March 9th, 2022, I stepped on the scale and saw a number I never thought possible.
According to the BMI, I was obese.
The last six years, I’d spent working 8 – 12 hour days at a desk, consuming unimaginable amounts of junk food, and generally living a sedentary lifestyle.
The contrast between those six years and my 13 years prior as an athlete, even playing college baseball, made me feel like I was living a completely different life.
That day in March, I started a fight for my new life.
Because if I didn’t, the sleep apnea, chronic acid reflux, and joint pain would have evolved into much more serious issues.
Out of pure desperation to change things now…
I went on Carnivore. I stopped eating sugar. I stopped consuming caffeine.
I ate beef, drank water, and used salt for taste… that’s it…
I lost 32 pounds over 84 days following that decision, and while this was a great result…
I started a new battle with dehydration.
The months following my weight loss and life reclamation, I started testing electrolyte drinks, powders, and consumables to figure out this dehydration issue.
For months, I tried and failed, over and over again, until…
Someone in the carnivore community recommended this brand to me:
As you’ll read a bit about in this Welcome Email Breakdown, LMNT is on a mission to improve health through hydration.
They believe Health is a process, not an end point.
And since their founder, Robb, couldn’t find a salt solution to meet his low-carb hydration needs, they created LMNT.
This is why I decided to break this email down for you today, because this brand helped me get and stay hydrated.
And they have a pretty great welcome email that warranted nearly 2,000 words of copy to break down.
Rules: The Email Muse
Each week, I brave the marketing wilderness to find highly-effective ecommerce sales emails… and I shine a light on what made them work.
My goal with this weekly tangle with The Email Muse is to teach you strategies and tactics you can use with email.
Where do I find these magical electronic pieces of mail? My inbox, mostly, since I’m signed up to lists that I want to be on. I also take suggestions from readers who have a stellar email they’d like to share.
Did you get an email recently that made you smile, your eyes tear up, or flat out gut punched you? I want to see it.
Forward the email to me at (chris at threebeaconmarketing dot com) with a brief note about what you liked about it. If I choose to break it down, I’ll give you a shoutout and link back to your site.
Oh, and don’t forward me the emails you wrote. That’s the only rule.
Let’s get started.
Personal From Name & Twisted Subject Line
LMNT starts things off strong.
They keep this first email personal, storydriven, and customer focused.
If they’d let me write some emails for them, I’d be over the moon about it.
Here’s their from name and subject line:
LMNT uses a first name in the from name, which is a great place to start, if you can, as a brand.
If you can get people to open your emails because they know you (aka from name) versus you’ve piqued their curiosity (aka subject line), then you’ll get more eyeballs on your offers because of an emotional connection, which leads to… more sales.
Who doesn’t like to take a look at products their friends suggest? I know I look nearly every damn time.
LMNT is starting the relationship with their new subscribers with a personal touch, not only with this email coming from Robb, but in the personal story shared in this email (break down later on in the article).
Speaking of subject lines…
LMNT’s subject line is great.
“Welcome to our Salty Family”
I like how LMNT took the standard “welcome to the family” and added their own twist to it.
This is all that’s really needed to stand out in the inbox. A word or phrase turned or twisted a bit differently than what people expect. This type of move gets attention and invites readers to click on your email and read more.
It’s what’s called a “pattern interrupt.”
The only goal of your subject line: get the open.
Once you get the open, what’s next?
Reel the Reader into Your Copy
You’ve got to reel the reader into your copy so you can connect with them and achieve a particular goal with your email.
Emails without goals are like adventurers wandering through the arctic without a destination… they’ll eventually die a lonely, cold death.
(Sheesh, that got morbid, quick).
LMNT, again, takes the typical “welcome email” and adds their own personality and twist to the opening paragraph:
“Welcome to our Salty Family! Today, I invite you to join us on our mission to restore health through hydration. So let’s spread the salt, share some science, and set positive health outcomes in motion in your own life and in the lives of those around you. We’re committed to supporting those outcomes in the best way we know how–with salt, science, and heart. Watch our story here.”
Here’s what I like about this paragraph.
First, it repeats the subject line in sentence one. This creates congruence between the subject line and the body copy. This also subconsciously gets the reader to think/feel that this email is already familiar to them. They’ve already read these words before.
Next, Robb “invites” the reader to join their mission. This is huge. That one word keeps the “bullshit” alarms from going off as you’re reading this sentence.
If Robb and the team would’ve used something like, “Now that you’re on a mission with us,” or “You’re now a part of our mission,” or “Because you signed up, our mission is your mission…” it would put readers off and they’d be bailing out of this email back to their inbox faster than Martha Stewart could roll a blunt.
(Honestly, I don’t know how fast she could roll one, but she’s hung out with Snoop Dogg, and I bet she learned a thing or two from him and his rollin’ man).
The alliteration in this next sentence is:
[CHEF’S KISS GIF]
“So let’s spread the salt, share some science, and set positive health outcomes in motion in your own life and in the lives of those around you.”
This sentence continues the “invitation” to join the mission, but in a conversational way. It doesn’t make it feel like you’re swallowing sand while reading it.
Instead, you slide right on through the sentence like a thoroughly wetted water slide.
Values and First CTA
Finally, the opening paragraph closes with this line:
“We’re committed to supporting those outcomes in the best way we know how–with salt, science, and heart. Watch our story here.”
There it is: “salt, science, and heart.”
Those are LMNT’s values right out front on display.
The best part?
If you want to learn more about them, you can watch their story, which links through to a video that goes over what the reader just read in the email.
Here’s the gold:
A “click” on the first email to a subscriber is YUUUUGE for deliverability and reputation with that subscriber’s Email Service Provider (ESP).
The more clicks or replies you can get in your welcome series the better.
His Story Makes the Brand “Sticky”
We now get into Robb’s story…
This is why emails coming from a person are so powerful, especially in eCommerce.
An email from a person can go in and out of telling stories, selling, and educating, all in the same freakin’ email.
It’s really tough to have a personal connection with a faceless entity.
People prefer to buy from other people.
This personal style of email allows you to stand out from the crowd… A LOT…
“Being a biochemist, athlete, and nutrition-tinkerer, I have always strived to improve my health and performance. However, 20 years ago I was battling crippling GI issues. I dug into the scientific literature and ultimately adopted a low-carb, ketogenic lifestyle.”
Robb identifies himself, mentions his goal as a human, and shares how crippling GI issues ruined his life.
Talk about laying on the storytelling sauce. He just opened a whole can of Prego and poured it all over the kitchen floor with no promise of cleaning it up.
This is storytelling, folks.
The final line of this paragraph hints at a solution, but it doesn’t solve the GI issues entirely. It helps, but it leaves you wanting more, which is a master storyteller at work.
Robb gets vulnerable with people, shares the problem he was facing, and asks you to come along with him as he struggles to solve this problem.
Present the Problem
Here’s what gets people to keep reading…
Robb mentions how Keto helped a little, but it didn’t get him all the way to his eventual goal: jiu-jitsu. He made progress, but he still had a mountain to climb.
Here’s where the story gets interesting.
Agitate the Problem
Robb delves into what he did to try and solve his problem of not being able to practice jiu-jitsu:
“For years, I tinkered with my carb ratios and found minor improvements, but no matter how clean I ate or how hard I worked out, I still felt like something was holding me back.”
If you’re a copywriter, you should recognize what Robb is doing here.
Alright, for all you non-copywriters out there (and some who claim the title but are still learning)…
Robb is agitating the pain. He’s “twisting the knife” to make the problem even more painful. He’s raising the stakes on what happens if he doesn’t figure this dehydration thing out.
Sure, Keto helped him feel better, but even after tinkering with his carb ratios, eating clean, and working out hard, he still felt something was holding him back.
This is “problem agitation.”
What does this do for the reader?
It gets the reader to feel like they know Robb. How? Well, they start thinking of their own problem similar to Robb’s. They then project themselves into Robb’s shoes and start “mirroring” Robb as he shares his problem and how it keeps getting worse.
Stating a problem and then agitating it sets up the rest of the story to either go well or go bad. This generates anticipation in the reader. They want to know “what happens next.”
The brain is hardwired for story. Scientists have shown that the brain prefers story over any other vehicle for communication. And when you leverage story, it’s like being able to speak to people’s subconscious without being stopped and searched by Sir Skepticism and Captain Cynicism.
These two stand guard at the gates of our subconscious and protect from ideas and concepts that don’t work or are not for us. They protect us from getting duped or taken advantage of.
But their sweet, sweet addiction?
Sir Skepticism and Captain Cynicism LOVE story… the right story, that is.
And I believe Robb is telling the “right” story for his ideal customer.
The “right” story is one where your ideal customer can see themselves in the goal, problem, and pain points/obstacles while they read.
Robb’s story allows his ideal customer to do just that.
Let’s see how he wraps this tale up, shall we?
“When I brought this up to my former coaches, they answered immediately: I needed more electrolytes, specifically sodium. I knew why getting more salt was important on a low-carb diet—the scientific literature is pretty clear. Like many, however, I grossly underestimated just how much sodium I actually needed.”
Ah, yes… the guide.
Robb shares how he went to his former coaches and let them know what was going on with his health and diet.
Up until this moment, Robb couldn’t figure out what was “holding him back” from being able to achieve his goal.
In movies and books, right before the protagonist reaches the end of their rope and gives up, they have what’s called a “dark night of the soul.”
This is where the hero acknowledges they’ve tried everything they can to save the girl, get the gold, or become the person they set out to become, but…
Nothing they tried has worked…
So, they sit on the curb, stare up into the night sky, it starts raining, and they ask “Why? Why me?”
They have a realization moment that sends them down the path one last time to try one last effort at solving the problem, leading to the climax of the story.
In Robb’s story, he reaches out to former coaches for help.
The piece he was missing from practicing jiu-jitsu without hydration issues?
Robb then shares how he grossly underestimates the importance of electrolytes, specifically sodium.
The “electrolytes” in this story is what’s called the “solution, and the “mechanism” (how the solution works) can be the effect those electrolytes have on the body and/or the delivery method of the solution (in this case, a packaged powder drink mix).
Once he starts taking electrolytes, Robb realizes he still does have a shot at practicing jiu-jitsu afterall.
Robb immediately felt the benefits of the electrolytes. He felt better during jiu-jitsu. And he even mentions sleeping better.
He finally found the solution to his problem.
The Brand Origin Story
In story (and in life), for every solution, a new problem arises.
“The only problem? There weren’t any products available to meet my needs. Most electrolyte products were glorified sugar water, woefully lacking in electrolytes. And I quickly grew tired of meticulously prepping messy electrolyte homebrews. So we put our heads together and created LMNT, the best electrolyte drink mix ever. That means lots of salt, zero sugar, and easy grab-and-go packaging.”
Here’s what makes this story so powerful for LMNT:
Not only does it share Robb’s personal story, but it ties Robb’s story into WHY he created LMNT in the first place.
This is what we call a Brand Origin Story.
Robb’s battle to better hydrate himself on a low-carb diet helped him realize that LMNT was needed in the marketplace.
This is where the brand becomes personal for the ideal customer, because LMNT isn’t simply selling sodium, potassium, and magnesium in packets.
They’re selling an emotional connection through Robb’s.
Most low-carb athletes on the planet need this solution. They all struggle with a similar problem to Robb. They all have tried different glorified sugar waters with no results. Some may have even tried messy homebrews. And they’re still struggling.
This is how you use a personal story to share WHY you created your brand.
This is how you share your Brand Origin Story without putting your reader to sleep.
Robb finishes off the email with 3 things:
- Sign off
- CTA to “Our Story”
- Graphic: How to Stay Salty
Again, keeping things personal with the “Robb and the LMNT Team” signoff gets points from me.
Also, getting a click on “Our Story” in email #1 of a welcome series is YUUUUUUUGE for deliverability.
Your sender’s reputation goes through the roof if you can get clicks and/or replies with your welcome emails, especially the first couple sent.
After the signoff and CTA, you get this graphic:
What is Robb doing here?
He’s pre framing how easy it is to use the product and get salty. When you demonstrate how your product works, the human brain determines ease of use, efficiency, and time to result within seconds.
In this graphic alone, Robb shows us how easy it is to determine the salt-to-liquid ratio, which is a major concern for buyers (an objection, if you will 😉).
A pretty snazzy way to finish off a great email.
What You Learned
That was a behemoth breakdown.
Glad you stuck it out with me.
Here’s the tl;dr of what you learned today:
- Keep your emails personal, storydriven, and customer focused.
- Reel the reader in and connect with them, first.
- Get a “click” or “reply” on your welcome series emails to skyrocket sender reputation.
- Story makes a brand sticky in the consumer’s mind.
- Problem + Agitation = Intrigue (intrigue leads to more people reading your copy).
- Your personal solution should be the reason you started the brand.
- The Brand Origin Story is an emotional connection point between brand and customer.
- Book a call with 3BM to see if it makes sense to work together.
- Check out LMNT and their products.