There's this funny cliche in blogging and SEO circles:
Whenever someone is making up an example for, say, how to do search engine optimization, they use the dog training niche.
Copywriting programs tend to do this too, although instead of dog training it's usually weight loss, “get rich quick” or “dating” (i.e. seduction).
And 99% of the time these examples are pitching info products.
Which raises the question:
Longtime subscriber Saumil has a client with an ecommerce site that sells a specific type of non-stick cookware.
And he's wondering:
Will this technique work for an e-commerce product? How do I do it?
(I am clear how to use it for services but not for physical products.)
I want to sell his products via email.
What should I do?
To answer the question directly, YES, this story-based email approach will work to sell physical products.
There are definitely some differences to be aware of.
For example, on an ecommerce site you want to be careful not to kill sales by being too aggressive with your attempts to collect email addresses.
On an ecommerce site, people are there to BUY.
So be smart about email capture and don't get in their way when they're on their way to the cash register.
Two of the best places to use email in a business like this are:
1. After the sale to reduce returns.
2. After the sale to generate repeat sales.
Let's talk about that first one for a minute.
With a physical product, one of the differences is that there's a lag between when the customer orders the product and when it arrives.
Typically most stores just send you an order confirmation email, and then a shipping confirmation, and then that's it.
In the meantime, the customer has to wait.
And likely, some degree of buyer's remorse may start to set in.
They may feel guilty for spending the money, and even start to wonder if the product they've ordered is really going to be all that great after all.
This is where a 2-3 email “stick sequence” can come in.
(A bit ironic, given the product line we're discussing here…)
In a “stick sequence,” the goal is to tell stories that reinforce the main benefits of the product—and keep the buyer from questioning their decision to purchase.
Since a major problem with most non-stick cookware is how quickly the coating wears out, Saumil could tell a story that shows how much more durable his client's pans are.
And then there's getting more repeat sales.
Most ecommerce stores really screw this up.
They just blast out spammy messages with images of their wares.
Instead Saumil could put together a list of the major reasons why customers buy his client's pans.
For example, a major motivator is likely that they're concerned with their health.
So you could write an email about a mom who's worried about what all those cooking sprays are doing to her kids…
Even though the product takes a different form, the fundamentals are the same here:
Start with the customer's concerns, frustrations and pains.
Find an interesting story or analogy that hits on one of those pain points.
Show how your product comes to their rescue.
And—be a real human being, not an HTML-spitting robot.