The 3 Simple Steps To Writing Click-Worthy Emails

“What would you do if you had to make your next mailing work?

What if you could only mail one letter and, if you didn’t get a response…

You would quite literally, be beheaded?” – Gary Halbert.

Well… if my life were on the line… I’d follow this list.

You have 3 things to accomplish with every email:

  1. Get it opened.
  2. Get it read.
  3. Get the click.

Get the click… 

The purpose of email is not to sell a product or service. The sales page does that.

In email, you sell the click.

So, how do we sell clicks?

Your voice

Stop being so damn professional.

You know, from time to time, I like to subscribe to random newsletters… just so see the sort of copy they use to communicate with their readers. And, 90% of the time, I’m disappointed.

Here are 5 things I’d tell them If I could reply…

Know Your Audience

Of the 5, this is the most important.

If you’ve never used Similar Web, go check it out… even before you finish this sentence! Too late. But, for real, go now. That’s not an affiliate link.

Now, copy the URL to a competitor’s opt in page, and paste it in the search field.

If you’re a copywriter, the Kopywriting Kouse opt in is a good place to start. Neville is a formidable competitor, no doubt. But find others. And make them specific to your niche.

Similar Web analyzes your URL and tells you everything you need to know about the traffic moving through that site… demographics, referring sites, the whole 9 yards. Even the keywords bringing the most search traffic…

You can find a short introductory guide here.

Anyway, guess where you can find your target audience!

That’s right. Your competitor’s opt-in page…

Study that audience. Create your imaginary avatar… your ideal reader. And, when you write to them, tailor your voice to their ears.

If you’re writing to young, testosterone-crazed, muscle heads, using the word ‘bro’ in every other sentence should work.

Be Human

People don’t like receiving emails from Megacorp INC.

They do like to receive emails from friends.

If you’ve noticed, my emails always begin with a “Hey [first name], Robert Here!”

Your audience should be constantly reminded that you, like they, are human… Create a conversation. Have a chat. Talk to your list as though you are sharing a laugh at your local pub.

You have to be personable if you want people to click your buttons.

If you’re funny, make them laugh. If you’re not, try. They will appreciate the effort.

Important note for selling affiliate products:

Avoid copy and paste.

You’ve probably noticed most affiliate programs offer what they call “affiliate tools…” swipe files of useful articles, email templates, and demographic research. Don’t shy away from taking advantage of these tools. But never copy and paste…

You want to use email templates as inspiration. They’re proven to convert, yes, but you should always make them your own.


Every email automation service provides some way to personalize your emails.

If you use Mailchimp, it’s *|FNAME|*.


Address your reader directly.

The #1 mistake email marketers make these days is this:

“Hey, I made a survey for y’all and I hope each of you take the time to fill it out for us.”

… “Y’all.”

Now, the contraction isn’t what has me going… I live in Georgia. It’s the lack of personalization that irks me.

You see, after ‘free,’ the word ‘you’ is the most powerful word in email marketing. Abuse it.

When you write your emails, you should be talking to your reader… not your readers. I promise, if you treat each subscriber as though they’re your only subscriber, you’re click through rates will quadruple.

Don’t Be Salesy

The key here balance.

Yes, the goal of your email is to get that reader to click. But, if you use phrases like ‘guarantee,’ ‘one-time-offer,’ and ‘act now’… not only will gmail send you to the spam folder… but you will also lose your readers’ trust.

Now, this is not to say that you should avoid promotional emails all together.

It is your responsibility, after all, to provide your audience with offers you either recommend or created yourself.

They know you’re gonna try and sell them something from time to time… and hopefully they’ll be awaiting those promotional emails, wallet in hand. But the inbox is no place for flashy ad copy.

Build curiosity. Bring attention to benefit, scarcity, et cetera. And use power words! But do it without coming across as a salesman. No one wants to be friends with a salesman.

Don’t Shout


Yeah. Don’t do this ^

When you use said power words, please, for the love of all things holy, don’t use all-caps.

There is a time and place for this, but it’s not in email.

People don’t check their inbox to be yelled at.

You’ll notice in my emails, quite often, I’ll embolden certain words. This is to help skimmers direct their attention to the important bits. Also gives the eyes a nice break.

But all-caps, excessive exclamation points, [==> CLICK HERE]’s and [SPECIAL EXCLUSIVE ACCESS]’s will only hurt conversions.

Avoid them.

The Subject Line

This the most important part of any email.

If you don’t get the open, all that juicy content goes to waste.

No matter how eloquent your story telling and “raving reviews,” if your subject line is “hot new offer! Save 10% on your next visit,” you’re a loser.

You should spend just as much time… if not more… on your subject line as you do your content.

This of each email as its own funnel:

email marketing

The math will work itself out…

Your mission as an email marketer is to entice as many innocent subscribers to fall into that funnel as possible. So, make the subject line irresistible. The wider you make that funnel opening, the wider each subsequent section… the more cheddar.

Curiosity and engagement mean $$$ in our business.

Just google “subject line swipe file” and take your pick. Don’t send another email without doing this.

Rules of thumb:

  • Engage.
  • Build curiosity.
  • Ask a question.
  • Communicate and immediate benefit to opening.
  • Keep it short (1-4 words ideally).


There are 2 kinds of flow we need to talk about here…

Visual Flow

Your emails shouldn’t intimidate the eyes…

The first sentence should be only a few words long, and it should stand alone as its own paragraph.

Succeeding paragraphs should be no more than 3 lines. And the number of lines each paragraph occupies should be patterned (1 short line, 2 lines, 1 long line, 3 lines, 2 lines, 1 line, etc).

Use bullets, bold text and white space.

There is no fixed formula for visual flow… but put yourself behind the eyes of your ideal reader.

  1. Would you open?
  2. Would you read to the end?
  3. Would you click?

Flow Of Copy

Important note: Your subject line should entice and engage… It should not be click bait.

Don’t piss your subscribers off. You should fulfill the promise of your subject line within the body of your email.

If your subject line is, “7 reasons why people ignore your emails,” include the link to your article at the end of your email. Don’t disappoint.

The B.A.B Formula

Before: “When the average person receives 30-100 emails per day, it is difficult to be noticed.”


After: “However, imagine what a 20% increase in open rates could do for your business.”


Bridge: “These 7 steps are proven to accomplish that for you.”


Your Before brings attention to the problem. Your After triggers desire. Your CTA is the bridge between the two.


Your CTA bridges the gap between problem and solution.

Rules of thumb:

  1. One CTA per email.
  2. Benefit should be clear.
  3. Don’t be pushy, but let the CTA stand out.

Don’t be shy with it.

Your subscribers already know they will be called to act. Make the click offer irresistible.

But, this concludes our weekly insight letter… If you’d like to hear about these before everyone else, click here and grab my free copywriting cheat sheet.

Until next time,


P.S. Use a P.S.

This can be a hook, something personal, a testimonial or bonus… or it can be used to communicate urgency or a “final plea.”

Happy emailing, friend!

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