Get free inspiration & strategies
11 Jun 14

How To Write The Most Powerful Sales Email (that actually inspires people to buy)

It’s the dream I used to dread: trying to run but legs feeling like they’re stuck in quicksand. Trying to scream but silence pouring out. Did you ever have that one?

It’s how it can feel now when you try to communicate through your business, and find that your words seem to have zero impact. You spend time putting together a sales email but the words feel flat or formulaic.

Stars in palm of handYou want your words to do something – to enable you to create connection with your community of potential clients and ultimately lead to results.

Whether you want people to buy a place at your upcoming workshop, sign up to 1-1 coaching or even just offer to participate in your free research project, it can be deeply demoralising when nobody responds to your words.

It’s like you’re waving your wand and incanting the spell, but there’s no spark of magic.

And of course, at the same time as wanting your words to create connection and results, many of us also fear the power of our words. We don’t want to be so adept that we can manipulate people and make them buy what they don’t really want or need.

So, how to write sales emails that move people in a healthy way, and inspire them to take life-enhancing action?

Emails that lead to PayPal clicks

Over the years, I seem to have developed a bit of a knack for writing emails that inspire people to take action. Fifty-two adventuring men and women enrolled into the current Blog for Clients course, taking the leap – in many cases – because they were inspired by a series of powerful emails. Many had never met me but felt connection through words on the screen.

So, how do I do it? And – far more importantly – how can you do it?

Firstly, know who you’re connecting with

I write every email for one person – the person who I’ve created my online course or networking event for. I picture that person and let my heart fill with love and care for them. I want for them, on their behalf. In my mind, I sit and connect with them – heart-to-heart.

I find my deepest empathy for where they are now. I find my deepest empathy for where they want to be. And I find the tension between these two places.

My job as a writer is to share what I know about these two places and to highlight the tension between them – and then to close the gap by conveying how the journey is possible and how I can help. When I write, I feel myself to be like a conductor of an orchestra, intuiting the lifts and dips in the energy of how the person reading might be feeling.

Finding this journey and crafting this energy arc is an art; you’ll attune your sensitivity over time. The important thing is to start.

Write now: For the next sales email you write, who is your one person? Where are they now? Where do they long to be? And how can you help them on that journey?

Be intentional

Ask yourself: what do I want this one person to know, feel and do? (Credit to Alexandra Franzen for introducing me to this simple yet profound concept.)

Write now: Jot down notes for each of these three before you write the first word of your sales email. Then, after you’ve finished writing, come back and review your email: have you helped the reader to know, feel and do what you intended?

Market a movement, not your thing

You can read more about this here. Also, check out Simon Sinek’s talk Start With Why or get a copy of his book by the same name. Tap yourself into the movement and you as a leader within this movement, rather than just being a guy or gal trying to sell something.

Write now: Complete this sentence, “I want to live in a world where _______, so I’ve created ________” (Credit to Alexandra Franzen for this too!)

Not quite getting into the energy flow?

Put on music! Dramatic, funky, bold, feisty, peaceful – you name it, whatever energy you want to come through your email, there’s music that will take you there.

Allow the music to carry you; let your fingers move to the notes and beats so you’re creating that energy arc and writing a love song to your reader (a.k.a. ideal client).

While writing my most impactful sales email during the Blog for Clients sales period, I had this track on repeat.

Write now: What song helps you feel the energy you want to write your sales email from?

Stories paint pictures

Stories from your own life or someone else’s allow your readers to picture scenarios and they evoke feelings. These help you to paint the Before and After pictures of the journey. When sharing from your own life, allow yourself to be vulnerable. A personal story told with honesty can create instant resonance and safety.

Write now: What story could you share, to create inbox-to-inbox connection?

Read it back

Powerful_sales_email_from_the_heartWhen you’ve finished, read the piece as if you were your ideal prospective client. Your #1 check is: would this email inspire a reader to feel something? If there were a heart monitor attached to the reader, would their heart rate spike? Would it create a sense of aliveness? Would it wake the person up and make them take notice?

A sales email is about creating connection, awakening aliveness and conveying your heart through words. Enjoy playing with this and get ready to create a powerful impact.

Over to you

What’s been your experience of writing sales emails to date? Which of these tips feels new to you, or which will you put in place straight away? Leave a comment below, let us know.

Want to see how it’s done?

If you want to experience what my sales emails feel like, click here to get front of the queue for the next Passion to Profit course, due to start again in September. In a few months, you’ll start receiving a sequence of emails so you can analyse first-hand how I’m weaving magic and inspiring action. (And it means you’ll be first to hear when this popular 10-week online training course opens again for enrollment.)


Loved this post? Then use the icons below to tweet it, share it on Facebook and send it to specific friends via email.

And leave your email at the top or bottom of this page to be first to hear about more articles like this.

© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2014

Top photo credit: xJason.Rogersx / Foter / Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0)
Bottom photo credit: sunshinecity / Foter / Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Found this useful? Then sign up for FREE updates...


  1. Nela Dunato

    Thank you so much for sharing your process! Sales emails scare the crap out of me, and you make it look really simple and manageable.
    I love Alexandra’s tips as well! 🙂

  2. Kate Bacon

    Just brilliant – loved the tips on how to connect heart to heart through writing. (What a lovely piece of music – I’m listening to it as I read – I had forgotten how much music plays an integral part in creating!) x

  3. Rosemarie

    Great article Corrina and just at the right time when I am trying to write a landing page – current version just about to be scrapped. Ditching the “this is what other people’s landing pages look like” and writing my own 🙂

  4. Anne Hornsblow

    Corrina, Thanks very inspiring as usual. What is a good objective to have for opens and responses do you think? I write very targeted emails to people I think I could help and when I look at response rates I can feel quite demoralised like you mention but I am not sure how many to realistically expect.
    One tip I would ask is to follow up if possible because I have found many times people had not responded because they had not had the time yet…

    1. Corrina

      Anne – An open rate of about 30% and click rate of about 15% would be quite normal. No more being demoralised 🙂

  5. Stephanie

    Thanks for this Corrina! I did my first launch with an emails series and I did not make one single sale. The feedback I got was that I lacked authenticity to my own voice and it seemed like I was following someone else voice. You make it easy to be authentic and genuine. I’m going to try this approach and trust I will see success.

    1. Corrina

      Stephanie – What a gift to have received such clear feedback – and now to know how to bring your authenticity through.

  6. Hannah Massarella

    Loved this article Corrina, when I connect to my ideal client, I instantly know what she wants and can write with authenticity. Thanks for this and all your helpful blogs! x

  7. Daphne Cohn

    I love this – especially the part about imagining your reader, feeling empathy for where they are at & where they want to be. And you can feel it in your writing.

    I love writing sales copy (I realize I’m in the minority). But I think that comes from really wanting to serve and figuring out ways to communicate that.

    One thing I do is I get into the energy of the copy before hand. I’ll put on music that helps me really move. And then I’ll dance until I’m full of life, inspired and in the space I want my customers to be in when they get where they want to go. From that energy, I sit down and write. And then I don’t stop. I just spill it all onto the paper. “Vomit” it up. I rewrite after. I edit after. I critique after.

    My most powerful emails and sales pages have come from writing in a very empowered, passionate place and writing to that one person who is waiting to hear it.

    1. Corrina

      Daphne – Ah, brilliant – I love that you’ve brought in the movement piece. Often some of the most powerful pieces of writing come to me while I’m dancing, walking or cycling – YES!

  8. Janet

    Fantastic summary Corrina. One to be printed off and reviewed next time I write!

  9. Miriam Linderman

    What I love is how you help us connect with the one person and keep checking into our bodies for the compassion and love in us for our clients.

    I am learning from your blogs to be generous with my expertise. You certainly are. Thanks!

  10. Laura

    Very helpful post Corinna. It’s certainly being bookmarked and I will re-read before I write future e-mails and pages. I like the thought of attuning your sensitivity to this ‘art’ over time. I think I do struggle still in that my one person feels like a few when I know my readers are at slightly different stages with things – but that is where I could get clearer on my niche which again I’m on the road to doing. It’s also comforting to read comments of others who find the response rate to these communications does not meet expectations and can dishearten. Here’s to bridging that gap through words more effectively and letting our own process and practice flow x

  11. SueL

    Great post as always Corinna. Thanks for the recommendation re-‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinak. I’m off the check it out now…

  12. Linda Anderson

    Wonderful post, Corrina, as ever :-).

    I’ve just signed up for your P2P email series (even though I did the course a while ago) and I’m really looking forward to studying more closely how you weave your magic.

    I think for a lot of people, myself included, writing sales copy can trigger a lot of our own resistance to being ‘sold to’, which makes the whole process feel icky and hard to get started on.

    I love your tip of connecting with your ideal client heart-to-heart, empathising with where they are now and where they want to be, and then demonstrating the gap and how you can help them close it.

    Viewed from that perspective, selling becomes a generous act of service rather than manipulation.

    Keep waving your magic wand, we love it!

    1. Corrina

      Linda – How interesting to read the sales emails having taking Passion to Profit! Let me know what you think, from the “been there, done that” perspective 🙂

  13. Jay Le Boutillier

    Thanks Corrina, such a simple yet profound and empowering approach. Just to be present sitting with empathy to understand who and what your customers need. alone is gold. So necessary in the website development industry I am in where what you do addresses issues your clients will face when they don’t even know that they will have to deal with it. And all the talk about technical aspects, features and functions may not mean much to them at all when they are just starting out.

    Thank you so much for sharing your insights. They always come at just the right moment.

  14. Caroline Hearst

    Thanks Corrina,
    I found that very helpful, I also loved how you credit people who have inspired helped you. I will learn from this too.

  15. Judith

    Thank you Corrina, A very inspiring and timely post.

    I love this part, “I find my deepest empathy for where they are now. I find my deepest empathy for where they want to be. And I find the tension between these two places.”
    I sometimes struggle with this, so I’ve got to get to those places more often and attune my sensitivity levels to them! 🙂


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Notify you of follow-up comments via email? You can also subscribe without commenting.

CommentLuv badge
As featured in:
Join the You Inspire Me email list