Nearly 70% of US email recipients report email as spam based on the subject heading. This statistic published on the Convince & Convert website shows how the email open rate can plummet if you don’t write an effective headline. You need to stand out and generate interest both through your product offering – and your writing.

So how do you convert leads to customers through persuasive sales copy? Here are some of the key elements:

The message

Before tackling the copy, think about what you want to communicate. It’s simple: you need to introduce yourself and – more importantly – tell your reader how you can help them.

Taking a direct approach means your prospect won’t filter you out into Spam. You’re not interrupting them to tell them how wonderful your company is; the first thing they’ll see is that you’re offering them a solution. And we all love to feel someone is listening to us and giving us some personal attention.

With this in mind, come up with a message telling them straight away why you’ve contacted them. By making the recipient the focus of the email, you show them you care and can offer a solution adapted to their needs.

Continue by explaining why you’re writing to them now, which is when you make a simple request that’s easy to respond to. If you’re sending an email to present your company, you can suggest arranging an initial meeting. If your email is part of a lead nurturing campaign, encourage your prospect to click through to a landing page including a call to action in your text.

Most email conversions are the result of knowing how to capture the reader’s interest by offering them valuable content (e.g. a new downloadable ebook, a newsletter with relevant articles, a promotion or a discount). If they fill in the form with their contact details to request regular updates, or reply to your email to find out more about you – congratulations! You’re accompanying your lead through the buying process, which is the objective. You need, however, to master another key area to guarantee email success.

Email elements and style

The structure and components of your email are vitally important.

Subject – 8 out of 10 people on average will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. [1] Which is why you have to choose a relevant subject that sparks curiosity. To help spark our copywriting creativity, American Writers & Artists came up with the Secret of the Four U’s. Applying their rule to your email headline, it should meet the following criteria:

  • be USEFUL for the reader
  • convey a sense of URGENCY
  • communicate the idea that your key benefit is UNIQUE
  • provide ULTRA-SPECIFIC information

Sender. Which inspires more confidence: an email from ‘no reply’ or a personalised message from the sales director of your company? Put yourself in the reader’s position and design your email in the most personalised and professional way you can.

Greeting. Address the reader as personally as you can, by their first and last name. You want to show that behind this message is a team of people, not a machine sending out thousands of emails. This means doing some preliminary research on your recipient: who are they, what does their company do, what concerns do they have for their business and what solution can you provide?

Content. The most difficult part is done, but don’t let the reader down with unattractive copy in the body of the text. Communicate a single idea using simple, friendly language and persuasive writing. Don’t include too many links or images (or you’ll go straight into the Spam box) and check your email design is compatible with any email provider (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook).

Sign-off and contact details. Thank your reader for their time, and include your contact details when you sign off so they can easily reply to you.

Test out different versions of your email copy, and vary sending times to find the optimum time frame. Little by little you’ll find the email formula you need to convert sales opportunities into actual sales.

More related stories