email consultants

Take Them by the Hand: How Your Email Marketing Can Lead People to Sales

Wouldn’t our jobs be easier if we could personally sell to each of our subscribers, taking them by the hand and walking right over to the TVs we’re selling or the webinars we’re promoting? Time consuming, yes, but that hands on approach sounds just a little appealing, doesn’t it? Even for us email consultants!

Recently we posted about MECLAB’s Managing Director Dr. Flint McGlaughlin’s description of the new sales funnel, and the gravity we work against when trying to get people through that funnel.

His point about we can’t force but rather must lead got us thinking about what that means for email marketers. After all, it’s not like you can reach your hand through the monitor or smartphone screen and grab their hand to guide them along. So how do you lead them?

Leading happens as much through specific words and actions as through general ones. Your overall approach can do much to coax people along. Below are some email expert pointers for leading people with your email marketing:

1. Don’t assume. Effective email marketing requires clear communication. Very clear. People will give your email a cursory glance at best, and even if they decide to actually read what you have to say, it will be more like skimming than reading. So don’t assume anything. Don’t assume they know what you want them to do. Don’t assume they know how great your offer is. Don’t assume they automatically will buy from you. Instead, lead them along. Be very clear in what you’re offering, why it’s fabulous, and how to get it.

2. Do use strong language. Avoid being wishy washy. Instead of phrases like “you could,” say “you will” or “you can.” State your points strongly, not with exclamation points and bold type, but with strong, clear, confident words.

3. Do use a clear design. Your email design must be as clear as your email message. Avoid clutter or a design that works against rather than supports your message.

4. Do use images to reinforce your message. If you’re selling diet pills, for example, show a photo of a skinny person (implying the results of the diet pill) not an overweight one.

5. Don’t put up barriers. Barriers cause friction. Friction slows motion. Make the whole experience seamless, from the From address to the opening lines to the button to the landing page. Test, test and re-test to be sure people can easily move right along…as you lead them to where you want them to go, i.e. the Buy button.

No, you can’t literally take your subscribers by the hand, but with some careful planning and a thoughtful overall approach, your email marketing can go a long ways towards leading people down the sales path you envision.

Need help? Call on these email consultants.

Published On: March 21st, 2012Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

Recent Posts