Keys to Writing a Solo Email

Computers & TechnologyEmail

  • Author Lorrie Ferrero
  • Published October 24, 2010
  • Word count 880

By Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero .

The day you hung out your shingle as an entrepreneur, you also took on the job of marketer. The minute you stop marketing yourself is when your profits dry up, so you may as well get used to your role. If you don’t let people know what your business has to offer, you will NOT run a thriving business.

You may not want to hear this – in fact it may even make you mad. But a great way to let people know you have something special for them is through a solo-mailing (an email with a single offer sent to your permission-based list of subscribers).

Solo-mailings are so prolific because they WORK. While I don’t advocate abusing your list by sending them more than a few times per month they ARE effective when done correctly. They have kind of a bad rep because some marketers have a "buy or die" attitude. They send solos out daily or every couple of days until you either buy or unsubscribe. They aren’t worried about building loyalty and trust. They just want a quick buck. (I do not share this philosophy.) Even when you offer something of great value I’ve found three definite trends you can count on with a solo-mailing:

1.You WILL get unsubscribes

2.You WILL get hate mail

3.You WILL make money

It is number 3 that I want you to laser focus on. See, I WANT you to make money. Since you have entrusted me with your email address, I consider it my job to show you as many tactics as I have learned about how to run a successful online business. That being said, here are the 5 keys to making solo-emailing work for YOU:

1.Attention-grabbing subject line. Do you sort through your email and select "delete" without even opening some? Me too. But if the subject line is intriguing the email is much more likely to get read. It’s really the headline for your email. Also try to keep the number of characters on the short side so the words don’t get cut off in the email program. Here are the maximum subject line lengths for some commonly used email programs:

Outlook: 64 characters

AOL: 52 characters

Hotmail: 45 characters

Yahoo: 80 characters

Some of my more successful subject lines were:

I’m not that kind of girl

She didn’t want me to tell!

May I critique your copy?

How to get lucky on Valentine’s Day

Are you in?

Remember, you’re competing with hundreds of other emails so make your subject line strong.

2.Make it Personal. Studies show an increase in response when first names are used in the copy. Think about it. If you were in a busy airport and you heard someone holler out your name, wouldn’t you turn to see who it was? Of course you would. Works in email too. (Techno Tip: The code looks like this: {!name} but when it comes out it reads as the subscriber’s first name. You have to use a delivery system that supports this mail merge tactic.)

3.Dazzle them with your hook. Nothing kills a sale faster than boring copy. So throw in a little soft shoe entertainment. Give your readers a reason why you are having this special sa!e or 0ffer. Tell them a (brief) story. Marketer Jason Potash does an excellent job with hooks. One email explains how he needs his subscribers help to get him out of the doghouse with his wife… so they should buy his product. Tellman Knudson caught my attention with a tale of how he was unable to sleep at night… so I should buy his product. Perry Marshall spun a brilliant story of how as a kid he wanted a robot to do his chores for him but that was just a fantasy; today he knows copywriting is as close as you get to an effortless marketing solution… so you should sign up for his teleseminar. All of these hooks tie back into the offer. A good story keeps them reading.

4.Don’t forget the 0ffer! Let’s have a little chat between the two of us, k? The purpose of your solo-mailing is to generate cash. So remember to ask for it. Allow me to grant you permission to ask for business. Poof! It is okay to ask for business. It is okay to market. It is okay to make money. You, like me, are in business to make a living, correct? So marketing ourselves is a given. I expect to be marketed to… and so should you. Like the late, great Ray Charles said, "If you think in pennies, you get pennies. But when you think in dollars, you get dollars."

5.Make your P.S. work harder. Your post script, or P.S. is a very highly read bit of copy. It’s that last afterthought of the email. And our eyes are drawn to it like a magnet to steel. So this is a great place to encourage them to take action NOW and place the order link. Even scanners are likely to read the P.S.

For better or for worse, we are all in sales. So face your fears, gulp hard and get out there and market.

Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999. Get free access to 5 tips to turn your "blah" sales message into red-hot copy that ROCKS…go to

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