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The Perfect Recipe for Writing a Sales Email

Email is your most powerful digital tool for sales.

Wait, really?

Yes! According to the Direct Marketing Association, sixty six percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email they received from a brand. And that beats out sales from social and direct mail, making email your most effective promotional tool.

This also means that developing your email strategy is key. Not sure where to start when creating an email that drives revenue and promotes your product or service? In this post, you’ll learn the essential best practices to keep in mind as you get started.

So let’s cook up the perfect sales email!

Your Sales Email recipe

1. Add a touch of “influence” and “helpfulness”

In your emails, you want to present yourself as someone who is helpful and an industry thought leader. But you also want to do this in a way that influences subscribers to purchase. So how do you achieve this perfect balance?

Influence comes from uncovering and delivering what other people need and/or want. So rather than telling readers about your product, try helping them realize what they need, and how your business satisfies that.

Keep your content personal and aim to solve the problem of each individual you’re reaching out to.

Communicate like a human and a friend, not an automated marketing robot. Even though you’re writing an email, you want your content to feel like it was written by a human who’s speaking to other humans.

Your tone and voice are extremely important here. Try using friendly greetings like, “Hi there!”, “Good morning!”, or “I have great news, {!firstname_fix}.”

2. Don’t add too much “salesy” language

As you approach your sales email, try not to think of it as selling. When you provide products or services to people who want and need them, you’re doing more than getting them to purchase. You’re solving a problem they have.

You are equipping customers with amazing tools or essential services. So emphasize that! That’s right – when it comes to creating a sales email that actually influences subscribers to purchase, you don’t need a sales pitch. Just focus on the value your product or service brings to people!

I love this promotional email below from Brooklinen:


When I first saw it, I thought, “Ooh, I want better zzzzs!” and didn’t feel overwhelmed by a sales pitch.

Focus the content in your emails around the solution, not the product features alone. Use phrases like “to improve your…” and “to help you do…”

The goal is for the reader to walk away happy that they read your email and invest in your product or service!

3. Spice up your headlines

While you’re focusing on being kind and helpful, don’t sell yourself short. You’ve got awesome things to offer… so make sure that’s clear throughout your content, especially headlines. As one of the first pieces of content subscribers will see in your emails, you want to convey the value immediately.

If you’re offering a coupon or promotion, some effective headlines and subject lines include:

  • “Scroll to the bottom for a special deal”
  • “We promise, this is worth the scroll”
  • “Good news for your wallet”
  • “Our way of saying Thank you!”
  • “Just for you”

If you’re including testimonials from actual customers, here are a couple of headlines to include as well:

  • “Don’t just take it from us”
  • “Here’s what people are saying about [insert product name]

Love these ideas? Check out our Promotion, Sale, and Flash-Sale email copy templates in our What to Write in Your Emails guide!


4. Mix together the right words

As you write the best sales email ever, be sure to use appealing words that don’t scare readers off. Avoid marketing jargon and acronyms (like CRM and CTA), unless you plan on defining these terms in your message. 

It’s also important to consider the tone of your emails. Nobody likes to be talked down to or guilted into making a purchase. Avoid being in a position of dominance and make the consumer feel like they’re in control.

To put the power in the hands of the reader, ask questions about needs and hopes, like “What do you need to grow your business?” or “How do you see your business growing?” or “Is it time for an upgrade?” By asking questions like these and using words that reference future goals, you make the reader think about what they want/need. The hope is that their needs can be fulfilled by your product or service.

5. Add a pinch of benefits

Think about what makes you buy. Is it the versatility of the product? How you can just imagine yourself using the product and it making your life better? Is it free shipping and returns? The more benefits-focused you can be, the more intrigued your reader will be.

This email from Firebox is awesome. It tells me that the Slush Cuppy is buy 1, get 1 free. And that I can get it in red or blue. And my total savings! I’m sold.


Offering exclusive discounts or freebies like an ebook is a great way to capture a subscriber’s attention – but it’s the benefits that will influence them to take action.

6. Stir in some testimonials

Let your customers speak for you! Testimonials are an amazing way to give that extra push and encourage readers to buy. Sometimes people are more willing to trust information from an average consumer than a business.

Your testimonials should answer “what-if’s” and squash hesitations. Think about the questions that potential customers might have. Maybe they want to know what makes your product different from other products. Or they’re wondering the main benefit you can provide them.

But, to really be sure what your potential customers want to know, check your comments and past emails! The feedback and reviews that relate to these topics are perfect for your sales emails.

To start sending out emails like this, we’ve created a user-generated content template. Download the What to Write in Your Emails guide and get the template on page 60!

7. Combine urgency and scarcity

Try adding a sense of urgency encourages subscribers to take advantage of offers while they still can. By doing so, it can cause subscribers to feel as though they might miss out on a great opportunity if they don’t act quickly. 

To create this effect in your emails, try subject lines like these:

  • “Be quick! Limited Quantity Left”
  • “24% off for 24 hours”
  • “We don’t want you to miss this”
  • “Hurry! We know you want free money”

Send this time sensitive information as broadcast emails, or one-time messages. This will ensure that your time-sensitive discounts or promo codes are hitting everyone’s inbox at the same time.

While urgency is important, remember that authenticity, trust and credibility are essential too. Avoid overusing urgency as a tactic in your emails. However, when used sparsely, it can be extremely effective.

8. Get the timing just right with segmentation

You want to make your pitch when it makes logical and/or economic sense for someone to buy something from you. But, every subscriber is unique and some may take a bit more convincing than others.

And that’s where segmentation comes into play. Consider segmenting based on your subscriber’s unique interests, as well as previous engagement with your emails (e.g., opened a previous email or clicked a specific link). 

According to the Lenskold Group, companies who send automated emails that correspond with a customer’s purchase cycle are 133% more likely to send relevant messages!

Chewy does an amazing job of segmenting here, with this “saved cart” email. The email is helpful and pushes the reader to take action, without being aggressive.


There are many reasons why people don’t make a purchase. Maybe the time was off, or maybe the place. But, if you’re targeting the right audience with the right message, you’re well on your way to being successful.

9. Sprinkle in call-to-action buttons

At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that this is still a sales email, and the goal is still the same: a sale!

So, if your call-to-action (CTA) button is hidden or – dare I say, non-existent – take it out of hiding! Make it eye-catching and out in the open.

This email from Design Within Reach makes use of multiple CTAs scattered throughout the email to catch you at various points of interest.


10. Garnish with gratitude

A sincere thank you leaves a positive impression on the reader. Including one in your emails is a nice way to show your appreciation for your customers’ business.

Plus, it just feels good. Even if this subscriber doesn’t come back and sign up for a product, you’re still getting your brand in front of subscribers so that when they are ready to purchase, they’ll come to you. Certainly, that’s worth a thank you!

Ready, set, send!

Now all you have to do is pop your email in the oven for an hour. Just kidding.  

By incorporating these tips into your email, your sales email is ready to send!

And to make it even easier, we’ve made a Sales email content template for you! Just download our What to Write in Your Emails guide to get this template and 45 more.

what to write

What’s your favorite ingredient in your sales emails? Leave us a comment!

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