Last updated on February 6, 2021
Your potential customers may already be working with your rivals. If you think you can outperform your rivals with a simple email, think again! But then again, nothing is impossible, right?
Later in this guide, I’ve included an example of a marketing email with lots of mistakes – they’re trying to sell a new lipstick to me, but fail miserably. We will go ahead and rewrite that email for better results. But before we do that, let’s learn the email marketing and copywriting tricks to outsmart the competition.
For any marketing to be effective – whether email or otherwise – you need to clearly describe how your product solves customers' problems, how it does better than others, and why do they need to buy it now!
By applying some simple email marketing tips, brands are stealing clients from their competitors all the time. But what are these tips? In this article, we’ll suggest some effective email marketing tips that are bound to bring results – and sure, you can use them in all sorts of marketing campaigns, not just email.
1. Don’t push to “sell”
Do you know the golden rule of any email marketing campaign? It is pretty simple. You have to sell your products/services without sounding like you’re selling. In any cold email, add at least 3-4 opening sentences that can hit your prospects’ pain points. That’s the best way to keep them hooked till the end of the mail.
And remember, nobody likes pushy salespeople. Spam filters are pretty intelligent nowadays to catch “salesy” emails and push them to the “Promotions” tab. So you need to initiate “conversations” and “stories” with your readers. Make your brand relevant to them. Explain to them what they’re missing out – if they’re not using your solutions. Then leave the purchase decision to them.
Your email marketing strategy should simply be to introduce your prospects to your products. Try to build-up their curiosity. Make them want to buy your stuff.
We’ll cover more about calls to action later in this guide, so continue reading…
2. Never use the word “switch”
Deep down, you and I both know that you want your prospects to switch. We want them to start using our product/service instead of their existing alternatives. But my advice is not to use the word “switch”. You may have convinced your potential customer that your product is way better than that of your competitor’s. You want them to overcome the final hurdle and switch.
Still, don’t ask them to “switch to our solution today”. Why?
The word “switch” implies that there will be some effort. They may feel that that process of transformation can be painful. “Change” is another such word. This is a little copywriting secret. You want to avoid words that can trigger emotions of difficulty and challenge.
How about replacing “switch” with “test” or “try”? Your prospects are expected to be much more open to the idea of testing your products/services. Because it implies they can easily turn back to their original solution if yours does not work.
We can’t emphasize the importance of personalization enough! It is the essence of all high converting email marketing campaigns. One way to decide the level of personalization is to get a peek at your competitors’ cold emails. What is their approach to personalization? How do they customize their email marketing messages?
“Hi [ Recipient’s Name]” – that’s not enough. To outsell your competitors, you need to add more personalized information to the emails. How about the following?
- A prospect has been eyeing a particular product in your store for a long time
- A prospect has recently subscribed to your mailing list
- A prospect has abandoned some products in the shopping cart
All these will make your prospects feel valued and related. And that will make them consider doing business with you.
Tip: Try our free plugin Rainmaker to collect leads and manage them.
4. CTA is the “make or break” moment
Wondering how to write an email that easily outperforms your rivals? Focus on the Call to Action (CTA). It is a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors’ CTAs. What is their CTA statement? What colors/fonts they’re using? Observe these aspects. You don’t have to copy them, but you can learn a lot just by observing your competition.
So a super hack is to take insights from your competitors’ CTAs and apply them in your brand’s context. I also encourage you to test your CTAs. Honestly, the same CTA doesn’t work for all prospects. That’s why personalization has come into the picture in the first place. So, test different CTAs to find out which converts best.
5. Don’t smack your competitors
Learning from the principles of behavioral psychology and copywriting, you should avoid writing mean things about your rivals in any email. Your offerings may be better than your competitor. An alternative solution may be terrible. Yet, you don’t want to call them out by name and write nasty things about another brand.
It’s not about being diplomatic. It’s simply a good email marketing practice. Try to be respectful when you’re addressing your competitors. This shows that you believe in healthy competition. You need to convince your prospects about how a product/service can add value to them. That’s it. Smacking your rivals won’t take you anywhere.
Try to compose the best email that empathizes with your prospects and promises them effective solutions. If your prospects can resonate with your solutions, they’ll switch to your solution automatically.
Yes, there are nuances here – you’d need to refer to alternative solutions as you prove yours is superior. And there are times, though rare when you can call out your rivals. But in general, people will respect your brand more if you demonstrate that you respect your competition.
6. Draft mobile-friendly emails
Did you know that 58% of Gen Z checks their emails multiple times a day? Needless to say, they don’t use laptops every time! It’s the smartphones and tablets that most of us use to open/read and reply to our emails. So, it is an essential email marketing rule to compose mobile-friendly emails.
If your competition is not sending mobile-optimized emails, it’s a great opportunity for you. If they are, put consistent efforts to tweak your email templates from time to time. Make sure your emails are readable and actionable on smaller screens.
7. Don’t try to cover “everything”
The “less is more” principle works in any marketing strategy. More so in emails and ads. If we try to cover everything in a single mail, we may confuse the reader and mess up our conversions.
Try to address one pain point per mail. imagine you’re trying to sell chatbot software. Your chatbot can have several features like offering 24/7 chat support, automating customer support, working as a digital assistant, and so on. But, don’t try to overdose your prospects with all these in your very first email. Instead, select one feature – like automated customer support – and make it more contextual and relevant. How can this feature benefit your prospects? If you hit the pain points accurately with this single feature, you get to convert a lot of your leads.
Combine this with personalization, segmentation, and good CTAs, and you have the ingredients of a winning email campaign!
Practical example: let’s apply our lessons…
A few days ago, I received this cold email. It’s full of mistakes and didn’t appeal to me at all. Take a look:
Problems with this Email
- The sender doesn’t know anything about me, their target audience. There’s no sign of personalization. She didn’t even bother explaining why the product is a good fit for me.
- The sender has no intentions of explaining the features of the MatteFun lipsticks. She didn’t explain the available shades, what the lipsticks are made of if they're cruelty-free or not!
- The most annoying thing about this email? The sender went on to bash its competitors like Acme, Daybeline, and CAC. Frankly, this didn’t go well with me. I have been buying from these brands for a long time now. Why on earth will I believe that MatteFun lipsticks are better than these brands?
Let’s rewrite the email following lessons from this guide:
Do you notice the differences? I just spent 15 minutes rewriting it and we’ve applied our email marketing lessons. This email is not pushy, it doesn’t bash rivals and it shows that the brand values its prospects’ requirements.
Wasn’t it fun? Why don’t you try rewriting a competitor’s email? Or maybe your own!
In this guide, we have pinpointed some easy and effective email marketing tips. Try these and see the results. Try an Email Marketing Software that simplifies sending email newsletters, broadcasts, drip campaigns, and so on. Use something that offers segmentation and personalization. And share your learnings with others!