• Sarah Barker

Writing Emails That Sell: A Small Business Owner’s Guide

Author: Michael Kauffman

Did you know that your email list is the single most important digital asset that you business can own?

It’s truly one of the only digital assets your business even CAN own. If Facebook sends you packing, all your likes, followers and more are just gone. Same with Google. Or Pinterest. The list goes on and on.

But if your email marketing software sends you down the road, you just take your list with you and go to the next in line. A few minutes getting your new account setup and you can be sending revenue generating emails within mere hours…

Getting to the point where your email list consistently generates revenue can be a little more challenging, but follow along and you’ll see exactly how you can do just that with the best performing email writing strategy (and template) that works for any business in any niche.

But first… some ground rules.

Spend 20% of the effort modeling what works, and reap 80% of the rewards.

Email Marketing Strategy Basics

First off, you need to know that if you're looking for consistent, repeatable results, you don’t want to be a pioneer.

Sure the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. Chances are, unless your business is copywriting, you're not going to be pioneering any email marketing strategy that will replace what has already been proven. So don’t even try. Pareto’s principle applies in spades here.

Spend 20% of the effort modeling what works, and reap 80% of the rewards.

Chances are, you’ve got plenty of other facets of your business that could deliver greater returns on your time than trying to re-inventing email marketing.

What are these basics though?

  • Your singular goal is sales. There may be emails focused on other objectives, but only as a stepping stone to future sales.

  • Emails that don’t get opened will never sell anything.

  • Stories Sell.

Internet Consumer Behavior 101

It is always of critical importance when crafting your email marketing strategy to remember the context within which your readers are interacting with your business.

The fact that they are online greatly influences how you must talk to them. You can’t give them too much information. There’s too many forces pulling at their attention.

This is why so often business owners come to me after sending newsletter after newsletter, completely frustrated and tell me that “email is dead.”

Having personally handled the campaigns for companies generating in excess of $1 per subscriber PER MONTH in revenue, I can assure you, email is most definitely not dead.

Instead of focusing on sending multiple pieces of information to your readers, only send 1 thing. This will not only make you focus on what is most important for your business, but it will increase the number of subscribers who actually take the action you really want.

Putting It All Together

Now that we’ve established what you truly need to accomplish with your email marketing strategy, let’s put it all together in a cohesive strategy that lets you generate consistent sales from your email list.

The goal of your subject line is to get your subscribers to open your email.

The goal of an email is to get a group of people (your email list) to take a desired action. (usually a sale)

Remembering what I mentioned earlier, we want to look at who we can model our email marketing strategy off of to achieve maximum results.


This email writing strategy is so simple, yet sooo effective. Not only does it make writing your emails faster and easier, but it will also make them far more effective!

Sermon Style Emails

This single style of writing your emails will make you more money with email than you likely thought possible.

For thousands of years, pastors, preachers, rabbi, and other religious leaders have all been focused on getting a group of people to take a desired action, and have passed down what works for generations.

Chances are, if you’ve ever been to any church service, the pastor followed one simple format.

He led with a personal story. Maybe something that he was thinking about during the week, something that happened to him or that he saw, etc.

Then came One big takeaway. If you only took one thing from the sermon that day, it would be _____.

Then he likely closed with One call-to-action (CTA). Maybe it was to say hello to a stranger, or to donate to a charity, or just to read a single passage.

This email writing strategy is so simple, yet sooo effective. Not only does it make writing your emails faster and easier, but it will also make them far more effective!

Let’s breakdown each segment in more detail and talk about some examples you can use for your own business…

A Personal Story

Leading with a story is a whole lot easier than it sounds. Just don’t overthink it. The other day, I was talking with my spouse about…..

Yesterday, a story came across my timeline that….

You get the picture. Just something that actually happened (you never want to lie to subscribers) and that will be tangentially related to your One Big Thing that follows the story.

The more “emotionally detailed” you can get, the better. You don’t need to spend 1,000 words describing the scene, but you do want the subscriber to be able to share the experience and “feel” the story as you tell it.

One Big Thing

What’s the most important thing that your subscriber needs to take away from your email? Is it that you have a new product launching? A sale going on? A new article? An event happening in your community?

Whatever the one big thing is, it will be the focus of your email.

Again, Do. Not. Overthink. This.

You want your emails to be much more conversational than formal.

More than ever, consumers care about what’s behind a company, not just their “thing.”

All you have to do is just smoothly transition from your story into your one big thing. Maybe you talk about that one time as a kid you were so excited you couldn’t sleep on Christmas Eve, and you had nearly as much trouble keeping your newest product launch a secret that it reminded you of that night many moons ago…

See how simple and easy it is? When you don’t overthink your email writing, and view your strategy as a conversation more than an announcement, your results will skyrocket.

But how do you get from telling your subscribers about your products or services to sales?

You tell them to buy your stuff…

Call To Action (CTA)

If you’ve ever been to a fundraising dinner with a silent auction, you’ve probably seen what I’m about to describe…

You’re at the event, maybe having a cocktail and mingling with friends you haven’t seen in a while, or maybe even meeting new friends.

All of a sudden, the PA system crackles to life.

The MC of the event cracks a witty line, and reminds you that there’s some amazing stuff over in the silent auction, so if you saw ANYTHING that you liked, you’d better get going.

What happens next?

There is a veritable WAVE of people headed to the silent auction table right? But why?

Everyone knew it was there. Why rush over there now?

It’s simple. They rushed over because the MC told them too.

He didn’t tell them to go to the silent auction and get a drink and buy a raffle ticket and play a game and so on.

He told them to do one thing.

And they did it.

Make sure at the end of every email, you tell your subscribers what you want them to do.

Don’t ask, tell.

Even if all you do is add this one strategy to your emails, you’ll see a tremendous uptick in performance.

Wrapping It All Up

Developing an email writing strategy that consistently generates sales for your business is crucial to consistent revenue and maximizing the value of your hard earned email list.

Fortunately you don’t have to start from scratch, just model the strategy that has worked for 1,000’s of years when writing your emails.

Use the Sermon Style of writing emails to watch your email marketing sales skyrocket.

Bio: Michael Kauffman is a long time student of digital marketing and strategy. When not enjoying time in the great outdoors of Idaho or hanging with his amazing wife, he specializes in helping small businesses consistently grow their customer base and sales through the digital marketing agency he founded, M&M Digital Marketing.

Interested in owning your own business? I can help! Contact me today.






Sarah Barker | SSB Consulting

Franchise Consultant  & Recruiting Specialist

Located in Boise, ID

Working with clients in all states.

*LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website does not constitute the offer and sale of a franchise. It is for information purposes only. 







  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Twitter
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest Social Icon
Contact us

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.