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Nuno SanchaAug 4, 2020 12:00:00 AM8 min read

Learn to Send Promotional Emails that Won't Gain You More Unsubscribers

It's that time of the month again, and the pressure is getting the best of you. Last time you sent a promotional email, it was a disaster. You are still thinking about what went wrong, the results were atrocious - unsubscribers numbers exceeded by far the number of sales -, and as far as you can tell there was nothing wrong with the promotional email you sent.

The offer was good, a great discount indeed, a special opportunity that you would die or kill for, but not the customers who received that promotional email that you have sent.

Well, I am not an all-mighty-marketer, but I know a thing or two about emails and I will help you put together a playbook, but please note that this is not a short term fix. You will need patience and willingness to play a long term game.

In this article, we will talk about some high-level strategy, not tactics per se, that you can use to send promotional emails. And if you never did in your life, no worries. You will find a small tutorial in the end on how to send promotional emails to customers using SendX.

"Hey! Ho! Let's go!"


Sending Emails that People Want to Read

People don't sign up for newsletters because you will send them some promotional offers every day. They sign up because of the value they get from the content.

If your content helps them:

  • Get entertained or,
  • Get inspired or,
  • Get educated

Only then, people will stick to reading your newsletter.

You should build a transactional relationship with people only after you have added some value to them so that they trust you enough.

Let me show you an example of a CXL newsletter, that follows the pattern of adding value before selling something:




The CEO Peep Laja usually uses email to add value in the first two sections before promoting in a very non-sales way in the next two sections of the newsletter.

Sending emails that people want to read
Source: CXL

And sometimes Peep even sends stand-alone promotional emails, just promoting the one thing he wants to promote because he earned the right to do so.

Another great example would be Nat Eliason with his newsletter, Medley. He is constantly sending you cool stuff from the internet, usually, they are things that we are living now, which makes the newsletter fun and relevant, and a must-read.

Nat also creates courses, and recently he used his list to promote his course, and it was a huge success.

This is what I meant when I said that before you send promotional emails to customers, you should first learn to send emails that will make people want to read what you have to say.

People may buy when you give an x percent discount on a product, but if this is the only thing you do, send promotional emails, people will get bored real quick. And after that, it is a matter of time for them to stop opening your emails, or even worse, unsubscribe from them.

When You Send Promotional Emails, The Devil is in the Details

Besides the need for creating a relationship with your list, what you need to do is differentiate yourself.

If you are promoting something, make your promotion stand out with a humorous copy, make the imagery delightful. And before you do that, test your emails for copy and formatting. Attention to detail is important to keep people's focus on the offer and not get distracted by spelling mistakes or bad formatting.

Instead of using a static image, think about how you can up the game by using a gif? Instead of a gif, why not embed a video?

Another important detail that you should have in mind is your list segmentation. Talking from my own experience, there is nothing more frustrating than receiving a promo email for a sale in another city or at an online store that is not valid in my country.

The trick is to segment your audience according to various categories - age, location, purchasing power, etc.

Using SendX to Send Promotional Email to Customers

Step 1: Preparing your email list

If your promotion is not relevant to everyone on the list and only a category of your audience, then you should segment your list using tags.

For example, everyone who purchased for more than $100 in your store is tagged 'high purchase power' and these folks can be sent a promo offer to join an exclusive discount club.

SendX allows you to upload your list from a CSV file or tag your subscribers to create separate segments.

Step 2: Write a catchy subject line

The subject line should not be an afterthought in the process of creating your promotional email.

Many times, marketers spend all the time perfecting the offer, copy, and images around it. But all of that is useful only if your subject line stands out, speaks to your customers’ needs,s or drives curiosity.

Here is a collection of 300+ subject lines to help you create something that will get your emails opened.

Step 3: Select an editor and template to create your emails

If you are promoting a product, visuals speak louder than words. But creating a responsive email that looks visually compelling is not easy. Especially when you don't know HTML.

SendX provides you 25+ different templates for various use cases such as black Friday sales, store-wide promotions, book launches, etc.

Step 4: Create email content that converts your leads into customers

Once you have chosen your template for creating emails it's time to focus on the content. That includes your images and copy.

Images should be related to the product or how it will help subscribers in their life. Your copy should be focused on the benefits of the product and convey the maximum benefits in fewer words.

Step 5: Send your promotional email at the right time for your subscribers

First of all, you shouldn't rely on your remembrance or calendar reminders to send emails. The right way is to create a batch of emails and schedule them. Almost all email software platforms provide that functionality.

But for what time should you schedule your emails?

If your email lands in subscribers' inbox on a Monday morning, it will probably not get any attention. So it's better to schedule for a time when you know the subscriber is most likely to check their emails. This is called send-time optimization.

The right time is detected by the ESP from subscribers' past behavior. Then the email is sent at an optimal time. SendX provides this feature on all its paid and even on the free trial.

Learn to create a sequence in SendX

Let's start with your relationship emails. It can be a drip sequence for your new subscribers. You can send them as you go as well, like the examples I showed above, but I am trying to help you go DRY - don't repeat yourself - if you already have an email sequence that works.

First, we create a new campaign and select Drip, and then we go from there:

Using SendX to send promotional emails

And then we can add how many steps are in our sequence:

Adding steps in the sequence using SendX

And you can change the content in the editor. We will cover it in a little bit when we talk about sending the actual promotional email. But all in all, the SendX editor is very intuitive: you select the step on the Drip that you want to change, and you start editing the text, and you can add images and other things as well.

SendX has "send after 2 days" as default, and you can change it, to hours, weeks, and the number:

Scheduling email sending using SendX

After the content is ready, the steps and the send-after days, hours or minutes is set we can go to the last part, that is sending the sequence that will warm our list and make them more likely to act after we send our promotional emails:

Edit drip campaign in SendX

Since our drip sequence will be automated, we will need to create automation for it:

Create automation using SendX

In the SendX welcome page, click on automation and then click to create a new automation.

As you can see, in this automation I decided to direct my sequence to my new subscribers, and that will be my trigger, and after that my action will be adding them to a drip sequence, and select which drip sequence, and that's it.

Let's Send a Promotional Email to your Customers

To start to craft our promotional email with SendX, let's go into Campaign and then Newsletter:

Sending a promotional email using SendX

Pick a campaign name:

Pick a campaign name in SendX

Select one of the awesome templates that SendX offers you for free, and then edit it to fit your needs, the message that you want to share, with a strong call-to-action (obviously my example is not one that you should follow).


And when everything is ready, you will just have to send it:

Scheduling email sending using SendX

Send Promotional Emails - Wrapping it Up

Well, now you know a little bit why your promotional emails don't have a high success rate. You will need to develop a relationship, give value, and then promote yourself and ask for money. This is the formula.

We talked about the Daily Seinfeld Sequence and two examples of people that use a similar approach, but not exactly the same since they don't have a pre-made drip sequence to engage you. But they are pros.  

Having in mind that you may not be at the same skill level, I showed you how to create a drip sequence in SendX, so you can put Russell's concept in practice. And then I showed you how to create and send promotional emails using SendX, the rest depends on your creativity and what you have to offer to your subscribers.

See you soon for another email tune.