• Email conversion rates can be assessed by looking at your click-through rate.
  • Sales techniques can be helpful when trying to improve conversion rates in your emails.
  • The three sales techniques covered in this post are based on science and will help you write better emails.

Your email campaign performance can be assessed by your email conversion rates.

And your click-through rate is usually the best indicator of whether or not your emails are converting.

Every email is a sales email

Whether your business is SaaS, e-commerce, coaching, consulting or freelancing, when you send an email it’s because you want the reader to take an action. 

You’re selling them on an idea — activate a new account, log in after 6 months away, upgrade, enroll, watch a training, click something, go somewhere, fork out a credit card.

And it’s all sales.

At least that’s what Hubspot says.

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Even if you don’t sell something in every single email, every email is still part of your sales machine.

Making the email sales machine work for you

When sending emails, there are so many sales techniques available to you besides the fake urgency we’ve all grown to recognize and despise.

Here are 3 sales techniques grounded in science you can copy to improve conversion rates in your emails.

And, of course, I’ve included examples.

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Technique #1 – Improve conversion rates by reducing reactance

If you want to make sure I do something, the surest way is to tell me not to do it. I’m not special in this regard. 

In fact, that’s pretty much the basis of reactancewe don’t like being told we have to do things. 

(If you’ve ever raised or been a teenager, you know this to be true).

So to reduce reactance and increase the likelihood of the reader doing what you want, don’t be pushy.

It’s better to imply or suggest. It’s even better to get them to think it was their idea.

See it in action:

Our first example is from Lindsey Created — an entrepreneur who makes freelancer-inspired candles.

In the email below (sent at the beginning of the year), she starts by asking her audience about their 2022 goals, then shares her own goal-setting process.

The candle is part of the process, but that is implied. There’s no aggressive sales push.

By the time the reader gets to the end of the email, they will want their own 2022 goal-setting process — and the 2022 Goals candle to go along with it.

Lindsay Created email - how to improve conversion rates


What I love about Lindsey Created — besides the candles — is the way she never pushes a sale.

Her emails always feel like a friend checking in.

Which is why this sales technique works so well.

Technique #2 – Improve conversion rates with choice architecture

Choice architecture is simply presenting a setup that influences the reader’s choice.

It can be done with questions or by creating an image of their ideal future.

See it in action:

In the email below, the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) uses the choice architecture technique by explaining why an MBA would be a perfect choice.

They share data that quantifies alumni success, then anchor with a promise.

Screenshot of AIB email - how to improve conversion rates


(Spoiler alert: I didn’t do the MBA. But at least we got this swipe out of it.)

Technique #3 – Improve conversion rates with tag questions

Tag questions turn value-building statements into affirmative (tag) questions that are difficult to disagree with.

See it in action:

Conversion copywriter Samar Owais uses tag questions in the email below.

She promotes her boot camp by posing questions she knows her ideal reader will say yes to.

Then she confirms that joining the boot camp will allow them to do all these things.

Excerpt from Samar Owais email - how to improve conversion rates


Over to you

The next time you’re tempted to slap ‘Last Chance!’ at the end of your email and call it a day, try one of these techniques instead to improve your conversion rates.

Or better yet, start building your swipe file of emails for ideas and inspiration.

In this Tutorial Tuesdays video, Nikki Elbaz shares how to build your swipe file.

If you’re looking for more email inspiration, check out the free Copyhackers course, Conversion Copywriting 101. There’s an entire section on email drip campaigns. You can sign up here.