9 Power Tips for Running High-Converting Email Promotions

When done right, email promotions (or flash sales) can be a powerful way to drive engagement and revenue for your business. 

Over the years, we’ve run 30+ email promos and generated results ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. We’ve learned valuable lessons along the way and in this post we’re sharing nine of our best tips to help you create successful email promotions!

Tip #1 – Have Confidence in Your Offer

To achieve the best results with your email promotions, you must continually remind yourself that if you’re not behind this promo 100% (if you’re worried you’ll annoy people or that nobody’s going to buy), then nobody else is going to get jazzed up about it either.

Generating enthusiasm and urgency is key. When you write emails that are infused with confidence, you bring your audience on board! 

For the best results, make sure you have someone whose opinion you trust read your emails before you send them to your list to see if they have questions or if they feel excited to buy.

This way, you’re able to “get out of your own way” and make sure you’re not letting any limiting beliefs stand in the way of really going all-in. 

Tip #2 – Optimize Your Email Subject Lines

Subject lines have the power to make or break your entire campaign. If you can’t convince people to click, they won’t be reading your email. 

To increase your open rates and get more people reading your emails, don’t treat your subject lines like an afterthought. 

Take a bit of time to make sure they inspire curiosity, make a promise that (by opening your email) you will deliver on, leave something to the imagination, and are short and fun rather than long and formal.

Because this tiny copy can make or break your campaigns, be sure to read 4 Ways to Create Email Subject Lines that Get Noticed & Clicked.

Tip #3 Answer “WIIFM?” 

“WIIFM” is your customer asking themselves,“What’s in it for me?” Why should I read this email? 

Make absolutely sure you’re answering that question with every paragraph (no fluff!) because when you’re about to ask for a sale, this is not the time to wax philosophical. 

Stick to what they need to know: 

  • What is it? (Focus on features and benefits)
  • Is this for me? (Or someone else?) 
  • Why do I need it? (What’s the result they can expect if they buy?) 
  • What do you want me to do? (Make it clear) 

Tip #4 – Make it Visual & Easy to Read

Nobody likes to be hit with big long scrolling blocks of text they have to wade through. Readers want to skim and scan your email to quickly figure out if it’s for them and worth their time reading the details more carefully. 

The easiest way to do this is to break up big blocks of text by using subheads, short paragraphs, bulleted lists, emojis, mockups of your products, calls to action buttons and so on. Here’s a screen capture of our most recent promotion. Notice the short paragraphs, lists, emojis, and headlines make it easy to skim and scan and know exactly what’s going on at a glance…

And here’s our secret sauce for our email copy: bucket brigades.  

What is a bucket brigade? It’s a phrase that encourages people to keep reading. 

Let me give you an example… 

☝See what I just did there? That’s an example of a bucket brigade. You read, “let me give you an example…” and then read the next sentence, didn’t you? 😉 That’s the idea!

Your email should naturally guide your audience from one sentence to the next and keep their attention. If you can do that, you’re golden!

The next time you read a promotional email you devoured from start to finish, watch out for phrases like this, you won’t be able to unsee them once you learn to master this copy secret… 

  • But here’s the catch…
  • And as if that’s not enough…
  • Just think about it like this… 
  • What does that mean for you?
  • And best of all…
  • Now you might be wondering… 
  • But wait, that’s not all… 
  • By now, you might be asking yourself… 
  • The good news is… 
  • Let me tell you why:
  • As it turns out… 
  • What we’ve learned is… 
  • To put it in plain terms… 

These tiny phrases are a great way to break up your copy and keep people easily reading down the page. 

Tip #5 Make Sure Your CTAs (Calls to Action) are Unmissable

One of the most important things to remember when sending promotional emails is to make it absolutely clear what you’re asking your audience to do and make it so easy there’s no way they can miss it. 

Remember, people are busy and they don’t always read every single word – more likely they’re skimming the page to get the gist of it and then trying to figure out, “Okay, what do I do next?”

Start your calls to action with a verb and communicate the benefits or value they can expect if they click. Here are some examples:

  • Grab these exclusive deals now!
  • Unlock this limited-time offer today!
  • Get instant access this special offer!
  • Claim your special flash sale discounts now!
  • Shop now during our flash sale and enjoy huge savings!

If your email service allows you to insert buttons, the contrast will make your links unmissable!

We recommend including your CTAs (hyperlinks and/or buttons) throughout the body of the email as well as the end and here’s why…

Some people will click on a “buy now” link in the first paragraph, some are ready to click by the time they get to the middle, and some will wait until the very end. 

We usually also include one final CTA in the post script (“PS – Don’t miss out! Click here to take advantage of this special price available until midnight EST tonight!”)

Why? Isn’t that obnoxious?

Can’t argue with you there, but if you want to make sales you do what’s proven to work, right? Some people (especially if they’re already aware of your offer and have been considering it) will skip over all the copy and get right to the nitty gritty – and the bottom of the email is where they’ll scroll to first. 

If they’ve got to hunt down your CTA chances are they’ll get frustrated and won’t bother. When you think about it like that, you’re not being a salesy pest, you’re actually making things quick and easy for your subscribers to take action.

Tip #6 Give Your Subscribers the Option to Opt-out 

When running a larger multi-day email promotion, you can retain subscribers who are interested in you (and in future offers) but just not this one by providing them with an option to opt-out:

“If you don’t want to hear about our X promotion over the next few days, click here to opt-out of X emails and stay subscribed.”  

Lots of people will take you up on that and that’s… okay! 

Even if you invite them to opt-out, be prepared to lose subscribers when running a multiple-day campaign. It happens. 

But ask yourself, “Were they ever going to buy something from me anyway? Or were they just here for the free stuff?” 

What’s more likely to happen than losing an actual potential paying customer is that someone who didn’t check their email all week will write to ask you if they can still get in on the deal after it’s over. 🙂 

Stay focused on all the people you’re helping who really want to be a part of your community. 

Tip #7 Be Prepared to Make Changes to Your Email Promo Mid-stream

⚠️ First, a warning: You might be tempted not to send that final “last call” email… you may worry that you’ll only lose subscribers and annoy your audience. A rule of thumb here is to resist that temptation but there are exceptions, and that’s what we want to prepare you for now: 

Here’s what we’ve learned in running dozens of email promotions over the years… 

The first day sales are going to be your most loyal fans… they’re usually your repeat customers who can’t wait for you to run a promotion so they can open your email and buy the minute it lands in their inbox. 

The middle days are for everyone else who needs a bit more time to consider. Sales will usually trickle in a bit slower in the middle days. 

The last day is usually when we get the largest volume of sales after we send out the final reminders. 

So… if your first day sales are good, don’t chicken out! Definitely send “the offer is expiring in a few hours” reminder email! 🙂 

That said, there are times when you might want to make adjustments to the number of emails you send.

When to Cut a Promo Short
Now, if you’re getting lackluster sales right from day 1, you can make a determination and decide to cut the promo short (send fewer emails) if you want to. We’ve done this. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way you expected it would.

Because we value our audience’s attention and don’t want to blow it, we might cut some of those middle emails out and leave just one final last call email for the last day. 

And this is okay! You’re learning what works and what doesn’t and becoming more intune with what your audience wants and needs, which is all good intel for you – you’ll knock it out of the park the next time. 😉 

Tip #8 – Urgency, Urgency, Urgency 

This is the most important tip so take note! If you’ve ever tried running email promotions in the past or if you’ve ever sent out an email and expected sales only to get a disappointing trickle of people buying…

It’s probably because there was no (or not enough) urgency in your offer. 

URGENCY is by far the most important factor in getting people to buy during your campaign. Without it, it’s just information they may or may not act on “when they have more time to think it over.” 

(When was the last time you “had more time” to think something over? Out of sight, out of mind.)

The easiest way to create urgency is to discount the price for a limited time but it’s not the only way! You can also… 

  • Create a bundle of products at a special price available only for a limited time
  • Host a group coaching session for those who buy before a certain date 
  • Offer a bonus product that’s only available during the promotion
  • Do a fundraiser and donate a portion of each sale to a good cause if they buy today

Tip #9 Analyze & Track Your Results

As you start getting in the groove of running email promotions you’ll want to analyze how things went so you can get better and better the more you do this. 

After your campaign has ended, be sure to archive your entire email sequence and make a mental note of a few basic stats…

  • How many emails you sent and over how many days
  • Total sales
  • Open rates (note each subject line – what worked to get people clicking?)
  • Click-throughs – how many people clicked to view the offer
  • Conversion rate – divide the # of people who clicked by the # of transactions to know how many people converted

Once you have this intel, you might decide to…

  • Run this same or similar promotion again (eg. next year) because it was so successful 
  • Send out a “second chance” campaign to people who didn’t open your emails (especially if the conversion rate was high but open rates were low – try different subject lines!)
  • Turn it into an automated email sequence that gets sent to new subscribers after a period of time

What happens during your email promotions will give you a tremendous amount of insight into what your audience needs and responds to so you can double down on those things. 

They’ll tell you which direction to go and may even help you to “let go” of things that aren’t working. 

An email promotion is also a good way to test your offer with your audience before investing in advertising dollars! 

That’s a wrap!

We hope you found these tips helpful and wish you much luck (and sales!) with your next email campaign! If you’re just getting started with email flash sales, be sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide to Email Promotions, it covers all the basics to get you started.

And don’t forget to grab our email promotion planner and tracker before you go to help you keep track of all the details you need to make sure it’s stress free and successful!

Income Disclaimer:

The sales results mentioned in this blog post are for illustrative purposes only. They are not meant to guarantee or imply that anyone will achieve similar results. Your individual success may vary and depends on various factors, including but not limited to your background, experience, effort, and market conditions.

Any earnings or income statements mentioned in this post are estimates of what we believe is possible, but there is no assurance that you will achieve any stated levels of income. You accept the risk that earnings and income statements will differ by individual.

We make no guarantees regarding success or income by using or implementing the strategies, techniques, ideas, or advice mentioned in this post. Nothing in this post should be considered as financial or professional advice.

It is important to conduct your own research and due diligence before making any business decisions based on the information provided in this blog post.

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