Digital Marketing

6 Steps To A High-Converting Sales Campaign Email Sequence

Patrick McCarthy

Why do you need a sales campaign email sequence? Isn’t a lead generator enough to attract buyers to your product or service? Doesn’t receiving a series of emails just annoy people? 

The point of a sales campaign is to close the deal. Each email has a specific objective, but the overall objective of the series is to overcome any resistance the customer has and give them a reason to buy a specific product or service.

Our past few posts have investigated email marketing for ecommerce. As Shopify experts, we’ve helped an uncountable number of clients build email sequences for converting customers into buyers. This blog represents a collection of strategies and techniques that have proven successful.

Before we dive in, here are a few overall tips for writing a sales sequence:

Connect the sequence to a lead generator. This is how you score the email address. The lead gen offer should lead the customer to opt-into your mailing list in order to receive the free guide, PDF, checklist, brochure––whatever incentive you offered in exchange for their email address.

Focus on one idea per email. Snowballing readers with too much information only serves to distract them from your objective––delivering the clarity and reason they need to buy your product or service.

Don’t be afraid to ask them to buy. Direct, honest communication is best. Your reader already knows when they open the email that it is going to be a sales pitch. Everyone knows that. While you don’t want it to read like a greasy pitch, you do need to make clear the reason for the email: to sell them your product or service. 

Give incentive. No one is going to buy unless there is something a little juicy in it for them. Why should they buy from you, specifically? Before starting your sequence, work out what incentives you plan to offer: a limited-time 20% off code? A BYOB deal? A membership to an exclusive group? The options are endless, so it’s up to you to define what offers align with your business strategy and budget constraints.

Mechanics of a Sales Sequence

A sales sequence includes six strategic emails designed to take the customer on a journey towards buying. The first email may convert them, but they’ll likely need a few emails to convince them to buy, depending on the nature and cost of your product or service.

Email 1: Deliver & Introduce

This is the first email they receive after downloading your lead generator. Start by thanking them for their time, attention, and interest. Then remind them of their problem, that is, the reason they are seeking your product or service as a solution. 

Keep it short and to the point and avoid being too sales-driven. However, include a clear CTA without being too direct. For example, “if you want to check out…, click here.” In following emails you’ll want to be more direct, but for now, keep it light and easy going. No one likes reading a pushy email from a stranger!

Email 2: Problem & Solution

This is where you really hone in on their problem and provide a clear and enticing solution. It’s critical you have an in-depth understanding of your target customer to get it right. Getting it wrong can turn customers off and have them send your future emails to trash. The problem is always psychological, even if it doesn’t appear that way on the surface. There is an emotional root in every buying decision. In this email, you really want to drive home what that pain is.

Start by identifying the problem and acknowledging their pain. Make it personal. Then introduce your product as the way out of that situation. Don’t just tell them it’s the solution though; show them by describing how exactly your product or service will solve their problem. If you have a few pain points you want to focus on, consider adding an extra few emails to this sequence to discuss them rather than stuffing too many into this one email.

Include a clear CTA, such as a limited time bonus offer. A P.S. can gently poke that problem again or remind them of conditions, such as 24-hour window for claiming an offer.

Email 3: Tell A Story

This is where you execute your sharp story-telling skills. Rather than include a long list of all the great stuff past customers have said about your product or service, tell a story instead. 

People are drawn into a story more than paragraphs of praise. An anecdotal tale describes someone’s hero’s journey in detail in a way that the customer can easily place themselves in. The story ends with how your product saved their life (or merely solved their problem). Ensure you clearly describe the primary benefit the customer experienced as a result of buying your product or service.

Include a direct CTA with clear instructions detailing what you want them to do.

Email 4: Overcome Objections

What is the main resistance your customers usually have to buying your product? Is it expensive? Does it require a time investment? Is it necessary? (Perhaps your product is seen as indulgent).

The main point of this email is to overcome any objections they have to buying your product or service, or in general, doing business with you. Give them clear, honest, practical reasons why your product is going to help them. Like you did in the storytelling email, describe how it’s going to do that. 

End with a clear CTA and include a P.S. for another opportunity to further dissolve any excuses.

Email 5: Disrupt the Old

The main purpose of this email is to shift whatever paradigm keeps them from buying your product. In short, you have to change someone’s mind, which may be one of the more difficult accomplishments known to humankind. We’re creatures of habit. We’re attached to our ideas, opinions, and beliefs. Most of us are stuck doing things as we’ve always done them because it’s familiar and known. Trying something new feels risky for many people because it puts them face to face with uncertainty. It’s critical to understand the psychology behind this in order to change their mind. 

Describe and highlight the problems inherent in their usual way of doing things. Then describe, point by point, how your product or service improves on that. Be detailed, clear, and empathetic, ie. “we never thought we’d be into online dance classes, let alone selling them…” This email may be the most powerful one in the whole sequence.

Email 6: Sales Letter

This final email is a culmination of all the emails, starting with the problem. That pain point hook grabs their attention and then draws them into a story. Within that story is the emotional or philosophical challenge they’re facing. Note any emotions they may be experiencing to really drive it home: frustration, fear, insecurity, etc. This intensifies the stakes, making the customer more compelled to follow through.

Also include a testimonial or short success story, similar to email 3. Then clearly describe your offer, focusing on the benefits, particularly the core psychological benefit. Include a direct and clear CTA, and repeat it in the P.S.

What’s Next?

Keep in mind that you can adapt and repeat this sales sequence as your lead generator or product or service offering changes. We recommend focusing on one offer at a time for this email sales sequence (that is, you want them to buy a specific product). However, if you have a small inventory of similar items, it may make sense to include all of them and just increase the number of emails by a few to cover each product. 

Want more excellent ecommerce marketing ideas from Shopify experts? Check out our recent blog on writing a welcome email flow. We work with many brands and platforms, so even if you don’t use Shopify we can still help. Give us a call to schedule a free strategy session. 

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