Sell Your Product… Sell Your Brand
The Brand Building Email Launch Formula Anyone Can Use
I am an email copywriter for eComm and SaaS brands looking to connect with their audience using impactful, conversion email marketing. Before I began writing copy for clients, I used email copywriting to grow my brick-and-mortar bagel shop from a mom & pop retail store into a thriving ecommerce brand.
My philosophy on email marketing is that emails are an investment in future business as much as they are directed at making sales today. Done correctly, email marketing builds trust and connection with your audience, so that they don’t just buy one time, but they are convinced to stick around for a lifetime.
At my bagel shop, we use email marketing to sell hundreds of thousands of bagels. But more importantly, we use email to show why our bagels make your life better, and why our brand is special. Our email marketing strategy convinces new and old customers alike that there’s no better place to go for bagels.
I’m going to share the simple email launch formula we use at the bagel shop to bring in thousands of dollars in bagel sales whenever we’re offering a special product or promotional offer. This formula works so well because it not only sells the individual offer, it communicates all the messages about our brand that keep our customers engaged and committed to our brand.
For this example, we were launching our “Bagels for Easter Brunch – Free Shipping Special.” You can use this formula for your own product launches, large or small, with just a few tweaks to fit your brand and your products (or service!).
(sent a month to 6 weeks before cart close):
This email is a story based email. The emotion we are trying to convey here is excitement, so we pick a story from either our own family lives or from the business that ended with excitement, surprise, delight, or some other positive emotion.
This is usually a long form email, with lots of build up, specifics, descriptive details, and often a gif to help break up the blocks of text.
Once we get to the climax of the story, we make a quick tease of the offer, without naming the offer outright. We link the emotion the character is feeling at the end of the story we just told, to the same feeling you get after taking advantage of whatever we are offering.
Subject: How to get it right… and then some
Story: We told a story of my son planning a perfect prank to scare me… and unexpectedly snaring his older sister AND his mom in his perfectly executed plot and making us scream and cry out in terror when he jump scared us at the very end.
Turn: And that’s what Easter morning should feel like… after all the planning, shopping, prepping and stressing… poof! Brunch is delivered for you.
CTA: We use the P.S. to put the “pre-order now” link for those who are ready out of the gate.
Why it works: We share stories from our family and from our work life because it makes our brand feel human, familiar, and relatable. Stories are also fun to read, and they don’t feel salesly, which builds trust and shows people our emails are worth reading!
(sent up to a week later):
This is usually a much shorter email. We still aren’t introducing the entire offer here, we are just teasing and setting the stage.
In this email we pick a certain feature of the offer and show you why you want this in your life. We highlight the benefits as well as the background of the feature (perhaps with a mini story).
Subject: Did somebody say 🥓?
Story: We highlighted one of our farmers with a link to his Facebook page, and described the bacon, why it’s special and how it’s a new addition to us.
Turn: We tell them they have to get the full Easter Brunch Special to have access to the bacon!
CTA: A few links to the order page are in the email, and again “pre-order now” is in the P.S.
Why it works: A shorter email is going to reach people who don’t have time for longer content. This email is clearly demonstrating one part of the offer, and enticing people to want it. Short and simple, without being overly sale-sy (so it doesn’t turn people off from reading more).
(Sent 3-5 days after last email)
This email is similar to email #2, but instead of featuring something that is included in our offer, we feature an adjacent product. Something else that our customers might want to purchase that will work with our offer and make it even better.
As a business who values small family owned businesses, and supporting local, we use this time to promote other businesses who are located in our same region but who offer shipping to satisfy our nationwide audience.
Subject: How about a 🥐🍇🧀 tray?
Story: We tell a story of our own experience with getting a cheese tray for the holidays from our friend’s business, Callee1945, and how it excited our entire family and made the day more tasty
Turn: Describe how a cheese tray and bagels go together for the perfect spread!
CTA: End the email with a link to purchase the cheese tray and a link to purchase our offer
Why it works: This email gets people thinking about how they will use our offer, by getting them to picture the time and place. It’s sent early in the launch because it is still warming them up. This email also communicates our core values and helps our audience understand who we are as a business, and what it means to join us, whether they buy into this current offer or not.
(Sent 1 – 2 weeks before cart closing)
This email is all about social proof. We use the email to showcase what people are saying about the offer from across the web, and inside our business. You can screen grab from social media and google, or share private comments and quotes from happy customers.
Subject: Like waking up on Christmas morning… (a direct customer quote from inside the email)
Story: We grouped the reviews based on the different product features and included a line or two introducing what people are talking about, while also selling the offer with our own copy… then we let the photos of social posts and customer quotes tell the rest.
CTA: This is the first STRONG call to purchase. We also begin to use urgency and scarcity in this CTA.
Why it works: When people see others raving about our offer, they want in. Everything we want to share about our quality & convenience is best communicated by someone else. So if we have that proof in writing, we use email to spread the word!
(Sent 1 week before cart closing):
This email is like a box opening video and it’s written to speak to any objections the customer may have to purchasing the offer. We use an FAQ format so we can call out objections specifically, and organize them for the curious customer.
Subject: Answers to your lingering questions
Story: The email is an FAQ list of features and answering any objections that might be in the customer’s mind. WE also include any new questions we have received from our customers during this or previous launches.
CTA: If you still have questions… email me here. Also a link to purchase.
Why it works: By now, all of the folks who definitely want in, have already purchased the offer. This email speaks to people who are on the fence. By calling out the objections as an FAQ, it helps those who don’t even know what their objections are, to see the benefits of hitting the purchase button. This email makes your offer as clear as possible, again, not sale-sy, and makes purchasing feel that much more desirable.
(Sent 2-3 days before cart close)
This is the lead up to the cart closing email. It’s a simple sales email for those who haven’t read any of your previous emails, or who just want the facts.
Subject: What are you eating on Sunday?
Story: It states the benefits of the offer and the substance of the offer as clearly and simply as possible.
CTA: Finish with an urgent CTA.
Why it works: A confused mind always says no. This email catches those people who just need to see the offer as concisely as possible in order for them to purchase. If you’ve already laid the groundwork with regular email marketing, this email will make a lot of sales.
(Sent 1 day before cart close)
This is a cart closing email. You can tell a quick story, get a quick laugh, or just make fun of the fact that these are your last minute folks. Keep the email short, and light hearted. The urgency itself will do the heavy lifting for you.
Subject: Cart Closing Soon!
Pre-header: LAST day to place orders for Easter Sunday
Story: We tell folks they are down to the wire… and give a little picture of why we have to close the cart so we can prepare their delivery (which also shows the quality of what they get if they purchase)
CTA: Only 24 hours left until cart closes, so Order Now!
Why it works: Urgency always makes people want to buy. They don’t want to risk missing out, and they know if they wait, they might miss it. If this email shows what they will miss in a convincing way, you might make half of your sales in the last day or two. Slightly annoying, but effective.
Email #8 plus
(countdown to actual cart closing)
You can send as many of these emails as you want, but we usually just send out one, about an hour before the cart actually closes (and then we wait about 10 minutes more to actually close it down). This email is all about the fact that this is finally it… the time has come… buy now or miss out.
Subject: Last Chance!! Only 1 hour left…
Pre-header: You last minute lovers… this is for you!
Story: Just a few lines about the thrill of the last minute. This email should be short. Don’t hide the link with text or photos.
CTA: This is it! Hit that button…
Why it works: Some people will wait until the last minute to purchase no matter what. You want to be in their inbox when that last minute comes, giving them that final opportunity to join. People buy with emotion, and this email has emotion without you having to do anything.
We use this launch formula to several times a year to launch new and recurring products and offers. Sometimes we re-use the exact emails, and just update as needed. Other times we rewrite them. With every email we are generating thousands of dollars in sales in the present.
But more importantly, we are building a following and a family of customers who will continue to buy from us for years and years in the future. That’s the true power of email marketing; reaping the rewards of committed, lifetime customers who believe in your brand.
If you have questions about email marketing, selling bagels, or marketing your eComm or SaaS brand. You can reach out to me here!
Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b email marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion email copy and strategy that’s tailored for e-com apps and SaaS brands, visit my website, aaroewriting.com, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.