Fact: The purpose of email marketing isn’t “tell & sell.”
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In other words, you can’t just tell prospects you exist and hope they buy from you.

In reality, email marketing is a lot more precarious. Think of every email as a journey to the top of Conversion Mountain—where your prospects could fall off at any point:

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So how do you reach the top and successfully earn a click or reply? With a message that engages your prospects, resonates with them, and makes it easy for them to act on your offer.

Use this step-by-step guide to write messages that grab your prospect from the first line, and ultimately deliver you good leads and more sales. Click on a step below, or scroll down to read through them all:

STEP ONE: Offer Something

STEP TWO: Get to the Point

STEP THREE: Be Real & Be Personable

STEP FOUR: Make It Easy for Your Prospect

STEP FIVE: Review For Clarity & Empathy


Every email is a transaction. Your prospect needs a reason to act...

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That's where your "offer" comes in. Your offer is what your prospect gets in return for acting on your email, and lays the entire foundation for your message.

Offers come in all shapes and sizes—they educateentertainengage, and reward:

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As you think about what to offer, remember these key points:

  • Your offer is the answer to the question “why should I act on this message?”

  • Value for your prospect = leads for you.

  • Your offer can be you: a meeting, phone call, or conversation; or even your product / services. Always frame it in terms of how your prospect stands to benefit.

Create a compelling offer before you write your message. Then use your message to sell your offer—not your products and services.

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Your prospects have limited time and patience. If you don’t grab their attention immediately, you’ll lose them.

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Tell your prospects what you want in the first 2-3 sentences of your email. Your prospects will move quickly from info-gathering mode (slow, passive, frustrating), to action mode (active, decisive).

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Remember these key points:

  • Your prospects aren’t naive. They know you want something, and they’ll be more likely to respond to your request if you’re up front about it.

  • Clear, concise questions get more responses.

  • If possible, highlight the problem you can help solve. If your product or service doesn’t help your prospect achieve a goal or address a priority, they have no reason to do business with you. When you explicitly mention that goal / priority, you bring the matter close to home for your prospect.

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Your prospect is thinking about her own problems and priorities

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Here are a few tips to ensure your message resonates with your prospects by speaking to their challenges and priorities:

  • Describe the problem your offer is intended to help solve. Don't assume it will be obvious—spell it out for them.

  • Even when it's about you (e.g., your product or your years of experience), make it about them (e.g., how your product helps your prospects, and how long you've been working with businesses like theirs).

  • Be clear, concise, and and write in plain English. Business jargon is old, tired, and often meaningless.

  • Finally, to keep your writing focused on your prospect's needs and goals, write in the second person—instead of "We/I," start with "You":

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Your prospects won't work hard or go out of their way to act on your offer. If they have to read through long, dense paragraphs—or if it's not obvious what you want them to do—they'll give up and move on.

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That's where your "Call-to-Action" comes in. Clearly explain to your prospects what you want them to do and how to do it. Be as specific as possible. And tell them what they'll get in return for acting.

Your Call-to-Action will attract more clicks, calls, and/or replies if it’s:

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Remember these key points:

  • Your Call-to-Action is the heart of your email—the reason for its existence. Your entire message should be designed to drive your message to take an action.

  • You can increase the odds your prospect sees and acts on you Call-to-Action by making it stand out visually.

  • Experiment with buttons, links, colors & images. While graphical elements like these may not work for every message, always consider strategies for catching your reader’s eye.

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You’re done (almost).

Now, go back to the beginning and re-read your whole message, applying the following checklist to every paragraph, sentence, and word:

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We get it—it's a lot to process. To see how these principles apply in an actual, real-world email, check out the slideshow below on The Perfect Email:


 Now that you know how to write email that turn into sales, all you need is some prospects to connect with! Want to know the exact number of good, local prospects you could email using the BWise prospecting database?

Use our free Prospect Finder: