“People don’t read long emails.”
We hear that all the time (it’s second only to our other fave, “People don’t read online.”).
And yet, long emails seem to work. Brilliantly. Not just for us at Copy Hackers, either.
We think a more accurate statement is: “People don’t read boring emails.”
In the past 4 months, we’ve launched 10x Emails and 10x Landing Pages, and probably the most challenging part of both product launches was getting the sales email sequence down.
If you’re trying to sell a course using email — and especially if you’re selling a course on how to write compelling emails — the sales emails had better be gold, Jerry.
Because despite what his kids wear on their feet, the cobbler himself (or Copy Hackers in this case) had better be wearing some serious sole!
An email needs to capture the reader’s attention and hold it. A sales email needs to sell.
We’ve written a little about these topics over the past 5 years 🙂 , but this post is less about email copywriting techniques.
This post is about swinging for the fences and avoiding boring messages. You’ll see plenty of big swings when you read the email below, which was written by our good friend and 10x Emails business partner, Ry Schwartz.
More importantly, this post is about the act of selling in your emails, and the impact it can have on your readers and on you.
Below is an email that we recently sent as part of our 10x Landing Pages course launch.
It’s long. It’s unconventional. And it makes no apologies for trying to sell.
The response? Keep reading…
SUBJECT LINE: I’m Not Okay
It’s your landing page here.
ie. the forgotten, red-headed stepchild of your marketing funnel.
ie. the thing you send THOUSANDS of hard-earned, expensive clicks to, yet haven’t checked in for months to see how I was even doing.
(hint: I’m NOT ok)
Anyway, I know it’s weird that I’m reaching out to you like this.
But you left me no choice.
Cause we need to talk…
… and you’ve been ignoring my passive-aggressive cries for help for far too long.
Y’know, like how I’ve been…
… giving you cringe-worthy “your CMO will kill you” non-ROI on your ad spend.
… scaring away your visitors (and making sure they never return).
… making potential buyers bounce faster than an overcaffeinated kangaroo.
I thought that by doing all these things, you’d finally pay attention to me.
Instead, you’ve paid even MORE attention to your top-of-funnel traffic strategies – those bloody ebooks nobody downloads cuz they have to read ME to download ’em, and I’m sure as hell not gonna convince them. As far as I’m concerned, no one should download all that free content you’re PDFing like you just discovered PDFs.
So while you’ve been pulling together that next webinar or doubling down on Facebook ads…
…. I’ve been sulking here, playing Bob Dylan’s “It’s ok Ma, I’m only bleedin’” on an infinite loop.
I mean… WTF!?
What does a landing page have to do to get a little love around here?
And it wouldn’t make me so freakin’, well, angry, if it wasn’t for all the revenue we’re just leaving on the table!
I mean, I exist to place revenue-generating leads AT YOUR FEET.
I exist to get people to sign up for YOUR webinars and buy YOUR products.
That’s literally all I’m here for.
(yes, i’m still here)
Cause did you know that, with just a BIT of strategic tweaking (the kind the lady here can make really easy for you), we could easily:
Capture 2X, 5X or even 10X the clicks you’ve been tossing my way
Convert a whole bunch more leads into real live customers
Take a medieval mace to the face of our biggest competitors… while disrupting industries and creating new SaaS empires overnight (just gimme the chance before you look at me that way!)
Give you the confidence and cashflow to splurge on all those other marketing children you love so much – like that smug jack in Facebook ads, and don’t get me started on the $5K you spent on Jim the Ebook, which was supposed to make you the next Marketo #imbetterthanjim #marketoinvestsinme
Look. I’m not asking for much.
I’m very forgiving.
Won’t even hold a grudge.
But you need to meet me halfway.
Remember when you left me open on one of your Chrome tabs, intending to optimize me, before choosing to watch “Jerry Maguire” on Netflix instead?
Ya. Well I was watching too.
At one point, he said something along the lines of, “help me help you.”
Well, I remembered that line, thinking it would be handy some day.
So here we are.
I’m playing the “Jerry Card.”
So what do you say?
Joanna and her Copy Hackers gang are literally hours away from locking you and me out of their 10x Landing Pages copywriting course
Missing this would really suck.
Cause I need this. Okay? I need this.
WE need this.
And it’s about damn time we committed ourselves to a more profitable (and loving) marketing future together.
We can come back from this dark history of ours.
We can find landing page love again.
PS. While I have you here, wow, it’s been nice reconnecting. All of this time we’ve spent apart – I almost forgot how wonderful you and I are together. Now, okay, I know you’ve got Facebook ads you just have to get to, but let’s put another date on the books, okay? Two, actually.
10/11 at 9am PST
10/25 at 9am PST
Joanna calls them “landing page clinics.”
Yes, you’re gonna take a scalpel to my pixels and do some ungodly stuff.
But I’m willing to go through the pain IF it means higher conversions and more sales. If you’re in, I’m in.
You’re getting the easier part of the deal here.
I get surgically ripped apart while you cash in?
No brainer. For you.
These clinics are included in 10x Landing Pages, no matter what plan you choose.
So like I mentioned:
“So How Do You Think People Will React?”
The email went out, and within minutes, the responses began to arrive back in our shared inbox… and they kept coming for about 8 hours.
In all, we received 40 personally-crafted replies to the 10x Landing Pages email (not including the usual assortment of auto-responders, OOO notifications, and the oh-so-friendly “We’re protecting ourselves against spam — please verify…”-type responses).
Typically — for a sales-related email — we receive a dozen or so replies.
This email generated nearly 4x the usual replies.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this email also generated a lot of sales.
So if it worked so well, why are we sharing the [anonymized] responses and making a thing out of it?
Because despite what we teach and practice, we still struggle with this stuff. And we hear from others who struggle.
The Reply button is the reason for the struggle.
Before the Reply button, people could only flip the magazine page, change the channel on their TV or crumple up the direct response mailer — and the marketer would be none the wiser.
(It’s true that cold callers had to be at ease with colourful language, and door-to-door salespeople had to stomach unfriendly glares, slammed doors, barking dogs… and worse. But those are salespeople. Marketing is supposed to be 1-to-many communication, and marketers aren’t required to have the “ignore rejection” gene.)
Email’s changed things. It’s given recipients a way to talk back — easily.
And with an easy-to-access Reply button, people who feel something about what you write will respond. The more people who feel, the more who will send you a reply.
If you’re selling in your emails — and we hope you are — you can expect all kinds of feelings and replies. 🙂 In addition to the inevitable unsubscribes.
If you internalize the negative reactions, you’ll start to second-guess whether you should be selling at all in your emails… and you start to go for the soft sell because it feels better… or because you won’t get as many “hater” responses.
But don’t give in to your instinct to pull back.
Re-read the positive responses.
Eat some ice cream (an appropriate-sized portion).
Do whatever it takes to eliminate the negative talk creeping into your psyche.
Push through the discomfort and remember why you’re selling.
We think of it like this: If we’re not seeing lots of unsubscribes or hearing from people that we’re selling too hard, then we’re failing.
We’re failing to inject cash into our business, which is how we deliver free content on copyhackers.com and at conferences throughout the year.
Paid products and services make free content possible.
So if we fail at selling the former, the latter goes away.
And with that, here is a sampling of the responses to our recent unconventional sales email:
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly [Red-Headed Stepchild]
Er, this one qualifies as slightly bizarre:
This response made us smile. It’s upbeat and pleasant, but it’s also clear that we didn’t sufficiently compel this person to click through any of the links in the email. Noted.
This person gets it… we’re definitely “pushing and exploring”.
Nothing warms our hearts more than when people tell us they’re using our techniques. A simply delightful reply…
A “copy tribe”? So cool. The best part? They decided to pitch us!! Well played:
Thank you. We thought so, too. But not everyone agrees (as you’ll see down below).
We could almost take this person’s comment wrong way — but we won’t, because we know that good (and long) copy sells. 🙂
The pleasant stuff was nice while it lasted. Until next time…
We can appreciate this. How we write may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s authentic (i.e., we tend to write as we speak).
Everyone is entitled to her feelings. What some people call “badgering,” we call selling. Huzzah.
It’s true… if someone recently subscribed to your list, and then immediately starts to receive sales emails, things can feel a little out of balance:
Find your happy place…
We’re guessing he’s referring only to our sales-related emails: 😉
Deliver value in webinar. Check. Send related sales emails. Check.
Fair enough. But being a ginger who was also adopted into a family of non-gingers, I disagree. Any other gingers out there care to chime in?
Nothing too crazy though, right?
The critical replies can take some of the fun out of a fun-to-write email, but making sales puts the fun right back in.
We see these emails right after people hit reply, but you can always set up a “reply to” email that goes to an inbox that you don’t see immediately.
Instead, open that folder or inbox after you’ve seen some sales roll in.
Making sales is the cure for whatever ails ya.
And whether you choose to read replies right away or save the emails for later, just don’t give in to the urge to stop selling (or swinging for the fences!).
Remember why you’re selling in the first place.