The Most Effective Way to Write Email Campaigns that Convert

Effective email campains

In this article, I am going to show you how to write an email campaign that converts into sales and relationships. I specifically differentiate this from just writing an email campaign. The reason for this is that anyone can write an email campaign that doesn’t convert. There is a lot of talk out there about writing a content campaign that builds trust and relationship, but a pure content campaign doesn’t convert to sales. And on the other end of the spectrum is that of writing a selling campaign—and all it does is sell. Although that type of campaign may make a few quick sales, and sometimes may lead to the feeling that the campaign is more profitable based on early results, an all-selling campaign rarely converts profitably in the long run.

So the next thought might be to simply write a balance of emails—content emails and sales emails, and all will be well. Any yet, my experience and testing shows that is not extremely effective either.

So what is effective?

What I have discovered is that a profitable email campaign that converts needs to have all the components that leads to build trust in human relationships.

Think about that for a second—online relationship building is different in that it uses an online medium—but in reality, it is humans with which you are building a relationship and ultimately asking them to buy. And humans have the same emotions, bonding patterns, and trust acquisition methods online as they do online. And I believe that one of the big mistakes marketers often make online is that we assume that people behave differently online, and all we have to do is “optimize” our communication to get the best results—but forgetting that our “optimized” “clicks” are not just “numbers” but instead are real people with real feelings. And real people with real feelings operate as . . . people with feelings. And their trust mechanism works the same online as offline.

Ok, I know that was a bit circuitous, but I really want to drive home the point that we have to build trust and relationship with our email subscribers, not just driving content or sales emails.

So although I am going to show you how to write a wide range of emails—content emails, sales emails, credibility emails, information emails, announcement emails, pre-launch emails, during launch emails, post launch emails, etc.—the purpose of this book is more to show you how to connect the dots between the emails to build trust and relationship with your subscribers.

You see, anyone can write any style of email if he is following a model or a template. But no matter how much you template out or model an email, or even a series of emails, without the human connection, you still only have an email or a series of emails.

Therefore, the first thing I am going to do here is teach you how to create that relationship dynamic in the emails you write, then I’ll share with sample templates of emails you can write; that way you’ll be able to easily decide what type of email you need to write based on where you are at in your relationship-building in your email campaign.

Going back to the idea that we need to use the same trust-building triggers online as we do offline, first we have to define what those trust triggers are.

Russell H. Granger, in his book “The 7 Triggers to Yes – The New Science Behind Influencing People’s Decisions” states that there are 7 specific triggers that build trust when activated, especially when several of these triggers are used in combination.

Here are the triggers:

The Friendship Trigger

The Authority Trigger

The Consistency Trigger

The Reciprocity Trigger

The Contrast Trigger

The Reason Why Trigger

The Hope Trigger

And idea is that the more trust triggers you use with someone, the deeper the trust that is created, and the more action that is taken.

My personal belief is that people who are naturally persuasive or whom others tend to trust inherently, use some or all of these triggers in combination in their lives, although perhaps unknowingly.

In the offline world, you use some or all of these trust triggers as you build your relationship and the accompanying trust.  Online, you also use these same trust triggers as you build relationships and trust.

And through the course of your content campaign, your email campaign, and any other communication with your prospects or clients you can use these trust triggers to stimulate and build trust.

So how do you activate these “trust triggers” in someone who joins your list?

I recommend using a “credibility campaign” which begins at the very first point of contact with your prospects, and continues in earnest for about 10 days. Of course, once you have created a solid feeling of trust from your subscribers, you should continue to nurture that over time.

I have found that 10 days is the minimal period of time that is needed to create enough trust using email, for someone to invest in coaching. Of course, if you add another element – for example, perhaps you have met the individual in person (rare for online marketing), or spend time with your subscriber on the phone or in a webinar or teleseminar – that period of time can be shortened. Understand that some people need more time (and others won’t read all your emails so aren’t exposed to all the triggers initially and will therefore need more time).

So in a nutshell, what I do is attempt to use all the trust triggers in the first 10 days of my email campaign. Because I do this using autoresponders I can be assured that each person who joins my campaign will be sent all of these emails (unless they unsubscribe first, at which point it is irrelevant).

I believe if you internalize this concept completely, it will change the way you communicate with new prospects.

You will begin to ask yourself, how can I use some or all of these triggers in my communication with my prospects, and how fast can I do it?

You can use some of them in your advertising.

You can use some of them on the first page they come to on your website.

You can use some of them on your squeeze page.

You can use them on your download page after someone opts in through email.

You can use them in each email you send.

And so on.

And because you are in control of the page they see after the read your advertisement (which you also control), and you are in control of the first page they see after they opt in to your web site, and you are in control of the content in each of your emails, you can literally mastermind your prospects’ exposure to each of these triggers. You can engineer your prospects’ exposure to these triggers, and if you do that, you can mold your prospects’ opinion of you, their trust level in your, their level of respect for you, and ultimately influence long run their involvement with you.

So the next step is to design each part of your campaign so that it uses at least one of these triggers, and if possible, use several.

Personally, I believe you will get the most out of this practice by brainstorming for yourself what you have and can write that will use these triggers.

I suggest taking Granger’s trust triggers, and consciously implement each of them in your campaign.

You can write emails specifically for the purpose of using each trigger.

Here is how to do it:  Take the list and determine what you can do to use that trigger (don’t worry about the order of using the triggers, it doesn’t matter). Then once you have determined what you will use for each trigger, you can order and rearrange the triggers so that it makes sense in your campaign.

Here is an example of what this might look like, using Granger’s list:

The Friendship Trigger – This might be a friendly email, possibly mentioning that you are available through email if they ever have questions or need help with something.

The Authority Trigger – Show your experience – this can be done in the resource box of your article if you are using article marketing, this can be done on your download page for your free report or gift they receive after opting in, this can be done by sending your prospect to another page which shows that you are an expert in your niche

The Consistency Trigger – This is something you will develop over time in your campaign. Each email or contact should agree with all the others.  If you advance one thought or idea in one email, don’t change your opinion 3 emails later.

The Reciprocity Trigger – Perhaps use this twice, once in your advertising (download a free report) and once in the first 10 day email campaign giving a free mp3 recording of you teaching something powerful in your niche

The Contrast Trigger – Show why you are the preferred expert for them.  Perhaps subtly showing them why the way it “has always been done” or the way “others do it” isn’t best for them. This is best done in conjunction with the “Reason Why” trigger – explaining why the approach others are using or teaching is not the best.  If possible, you can use the logical argument that it “used to work” but explain why it no longer works.  Or explain why the way others do it works for certain kinds of people – but why your scenario (or your clients’) doesn’t fit into that category.

This trigger needs to be used carefully, because if you overtly attack what they believe – about the way it’s always been done, or what others are doing – and you don’t explain why that way no longer works, or doesn’t work in this scenario, then you end up

doing more damage because you are pushing them away by attacking their beliefs, rather than reeducating them on a better way.

The Reason Why Trigger – This might be used to show why your new or novel approach is best for them.

The Hope Trigger – This can be done by showing them what their life (or business, or health, whatever your niche is) can look like after working with you.  This could be done by showing a client testimonial (be careful when doing this, make sure you stay legal) of someone who has accomplished the result you promise. Or this can be done by telling an imaginative story about what their life might look like with your result. Or share with them how YOU feel with your result in your own life.

Along with these triggers, I also like to use a few additional components in the initial campaign that further increase familiarity and trust with you:

Audio – when they hear your voice early in the campaign, it affects how they “hear” you speaking to them in the future through email. When they read your email, they can literally “hear” you speaking to them through it.

Picture of you – this gives them a face to a name, which further enhances the trust experience

Video of you – this simply allows you to give them audio and a picture at the same time – which additionally increases this bonding experience.

Additionally, Robert Cialdini in his seminal book on persuasion, (insert name)  suggests we can add social proof and commitment as persuasion mechanisms (among others that significantly overlap Granger’s trust triggers); I believe these mechanisms, when used in conjunction with Granger’s trust triggers, adds a level of trust and credibility to your campaign and relationships.

Social proof: if you use testimonials (be careful with these as the law requires a high standard of proof, higher than your clients’ word), this can be powerful. If there is something you have accomplished which can prove involvement, use it, for example in my case, the number of articles my team and I have written and posted online.  Or you could use a blog where you ask for comments from subscribers.

Commitment: In one of your emails, you could simply ask something like this:

How would it feel if you were able to accomplish (your result) in the next 3 months?  How would that really change things for you?

So let me ask you this, if I can show you exactly how to achieve (your result) will you promise to send me a testimonial telling me exactly how I helped you?

If they promise…even just mentally…they have made an internal commitment to sending you a testimonial – which of course can’t happen unless they do the work…so this helps them strengthen their internal commitment to learning from you.

Next, we will reorder these according to the flow of the campaign.

A typical campaign might look like this:

Advertising point (or article)

Squeeze page

Download page for a free gift

Next page they are sent to on your site

First email they receive from you in the campaign (after the squeeze page download email) (perhaps day 2)

Second email they receive from you in the email campaign (perhaps day 4)

7) Third email they receive from you in the email campaign (perhaps day 6)

8) Fourth email they receive from you in the email campaign (perhaps day 8)

9) Fifth email they receive from you in the email campaign (perhaps day 10)

Now we will copy and paste in each of the trust triggers into a particular step in the campaign:

Advertising point (or article)

Squeeze page

Picture of you – this gives them a face to a name, which further enhances the trust experience

You could also use the audio trigger here – a 30 second recording telling them what they will receive if they opt in

Download page for a free gift

The Authority Trigger – One way to do this on the download page is to add a short audio or video (3-5 minutes) introducing yourself and telling why you are qualified to help them. Or you can write a short blurb about yourself on this page, accompanied by

Send a testimonial to your list (social proof trigger). In the same email, in the signature of the email, include a link to your highest ticket coaching program (contrast trigger, even if they don’t buy your highest price program, by seeing you have one, it decreases their price resistance to your next coaching program down in price)

Send an informative email that teaches them something in the email itself (they don’t have to go to an outside link) (authority trigger). In the same email, offer to answer one question through email at no charge – they just hit reply to ask their question (friendship and reciprocity trigger)

Are you beginning to see how easy this is?

Mastermind your email campaign using these triggers, and mastermind which triggers they receive and when, and although you won’t control any one individuals’ internal response to you, you will increase trust (and therefore positive response) of your entire group of email prospects over time.

Ongoing Credibility

For ongoing credibility, I like to queue 2-4 emails per month in my followup autoresponder campaign, each of which triggers one or more of the trust triggers outlined above.

This does not all need to be done in advance, but don’t allow yourself to get behind, or you will have prospects who don’t hear from you for long periods of time if you aren’t actively sending emails.

I recommend starting with the initial 10 day sequence, and maybe another 5-10 emails spaced out over the course of the first couple of months.

Then simply write one email per week and add it to the end of your autoresponder campaign.  If you do this once per week for a year, you will easily have a 1-2 year campaign that each prospects gets automatically once they subscribe, regardless of how active you are in writing new emails in the future.

By continually keeping in touch with quality content, you will keep yourself in the forefront of your prospects’ minds so that when they need the kind of help you provide, they will think of you first.

When you are ready to market a new coaching program, remarket an old one, launch a new product, or simply looking for new clients, you will have a responsive list of prospects to talk with.

There are 2 real keys here – 1) be sure to use the trust triggers consciously and purposefully and 2) put these emails on autopilot so you don’t have to think about them.  You should build a trust relationship with each new prospect through your autoresponder campaign.  If they write and ask a question – always write back personally or have someone on your staff write personally.  I do NOT recommend using a help desk, outsourced cheap labor, or anything else that detracts from the personal experience. Very few people will ask questions through email, but if you respond to the few who write, they will instantly upgrade their trust and opinion of you.

This credibility campaign sets the foundation for a long-term trust-based relationship with your subscribers. Once that is in place, you can easily layer in content and sales emails, along with product and coaching program launches, additional credibility emails over time, and interaction emails that collectively continue to strengthen the trust and relationship with the prospect, in addition to generating revenue and creating profitability.

So now that you have the basic, initial credibility campaign in place, which is targeted to hit all the basic trust and persuasion triggers needed to develop the maximal level of trust, how do you continue to cultivate a feeling of personal-ness and continued trust and connection on your list?

In a few minutes, I am going to thoroughly dig into the “science” of writing emails, but before I do, I’ll give you exact email styles and patterns that tend to work well for creating long term response and build relationship. You can use these emails and email styles as a starting point for building your email campaigns, and over time, as you see the individual impact of specific emails and styles on your sales conversion rates and relationship building, you can alter the emails to increase conversion on your list.

Sample Email Templates:

Content Email:

Subject line:

Something I Found For You

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

I found a training today I think you might like:

email marketing
The ultimate guide on how to build a profitable email list that pays over and over.

(link to training)

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

Sales Email:

Subject line:

Your Key to (Something in Product)

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

In this training, you will learn the key to (something he will learn):

(link to training)

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

Credibility Email:

Subject line:

Check out what they wrote about me 🙂

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

Recently I was featured in (place you were featured that includes a bio that tells the

reader something that builds your credibility):

(link to place you were featured)

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

Affiliate Sales Email:

Subject line:

A Tool You Can Use

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

As you know, I don’t recommend much. But I came across something I think you

might need:

(link to affiliate page promoting something)

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

Referral Email:

Subject line:

Someone You Should Know

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

I think it’s time you met my friend (name of

friend) who is making big splashes in (something he is famous for); check out his

blog here; let me know what you think:

(link to blog of person you are referring)

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

Build Relationship Email:

Subject line:

How are things going for you with (your niche problem)?

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

How are things going for you with (your niche problem)?

I know it’s not easy to achieve (something someone achieves

in your niche), but you can do it . . . find someone who has

done it, and simply model their success!

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

Interactive Email:

Subject line:

What Can I Help With?

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

By now you’ve likely read a number of emails from me, perhaps you’ve purchased my training. But maybe you just need a simple question answered, you don’t need some big old training. So do this – hit reply and tell me your question.

I promise to personally answer!

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

Pre-Launch Email:

Subject line:

In a few days I’m releasing something special . . .

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

In a few days, I’m releasing something special; read about it here:

(link to announcement page)

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

During Launch Email:

Subject line:

Brand new (name of program) hot off the press today!

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

It’s live! Check it out now:

(link to program)

To your success,

(Your Name)

 

Post-Launch Email:

Subject line:

So . . . are you ready for action?

Body:

Dear (Firstname),

Here’s the thing: a few days ago I launched my new (name of program)

and I see you haven’t gotten it yet.

And that’s okay (of course).

But maybe you have been waiting . . . on something 🙂

It’s that time now!

You will love this, go ahead, take action now and change your life:

(link to purchase program)

To your success,

(Your Name)

So there you have it – my own personal formulas for some of the emails I write. Of course, I have many more – and frankly, most of the emails I write are off-the-cuff. I write them as I am inspired, many times based on email communication I’ve had with a subscriber. You see, I believe that in a normal offline relationship, the strongest relationships contain many of these triggers, but are not scripted. Meaning that what we see and how we say it is dependent on the content of the conversation. For example, when someone says something to us, our response is not scripted, but is instead based on what that person said. And our response will be personalized, based on our relationship and the feeling we have about the other persons’ motives or goals in the relationship.

And I believe that is one of the things that makes building a trust-based conversion-oriented email campaign so difficult to implement. Because each email is written to a group of people—the cohort of all individuals who will read that email over time—no one email is going to meet the needs of all the people. So we have to write a series of emails that will most likely connect with those individuals with whom we want to do business over time.

So how do we determine how to connect with those individuals with whom we want to do business over time?

What I have found that works particularly well is to hold real email conversations with real people, and then take the parts of the conversation that works with those personal contacts, and use those parts of the conversation in our mass email writing. So how do we find those parts of the conversation?

Once you have a list of subscribers, you can begin to test emails on those subscribers simply writing and sending the emails. As responses begin to come in, you will see which emails generate the highest level of response, especially positive response. As you receive responses, transfer the emails that get the most response—especially response that is positively emotional charged—into your long term automated email campaign.

Of course this takes time, and that is why I have given you the formula for writing a credibility campaign; a formula that is not only deeply-seated in the science of trust- and relationship-building, but has been tested and proven in my own email autoresponder series to produce a high level of prospect interaction and trust.

However, once you have that in place, and you begin to implement long-term email campaigns based on the guidelines in this book, you should evaluate individual emails in the campaign for effectiveness. The biggest indicator of effectiveness, of course, is sales, but many times sales do not occur immediately after an email is read, and certainly not for emails that do not contain a sales call-to-action, so in the absence of a sales indicator, you can use prospect response. Meaning that emails that generate a response email that is positive are generally the emails that cultivate the highest level of trust and relationship.

Another way that you can determine the effectiveness of an email on the building of trust and relationship is to correlate the reading of a particular email with a sales-based action in the future. This isn’t easy to do, but the basic idea is that for each open of a particular email, a future conversion rate to a particular product is determined. Over time, you will be able to rank individual emails based on future conversion rates, and those emails that have the highest level of future conversions are retained your email campaign, and those emails that have the lowest level of future conversions are removed from your email campaign. To do this, look at the open rate of a particular email for 2 groups of individuals—buyers of a product, and non-buyers of a product. When open rate is higher for buyers, that is a potential indicator that that email is positively impacting the conversion rate, and when the open rate is lower for buyers, that is a potential indicator that that email is negatively impacting the conversion rate. (Of course, there is always the possibility of an unrelated correlation, and only statistically significant sample bases, and of course recency of the prior-influencing email, can help determine if causality is evident, or if there is only a non-influencing correlation.)

And keep in mind, if you do this for, let’s say, 100 emails in a series, and retain only the 20 or so that are positively correlated with increased conversions, creating new emails to replace the 80 that were negatively correlated with conversions, then over time your email campaign will become stronger on average, even if some relationships between emails and conversions are merely correlation-oriented and not causal in nature.

The bottom line is, if you reinforce emails in your campaign that show positive correlation with your measurable goal—which is sales conversions—over time you will develop a campaign that outperforms a prior or untested campaign.

So how do we discover the language that prospects respond to in our email writing? Of course we are starting by using basic trust-based persuasive language, but what can we do to improve on it over time?

I find that when I personally communicate via email with individual subscribers that the language becomes evident. I find that sometimes when a subscriber is communicating with me, he will use language that is very specific about why he responded to an offer or an email, and if I begin to incorporate some of the wording into my future emails, those future emails tend to generate a higher level of connection with future prospects.

By now, you may be thinking, this seems difficult to test in real-life, and you are correct: this is not easy to test in real-life. Not only does it take large numbers of email reads, which implies large numbers of subscribers, it also takes time to decipher the results. So where does this lead us?

It leads us to a place of doing the best possible job we can with the data we have. If you have some data about your list and list responsiveness, use it. If not, model your campaign after someone’s campaign that strikes a positive cord with you. It has been said, “birds of a feather flock together” and I find that to be true online. People who have similar values to you will be the ones who respond to your email communication. And people who similar values to you will respond similarly to the way you respond to email communication. So that if you respond in a particularly positive way to a particular email or email style, it can be assumed that your best prospects and subscribers will also respond positively to a similar email or style of email.

Now that you have not only the psychology behind writing an email campaign that converts, but also templates that you can customize for each email in your campaign, now it is your turn—your turn to write your own email campaign.

By the way, if you want to take what I’ve taught in this article and many hours of more in-depth training on how to write emails for a profitable campaign, check out my proprietary training here:

 

To your success,

 

 

 

 

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