Author: Chris Pearson, Partner & Email Marketing Specialist at 3BM
A few months back, I quietly started a passion info project, but…
I didn’t want to have a massive tech stack to run it.
It needed to be as close to solo, low maintenance as possible.
(I have ecom clients and a team to manage, too, you know)
So, I was looking for a newsletter platform that had membership features baked into it.
beehiiv and a few others were at the top of the list to give a try.
Which is why I wanted to share one of their emails with you…
Because you can use this style of email for your ecom brand to get attention, keep attention, and convert that attention into sales.
Rules: The Email Muse
Each week, I venture through 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 your emails.
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.
And no forwarding me your own emails. That’s the only rule.
Let’s get started.
Subject Line: Intrigue and Curiosity
What would you do if you saw this subject line?
We all have stuff that we don’t want to tell our boss.
And the looming scandal in the back of our mind piques our curiosity…
If you’re like me, you have to click on this–even it you know there’s nothing this brand or business can offer you right now.
Your brain hooks onto this idea of keeping a secret from the boss and MUST find out what happens next.
This style of subject line is extremely effective, but you have to use it sparingly.
You do this “scandal” email too often, and your list will catch on.
Opener – How to “Set the Stage”
This text (sorry for the formatting-my fault) “sets the stage” for the rest of the email.
It ratchets up curiosity to 10.
What’s the boss going to find out about?
How serious is it?
Is it something I would kill over?
Would my boss kill me if I did this?
The reader’s brain goes on a run of questions that have to be answered.
If you want to keep people reading, put a question in their mind and promise to answer it.
In other words, open a loop that only you can close–later in the email.
The Story (aka Drama)
Now that the reader is hooked into the conflict…
Get to the story (aka drama) of it all.
Here, the context gets delivered. Also, the stakes for the intern also get shared. This closes the loop for the subject line, but it opens another loop.
Will the boss find out? ← This is the next question that keeps people reading.
Remember, open loops keeps people reading (builds anticipation). Closing loops releases that anticipation (cathartic).
The Offer – CTA #1
The reason Jay sent this email was to share beehiiv 101 with the readers.
He successfully gets attention and points it at the resource.
As you can see, the offer is pretty straightforward and who it’s for.
But, I want to look at something else.
This email is one example of how you can get attention and channel it into your product.
Eugene Schwartz says in his book Breakthrough Advertising:
“The desire must already be there. It must already exist. You cannot create it, and you cannot fight it. But you can direct it, channel it, and focus it onto your particular product.”
I’d bet this email was sent to beehiiv non members. This list of people have not paid for beehiiv but started a free membership. The goal was to show these free trials people how they can use beehiiv.
And Jay (the intern) used drama and story to channel that desire into beehiiv 101.
He continues the story saying that “Maybe Tyler won’t get mad at me if a ton of people click and view it.”
This is a fun way to close out this email.
Jay mentions that beehiiv is going to cut his access soon, so go tweet at him over on Twitter (now X) if the reader found it useful.
Here’s what I like about this line.
It makes the email seem real…
Because if you’re gonna do something that may piss off your boss, why not get some personal gain out of it, too, right?
Now, is this email real? Who knows, but… they did a pretty good job making it feel real.
The more real you can make your emails, the more human they will feel to the reader.
What You Learned
Here’s the tl;dr of what you learned today:
- Use intrigue and curiosity to get your emails opened.
- Use story and drama to ratchet up curiosity.
- Open and close loops to keep the reader reading (in other words, put questions in the reader’s mind that they have to get answered to understand what happens next).
- Conflict means nothing without context. Either leverage existing context in your reader’s mind OR share the context so the reader can tap into the story.
- You cannot create desire… only channel it (seriously, read Breakthrough Advertising).