving away’ from person, because they move away from problems.

For example: If someone has a flat tyre they want to restore the status quo. They want it fixed so they can use their vehicle again.

The person who is focused on moving towards is completely different.

For example, a young lad has a nice car so to make it look even better he might put a set of alloy wheels on it.

This moving toward approach usually involves an elegant solution that is far better than what they had before.

So my point is that a ‘moving towards’ person doesn’t usually see the obstacles in their way.

But when you do the empathy map exercise make sure to fill out one or two stick – it notes on the obstacles your prospect will encounter before reaching the right solution.

For example, an obstacle to getting more done in a day could be to learn and understand a more efficient way of doing certain tasks.

Once you identify an obstacle you can bring it up in your sales message and show how easy it is to overcome it.

Okay, it’s time for you to create your empathy map and begin this process.

You’ll soon discover just how valuable this exercise is.

It will give you much deeper insights into the way your customer thinks.

It can help you structure all of your email copywriting with more precision than ever before.

Think inside the box

The box we’re referring to is of course the mind of your prospect.

Take note…

These next few paragraphs will take your email copywriting to the next level.

Everyone is constantly holding a mental conversation with themselves.

You do this all the time. Psychologists call this your ‘inner dialogue.’ 

And what does this inner dialogue consist of? Your goals, your interests, your problems and even your fantasies!

If this is true for you, then it’s also true for your prospects.

When you write you must enter this inner conversation with something that fits in with the thoughts your prospect is having.

How do you do this?

You temporarily divert their mind away from their own concerns by writing about something that is new to them.

This piques their curiosity.

Then you take them back to their previous thoughts linking your product or service with those thoughts.

 After that you show how your solution solves their problem and gets them their goal.

And when you do that, they will read what you write and be open to what you have to say.

So your first goal is to get your message read.

If prospects don’t read what you write you can’t persuade them to do what is in their best interests.

Email copywriting reminders…

We’ve looked at the four core drives we all have within us.

These are:

  1. The need to acquire
  2. The need to bond
  3. The need to learn
  4. The need to defend

Next we looked at the empathy map and how it helps get inside the thoughts and feelings of your prospects.

And then we looked at the conversations that are already happening inside your prospects’ minds.

 You must enter the inner dialogue, bring in something new and then bring them back to your solution to their problem.

The first question you must ask before you write

Before I reveal that question, there’s a story I once heard about an amateur golfer who turned up to play in a pro-am tournament.

When he met his professional playing partner he said to him, “I hope I play a great round of golf today.”

The professional replied, “If you didn’t bring it with you, you won’t find it here.”

And that’s also true in business.

It’s no longer good enough to be above average.

Today in email copywriting you have to strive for excellence.

What drives people to action?

It’s one word…


As the legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz once said:

“You are working with a series of building blocks, you are putting the building blocks together, and then you are putting them in certain structures, you are building a little city of desire for your person to come and live in.”

The first question you must ask is:

What is the mass desire that will motivate my prospects to want what I sell?

Until you know this your email copywriting will only move a tiny percentage of your readers to take action.

So let’s take a look at a range of desires we all have in common.

They are in no particular order of importance.

1) Achieve comfort

2) Add Fun to Life

3) Appreciate Beauty

4) Attract the Opposite Sex

5) Avoid Criticism

6) Avoid Effort

7) Avoid Embarrassment

8)  Avoid Physical Pain

9) Avoid Trouble

10) Be a Good Parent

11) Be Among the Leaders

12) Be Efficient

13) Be First At Something

14) Be Healthy

15) Be in Fashion

16) Be In style

17) Be Independent

18) Be Liked

19) Be Loved

20) Be Lucky

21) Be More Beautiful

22) Be Popular

23) Be Praised and Admired

24) Be Proud of Possessions

25) Be Recognized as an Authority

26) Be Sociable

27) Be Strong

28) Be Successful

29) Be up to Date

30) Be Your Own Boss

31) Bring Back Pleasant Memories

32) Collect Valuable Things

33) Do Things Well

34) Emulate Others

35) Enhance Enjoyment

36) Enhance Leisure

37) Enjoy Exotic Tastes

38) Enjoy Health

39) Escape Drudgery

40) Escape Shame

41) Express a Personality

42) Express Creativity

43) Feel Clean

44) Feel Important

45) Find New and Rare Things

46) Fulfil a Fantasy

47) Gain Confidence

48) Gain Freedom from Worry

49) Gain Knowledge

50) Gain Pleasure

51) Gain Prestige

52) Gain Self-Respect

53) Gain Social Acceptance

54) Get a Better Job

55) Get a Surprise

56) Get on the Bandwagon

57) Get Rid of Aches and Pains

58) Get Something for Nothing

59) Have Security in Old Age

60) Keep up with the Jones’s

61) Live in a Clean Atmosphere

62) Live Longer

63) Make Money

64) Make Work Easier

65) One-Up Others

66) Overcome Obstacles

67) Own Attractive Things

68) Own Beautiful Possessions

69) Prevent Unemployment

70) Protect Oneself and Family

71) Protect Reputation

72) Protect the Future of a Family

73) Relax

74) Relieve Boredom

75) Renew Vigour and Energy

76) Replace the Obsolete

77) Resist the Domination Of Others

78) Satisfy Ambition

79) Satisfy an Appetite

80) Satisfy Curiosity

81) Satisfy Sexual Desires

82) Satisfy the Ego

83) Save Money

84) Save Time

85) Seek Adventure

86) Take Advantage of Opportunities

87) Win Acclaim

88) Win Advancement

89) Win the Affection of Others

90) Work Less

Now what I’d like you to do is select from this list ten desires that fit your product.

As you do this exercise write them down on a sheet of paper that you can later have them close by the next time your ready for email copywriting.

For additional insights you can categorise these ten desires under the four core drivers we talked about earlier.

For example:

The need to defend would have desires like…

  • Prevent Unemployment
  • Protect Oneself and Family
  • Protect Reputation
  • Protect the Future of a Family

The need to acquire would have desires like…

  • Satisfy Ambition
  • Satisfy an Appetite
  • Satisfy Curiosity
  • Satisfy Sexual Desires
  • Satisfy the Ego

The need to bond would have desires like…

  • Be Praised and Admired
  • Be Sociable
  • Be Popular
  • Be Loved
  • Be Liked

The need to learn would have desires like…

  • Be Among the Leaders
  • Be Efficient
  • Be Recognized as an Authority, Win Advancement

Imagine there’s a psychological wall.

On one side is indifference… on the other is intense interest.

When you select the real desires your prospects have, you jump this psychological wall and gain intense interest from your email copywriting.

Now that you have your list, pick the one dominant desire that you think will resonate with ALL of your prospects.

That’s the one you’ll focus your attention on when you sit at your laptop to do email copywriting from now on.

The second question to ask

There’s new research from Agora that will change the way companies approach prospects.

It’s no longer appropriate to start any message with a big bold promise. Too many people have done this online and prospects are becoming jaded.

You’ve been told that today’s prospect is more sophisticated, but you probably haven’t been told how that affects your approach towards them.

To illustrate this we’ll use dating as an example.

email copywriting

When a man approaches a woman he likes for the first time he is going to have to be indirect.

The reason why most chat up lines don’t work is because they are too direct.

A man would have no luck walking up to a woman he’s never met and complimenting her on her figure!

A much softer and more indirect method would be to ‘accidently’ meet her in a book shop and ask her opinion on a book he’s thinking of buying.

There’s a scale of how direct you can be and how indirect you can be.

Imagine a line running from left to right.

On the left side is the most direct approach and on the right is the most indirect approach.

And there are four ‘shades of grey’ in between.

Think of it like this:

On this sliding scale there are six stages in total.

On the left you speak about the offer first. As you move to the next point along the scale you hold back on making your offer until you’ve made the reader a promise.

Then, moving to the next point on the scale, you hold back the offer until you’ve spoken of the reader’s problem, offered your solution, and made a promise.

These first three are the direct approaches to selling, and the second three are the more indirect ways.

So moving along the scale to the fourth position, you start out with a secret you’ve discovered or a system you’ve created.

With either of these approaches you’ll tell the story of your discovery first. And how you were once where your reader is now.

As you do that you’ll be telling your reader about a problem you and they have in common and how you found the solution.

Then you make a promise before presenting your offer.

As you can see, the offer gets moved further and further back each time we move to a new position on our scale.

In the fifth position we take a different approach again. Here we make a prediction or a bold statement.

As we move along the scale towards the ultimate in indirectness, it gets more challenging to come up with ideas to write about.

However, you can make a statement like, ‘read this or go broke,’ to get attention. Then you could talk about your secret or system.

Next you’ll uncover the problem, show your solution, make your promise, and finally present your offer.

By the way, you wouldn’t do all of these in one email.

    This scale also applies to a full sales letter or advert.

Now we come to the last position on our scale. The story-telling approach.

Here you start with a compelling story before you move through your sequence.

A valuable lesson in email copywriting is this…

Most aware                                                Least aware

Offer – Promise – Problem/solution – System –  Prediction – Story

In order to know which approach is best for you, ask the second question:

“How much does my prospect already know about me and my product?”

The more well-known you or your type of product is, the more direct you can be in your approach.

If your prospect has never heard of you, you’ll choose one of the three indirect approaches.

The same is true if your prospect is not even aware that your product exists.

This scale of awareness should really be called the scale of readiness to accept your marketing message.

Here’s what I mean.

If you’re talking to an existing happy customer in your email copywriting, they are much more open and ready to accept your emails.

But if you are going out to new prospects, they are not so ready to accept your message.

In that case in your email copywriting you have to find creative ways of getting through to these people, so they are ready to accept what you’re saying.

And that’s what we will be covering in detail later.

The third question to ask…

Now we come to the third question to ask before you write another persuasive word.

Let’s go back to our dating example for a minute.

Imagine you’re a guy who wants to meet with and settle down with a woman you’ve seen and like.

What you’ll need to know is… how many romantic partners have been in her life before you.

No, you don’t need the exact number!

You can probably estimate that by how old she is, and whether or not she’s been married before.

If she is eighteen, your approach to her will be far different than if she is fifty.

It’s all about her level of sophistication with men and how many times she’s been ‘sold’ to.

This is exactly the same with your prospects.

And that brings us to the third question:

How many products like yours have they been exposed to before?

With the answer to this question you can begin your message in the way that’s most relevant to your readers.

Once again you can refer to the six lead categories for your starting point.

In your email copywriting if you’re selling mainly to existing customers, this approach works well.

You customer already knows you, likes you and trusts you, therefore they are ready to accept your message.

Their level of sophistication is high. In other words, they’ve bought similar products in the past.

I’ll call these experienced buyers.

The inexperienced buyers need a completely different approach when you’re persuading them.

They must never feel like they are being sold to.

When we begin structuring your emails, we’ll spend a lot of time understanding and using the indirect approach.

Let’s look at what we’ve covered in email copywriting just now.

We answered the first question which is, “What is the mass desire your market has?”

Then you looked at those ninety human desires and categorized them into the four core drivers.

After that you picked the one desire to focus all of your sales messages around.

Then we answered the second question, “How much does my prospect already know about me or my product?”

We introduced the scale of readiness to accept your message.

This ranged from the more direct to the most indirect approaches when starting a sales message.

Then we answered the last of the three questions, “what is the level of sophistication of my prospects?”

You want to know how many products like yours have been presented and offered to your prospect so you can choose the best approach to take when talking to your readers.

Okay, so far we’ve covered a lot of theory.

But there’s nothing as practical as a good theory because it saves a lot of wasted time when carrying out your plans.

If you haven’t completed the exercises for your email copywriting please do that now.

Getting Past Resistance

When sending out e-mails what you’re really doing is using another form of advertising.

The problem is there are so many messages competing for your prospects attention it’s hard to get past resistance.

So you’ll need to make your subject lines interesting and your e-mail itself valuable.

So the question you must ask yourself is how you open your e-mail without it looking like you’re selling anything?

The best way to approach this is to always offer something of value in your e-mails before you use any form of persuasion the ratio should be 80% content to 20% persuasion.

When you give information away that’s valuable it makes your e-mails hard to resist to your prospects.

When your prospects are looking at their inbox they are making rapid judgements as to how much time they have available to read their e-mails.

So your subject line and your opening line must compel them enough to forget about whether they have time or not to read your message.

Now we’re going to take a look at the architect of your emails.

These can vary depending upon how you are approaching your prospect.

But for the most part the structure you’ll learn in this post will give you a framework that’s easy to use.

You’ll also discover how to overcome reader reluctance.

As more and more emails are sent and received every day, you’ll have to work harder to get yours read.

But on the other hand, people like receiving emails. It’s almost an addiction these days.

Because we don’t get many personal letters email has taken over and invaded this intimate way of reaching out to people.

We know people hate to be sold and we also know people are hooked on buying.

In your email copywriting you must be certain of the desires and aspirations of your readers.

You must also be certain of their fears and objections.

Resistance is a natural way of life. No one can avoid resistance when they are selling, so it’s best to prepare for it in advance.

Yes, I know you’ve done a lot of preparation work in the up until now, but this next exercise will help you focus on the issues that prevent people from buying and get past them with as many prospects as possible.

With that in mind you write before you write any email from now on take the time to review and answer these questions.

  • Why should anyone read this?
  • Why should anyone believe this?
  • Why should anyone do anything about this?
  • Why should this be acted upon immediately?

Okay, let’s move on to actually writing your emails.

The simple structure of email copywriting.

What we’re going to do is work within a framework.

Before we do let me tell you why.

When a building is erected usually a steel (or similar) framework will go up first.

Then the building is built around this.

Once completed you never see the framework, but it’s there.

That’s the same with your email copywriting, a sales letter, a blog, and so on.

Just as a special bonus here is a framework for writing a strong sales letter.

Research – entice – promise – convince – excite – persuade – reassure – consummate.

The reason I wanted you to have this is you will want some of your emails to be directed to a sales letter. If use the framework I just gave you, you’ll write better letters.

It’s way beyond the scope of this blog post to be talking about writing sales letters.

The framework  for email copywriting I’m going to suggest is similar to buying a car.

You go through several stages before you buy the car you like.

They are:

  1. Something catches your eye
  2. You stop and take a longer look
  3. Your interest is piqued
  4. You want more information
  5. You imagine how it would feel owning it
  6. You take it for a test drive

This is an easy framework to follow. Now let’s break it down step by step for your email copywriting.

  1. Something catches your eye

This is your subject line. This is what will get your reader to open up your email.

When direct mail was the main method of direct response advertising the outer envelope would have a ‘teaser’ on the outside to get you to open the letter.

The most famous was, “What Never, Ever to Eat on an Airplane.”

This evoked so much curiosity most people had to see what was inside.

These teasers are also known as ‘fascinations’ because they fascinate readers.

Your subject lines need to do the same.

Here are a few recent examples from some of the world’s best direct response marketers.

The Real Reason We Do What We Do.

THIS interrupted my vacation..

Why Did It Fail?

A free taste for you.

One Step Ahead: The scientific path to success.

(with this email the words one step ahead is familiar to the readers and so it’s more likely to get opened.)

13,000+ people liked this..

Two Words: Cheap Traffic

try this strategy – works for apple, will work for you

You’ll notice in every example here the writers are using curiosity. Also note the use of the word ‘this.’

It’s a great word because it draws your attention to something specific but doesn’t tell you what it is.

Here’s another formula for you from Ben Settle who is a great email writer.

“Why I Don’t Do X…”

Make sure the X part is controversial. In other words you could do what another great writer calls ‘Sell Against Type.’

An example from time management could be:

“Why I don’t do time management…”

This is a great curiosity builder if you are selling time management courses because your reader is left wondering why you’re saying this when you sell time management.

When it makes sense to do so use ellipses in your email copywriting …

This invites the reader to open your email.

Before writing your subject line take a universal theme, something most people can relate to like stress or not having enough time to do all the things you need to do in a day.

In your email you can talk about a problem, want, or need and tie it to something totally unrelated like a story of something that happened to you today.

Then you’re going to say something like, and that reminds me a little of being constantly short of time.

Let’s move further into our framework…

2. You stop and take a longer look

Okay now you have your email opened you only have a few seconds to get them to read on.

You must have a goal for this and every email you write. And that goal is to get your reader to click on the link inside your email.

That link takes them to a landing page, a sales page, or some other place where the sale is advanced.

They must not realise they are being sold to if they are a prospect otherwise your message will go into the trash file.

Here are some real life examples of getting readers to take a longer look:

The subject line for this email was: Two words: Cheap Traffic.

He expands on this with:

Just when I thought all the sources of cheap traffic 
had dried up, I ran across this:

This is an excellent example in email copywriting of getting interest fast.

However, this is a very direct approach.

If you recall from earlier the six lead categories this is the problem/solution lead.

Problem = expensive traffic solution = cheap traffic.

This lead is great for people who don’t know you or don’t understand your product.

What I’m recommending is you state who you are in the opening line of your email and where you from.

This is so your reader can quickly become familiar with you and your product.

When they’ve bought from you there’s no real need to do this.

Your opening line will be along these lines:

Hi there, it’s (your first name) from (your company name) and I discovered something new today…

There’s another good reason for beginning your emails like this and that is the reader can normally see the first line of your message without opening the email.

You want to continue the curiosity from your subject line to get them to stop and take a longer look.

You’ll need to be a little creative here. You want to be subtle and go for a softer more indirect approach.

  • Your interest is piqued

At this point you can talk about a problem, want, or need and tie it to something totally unrelated as I was saying earlier.

I like stories because they engage people fast.

Also with a story you can get people to focus in on your message for longer.

I love the analogy Ken Mac Carthy once gave of being in a cinema for two hours with no lights.

All you’re being fed is a story.

When Top Gun was showing army recruitment skyrocketed to an all-time high.

So much so they put recruiters in the cinema so men could enlist there and then.

The interesting thing about this is nowhere in the film did anyone mention joining the services!

Stories are that powerful in email copywriting.

Set up your story first.

Studies have shown that’s it’s what you say before you ask someone to listen to you is the best way to get what you say believed.

The best book to study this concept is ‘Influence’ by Robert Cialdini.

You can set you story up like the example I gave you earlier or like this:

“I can’t believe I’m telling you this… “

or “I’m just calming down after my last meeting with…”

The idea behind this is to get your readers to want to

know more.

And that you’re just like they are… you have problems

and challenges that are similar to theirs.

So now you’re bonding with your readers with your email copywriting.

“Bonding” is one of the four core drivers we mentioned earlier.

Your readers need to bond with you first before they are

motivated to learn about what you’re offering and then they are more receptive to acquiring it.

Setting up your story not only bonds you with your reader it also gives them a glimpse of what you’re about to tell them.

After you set up your story and then tell it you’ll want to link it back to your product.

So you’re going to say something like:

“And that reminds me a little of being constantly short of time.”

 What type of story works best? I like anything that’s personal. You can talk about something your friend told you.

Or a conversation you had with your wife or husband.

Anything that’s a true life story your reader can relate to.

It could even be an overhear conversation in a café.

It’s okay to make up a story or use a metaphor as long as your reader realizes it’s not real.

Use the words ‘just suppose,’ to get you started. Or ‘Imagine this…’

What you need to wrap your mind around is you’re engaging your reader first by being interesting and then relevant.

In your email copywriting your reader must never feel like they are being sold to.

It’s like a radio talk show… you’re being entertaining instead of persuading.

That comes later.

You are leading people gently.

You’re pulling them into the next sentence, then the next paragraph and so on.

Over the 300 hundred or so words you’ll use in your emails you’ll be quietly altering their reality.

You become a ‘perception engineer.’

This is what people do all the time in conversations.

Another name for this is social influence.

And there’s nothing wrong with this as long as you have the other person’s best interest in mind.

Never trick people into buying. If you do, they will never buy from you again.

And in business today the money is made in the second and subsequent sales.

  • You want more information

Earlier we spoke of the four core drivers everyone has.

They were of course the drive to defend ourselves, the drive to bond with others, the drive to acquire new things and drive to learn new things.

These drives run so deep within us we’re unaware of their effect upon us.

And so it is with the drive to learn.

When you can combine your readers drive to learn with strengthening their desire you have a very powerful formula in your email copywriting.

Let’s stay with the subject of the four core drivers for a moment.

In all of your persuasive messages you really want to be focusing on preventing them from defending themselves to your message.

That is to say to lower their resistance so that you can begin the bonding process with them.

As you know people love to bond with others, so in your writing you must come across like a friend who’s doing them a favour.

When you do this people will automatically want to bond with you and after that they will want to learn about what it is you have.

And in this sequence what follows is the need to acquire.

When people are open to learning about what you have you had a far longer chance of getting them to acquire your product or service.

So while they are learning from you – you are teaching them.

And the best way to teach people is to entertain them.

That way they get to enjoy the process of discovering more of the reasons why they should buy from you.

One of the best formulas I’ve ever discovered for email copywriting is known as the logical argument.

This appeals to the left brain. Let me give you an example:

If this, then that.

In a headline this could be, “if you give me 20 min a day I’ll give you a steel trap memory inside a week.”

However, it would be far better if you use a number of smaller steps based on a mutually agreed upon fact or belief, you can progress one step after another until a final conclusion is within reason.

These logical steps need to be small enough so that you bring your reader along with you. They also need to be large enough, so they are exciting and build momentum towards the result your reader is looking for.

By the time you get to this point you can use an intellectual appeal. The reason is simple, people buy on emotion, but they need an intellectual alibi to tell their friends or their significant other why they bought your product.

The formula can go like this.

Step One: a mutually agreed upon fact.

Step Two: a commonly held belief.

Step Three: another commonly held belief.

Step Four: your inescapable conclusion.

Let me give you an example using time management.

Most people don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done.

These days people are having to do more and yet they still get paid the same.

Too many deadlines can cause a great deal of stress.

Therefore if you could learn to be more efficient you could be more effective at getting things done with time to spare at the end of the day and you could go home feeling more relaxed.

And that’s exactly what our time management program is designed to do for you in less than 30 days.

  • You imagine how it would feel owning it

In your email copywriting when you can get your reader to imagine themselves owning your product or using your product your chances of getting them to buy from you have gone up exponentially.

In NLP terms this is known as future-pacing.

Imagination is your most powerful tool in persuasion.

Because imagination fuels desire.

Whenever we do anything we are always making a picture in our mind of doing that thing just prior to taking action.

Words like, “just suppose,” or “picture this,” and even the word, “imagine,” have great power when introduced in this part of your sequence.

Since everybody thinks in pictures this step is relatively easy but overlooked by most e-mail writers.

In email copywriting when you learn how to create pictures in the minds of your readers just by using your words you have an ‘unfair advantage’ over your competitors.

When it comes to these final two stages of your e-mail copywriting formula you don’t need to say too much.

That’s because you’ve put in all the work early on in your message.

When sceptical prospects are reading your e-mails they are expecting you to sell them something. In other words they’re waiting for the ‘hard close.’

But that never happens when you use this system because you don’t need to use any high-pressure tactics.

All you have to do at this stage is to get them drooling by strengthening their desire to own your product. We’ll cover this in more detail in just a few moments.

At this point your prospect should already want to own what is your selling. They may still be a little sceptical and to offset that you can use the word, “try.”

  • You take it for a test drive

So here we are at the final point in our persuasion formula, it’s time for them to acquire your product or service.

Your email copywriting should never be the vehicle for selling.

They really should be there to amplify your prospects existing desire.

In order for your e-mails to be very effective at this stage all you are doing is motivating your readers to click on a link that takes them to either a sales page, a landing page, a blog post, or something similar that will do the rest of the selling job.

One important point to note is the desire that you are building in your e-mails matches the desire in your sales letter, landing page, etc.

Your goal in your email copywriting is to create an itch that is expensive to scratch.

But they must scratch.

Words like, “if you would like to be able to… Now you can.”

And then you put your link after those words.

You can also use words like, “the answer can be found right here.”

Then put your link in.

You are going to need more than one link because some people want to learn just a little bit more before they click.

In this case you carry on your email copywriting by adding another benefit. After you’ve done that you can put in a new link.

And you can lead into that link with the words, “isn’t that what you really want?”

Avoid the words, “click here or click on this link.” Because you will trigger the spam filters.

Although the goal of every e-mail is to get your reader to click never use that word.

Let’s spend a moment looking at why people won’t click when you asked them to.

Everybody has objections to buying anything. But really an objection is a request for more information. When people have enough good reasons to buy something they usually do.

Resistance usually comes in the form of any one of these reasons:

  • No interest
  • No Perceived Difference
  • No Belief
  • No Decision

In email copywriting you need to have an answer for each one of these forms of resistance in order to get your prospect to click on the link.

The answer to no interest is to talk about an urgent problem. The answer to no perceived difference is to talk about a unique promise.

The answer to no belief is to give unquestionable proof. And the answer to no decision is to offer to make it easy for them to take advantage of your opportunity.

So there you have it your email copywriting persuasion formula.

So let’s just go over what you’ve just learned.

We looked at the architect of your emails because resistance is a natural way of life you need to allow for that with a structure that easily bypasses reluctance to take action.

You answered the questions:

  • Why should anyone read this?
  • Why should anyone believe this?
  • Why should anyone do anything about this?
  • Why should this be acted upon immediately?

Then we looked at the simple structure of email writing.

The metaphor I used was similar to buying a car.

I mentioned that you go through several stages before you buy the car you like.

They are:

  1. Something catches your eye
  2. You stop and take a longer look
  3. Your interest is piqued
  4. You want more information
  5. You imagine how it would feel owning it
  6. You take it for a test drive

This is an easy framework to follow. And I took you through it step by step.

Then there was the powerful persuasion formula that relies solely on logic because people buy on emotion and justify their decision logically to their friends and family.

Here were the four steps:

One: a mutually agreed upon fact.

Two: a commonly held belief.

Three: another commonly held belief.

Four: your inescapable conclusion.

And finally we explored any last minute reluctance to click on your link and gave you strategies to overcome this.

Okay, there’s work to do, but when you do the work the results will be worth it.

There’s a saying I like, “train hard – fight easy.”

There’s no substitute for hard work, there are no real short cuts only focused learning based on other people’s experience.

Put it the effort and reap the rewards. Yes, I know you’ve probably heard that before, however the reason you want to do this is because most of your competitors are lazy.

And most of them won’t have taken the time you’ve taken to track down this book and read it.

That gives you an enormous advantage.

How to go from indifference to intense interest

Let’s look at making your product almost irresistible using your email copywriting formula.

There are many ways of amplifying people existing desires, and we will be concentrating on thirteen of them.


Because that’s what the best copywriter of all time told us.

His name is Eugene Schwartz and in his time he sold millions of books.

His book, ‘Breakthrough Advertising’ is a must read for the serious email copywriting marketer.

As far as I’m aware no one has ever taken his work on strengthening desire and applied to it email writing.

I’ve chosen this approach for two reasons.

Eugene reviewed his work eighteen years after he wrote it and found that even non-copywriters had increased their income tenfold by applying his principles.

And using the material in his book enabled anyone to open up entirely new markets for their products, making millions of dollars in the process.

These thirteen ways of strengthening desire are universal, so it doesn’t matter what you’re selling this will work for you.

Someone once said to me, “You can only call yourself unlucky in this life if you decide to be an undertaker and people stop dying.”

Everything in your email copywriting is aimed at the emotional life of your prospects.

We looked at logic here we will forget it entirely.

Desire is nothing more than a public spread of a private want.

When enough people desire what you sell you’ll sell more.

What we’re talking about here is advertising through email.

And when you write you want to amplify the desires your readers already have.

Certain products have a ‘high passion index.’

Take fly fishing for example.

There’s a kind of madness that course through the veins of those who love to stand in the middle of a river trying to catch fish using something that looks like a fly.

How weird is that?

If you have a product that appeals to a fly fisherman then you don’t need to do much to amplify their desire.

On the other hand if you sell something seemingly boring like fire safety equipment your email copywriting you’ll want to amplify what happens in emergencies and the downside to not being able to cope when a fire breaks out.

Let’s look at the three main components of mass desire.

The inability to satisfy the desire.

People who love shoes keep buying them. It’s the same with watches, shirts, books and so on.

When you can sell into the inability to be satiated.

One way to do this is to create an information product that shows your prospects how to get the most from your product once they’ve bought it.

Then show them why buying other products you sell will help them get even more enjoyment from their first purchase.

The number of people who have this desire.

Obviously, the more people with a particular desire more appealing it is.

This goes back to the high passion index we spoke of earlier.

Desire takes on two forms. One is satisfaction the other is expression.

For example sex is the desire for satisfaction and music is the desire for expression.

In your email copywriting the approach you would take when appeal to either is massively different.

If you’re marketplace is small for your product, or you sell to a ‘mirco-niche’ you’ll need to be extremely specific in your approach.

It’s based on the level of urgency your prospect has.

John Carlton calls it “selling to someone with a bleeding neck.”

The more urgent the problem or desire the easier it is to sell to that person.

The saying, ‘problems have price tags’ is applicable here.

With your email copywriting when you amplify desire you also must create a sense of urgency to own or consume your product TODAY!

Every product has two parts. One physical, one functional.

The physical is what your product is. The functional is what your product does.

No one wants what you’re selling if its a physical product.

They only want what it will do for them.

And the fact that it gives then what they desire.

Okay, I realize this is heady stuff. But what this will do for you in terms of writing emails more persuasively will bring massive payoffs quickly.

You can learn about business through trial and error. This takes five to ten times longer than focused learning.

So stay with me here, even if it feels like you’re wading through treacle!

Desire is a funny thing, it’s hard to pin down, but once you do everything you write in your emails becomes that much more effective.

Your product or service has a number of functions it performs.

When you write these out you can match them up with the desires you wrote earlier.

That will prepare you for what’s coming up next.

The thirteen ways to tempt and tease

What you’re going to be doing is taking the ONE desire your entire marketplace has in common and amplify it using these thirteen proven strategies.

You won’t be using all of these in any one email. In fact, I would suggest using only one of these in any given email message.

The idea behind using these 13 strategies is to make your product or service increasingly appealing to your prospects.

The chances of your competitors knowing and all using any combination of these desire intensifying methods are remote.

Knowing this you can be confident in your email copywriting that you will get more responses as you use this because your prospects are unaware of what you’re actually doing.

Let’s take a quick overview of what’s coming up next.Use a metaphor, an analogy, or personal story.

  • You can show how experts are approving and backing up what you’re saying.
  • To prove superiority you can compare or contrast what you’re offering with the alternatives.
  • Paint a picture of what will happen if they continue to do nothing about their situation.
  • You can spread the benefits of using your product over a period of time.
  • You can put the claims you’re making into action by using demonstration.
  • You can show how easy it is to get the results there looking for and enjoy the benefits of owning your product.
  • Case studies are a great way of bringing in another dimension of proof.
  • Show your prospects how she can test your claims herself by proving the performance of your product.
  • Have your reader imagine already owning your product and create word pictures of them enjoying the benefits.Give a complete picture of how your product satisfies your reader by the results she gets.
  • At the end of your e-mail sequence summarise all of the benefits.
  • Make sure your guarantee is working hard for you.

We’ll go through these one by one. As you do take notes on how you can use these in your future emails.

Better still, write a paragraph for each desire strengthener and keep them all in one document ready for your next email campaign.

  1. Use a metaphor, an analogy, or personal story.

Stories stick to people’s minds like Velcro. One of my favourites comes from John Gray, author of ‘Men are from mars, Women are from Venus.

The scene is his father’s funeral. He had died as a result of giving a hitchhiker a lift.

The hitchhiker mugged him and put him in the boot of his own car.

At that point, Johns’ father was still alive. He died of asphyxiation while trying to get out.

At the funeral John asked his mother and brother to indulge him. He wanted to get inside the boot of his dad’s car to see if he could feel what it must have felt like trying to escape in a dark, locked car boot.

As you know most car boots on older cars can be easily unlocked from the outside but impossible to unlock from the inside.

John got inside the boot and his brother closed the lid. Once inside John could see where his father had made attempts to get out.

He found a screwdriver and there were marks close to the lock.

John saw a hole and was able to get a couple of fingers through it.

He reached for the lock, stretching as far as he could.

Then he heard his brothers’ encouraging words.

“Just a little further John, stretch out and you’ll reach the release button.”

John put the extra effort in and pressed to button and the lid flew open.

But his father didn’t have anyone outside encouraging him as his brother did.

John’s conclusion was profound.

He said something like, “When faced with problems in life oftentimes it’s the advice you get from someone outside that can see what you can’t.

And that is what drives John to help men and women understand each other in relationships.

What metaphor, story or analogy can you use in your emails to amplify the desire for your product?

Take some time to think this through because when you do you’ll hook your readers just like that story hooked you.

  • You can show how experts are approving and backing up what you’re saying.

When you can use the proof of an outside expert’s opinion you command real power.

The Irish group Clannad wrote a song ‘Something to Believe in.’

One of the lines from the song goes:

“I won’t give in to promises until I find something to believe in.”

This band were extremely popular a few years ago and with their followers strongly identified with the lyrics.

Gary Bencivenga – the world’s greatest living copywriter says, “Without belief, nobody buys.”

Do some research, see if you can find where experts are ageing with your claims.

Independent proof is almost undeniable.

  • To prove superiority you can compare or contrast what you’re offering with the alternatives.

Most email marketing courses have not drawn on credible sources.

That doesn’t mean to say they’re no good. Far from it. Some of the master copywriters turned email writers are brilliant and what they do.

I have most of their expensive trainings.

And they have all achieved extra ordinary results. But does that mean you will?

You’ll have to be the judge of that.

I’ve always liked standing on the shoulders of giants and there’s none better than Eugene Schwartz in my opinion.

So I’ve based this next section on the core message in the book he wrote, “Breakthrough Advertising.”

Every top copywriter I know of has this book and has read it over and over again.

Yet no one I know of has created an updated version of Eugene’s ideas to use in email marketing.

Where can you exhibit your uniqueness? Where are you superior to all of your competition?

And where can you demonstrate this superiority in a way that outshines everyone else in your field?

Can you imagine the effect one email can have with this strategy in play for you?

  • Paint a picture of what will happen if they continue to do nothing about their situation.

Most email writing fails to move people to action. That’s because most writers don’t know how to motivate people.

My guess is if you’re reading this up until now you’ve not been as successful at getting sales from your email copywriting as you want to be.

The information here has extraordinary persuasive power.


It’s all taking place outside of the awareness of your prospects.

And that’s good as long as you have a great product people really want.

However, it makes no difference how good your product is unless you apply the principles of ethical persuasion.

And if you do nothing with this information nothing will change in your current situation.

In fact with all the competition out there you’ll probably end up with fewer sales than ever.

More than that you could go broke if you’re running your own business or you could get fired for incompetence if you’re working for someone else.

Let’s face it if you aren’t moving forward in life, you’re sliding back.

Eugene said it best all those years ago, “It’s not about building better mouse traps. It is, however, about building larger mice, and then building terrifying fear of them in your customers.”

That way you bypass the ‘defend’ driver in the four core motives we mentioned earlier.

Once again we use an unconscious motivator to get prospects to take the action that’s right for them.

How can you incorporate this into in your email copywriting?

Can you take a problem and agitate it enough to make someone see that buying from you will solve their problem now?

  • You can spread the benefits of using your product over a period of time.

Email is not going away anytime soon. You can rely on this medium for years from today.

As you implement these ideas you’ll get better and better over time.

A month from now you’ll see vast improvements on your conversion rates.

Two months from now your email copywriting will be far more entertaining and your campaign results will astound you.

Further down the road you’ll surprise everyone around you because of all the new business you’re getting.

Email is the future.

People love reading personal messages in their inboxes, especially if it’s written in a style they enjoy from someone they know like and trust.

Everyone has their own concept of time. Most people can visualise the future even if they say they can’t.

Showing out how your prospect benefits over time is a way of assuming the sale. In other words you go beyond the point of decision and appear to make it irrelevant.

That way the decision is made, and your prospect doesn’t need to spend time analysing whether to buy or not.

How can you use this?

Have a number of milestones where results can be measured. Like a week from now, a month from now, etc.

  • You can put the claims you’re making into action by using demonstration.

Everyone makes claims, hardly anyone gives a demonstration.

And yet demonstration is far more persuasive than stating claims.

Earlier I told you the story about John Gray’s insight from his father’s premature death.

The metaphor was a demonstration of how stories can be used to great effect when persuading people you’ve never met.

By now you’ve already convinced yourself how powerful this is.

You already know that as soon as you come up with your story your prospects will not only warm to you but respond to your email message.

Can you show your readers by example how to believe you?

When you can you get much higher responses.

  • You can show how easy it is to get the results they are looking for and enjoy the benefits of owning your product.

Your prospects are always looking for the easy ways of doing things.

And, by the way, so are you.

Although these 13 ways of strengthening desire can look daunting at first, they’re really not that difficult.

If you focused on one of these concepts first and practised with that a few times, when you come to use the others it will be that much quicker for you to write your emails..

Our brain is not wired to take in information first time it’s presented.

To make it effortless all you need to do is read an idea, stop, and think about that for a while, and then reread the idea.

Once you’ve done that begin using that idea immediately.

Studies have proven that speed of implementation insurers success.

Spaced repetition, which is rereading or re-listening to or three times is a fast, easy way for most people to learn.

To use this idea think of how you can break down the component parts of your product to make it sound simpler to use.

What you are doing here is feeding your prospects with ideas and images and emotions in a planned pattern.

Here’s an example let’s use time management once again.

“From tomorrow morning you’re going to list out what you need to get done during the day.

You will then set a stopwatch or countdown timer to fifty minutes. Then you will work on the highest priority task first.

Then you take a ten minute break.

You set your countdown timer to fifty minutes and begin your next highest priority task.

Then you take another ten minute break.

When you work in short but focused timespan is you will train your brain to get a lot more done in a lot less time.

This becomes easier and easier over time, and you will end up having far more time for leisure activities when you’ve ever had.”

By breaking this down and showing the benefits the whole thing becomes easier in the mind of your prospects.

  • Testimonials are a great way of bringing in another dimension of proof.

Most testimonials you read sound unbelievable.

They are always focused on the results the clients got as a result of working with a company.

However these can sound hypey.

It would be far better if you asked the testimonials that began by saying how sceptical your prospect was before they did business with you.

The reason behind this is that your current prospects are sceptical about you, your company, your product.

When your testimonials start out with this scepticism it automatically is believed by your readers.

Use the following questions from now on to get believable testimonials.

  • What were your perceptions before you bought from us?
  • How have those perceptions changed?
  • What did you like most about our product/service?
  • What was your biggest benefit?
  • Would you recommend our product/service?
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

You’ll be amazed at the quality of testimonials that you will get as a result of using these questions.

You may want to start with six of your best clients and then ask six more.

  • Show your prospects how she can test your claims herself by proving the performance of your product.

When you begin to write your e-mails in this new way you will soon begin to get higher responses. And when this happens you will want to come back to this material over and over again.

Then and only then will you see what a powerful resource you have here.

As you’ve already seen from the introduction, e-mail marketing is the best return on investment you can get for your online business.

The ability to write well takes any risk away from your marketing efforts.

What you want is to get your prospect visualising herself proving the performance of your product.

Mental rehearsal is something everybody does before they buy anything. This technique is so powerful hardly anyone realises you are using it.

  • Have your reader imagine already owning your product and create word pictures of them enjoying the benefits.

In just seven days from now you will be getting higher open rates, more readership, and more clicks on your sales links than you ever had before.

You can use all of the principles here to strengthen a sales letter, or sales video on your website.

This in turn will give you a higher conversion rates and increase your bottom line dramatically.

If you’re working for yourself you will have far more money coming in each month. This money will give you the freedom to enjoy your life more and to buy more the things that you promised yourself and your family.

If you’re working for somebody else see if you can get a share of the increased profits based on your new knowledge and skills.

Or if you can work towards an email copywriting promotion that will lead to you having extra money.

Either way your life improves because you be making more and enjoying your work as you get more and more great results.

In the book, ‘The Brilliance Breakthrough,’ by Eugene Schwartz he tells you to forget about verbs, adjectives, nouns, pronouns, and all the rest and concentrate on picture words and connector words.

A picture word describes something, a connector word connects one picture to another.

Here’s an example from his book.

When you say a Picture Word by itself, you see or hear or feel or imagine something.

Like Rose. Tree. Boy. Harry. Hit. Itch. Thump. Blue. Swim. Slowly. Explosion. Truth. And all the rest.

Each one of these words carries a picture inside itself.

A Connecting word has no built-in picture within it.

When you say a Connecting Word by itself, therefore, you don’t see anything. Like a … the . .. in . .. over . .. and . .. yet. .. to… when… before.

And especially is . .. was… be. And all the rest.

Try them.

Unless you put them in a sentence, they give you no picture at all.

If you say them by themselves, they automatically seem incomplete.

You automatically say, ‘a what?”… “the what?” . .. “and what?” . .. over what?”

“to what?” … “is what?” By themselves, they are incomplete.

They mean something only when they are joined to another word – a Picture Word.

What, then, is their use?

Very simple.

They tell us how the Picture Words go together. They tell us how the Picture Words are connected to each other.

In time. In space. In meaning. And in sequence.

They put the Picture Words in their correct places. They sort the Picture Words out for us. They arrange them in logical order.”

I would strongly suggest that you reread the last section two more times before reading on.

Eugene Schwartz was considered by many to be the greatest copywriter who ever lived. He wrote the book, ‘Brilliance Breakthrough,’ a year before his death.

The book was given away at a talk he gave to a group of highly experienced copywriters. That’s how powerful the ideas in the book are.

  • Give a complete picture of how your product satisfies your reader by the results she gets.

On the Internet right now the only form of advertising that you can rely on over and over again is what’s known as, ‘direct-response advertising.’

What you’re learning here is how to make your writing align direct response so that you can use this in your email copywriting.

Although we are talking about writing e-mails, what you have here can be used across all media.

This will help you with:

  • Your Blog Posts
  • Your Landing Pages
  • Your Article Writing
  • Your Sales Letters
  • Your Video Scripts

And practically anything else for your online marketing

Since 1994 off-line direct response companies have been making their fortunes online using the same strategies you are reading here.

Your product or service has many benefits to your prospects. When you can show the far reaching positive consequences of buying your product or service you will win more people over.

Take the time to see what other areas of your prospect’s life can your product or service help with.

  • At the end of your e-mail sequence summarise all of the benefits.

In a few short, bulleted paragraphs, remind your prospect of everything he gets when he purchases your products.

Start with the product itself and all the benefits will bring him.

If there are bonuses or additional resources you can talk about the next. Also you can show the value of each of these freebies.

Here’s an example: “In these e-mails, I’ve shown you how you can almost double your response rates every month.

I’ve offered you the latest research on landing page design.

I’ve shown you how you must be thrilled with the results, or you’re entitled to a 100% refund.

Now the decision is entirely in your hands.”

And that’s all you really need to do when summarising the benefits of buying your product or service.

  • Make sure your guarantee is working hard for you.

Although you won’t be explaining your guarantee in great detail in your e-mails you will want to know how to make it work harder for you in your sales letters.

And that’s what this last strategy will give you.

When you are closing the sale in your sales letter you are asking for action. As you talk about your guarantee you can turn it into the climax of your sales message.

It’s a great way of summing up your product performances plus benefits.

We’ve covered the 13 ways to tempt and tease your prospects into wanting to buy your product or service.

We’ve covered a lot of ground here and although the concepts may look a little daunting by breaking them down and only using one in each e-mail you will find this becomes easier and easier overtime.

Is a great saying I learned years ago and that is: these ideas “only work.”

That is to say they can’t do anything else but work.

They will require a little bit of effort and a little bit of practice from you, but the results will astound you.

I recommend you work with just one of these strategies.

Get familiar with it.

Write a paragraph or two using it.

Then show just that to a colleague or a trusted friend and get their feedback.

Then do another paragraph using the same idea. Only this time change the wording.

Then show that to a colleague or a trusted friend and get their feedback and see which one they liked best and ask them why they liked it.

That way you get an outside opinion which will give you greater confidence knowing you’re on the right track with your newfound persuasion skills.

The ultimate test will come from your prospects. And you’ll only know if it’s good when you send out your emails using these concepts.

How to introduce your product to your prospect.

Once you see the structure of email copywriting and how each part works within that structure you can create your own compelling messages.

Let’s look at preparing your prospects to receive your sales letter, VSL, or free report.

And concentrate on the lead up to your main selling message.

This is where you open the door and make it easy for your prospects to accept your message.

As you recall the ‘readiness to accept’ is an essential element to the success of your campaign.

By taking a behind the scenes look at some of my emails you’ll gain powerful insights into writing your next campaign.

As we go through these three emails I’ll be making comments about the ideas and why I used them.

First let’s look at the subject line.

Question: What’s better than email marketing? (part 1 of 3)

The idea here is twofold. I start out with a question it intrigues my reader.

And then I say, ‘it’s part 1 of 3.’

Both techniques are known as ‘open loops.’

That is you are opening up with something people automatically want closure on.

That’s what that question does.

More on that in a moment.

The part 1 of 3 sets the reader up to expect more from you.

This is great because it makes your emails look valuable and follow the rule, ‘make your emails look like anything but advertising.’

Back to open loops.

Most people are uncomfortable with incompleteness.

They have to bring things to conclusion.

We all want to complete unfinished business.

When you have a disagreement with someone, and they don’t agree with you and walk away chances are you think of all the things you could have said to win over the other person.

That’s why asking intriguing questions get emails opened.

To get them read you mustn’t give the answer straight away.

As we can see from the next line in the email.

Hi there, it’s (first name) from (company name) and the answer is NOT social media.

Right away I’m saying who the email is from. I do this because I want the reader to bond with me.

Then I tell them what the answer isn’t.

This amplifies their interest and gets them to open the email to read on.

When anyone receives an email they can usually read the subject line and the first line of the email without opening it.

So you must continue with the intrigue but at the same time appear to be giving them new information.

This next section for discussion is the point when the email is opened.

My first goal in my email copywriting is to get the reader hooked into reading the entire message.

I continue to build intrigue while “appearing” to give new information.

While everyone is raving about Twitter, Facebook and all the rest they’re overlooking the obvious.

If everyone else is doing something, then it’s a clue that you should avoid it.


Because there’s far too much competition for the average on-liner.

Now here comes what’s known as a ‘plot point.’ It’s the part in a plot where the direction changes and takes the reader in the direction the writer wants her to go.

Plus, I link to the subject line.

So what is better than email marketing?


Not according to the stats at least.

So here I introduce a new twist. I changed direction so the reader couldn’t second guess me.

Now I want to give some great content and amplify desire with some proof elements

As you remember from earlier, showing experts agreeing with you increases desire for your product.

The direct marketing association (an independent body) say there’s a 44 to 1 ROI on email marketing.

That reminds me of a story my copywriting friend Clive Cable told me.

“When online marketing kicked off everyone used it because it was cheap.

And hardly anyone used direct mail.”

He did.

And in 2006 he sold expensive seminars by direct mail and made £6,000 a day.

Now it’s the same with email.

While everyone’s jumping on the social media wagon, the smart guys online are using email.

And so is Clive.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, go here:


With this link I’m appealing to those who like to take action quickly and don’t need a stack of reasons.

However, some readers need more by way of explanation.

So I continue on with a mixture of intrigue and useful but incomplete information.

Useful because the reader doesn’t know it and incomplete because on its own they can’t do much with it.

Both usefulness and incompleteness entices the reader to continue.

Of course if you’re going to use emails as a way to grow your profits you better understand the rules.

Yes, even emails have rules.

There are things you should do in every email and things you shouldn’t do, no matter what.

Here’s what I mean.

Rule one: Never talk about yourself or your product.

Okay, I know this sounds weird especially if you’re selling B2B. But do you know the definition of a bore?

You ask him how he is – and he tells you!

Here’s what you must do:

Rule number two: Talk as if you were talking to a friend or as I like to say, “Your buddy on a bar stool.”

Most people use jargon or business speak when they write.

This just invites the delete button mind-set.

Rule three: Keep your emails short and to the point.

Because I specialise in email software I’m creating a list of people who want to know how to make email work for them and make their online business more money.

You can add yourself here:


By the time the reader gets to this second link I’ve proved my worth to them.

They can clearly see I know my stuff.

I’m now an expert in their eyes on a subject they want to know more about.

I close the emails by offering an advantage the reader wants.

When you do you’ll have a sneaky advantage over your competition.

Speak to you soon,

(Signed off with fist name.)

P.S. I’ll also be giving a few people access to an eBook I’ve just paid Clive Cable to write. In it he reveals the unusual ways he gets emails to work for his clients.

But first you need to add yourself to this private email list.

I don’t want to interrupt your inbox about making money with simple to write emails, if it doesn’t interest you.


The PS is another way of saying, “oh, I forgot something.” Or “By the way…”

In the PS I’m aiming to segment the big list into a much smaller, more responsive list of those who are very interested in my subject.

I want to make this feel exclusive.

I don’t want to interrupt your inbox about making money with simple to write emails, if it doesn’t interest you.

This last line works because it’s low key, and it’s ‘anything but advertising.’

Email number two

The ‘thick plotens.’

With email copywriting each email must build on the one before it if you want to stand out from the crowd.

With this new subject line I intrigue the readers without asking a question.

Instead I imply a question.

Then I immediately expand on the subject line.

I’m doing this because the reader can’t guess where I’m going.

You must avoid the ‘I’ve seen this before’ mindset.

The tone I’m setting is warm and friendly and I’m indirectly giving off the feeling I’m an expert and you should listen.

Subject line: Why people love emails. (part 2 of 3)

Hi there, it’s (first name) from (company name), this may be hard to believe but people get addicted to emails.

Look at any of the top time-management gurus today and they’ll tell you to stop reading emails.

Or only open your inbox once a day.

Unless you live under a rock, this is pretty obvious.

An email is like a personal letter.

Who doesn’t like reading letters?

This is good news if you know how to write great emails to people who love to read.

Last time I mentioned three simple rules to follow.

Today I’m going to show you three more.

Now I go back to giving content that’s useful but incomplete.

You’ll notice I’m staying congruent with the warm tone of a helpful expert.

Rule four: Be relevant.

Who you’re writing to is more important than what you write.

Listen, you could have the best product the world has ever seen, but if you present it to people who couldn’t care less then you’ve had it.

If I came to your house and offered you ten bags of manure for a fiver, chances are you’d tell me to get lost.

But if you grow roses you’d probably bite my arm off.

Rule five: Get your reader involved.

Years ago Siegfried Vogele wrote an astonishing book about direct mail.

In the book he tells you how he attached cameras to the heads of readers reading sales letters. He was able to track their eye movements.

Crazy stuff you might think.

But out of his experiments he created what is now known as:




He found out how to get readers involved in what they were reading using what he coined ‘the dialogue method.’

I’ll tell you more about that later.

Rule six: Never sell your product or service in your emails.

Break this rule and you’re dead in the water.


Because people hate to be sold to.

However they love to buy.

How many times have you opened your inbox and found someone in your face selling?

More than once I’ll bet.

There are many more rules than these, but I’m sure you can already see how easy it is to get people’s attention online.

And that is where it’s at today… getting attention.

The internet is overcrowded so to standout you’ve got to follow some basic rules.

When you do you’ll make a decent living.

Here comes the next plot point. I use a touch of humour to introduce the title of an eBook the reader will find valuable.

And of course it’s another open loop!

In the next email I’ll send you I’m going to throw the rule book at you.

Well not quite.

I’m going to give you the eBook I talked about in the last email.

It’s called, ‘Email Rules.’

If you like good news here it is.

I’ll give it to you. No cost. No strings. It’s yours for nothing.


Again I put a link in here for those who don’t need any more persuasion than this.

If they haven’t clicked the link I know they need more benefits.

I also use a technique known as ‘reason why copy.’

I reveal my ‘hidden agenda.’

Everyone knows you are trying to sell them something, so admit it up front.

When you get your hidden agenda out of the way  – you pave the way for believability.

When you show the reason why you are writing you disarm your reader and become more credible in their eyes.

I use the words, ‘Here’s why’ to explain the reason behind the email.

Here’s why.

Because when you’re making money using email you may want to take a look at my email management software.

There’s a chance you might not.

It’s a risk I don’t mind taking.

With these next statements I’m opening a new loop plus introducing the benefits of my next email.

My prospect is now looking forward to the third and final of the three emails.

Okay, next time I’ll show you more great things.

Like: How not to sound like a slick salesman.

The six ways to get people to read your emails.

The number one turnoff that gets you in the trash folder.

What makes people compelled to buy.

And a couple more things besides.

Talk to you later.

(First name.)

PS Keep this stuff to yourself, no point in giving away what works to your competition.

With this PS I’m making this even more exclusive. I don’t want my reader to tell anyone else about this.

Tell me, does this look like I’m selling you anything?

Okay, onwards and upwards…

Email number three

Closing all loops.

Here’s where you give it your best shot without appearing like a salesperson.

With my believable email copywriting I’ve built a relationship with my reader.

They feel they can trust my expertise because I’ve shown them useful things they didn’t know.

Plus I sound like a trusted friend.

When they get an email like this they want to read it.

They know it’s the last of three so they can finally bring this all to closure and get some rest.

It’s hard to resist the last email as your reader is emotionally invested because they’ve read the first two emails.

Subject line: Here’s what you’ve been waiting for…

Hi there, it’s (first name) from (company name), with some more email rules for you…

Last time I spoke about some useful rules that are quick and easy to understand and use.

Today I have more practical writing tips that will get more of your emails read and acted on.

Okay, we spoke of metaphors for building desire.

Study this next section carefully.

There’s a powerful email copywriting lesson that will help you in ways you cannot even imagine right now.

But when you reread this a week or a month from now you’ll realise the gift I’ve given you here.

I see email like a platform at a railway station.

The passengers get on or off trains passing through en route to somewhere else.

It’s the same in the online world.

Your prospects are on an email platform.

The trains are things like sales letters, webpages, blog posts, etc.

Email is the point where you get on the train.

In other words the train takes your prospects to their destination.

Your product or service.            

So if you want people to board one of these trains the platform must be inviting.

Here are six ways to make it inviting.

  1. Make an offer upfront
  2. Make a believable promise
  3. Offer a unique solution to their problem
  4. Show them a fool-proof system
  5. Make a prediction about something and show how they can cash in on it
  6. Tell the story of how someone just like them became successful

I’ll tell you in a moment how and when to use these.

But first how to avoid the trash folder.

Rule seven

Be interesting by talking about them not you.

You may have read the book, ‘How to win friends and influence people.’

Millions of people bought this book because everyone wants what the title suggests.

You can be either interesting or interested.

Being interested makes you popular and you avoid sounding like a slick salesperson.

Something everyone hates.

Rule number eight. Understand why people buy.

When you take the time to talk to those who have bought from you in the past, you’ll know what will make people buy in the future.

But there are far too many rules to talk about here.

With that last line I give the reader a compelling reason to get more information.

The sentence after that builds the desire even further by giving convincing ‘reasons why.’

That’s why I’ve had Clive Cable, a professional email writer create an eBook for you.

This easy to follow guide gets you writing better emails within five to ten minutes of reading it.

Not only that but you’ll also discover how to stand out in a crowded inbox in a way that gets your email read first.

And a little known secret that gets people looking forward to your next emails.

Plus what never to put in a subject line. Ignore this and your emails will never be read.

After these benefits I introduce another one of those sneaky plot points I mentioned earlier.

This time I set up an argument with my copywriting friend.

By the way, everything you do must be true.

That way your readers will trust you beyond any doubt.

So I talk of a conflict of interest that the reader can easily imagine.

It’s like a short story and the writer show himself as the hero.

This happens all the time. If you spend any time ‘people watching’ you’ll realise how powerful this next section is.

I’m conducting a little experiment here.

I want to give this eBook away, but Clive wants me to sell it.

He thinks it’s worth at least £40.00 because of all the great, user-friendly ideas in it.

I want to use it to promote my email software.

After all if I can get you to write better emails and you make more money as a result, you’ll be far more likely to take a look at my email platform software.

So after a couple of days of wrestling back and forth with paid or gift, I won.

But there’s a catch.

I had to agree to only make this eBook available for the next three days.

After that you pay the asking price.

That way I get to test my idea and my friend gets paid for the book he wrote.

I thought that was fair and so did he.

If you’d like a copy go here:


There’s a ton of really useful but short strategies to help you write great emails.


How to get higher click-through rates without sounding salesy.

The seven little known words to put in subject lines that compel people to read your emails

The five mistakes to avoid in every email

The simple ‘open loop’ technique that almost forces people to read all the way through your emails

Plus much more.

Remember all the main players online use emails.

If you can write good emails you can grow a very profitable business in no time.

And you’ll build a profit centre that will last years.

However, this link will be valid for the next three days only, after that it will be turned into an order page.

Here I introduce scarcity.

By the way, this was real. If you didn’t get the eBook within the three days you paid for it.

You must do this in your campaigns.

Never go back on your word.

If you give people deadlines stick to them.

That way they respect you even more.


Okay that’s it from me… enjoy the eBook and I’d love to get your feedback.

Let me know if you think it’s worth more than £40.00. My friend will be pleased.

Or if you think it’s not worth even £20.00.

That said, you’ll soon discover the real value of this book the next time you write an email.

With this text I’m going beyond just wanting to send the reader an eBook.

I’m encouraging feedback either good or bad.

This credibility building device is one I highly recommend you use.

Back to the email…

Speak to you soon

(First name sign off.)

PS I almost forgot to tell you about THE most valuable idea in the book. Most people struggle to know the differences between how to write to existing customers and how to write to prospects.

Get this wrong and you’ll either upset most of your customers or get lots of opt-outs from your prospect list.


My parting shot… painting a picture of them getting something wrong that will lead to disaster.

This is a variation from what you read earlier on showing what happens if the reader does nothing about their problem.

Now you have some great insights to use for your next email campaign.

You know how to be intriguing.

You know about open loops.

You know about story telling.

You know about reason why copy.

In fact, you know enough to write the first part of your email campaign.

What ‘speed of implementation’ gives you is the motivation to act as soon as you can on what you’ve just read.

As you do you’ll begin seeing big improvements in your email copywriting and in your response rates.

Until soon…

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