Write Emails Like AppSumo: 10 Ways To Make More Sales With Email (And Get Praised For It)
Who else gets praise like this for selling stuff:
And they do all this with email...
If you aren't familiar with them, AppSumo is a daily deal -type of site for entrepreneurs.
Want to know some of Appsumo’s secrets to writing addictive and profit-pulling emails?
I analyzed some of their emails and here are the results:
1. The first step to triggering the ”this is like made for me!” feeling
I’m a fan of collectible card games <— NERD!
But a few years ago I had a long break from playing any card games, because of lack of people to play with.
So when in 2011 one of my favorite game developers announced an Internet-based collectible card game, Scrolls, I was excited. Online I could find a lot of people to play with!
I followed their development updates very closely and when the launch day finally came, I was on their web store, hitting the refresh button over and over.
Turned out, the game was disappointing... But that is beside the point.
The point is that even companies and marketers can make you feel like they know you - deep down.
If you’ve ever seen a product or a blog post and thought ”this is like made for me!”… that’s the feeling!
If you want to be able to do that, here’s the first step:
Address your target audience.
Simply tell them who this content is for.
Here’s how Appsumo does it:
It’s as simple as that.
It might not make your audience lose sleep over your stuff… but at least they’ll know you’re talking to them. And that’s a good start!
The earlier you address your audience, the better. Like this:
The first word in the headline qualifies that this is for freelancers.
The sub-headline insinuates that it’s for freelancers who don’t love their work… because that IS a common problem.
Here’s a brilliant example:
In this email, Appsumo is speaking directly to people who feel guilty about not learning to code… and they are amplifying that guilt by painting a picture of what awesome things they could be doing if they knew how to code!
If you can tap into a strong feeling like that, you are golden.
2. The secret to creating an emotional connection from across the screen
After you’ve called out to your target audience, it’s time to convince them ”Yes, I’m REALLY talking to YOU”.
Or rather ”Yes, I really understand what you’re going through! That’s why I’M able to help YOU!”
But don’t say it that directly.
That would be silly. And no one would believe you.
Instead, do it like this:
Talk about their problems.
Emphatize with them. That creates a connection between you and the reader.
And you know what is the best way to emphatize with someone and connect with their problems?
Check this out:
Anyone can say that ”I understand your problems” but not a lot of people can prove that.
But if you’ve gone through the same problems as your reader, that’s undeniable proof.
3. How to grab attention... before it’s lost forever (you only have a few seconds)
As AppSumo's previous copywriter, Neville Medhora says - No one cares about YOU. They care about THEMSELVES.
Your offer better damn have some value for THEM…
Better yet, value that no one else can provide…
And you better communicate that value in microseconds…
Or they won’t fricking care.
This is how Appsumo shows its audience their offers are good for them and unique:
You can create animated videos cheap and fast? That’s pretty incredible (and this deal WAS incredible!)
4. The one thing that makes people buy
Let’s say you were losing weight and you were on your last 3 pounds until you’ve reached your goal.
Back when you still had 15 pounds left, it was much harder to imagine yourself in your ideal fit...
But now your goal is so close it’s almost impossible not to reach it!
The closer you are to your goal, the more believable it becomes.
Here’s what this has to do with marketing:
If your offer is the only thing a prospect needs to achieve her goal, she is very likely to take you up on it, don’t you think?
And what better way to communicate that than...
Good ol’ benefits.
You know your product’s or service’s features. But what do those features do? And why should your audience care about them?
This is how Appsumo shows benefits:
With Ruby on Rails, you can do all the things...
Here’s another example:
Do things faster, eliminate annoyances, work healthier, avoid mistakes... That’s already a bunch of benefits.
Bonus: Download a free guide - "7 tactics to writing AppSumo-style conversational copy that sells"
5. No one buys bytes!
There is one other thing that helps us visualize us getting closer to our goal…
That is, if we can imagine holding the ”key” to that goal.
For example, if you wanted to get better at making videos… Imagine being with a video marketing expert showing you how she makes her videos.
Or imagine holding in your hands a complete video marketing course.
Or imagine yourself using a software that does almost all the work for you.
If you can make your offer seem more tangible, it’s easier to imagine things like that… and easier to visualize getting closer to a goal... which, in turn, motivates people to buy.
Here’s what I mean:
Even if it’s a digital download, you can almost imagine yourself holding a big set of CDs and books in your hands.
Another keyword here is ”big” - that’s a lot of value for just $49!
Do you know what could be even better?
Take a screenshot of the members’ area and show that. It’s almost in their grasp…
This is especially important when selling software. You got to show it in action, like this:
6. How to win any argument (and sales pitch)
In an argument, the one who asks the questions, wins.
Let me demonstrate with an example I got from ”darkcity2” in Reddit:
”For example, let's say your girlfriend is angry about you coming home late one night. She says, You didn't call me! I was so worried, and you were probably out at the bar hitting on girls!
You could respond, No baby, I wasn't, I swear. But effectively this is two heads butting; the one with greater force wins.
Instead, ask questions. This puts you in a position of control without being aggressive, and forces the listener to accept their own hypocrisy/flawed reasoning.
Say something like: Why are you upset? What do you think I was doing? Is it that I'm late that bothers you, or that you can't trust me?
Rather than arguing back and forth, you're encouraging her to express how she feels, and it seems like you're making an effort to listen. Eventually she'll either forgive you, or you'll see that you were wrong, or she'll see that she was being unreasonable.”
Here’s the thing - when your prospects are reading your copy, if you let them ask questions, there’s no way for you to turn that around. You’re not there to counter their objections.
That’s why you need to anticipate and address their questions and objections beforehand.
For example, when Appsumo ran the deal for IconsMind icons, one common objection to those types of deals is ”can I use them for commercial projects?”
And here’s Appsumo addressing it:
7. Show, don’t tell
Imagine for a second…
You are on the verge of buying a new course.
But you are wondering…
”Am I really going to learn anything new?”
”Is this really actionable?”
The sales page says ”yes!” to both of these questions… But in the end, words don’t always tell you the truth.
But what if you got to see a sample of that course?
What if you learnt something new from that sample? What if implementing the advice was dead-simple? You get to smash your silly objections yourself and it makes you ready to buy!
A picture tells a thousand words.
And a sample destroys objections better than words.
Not only that… If you sprinkle some open loops in the sample video as well… It can be addictive. You got to see more!
8. People take action when...
Procrastination is a bitch.
One way to combat that is to get yourself motivated and inspired.
That energizes you and propels you into action.
And you know what? That action can also be a purchase…
Check this out:
In this email, Noah Kagan, the founder of AppSumo, gets you pumped up. You can do it! YEAH!
He doesn’t even directly link this motivational speech to his pitch like ”you can have a great 2015 IF you get SumoMe”.
He doesn’t have to. And that would be pretty sleazy anyway.
He leaves room for the reader to make the connection herself… And that’s pretty powerful.
9. No one believes you (and how to counter that)
A lot of people market their offers like ”this system/tool changed my life and now I’m giving it to you!”
But that’s not really enough.
Let’s say you were selling a course about making awesome videos with an iPhone and no other fancy equipment.
Your audience might wonder...
What if you were born with a super steady hand?
What if you have a naturally good lighting in your house?
Either way, your testimony about your own product isn’t enough.
That’s when you need to show how other people have benefited from your offer.
That makes your offer much more believable.
10. Are you making your audience passive?
You are a creator.
Maybe you like taking selfies. Maybe you write a lot. Maybe you tweet all day.
You are a creator.
So is everyone else. So is your audience.
They aren’t satisfied with just passively consuming your content. Brands and products that fail to engage their audience, fade away.
At the same time, your audience won’t just start talking about you, sharing your stuff or creating content for you without a reason.
That’s where incentivization comes into play:
They have to take time off their day… But at least, it’ll be fun and educational… And there’s a chance to win an Amazon gift card!
And the next time when Appsumo asks these people to engage, maybe they won’t need an incentive?
To summarize, here are some of Appsumo’s best email writing secrets:
- Address your target audience
- Talk about their problems and emphatize with them
- Show your product’s or service’s unique value as quickly as possible
- Tell about the benefits of your product/service
- Make your offer more tangible
- Address all objections and questions in your copy
- Give them a sample
- Motivate them to take action
- Showcase testimonials
- Incentivize them to engage with you
This should help you in writing more profitable emails.
There’s a lot to be learned from their emails.
ONE MORE EMAIL WRITING SECRET...
There's still one more AppSumo email writing "secret" that can't go unmentioned...
It's their casual writing style.
Even though AppSumo's emails are straight-up sales pitches, they are fun to read. How do they do that?
Let me share with you 7 tactics on how you can write like you would talk to someone (which makes them listen more closely!)
Plus, I'll share with you 7 examples of casual copywriting (that sells) in action.