UPWORD Consulting - Week 5
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Welcome to this module on writing effective, high-open rate copy for email. I’m your instructor, Luke and I’ll be teaching you a thing or two again. Now this module will be a bit shorter. But in it I’ll tell you all about how to create compelling subject lines, the general system I use when I write email copy, and I’ll teach you how to learn from others in your specific niche.
First and foremost, I want to talk about the role of emails in the sales and marketing process.
To start, I believe email is highly effective in increasing sales, but it is supportive in its role. What I mean with that is that it’s only one part of the sales journey. And not the entire sales process.
Now, I don’t mean to go on tangent, but if I had to say it in short, then I would say: The Product is Mightier than the Pen. For email to work you need a product which can sell.
As one of my favorite copywriters used to say, and I paraphrase: “A copywriter is somewhat like a jockey, and you wouldn’t want the jockey to carry their horse to the finish line.”
Bottom line: So if you have a good product, then you can use email to increase sales significantly!
Let’s get back to the purpose of email.
The number one, and most important, and often misconceived notion of emails is simply to be opened.
The second, and auxiliary point I must mention is that since emails are mostly supporting, you should keep them short and snappy. Folks don’t have the time to read through long emails. Especially not when they’re cold lists. So bottom line: If you can’t get your emails to open, then you can’t make them fulfill their role.
Which leads me to this:
Let’s start with how to write good subject lines.
Now, I want to refer back to the web copywriting module you’ve had and remind you
to always ask yourself what you’re selling. This is especially important, because all your
emails are essentially trying to sell your big idea or unique belief (which you wrote down before.)
You could even argue that your emails are also “selling something.”
Even if they’re just a tutorial. FAQ, testimonial, or story.
they’re selling an idea. They’re supporting your overall claim of bringing them to their desired outcome.
So before you do any actual writing, whether it’s subject lines or body copy…
I want you to prepare and think what it is you’re trying to convey. We’ll get back to the types of emails you can write and what their purposes are in a moment.
But first, here are a few mechanisms to write good subject lines.
Number one, you want your subject line
to disrupt and intrigue your reader.
This is especially important for first time readers and visitors. Don’t try to sell them something unless they’ve already indicated a form of “buyers intent.”
For example in an abandoned cart Klaviyo flow it’s fine to gesture towards a sale. And remind them of how their cart is filled with some items, still. Put it in the headline, address them directly and tell them.
But if you suspect they don’t trust you yet, then focus on providing value and intrigue first. Your goals is to establish a warm relationship. If you don’t, then you’re often seen as a spammer.
So with the church renovation example Jon gave, you could see how he’s building trust by some basic storytelling. He’s showing the human side of the business and hardly sells anything in the beginning. This is a great example of building initial rapport. But how do you come up with subject line ideas? Here’s what I like to do. There are a few mechanism you can use… For example: You can call out your prospect. You can personally address them… You can create an interesting juxtaposition. Or ask a top of mind question… These are just a few of the many ways you can build intrigue. And I’d love to tell you all about them, but there are just so many… (If you are interested, then let me know. I enjoy sharing what I know) But we’ll stick with these for now. The general idea is to either resonate with your reader, or make them curious about what you have to say.
Let’s start with the first. Calling out your prospect. When you call out your prospect you’re approaching them in a very direct way. You might say “Do You Want to Sleep Without Any Neck Pain?” Or… “If You’re so Smart, then How Come You’re not Rich?” Mind, these are very direct. And very provocative. So if you use such subject lines, you best be ready to give a solution immediately. Or else have your readers dislike you for simply aggravating them.
Second, you can also personally address them. For example you could say: “Hey Bob, I think you forgot something…” Or “Sarah, you’ve only got 24 hours left before I have to close my offer…”
Or you can create an interesting juxtaposition. And turn the world upside down. By challenging expectations you can demand attention. For example “Make your bank pay you interest…” Or “The IRS owes you…” These are one of my favorite types of subject lines because they follow the structure of D I C, which I will tell you more about after this last one. Which is: Asking a top of mind question.
It’s another effective way to grab attention. One technique I often use is think of the unique belief I’m selling. And then put myself in the shoes of the prospect and write down as many questions they might have.
Then I order them in importance, and test them as subject lines. Note: One of the greatest skills you can have in copywriting, and in business in general is to look through the world from the lens of your prospect. The more you practice it, the more you succeed. For example: Would you like to receive a high pressure sales email? Or would you prefer a friendly, and solution focused message. Showing you a potential opportunity or potential gain?
So now you know a few ways to make subject lines. And Jon showed you some examples. But let’s zoom in on the types of emails you can send. And the “route” or sequence you can use.
Remember.. you can A/B test them as you like. And decide which ones you want to use with your audience and see what works best. Do note that it’s always experimentation. So don’t worry about flopping a few emails. It’s normal, and part of the process. Just keep on optimizing until you have no more significant improvements. So feel free to mix things. Just test test test when you do. Here they are: Introduction and welcome emails. In these you can tell your story, and build more trust. It’s a good idea to show what it is you do. too. So make your big claim. For example: “We renovate churches.” Then you have: Social proof emails: Their purpose is to add credibility to your big idea.
Afterward, you can either go for benefits or FAQs: and create desire through a shotgun approach. Since you can’t target specific individuals, because you’re not doing one-to-one sales, I would recommend you to pick the most common and biggest benefits or top of mind questions. Discover them through user testimonials. And if you don’t have those, then keep adding variations to the “what you really sell” exercise we did in the last module.
This is how you target a wide range of potential readers. Remember, the more benefits or top of mind questions you have, then the more you can split test. And the higher conversions you can optimize to. Now, at this point your prospect should be in a stage where they’re ready to buy. Now you either further their commitment to the brand by giving them more value through tutorials, or free tips… Or you can present a discount or offer to push for the sale. And if you really want to start doing some interesting marketing, you can introduce cross, up, and down sells as well. Note: At any point in this sales process your prospects can buy. It’s not set in stone. They can buy when the discount is offered. But Some people also buy after a welcome email. Others after a FAQ. There is variance to it, just make sure you experiment with it.