Everyone talks about search engine optimization and social media as two prominent ways to drive sales online, but we often forget about one of the most effective strategies: email marketing.. Email designed to drive sales can be a serious goldmine. It’s one of the most consistent forms of online marketing there is, and while things like open rates and click-through rates have decreased over the years, it’s still an area that you need to focus on. If not, you are missing a huge opportunity.

Do you have an email account? Of course you do. It’s safe to say that almost every single person that uses the internet has at least one email address, and many people have multiple emails, for both personal and work use.

Why is this such a key point?

Well, look at how many businesses are pumping large budgets into Facebook ads because they have the largest social media user base. More people use email than they use Facebook. That alone should help you understand just how effective email marketing can still be.

If you want results, you can’t simply collect emails and fire off an offer, expecting the sales to role in. Consumers get swamped with emails around the clock. Inboxes are flooded with promotional offers and spam, making it very important that you take the time to make sure your emails stand out.

Remember, you need to get someone to open your email before you can even think about getting them to convert on your offer.

How do you use email to drive sales these days? It takes several components, all working together, to accomplish this. I have put together a comprehensive list to help you generate revenue from your email list.

Make sure your emails designed to drive sales by using these 30 components.


1. An amazing subject line

A horrible subject line will kill your open rate, and most people will simply move your message to the trash without even wasting two seconds to open it. You need to get creative and find out what your list responds best to. You will need to do a lot of subject line split testing in the beginning.


2. A “real person” voice

Never write emails that sound like they are written by a corporate lawyer. If they sound like a straight promotion, your audience will quickly disconnect and then avoid opening future emails from you. Successful email copy sounds like it’s written by a real person that is grounded and down to earth.


3. Short and sweet

Nobody has time to read a long email, and if your email copy appears to be time consuming it will be deleted before a single word is read. Find a way to deliver your message in an effective way, using the least amount of text copy. Short and sweet will always outperform long-winded emails.


4. An eye appealing template design

Please don’t send an email to your list using the standard template offered by Mailchimp or one of the other top email service companies (I admit to being guilty of this myself in several projects). That is an easy way to blend in with the other thousand emails. Spend a couple hundred dollars and get a template designed that matches the look and feel of your company and its website.


5. Simple layout

You don’t want to have an email layout that is too busy. It needs to look good while remaining very simple. Your goal is to get your reader to instantly connect with your offer and click-through to land on the designated offer page on your website. A simple layout will help them reach that destination without any friction.


6. Mobile friendly

Most of your list will be reading your email on a mobile device. If your layout isn’t mobile friendly you are wasting your time. When you get a custom template designed, as suggested above, make sure that it’s a responsive design that will display your messages perfectly on any screen size.



7. An opt-out option (unsubscribe)

You are going to have people that forgot they signed up for your list or maybe you just catch them on a bad day. Not only is an unsubscribe option required to meet CAN-SPAM policies, but it will eliminate the emails saying “remove me from this list.” You don’t want to waste your time with people that have no intent to purchase from you.


8. A clearly defined call-to-action

Ok, so your subject line was compelling and got someone to open your email. Your layout looks great and you have the person’s attention. Now what? You need to have a clearly defined call-to-action that you want the reader to complete. Whether that is to click-through to a specific offer, or something else, it needs to be the one and only option you give them.


9. Short paragraphs

Assume that everyone reading your emails will have a short attention span. You don’t want to give them huge paragraphs of information to digest. Break your email copy into small paragraphs with a couple sentences per. This makes it much less intimidating, especially on smaller mobile screens. Short emails and short paragraphs. It’s all about delivering your offer in the least number of words.


10. Visual elements

If you are sending your list an offer for a blue widget, then include a picture of that blue widget. Visuals will help deliver your offer in a more appealing way, which will help convert a much higher percentage of your readers. When they can see what you are offering them, more will be inclined to further explore the offer.


11. An irresistible offer

You want to respect your list, and not just blast them with offer after offer. You only want to send them offers that they are likely to be able to resist. For example, a 50% off sale is something that doesn’t come around often and they won’t feel like you are spamming. Now, if you send emails that just say “buy my stuff” without a special offer, that will turn your customers off.


12. A message that is personalized

If your email seems too generic, your list will not be as responsive. Things like personalizing the email subject line will help to get a higher open rate, and a simple “Hi [subscriber’s first name]” at the beginning of the email will give it that simple touch that makes the email feel much more personalized. Someone is more inclined to do business with you if they feel like the message was tailored to them specifically.


13. A clear purpose

You never want to send an email without a single clear purpose. If you are just wanting to provide a company update, or news on an upcoming event, great, but don’t mix in an offer as well. You need every email to have one purpose, whether that is share news or push your readers towards a special sale item.


14. Easy to read font

Avoid fancy or “cool” looking font when writing your emails. Again, think of mobile users. It needs to be easy to read on all devices and screen sizes. I would suggest using standard font styles and increasing its size. If you stick with the short and sweet approach, the larger font will make your message easier to read without becoming a long novel to read. There is nothing worse than getting a spammy looking email in your inbox..



15. Multiple links to your website

Since each email needs to have one clearly defined offer, it’s not always going to appeal to every subscriber that opens it. So, take this as an opportunity to drive people to your website even if the email offer isn’t of interest. Something like “shop our complete line of products” linked to your site can help to push traffic through, even if the email offer isn’t their cup of tea.


16. Links to your social profiles

Your social media profiles are just additional channels to market your offers to, so why not use every email that you send out as a way to attract new followers. When you have a custom email template designed make sure it incorporates all of your social media handles, and allows your readers to click over to your profiles right from the email.


17. Link to your blog

Your blog is a content asset that (when done correctly) can help to educate and convert potential customers. Adding a link to your blog with a simple “click here to read our blog,” is a way to further educate and inform those customers that aren’t quite ready to convert. It’s also another way to drive website visitors, some of whom will convert on an offer other than the one your email promotes.


18. Your signature (think person not brand)

Make sure to end every email with your signature. A name, title and personal contact information is a nice touch that makes the email feel more personal, and not from a huge company. When your list thinks the message is coming from the business owner or a key executive, they feel more inclined to engage with its contents.


19. Complete contact information in the footer

Someone reading your email might have a burning question or they might need to inquire about something other than what is offered in your email. Providing detailed company contact info, or even a link to live chat support, is a great way to make sure no opportunity for a sale is ever lost.


20. Added educational or information value

Every email that you send out should have some sort of value, in addition to the offer you are placing in front of your list. Even if it’s just a couple of sentences, it shows that you value your list and want to provide them more information than just coupon codes and special offers. Think of something value added, like stats or milestones related to your niche.


21. Use the word “you” in the message

When you include the word “you” in your emails, each person in your list feels like you are talking to them directly. Emails that lack this simple personal touch will not create that personal connection. When you combine a personalized “hello” at the beginning and the use of the word “you” it helps to build a valuable brand/customer relationship.



22. A question that your product or service solves

If you are selling a fat burning supplement, something along the lines of, “Are you ready to shed that unwanted belly fat?” as a heading will really grab the reader’s attention. They will connect with that message and see that your product solves their need. Ask the question and provide the answer. This will greatly increase conversions.


23. Trust

Every person on your list has several new messages in his or her inbox when your message arrives. In order to help you stand out above the other options, always highlight levels of trust. This could be in the form of a BBB logo in your email template or a list of media outlets that your company has been featured in. Any trust elements you can add to your email will help in a major way.


24. Utilization of segmented targeting

If you use an email service like Mailchimp, then you have the ability to segment your list based on several different factors. For example, you want to separate your most active subscribers from those that rarely open your emails. You will want to send more direct offers to those that open every email you send, while maybe using a more aggressive subject line to those that only open a small percentage of emails.


25. Bullet lists and sub-headings

When you have several points to make, use bullet points to break them up into small easy to read parts. Also, if you talk about more than one topic, use sub-headings. If someone is skimming through the email this can help grab their attention.


26. Highlighted benefits

What is the major benefit of the email? Is it the 20% off coupon code you are sending the list? If so, make sure that is highlighted and that your entire list knows it, even without reading the entire email. For this example, a visual element at the top of the email message would be the best approach. That way, the offer can be claimed without even reading the email.


27. Instill the fear of missing out

People are more likely to claim an offer if they feel like it’s a time sensitive offer. So, if you offer a discount code or a special savings, make sure to highlight its expiration. You might also want to split test some aggressive strategies, like including a countdown timer next to the offer in your email.



28. An email forwarding link

If your offer is truly compelling, give your readers an option to forward it to their friends. Don’t just include a link. Make sure you let them know you would appreciate them sharing the offer. You can even incorporate a “forward this to your friends” arrow and link into your template if you anticipate sending amazing offers every time.


29. Lack of industry jargon

Assume that everyone reading your emails will be ten years old. You want to avoid fancy terms and industry jargon. Not everyone will be fully educated on your niche, so keep your messages as simple as possible. If a child can understand your message, you will see a much better response.


30. A “thank you” at the end

A simple “thank you” at the end shows your list that you appreciate them and value their business. Someone is more likely to support your business when they feel appreciated. This is a small tip that can make a huge difference.




Email marketing isn’t dead.

It’s not even on life support.

If you create email campaigns that feature all the correct components listed above, you will experience a nice return on your email marketing investment.

Once you learn how to create emails that drive sales, you can then invest money into building your list. This then turns into an evergreen marketing asset that you can leverage several times a month to inject revenue into your business.

If you have any questions related to email marketing, drop them in the comments section below and I will do my best to help you. I’d also like to hear from you if you have some email marketing success stories or tips to share!

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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