Marketing / Email Marketing

Using business email formulas to increase sales conversions

Laura Dolan

Updated: Mar 13, 2020 · 5 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

business email formulas

After the dawn of cold calling, which is probably one of the most despised sales tactics for those making and receiving them, came the cold email.

Yes, such a thing exists. The cold email is just like it sounds: sending a message to a prospect in hopes they don’t just delete it by being repelled by your subject line or it doesn’t end up in their junk folder.

There are ways to overcome these scenarios. Many business email copywriters have resorted to using business email formulas, which employ a variety of writing techniques that have yielded fewer deletions, higher open rates and sales conversions.

Check out the following business email formulas that have been proven to grab and hold the attention of leads.

The formulas

Some of the more common copywriter formulas for business emails include:

Attention – Interest – Desire – Action (AIDA)

Attention–Grab the reader’s attention with a compelling subject line and opening paragraph. Start by asking a relevant or important question that applies to their lives, their state of being, their livelihood. Express how your product or service can take their lives or business to an elevated version of what it is now.

Interest–Provide a personal scenario to sustain the reader’s interest. Include some statistics or facts about how other companies or people have benefitted from your product.

Desire–Provide information that will create a state of longing, a fear of missing out if you will, that will build desire in the reader to want to take advantage of what you’re offering.

Action–Create a call-to-action (CTA). Give the reader clear and specific instructions on what their next steps would be to learn more about your product and company.

Problem-Agitate-Solve (PAS)

Problem–Isolate a pain point that you’ve noticed about your prospect’s situation. Emphasizing what is causing them stress is a strong motivator to inspire them to change their state of being.

Agitate–Shake up the situation with a teaser; create curiosity on behalf of the reader by hinting you have solutions that could help remedy their problem.

Solve–Finally, once their curiosity is piqued, impart your solution to all of their problems. Stress that your company or product will be the turning point that promises a smoother journey going forward.

4Us–Useful, Urgency, Unique, Ultra-specific

Useful–Be useful by doing due diligence. Before drafting your cold email, research your prospects in an effort to understand their needs prior to swooping in with your heroic message, claiming you have what it takes to improve their way of business. It will put a personal spin on the tone of your email, making it subjective, removing the perception of a canned correspondence.

Urgency–Creating urgency will compel the reader to take action before the opportunity is gone. People tend to want what they can’t have, so make the option available to them for a limited time and encourage them to “act fast” while the offer still stands.

Unique–Be sure to include what sets your company apart. What unique feature do you offer that other businesses don’t? What promises do your services make to add value to their business or lives? Leverage your competitive edge, your unique selling points, quote some positive customer reviews. These will help demonstrate your product’s uniqueness and add a robust element to your cold email.

Ultra-specific–Make an effort to prove that your email is not coming from a place that’s universal. Prospects can see right through a generic email. During your research, find something newsworthy about your lead’s company. Did it make a big acquisition? Open a new location? Appoint a new CEO? If so, mention it in the email and praise the lead for it; they’ll appreciate the personal sentiment and genuine interest in their company’s milestones.

4Ps—Picture, Promise, Proof, Push

Picture–Paint a mental image for your readers; how is your product going to change their lives? This doesn’t necessarily involve screen shots of statistics or facts that demonstrate the success of the product. Tug at their feelings and engage them on a more human level. Adding a relatable touch to the description of how their lives will be better will motivate prospects to pursue your product or service based on emotions.

Promise–This can be your subject line or opening line. Start with your claim, what exactly is your product or service going to do for the reader? Grab their attention and give them incentive to read on by promising how.

Proof–At this point, the reader is engaged. Now it’s time to back up your claims. Prove to them that investing in your product will certainly not result in risk of loss. Many people are skeptical when they’re approached by a sales pitch. Their guard is up; they don’t want to fall victim to a scam or something that’s too good to be true.

Show them how real you are, how legitimate your product is and that it truly works. This is where screenshots can be employed. Find tangible proof in the way of statistics, customer feedback via testimonials and reviews, case studies, videos of product demos, anything that would break through the walls of your prospects’ hesitations.

Push–Come through with your offer. You’ve been building up your product, now it’s time to deliver the goods. What is the compelling factor that contributes to their well-being in buying your product? It’s OK if they need a reminder, offer them a summary of what your company believes and how the product works and offer scenarios of how their businesses or lives will change for the better after they make the purchase.

The takeaway

Many of these business email formulas were devised based on human psychology; a simple progression of thought. Knowing how the human psyche processes certain pieces of information at certain times yields the perfect method for building a sales pitch that caters to people’s needs, wants and desires.

It’s not a form of manipulation, per se, but simply a workaround. It helps marketing teams be intuitive by knowing how to meet their prospects’ wishes when creating their sales strategies.

The approach behind these business email formulas is not new. Business minds have been employing these ideals since the beginning of commerce. Applying these principles in email form is simply putting a digital spin on selling, trading, bartering and haggling.

One final thought

Email is an effective channel for small businesses to generate revenue, nurture leads, close business or keep your customers in the know. Keap can help you take your email to the next level.

For more information on how to run a successful small business, check out Keap’s latest podcast episode of Small Biz Buzz.

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