Email Marketing: Questions to Answer When Selling

When social media and messaging apps became part of our daily communication, many of us — myself included, thought emails would slowly slip away into history.

Seems we were wrong.

If reports and statistics are anything to go by, then a snapshot of how much we still use email shows it isn’t (about to become) obsolete. A study involving 1,245 US-based respondents interviewed by adestra in 2017 suggests that 83.8% of adults use their mobile phones to check their personal emails.

But there’s a catch.

The respondents also admit to having at least three email addresses.

This isn’t news. BUT it’s also a not-so-obvious realisation…especially for businesses and marketers.

More to the point, this means there’s a very high chance that our audiences are giving us their least valuable email addresses. (Hands up if you’re guilty of this!)

The report recommends us to give consumers a reason to provide us their primary email address.

Finding out whether we collected the primary email address is another conversation for another day. Right now, let’s focus on how copy and brand messaging can help us persuade our audience to do just that.

Here are some of the questions I ask my clients before creating an email content plan.

1. What do you want the subscriber to do? What is the goal of every newsletter you send out? Is it…

+ To motivate them to order a specific product?

+ To inspire them to try out a service?

+ To pass on a discount code to friends and get the word around?

+ Other: Specify your call-to-action.

2. How are you persuading your audience to achieve the results you want?

I recently posted an example on LinkedIn, sharing that I just received a promotional (spam) email from a company named Happy Socks.

I don’t remember signing up for their newsletter but I did think they have an attractive newsletter with attractive products. That’s already a selling opportunity for them. When I kept reading, however, and all the message they wanted to me know in the email was “30% OFF”.


I love a good discount. But I’d also like other reasons to part with my money than just “30% OFF”…especially since I don’t really enjoy wearing socks.

Their newsletter could have been something about…

+ Socks being hot on the summer fashion front

+ Socks being a classic (and funky) gift for family or friends

+ Pyjama party theme inspirations

A little personalisation goes a long way. Succinct brand messaging doesn’t have to mean empty. You know…like “30% OFF”.

3. How are you tracking the leads and conversions of your newsletters?

We won’t know how effective our copy is if we don’t track the results. Good copy is only a healthy start to a well-engineered sales funnel. We need to know which brand messaging works, and why.

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