How to write a sales email: without the hard sell

Image showing young woman of colour sitting at a laptop

The reason why you have an email list is to keep a list of people who are super-engaged with your business. 

You’re in control of your email list, rather than leaving contact up to the whim of social media algorithms, as long as you pay attention to how to reduce your risk of ending up in the spam folder

For the majority of my clients, the missing link in the emails they send out to their list is … sales! And yet, that’s one of the main reasons to have an email list!!!

So, before we get into writing a sales email, let’s look at the main reasons to have an email list. 

  1. To add value to your clients’ experience of working with you
  2. Once they see the value, to make the decision to work with you/buy from you
  3. To educate your clients as to why they should want to work with you
  4. To create a relationship with them by using your voice, personality and knowledge in your emails
  5. To SELL because at the end of the day, they want their problems solved and you have the solution they need

The most important emails to write

Sales emails are probably the most important emails to write. And the hardest. But they’re only the hardest because we have this desperate need to NOT be salesy or go for the hard sell.

We need to write sales emails

Because otherwise, we’re not doing our clients any favours. By keeping the solution they need to ourselves we’re not empowering them to achieve their goals or transform their lives.  

And if we don’t write emails that sell, we struggle more to earn money, keep our business afloat and if we’re not in business we can’t help our clients by getting our wellness message out there.

How to send a sales email

Writing sales emails is a bit like dating. You meet a nice person, go on a date and you take it from there. Many businesses attack sales emails instead from this angle - you meet a nice person, you ask them to marry you. They think you’re a weird stalker and run for the hills. Not good. 

  • Sales emails are best sent in a series, with not every email asking for the sale. 
  • Send about 2-3 ‘date’ emails before asking for their garage door opener! (don’t know this cultural movie reference, go watch ‘Singles’! It’s the ultimate sign of commitment!) 

How to write a sales email (without the hard sell)

The 2-3 emails you send before your actual sales email are critical to making the most out of your sales email.

Email 1: Introduce the problem, tell them why it’s their problem, frame the dream they can achieve when the problem is solved. Point them to a blog or a quick value action they can take to start on the journey to solving the problem.

Email 2: Overcome a barrier or challenge a thought they’ve had about their problem. Tell them why the barrier isn’t a barrier or the thought they’re having isn’t real. 

THE SALES EMAIL: Remind them of the problem. Paint the dream they can achieve. Tell them about the solution you’ve got for them. Tell them what they need to do to get the solution. 

When you write your sales emails here are some things to keep in mind
  • Write how you speak! The easiest way to not feel like you’re making the hard sell is to write as you talk! 
  • You’ll feel more sensitive to the sell than your clients. Remember, they’re looking for a solution to their problems - they want to be sold to. If you write your sales email and feel really icky and slimy, you’ve gone too hard! But if you write your email and feel slightly uncomfortable, then you’ve hit the sweet spot. 
Where to put your effort into writing your sales email
  • The subject line. Write several versions. Ask yourself for each version “So what? Would I open an email with this line?” “What would make me open this email?!”
  • The first paragraph. Super-focus your first paragraph on the dream that having this problem solved would help them achieve. Get straight to the point. Don’t waffle around with talking about the weather, news or holidays. 
  • The call to action to engage with you

How often to send sales emails

Sales emails can be sent as part of your regular email campaigns, or as part of your welcome and upsell sequence when someone joins your email list. 

The goal of the welcome and sell email sequences in to show value to your clients. To start the relationship with them, allowing future emails to be sent (and opened) and encourage the purchase of a product or service.

Your welcome and upsell email sequence is the perfect stepping stone between your lead magnet and the service or product you want them to purchase. They’re typically around 6-8 emails in length, sent over 7-10 days. ‘Welcome to my list’ email open rates are typically twice normal email open rates and so are the perfect opportunity to sell the solution to your client’s problems. 

If you email your clients weekly or monthly, incorporate sales into your emails in line with your marketing campaign every few months (or even monthly if you email a few times a week). 

Think of an 80:20 rule. 80% value, brand building and chat, 20% sales. 

With The Helpful Academy, I've written a series of email templates to help you write a sales email without the hard sell. These templates are fully customisable, so you don't lose your voice and sound like someone else! I give you the template, an example and a video walk though of how to make writing emails to grow your business super-easy!

Here are four email template course I think you'll find useful

Emails that sell template bundle

Master email marketing

Sell like a pro email template

Welcome and sell email template