Issue #82—October 25, 2019
Earlier this week I talked about "bad emails".
Specifically, I shared some lame efforts to sell a male potency supplement that I got a peek at when someone hacked my email while I was in Italy.
(If you overlooked it in your email inbox, go back and take a look so you can find out how to be "Bed God 2019"!)
In today's issue, I'm going to talk about GOOD emails. I'll share with you some examples of ones I've seen lately that I think are pretty effective (without knowing their actual results). And show how they can help you write much better emails much faster.
But first, a complaint...
I'm sick of reading BLAND and boring subject lines!
I can't be the only one. Chances are your prospect is, too.
After all, they've probably been getting bombarded with email sales pitches for years--from you and your competitors. They've seen it all.
That's why the same "go-to" subject lines and dull, drab email copy just ain't going to cut it anymore. Just take a look at the real-life news headlines.
Every single day, it's cray-cray. And it's gotten to the point where you can't even make this stuff up anymore. So when reality is giving you a huge run for your money as far as believability and attention span, you better make sure your copy is standing out amongst the noise.
For example, I got an email the other day from a doctor brand who's considered one of the most admired marketers in our industry. And it had this yawner of a subject line: THIS is why you’re always tired…
Snooze-a-pa-looza! The email copy that followed wasn't much better. It instantly made me want to take a nap...
Here it is:
“Why do I always feel so tired?”
It’s something I used to ask myself every day, Kim.
And if you’re over 40 — chances are you’ve wondered the same thing at some point.
Because as you get older, your energy can start to tank at an extremely rapid pace…
Which is why many folks feel worn out, sluggish, and “out of it” by the time they reach middle age.
But the worst part about low energy?
It’s feeling like you’re losing that “zest for life” you once had.
Because when you’re always feeling weak and exhausted, it zaps your motivation big time...
And yada yada yada... Can I go to sleep now?
Maybe I'm being too hard on them. I just had higher expectations is all.
I think our prospects do, too. You've gotta shock them into submission when it comes to clicking that link... But without overdoing it or being way too obvious.
It's all about hitting the right "button" that makes them want to click yours.
We're wired to respond to something that's promising a fix for some deep, unfulfilled need or desire. But we're wired even more so to crave the "cray-cray".
We get desensitized to the "normal". It's like my recent day at Oktoberfest in Munich. From the afternoon on, each beer tent seemed to get crazier and crazier.
And if my hubby and I walked into one that wasn't crazy enough, we left to go to the next one. Because surely there was something even wilder and funner we were missing out on! (And yes, there always was...)
Your prospect skimming through his or her email inbox is the same way. We all like a little fun and excitement. We're different from animals because we're curious just for the hell of it. We want to avoid boredom like the plague.
We also react to a full range of complex human emotions like envy, vanity, or guilt which, when stirred, can compel us to spontaneously take action. That, in a nutshell, is the power of a GOOD email.
I keep a little "stash" of good emails I come across in a folder in my inbox. They make for good copy inspiration if I need it.
They can even save me a boatload of time if I use them as a sort of rough template to get started. I recommend you do the same. Swipes are quite handy like that.
(We interrupt this email to remind you, you can grab as many of my past control PDF swipes as you like till midnight October 31st right here at 50% off with OCT19SWIPES as your promo code. Best deal, of course, is my "Buy 'em all" complete swipe file here.)
So let's take a look at a sampling of some emails that MADE me read them and click by hitting the right buttons...
What's in Kim's Mailbox?
The first email I want to share with you puts you right into the middle of an intriguing story scene. It was used as the control email for a long-form sales page for a Green Valley anti-aging supplement for quite a while until it was replaced with a different email lift.
Let's take a look. Here's the subject line: How Hollywood stars “shed” 27 years: their REAL anti-aging secret revealed
(Note: this email and the highly-successful Genesis anti-aging supplement promo it's driving traffic to was written by Dan Ferrari):
The email opens up a loop in the first line with "Their secret is out", which you need to click on to close.
The second line promises an intriguing benefit, along with a dose of exclusivity in the next line that makes it even more appealing.
Then it gets into pure curiosity, inflamed further by playing on emotions like envy and vanity. All you have to do is click on the link and you can get past the "velvet rope". It's extremely well-done.
(Note: I did a "What's in Kim's Mailbox" breakdown on the long-form sales page this email drives traffic to in my very first issue of Copy Insiders in January 2018. You can read it in my Copy Insiders 2018: The Complete Collection e-book, available here. Use the code CIHALF to get it at Copy Insiders-only half-price savings.)
Now, let's take a look at another good email that made me click. (Be honest, you know you want to, too...) Here's the subject line: Senior Sex News: Men Terrified, Women… Thrilled
Yep, that's it! Short and sweet.
It had a very brief intro from Joe Barton of Barton Publishing since it was sent to his list, and some text at the bottom indicating it came from New Market Health. But nothing else here to distract.
Just that link, which curiosity MADE me click, as I'm sure it did lots of others.
The paradox of this breakthrough being something that would "terrify men over 60" while making women thrilled really made it hard to resist. Plus there's some credibility thrown in that it was discovered by an "Ivy League Doctor".
So as you can see, with the right mix of copy and intrigue, you can get away with a VERY short email, and not even a spokesperson sign-off at the end.
Alright, we've got time for just one more. So let's take a look at one that's a lot different from this one...a bit more "high brow".
This email reads at probably a 10th or 11th grade level (take a look at those long-ass sentences and big words in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs). But it's still effective.
The Shakespeare quote at the top takes what can seem like a low-end, delicate topic and injects a little humor and class into it. I wouldn't be surprised if my classy copywriter friends David Deutsch or Richard Armstrong wrote it!
The other thing it does is stand out from the mess of emails that just go straight to "gross" when it comes to digestive issues or resort to other gratuitous tactics that are so 2009.
In fact, this email is even acknowledging it's not putting forth a new idea (a decade ago direct mail promos were pounding this same idea.
(During that time, the deceased John Wayne's colon---filled with impacted feces---may have gotten more eyeballs than his movies did when he was still alive!)
But it's bringing new research to the table, and combining it with a very common problem it purports to solve that a multitude of Americans struggle with: their big, bulging bellies...which probably have more to do with bad food and sedentary lifestyles than anything else.
I hope these good emails give you some ideas for how to strengthen the ones you write or that you're using now. Next time I do this I'll focus on some financial examples since there are a lot of folks in that niche on this list.
Til then, may you stay curious...and never get bored!
Yours for smarter marketing,
P.S. October 31st (Halloween) at midnight Pacific time sharp is when my "Swipe-a-pa-looza" half-price sale on my past control PDFs is ending. So grab them now while you still can with this discount code: OCT19SWIPES. Your very best deal is my "Buy 'em all Complete KKS Swipe File" which you can get at 50% off the already-reduced sale price.
P.P.S. I've mentioned a few times this week my recent Europe trip. A big chunk of my time there were the 10 glorious days we spent in Italy...and a lot of that was spent visiting grappa distilleries. Why? Because my husband is "The Grappa Guy"...and that makes me "Mrs. Grappa Guy". If you don't know anything about GOOD grappa (just like GOOD emails, they do exist), I encourage you to check out his website and get on his list to get updates. He'll be posting some great stories and finds from our recent visit to Italy's beautiful Piedmont region, home to some of the best wines (and grappa) in the world. Go to www.thegrappaguy.com to find out more.