13 Ways To Subtle Sell In Your Emails


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One of the most common things people struggle with when it comes to email marketing is getting comfortable with selling.


When you’re not used to sending sales emails, it can feel awkward.

And we’re often subjected to bro-marketing tactics from other email lists we are on which makes us worried that we too, will come across as pushy or salesy.

And the last thing we want to do is annoy our subscribers by sounding like a sleazy car salesman, right?!


But let’s get real for a minute.

We have to sell to our email list because we run a business. This is not a hobby for us.

We need to talk about our products, let people know about our services and share our affiliate links.


And the reality is, your subscribers know that too.

They knew when they opted in for your freebie and joined your email list that you would occasionally be selling products.

And if you’ve impressed them with your freebie, warm up emails and valuable newsletters, chances are they WANT to know about your paid offers.

That’s why I would encourage you to launch offers with multiple emails. I’d encourage you to create evergreen sales funnels and add tripwire offers to your thank you pages.

But I know it’s still not easy when you first get started and you need to ease yourself in.

You also don’t want to be selling non stop. There’s a balance to be achieved between sales and providing value.

So in this blog post I will share with you 10 ways to start subtle selling in your emails in a way that will feel non obtrusive and easy.

Then you can add those sales funnels in when you feel ready!

10 ways to subtle sell in your email newsletters

1. Link to your shop page in your footer

Edit and personalise your footer and make sure you include important links such as

  • your work with me page
  • your shop page
  • your resources page
  • a link to your courses for existing students

This way even if you forget to add a call to action inside your email, there’s still an opportunity for your audience to click and learn more about your offers.

2. Link to your work with me page in your email signature

Similarly, another great place to place a link to your shop page or work with me page is in your email signature.

This means that your most engaged audience (the ones asking questions and replying to your emails) have an easy route to learning more about working with you.

3. A snippet with links to your favourite resources

Create a reusable email snippet that you can add to emails that don’t have any other calls to action.

This could be a ‘tools I recommend’ box.

Here you can link to your favourite affiliate products/resources/tools

4. Subtle mentions throughout

You will probably find yourself naturally mentioning your own products and affiliate recommendations in newsletters.

When this happens, make sure you add your sales page/affiliate links. It’s a very natural way to start adding links.

If you are using affiliate links, just make sure you are disclosing them as such!

5. Use the PS wisely

People who are busy and scan reading your email will zoom in on the start and the end of your email. For that reason, it’s always good practice to add a call to action in the PS section.

It can be as simple as ‘Ps. Enjoyed this tip? It was taken from my course about X. Click here to learn more…’

woman smiling with a megaphone

6. Link your banner image to your shop page

Without exception, whenever I send a newsletter, someone always clicks on my banner image at the top of the email.

I’m not really sure why, but it happens!

So you might as well make sure it leads somewhere productive and link it to your shop/resources/work with me page!

7. Add a link to your offers in your out of office reply

I have an out of office email which addresses lots of common queries such as ‘how do I access my courses?’

But mine also links to my shop page so that people can browse my offers whilst they wait for my reply.

I keep this out of office reply turned on most of the time because it gives my VA and I breathing space by setting realistic expectations for when someone will get a reply. It takes the pressure off – especially on weekends.

But I also wonder how many people asked a question about online business only to find out I had a course with the answers inside..?

8. Add a paragraph about a related product with a learn more button

As long as you’re talking about your niche, chances are you will have a product or be an affiliate for a product that is related?

So take an extra minute or two to write a single paragraph about that resource with a learn more button before you sign off.

The vast majority of your email has been focussed on delivering value so your subscribers won’t mind (and may welcome) the opportunity to learn more about your offers/recommendations.

9. Promote freebies that lock affiliate cookies

If you are an affiliate for digital products e.g. online courses, memberships, group programs etc, reach out to the business owner/brand and see if they have any freebies that you can promote.

Often freebies such as mini challenges, PDF checklists and evergreen webinars will lock your affiliate cookie and send the subscriber into a funnel. Essentially they will sell the product for you and you may earn commissions if they become a customer in the next few weeks/months.

It is very easy to promote freebies and let someone else do the hard work of selling for you!

It’s win-win for everyone as they get new subscribers and you get commissions if they convert!

10. Link to blog posts that do the selling

Do you have blog posts that have been written to either

  • promote an affiliate product? (Product reviews, comparisons, roundups etc)
  • promote your own offers/services? (Case studies or articles that raise problem awareness)

Then make sure you are writing newsletters that link to these blog posts and let the blog articles do the selling.

11. Create trigger funnels

Do you worry about promoting a specific offer to your audience because it won’t be relevant to everyone and you don’t want to annoy those for whom it’s not relevant?

One way around this is to set up a trigger funnel.

When someone clicks on a natural mention link in one of your newsletters that goes to one of your own offers or an affiliate product, tag them as ‘interested in X.’

This tag can trigger a short automation where you send a couple of follow up emails specifically about that offer. For example, you could share information about a bonus you offer or write a case study (you’re own or a students/clients.)

This automated sequence will only trigger for those who have proven they are interested in knowing more!

To make sure you don’t accidentally send too many emails on the same day e.g. sequence emails + newsletter, just add a ‘do not disturb tag’ when they join the automation and remove it at the end. Then you can exclude anyone with this tag from any of your newsletters!

12. Shift your selling mindset

Emails don’t have to be value or promotional. They can be both, even sales emails.

Easing into a sales pitch from something educational can be a really effective strategy.

Let me share an example.

Last year I was in a bundle where the topic was funnels. I knew I wanted to send a lot of promo emails but I also know that bundles aren’t everyone’s jam and I didn’t want to annoy people who weren’t interested in buying.

Therefore my solution was to make every email highly valuable by teaching in each one.

I created a 5 day email sequence where I taught on a type of funnel then I moved onto promoting the bundle. So day 1 was evergreen funnels, day 2 tripwires, day 3 trigger funnels and so on.

I went deep with this and even made short video trainings on each type of funnel but just sending some tips within the email would have been valuable in itself!

And each educational session led nicely onto talking about the bundle. I also knew that no matter whether they bought the bundle or not, they had learned something new by opening my email!

Of course I don’t run an educational series every time I promote something. But I do always pack value into my sales emails. Sometimes it’s a tip. Sometimes it’s a mindset shift. Sometimes it’s busting a myth or giving someone an inspirational story.

Value comes in all shapes and sizes!

13. Give your subscribers an option to opt out

When you do send promotional emails, consider offering an opt out option.

Something along the lines of ‘click here if you don’t want any more emails about X.’ Then tag anyone who clicks the link as ‘unsubscribe from X’ and exclude anyone with that tag from your promotional emails over the next week or so.

If you know that you’ve given a way for people to opt out, you might start to feel more comfortable about sending those promotional emails!!

So just remember, selling doesn’t always have to mean full on promo emails. It can be subtle, helpful and feel easy.

Ideally you will strike a balance between subtle selling and active promotions. But hopefully this article will help you to start feeling better about selling in your newsletters!

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