An Autopsy of a Money-Making Marketing Email

If you’ve ever struggled with writing emails or email marketing then you need to read this post. It’s a marketing email autopsy with a step-by-step guide to writing consistently successful email sales copy.

So a few days ago, several people from one of my Mastermind groups asked me to post a content/promo email that exemplifies exactly what a solid marketing email should look like.

Luckily, I had just finished a promo email for my friend Craig Ballantyne to give out to his affiliates (it’s a perfect example of how you should be putting your emails together).


Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.42.21 PMI sent this “email autopsy” to my Mastermind clients and then realized that you could probably benefit from this just as much so I figured I’d share that with you too since you really need to master the skill of writing killer emails.

Now, before you read the content of this email I want you to read the outline I’ve created below. Think of it as a guide or a map, leading you through each element of this carefully crafted message so that you know what to look for in the email and what elements you’ll want to incorporate into your own emails.

So here’s what you’re looking for in the email below and why it works so well:

1) A curiosity provoking and benefit rich subject line.

A great subject line needs to do two things: Ignite insatiable curiosity and immediately communicate benefits that will improve your reader’s life.

Remember, you’re one of an unlimited number of other distractions vying for your reader’s attention. There are emails, Facebook, Twitter, text messages, people, television, YouTube, and tons of other distractions pulling them away from your email. That means you have roughly one sentence to tell them why should they ignore all of those distractions and pay attention to you.

Your subject line is going to do this by igniting curiosity and communicating benefits.

2) A first sentence they can’t resist.

If you’re lucky enough to get your email opened then you’ve made it past the hardest part—  but you aren’t out of the woods yet. Your email may have gotten them interested enough to open your message but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to read all of your content (especially if it’s long).

That means you still only have seconds to keep them interested and keep them reading.

You’ve got a bit more freedom in the body of your email than you did in the subject line but it all goes back to the same strategies: interest and benefit.

You’ll see in my email that I dive straight into my story and use it to develop my reader’s interest. I begin by telling a compelling story that people are going to want to read. It’s a hook that holds onto you after you’ve opened the email and pulls you along, line by line, keeping you interested and moving you ever closer to my offer.

3) A body that get’s right into the conversation.

Don’t bother with platitudes, small talk, or long-winded introductions. You’ll notice how my subject line talks about a woman on Facebook and then almost immediately I begin telling her story.

DistractionsRemember, people don’t have time, energy, or concern to spare so you gotta hook them in with your story or your message right away.

After the subject comes the first line, after the first line the first paragraph, then the first line of the second paragraph, and so on. Every sentence needs to be interesting and enticing enough to push a reader onto the next sentence, and the one after that, and on and on until he or she reaches and clicks on your offer.

4) A format and formula.

Speaking of my story, the formula I used for this email is called Star, Story, Solution.

It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You start with a real person with a real problem, you show how that person solved his or her problem using a certain product, and then you offer that product as your reader’s perfect solution to that particular problem.

There are a few other email writing formulas that you can use in addition to this one and I’ll be teaching those email crafting strategies in the Online Info Ignition program. 

5) Three strategically placed links.

You’re emails should always have three links that send readers to the content, landing page, sales page, or video for which you’re trying to get traffic.

And make sure, just like in my email, you embed these links into anchor text, rather than pasting a big, long, ugly URL right in the middle of your email.

Here’s where you should be placing the links:

A) first one goes ABOVE the fold (as in the bottom of your screen before you scroll)

B) second one is in the middle of the email and it’s a “call to action link” (a little NLP trick)

C) last one is just before the sign off.

6) A call to action that sells the click.

With emails like these you’re almost always sending someone to a separate webpage, right? And that page could be sales copy, a blog post, a video, or any number of things. But the whole purpose of your email is simply to get them onto that next page.

So if it’s a post, all your email needs to do is get them interested enough in the post to click your link.

And if you’re trying to sell them a product all your email needs is their click. So don’t sell the product in the email, simply sell the click. Once they get on your landing page the sales copy will do a lot better job of selling the product.

Instead, only give them enough information to build massive interest in the product and then use your call to action to sell the click.

This email was written for a product called 6 Minutes to Skinny but I don’t sell 6 Minutes to Skinny in my email. I sell the click by telling Amy’s story, building curiosity, and establishing urgency about the product. Read below and you’ll see what I mean.

Finally, without further ado, here’s the email…


joriSUBJECT LINE: Have you seen this girl’s Facebook pic? (She lost so much weight!)

I was shocked when I saw her picture with my own eyes!

Her name is Amy, she’s 42 years old and a mother of two.

Over the last six years Amy had gained 39 pounds and was really starting to feel run down and tired all day.

But when I recently saw her transformation pictures on Facebook I was blown away with how great she looked!

She looked younger, healthier, and really fit.

Amy had dropped the 39 pounds of fat and had really shaped and firmed up her legs, butt, and arms… she looked amazing!

Turns out she reached her goal weight by doing a popular at-home-workout program called Six Minutes To Skinny.

Until stumbling upon Six Minutes to Skinny she had tried everything to lose weight, such as counting calories, protein diets, working out at the gym, and she even took up running…

…she’d lose a few pounds and then the results would stop and she’d gain the weigh right back. Nothing seemed to work.


The weight kept creeping on, and she had all but given up until a friend told her about Fat Loss Coach Craig Ballantyne and his revolutionary new Six Minutes To Skinny program that everyone was talking about on Facebook.

That at-home-workout program changed EVERYTHING for Amy and not only was she able to take the weight off… but she’s been able to keep it off, too.

Maybe you can relate to Amy? (Direct address to the readers forces them to acknowledge their similarities to this Star, Story, Solution tale.)

If crash diets and long boring cardio workouts have failed you, and if you’re limited on time like Amy was and need a fat loss program that you can do at home and in only a few minutes each day, then try Six Minutes To Skinny today.

In fact, for the next three days coach Craig has dropped the price of his program and has added an exclusive bonus for my subscribers – that’s you 🙂

So if you check it out now and decide that you want to use Six Minutes To Skinny to lose your belly fat then you’re going to get a really good deal.

Click Here To Try Six Minutes To Skinny

Talk soon,

<Sign Off>


Hopefully now you feel like you have a better idea of what makes a great email that gets opened, read, and makes money…

…and what elements you need to be including in your emails to make it awesome like the one I crafted above.

Make sure you’re able to identify each feature on the list and then practice incorporating those features into your own emails.

onlineInfoAll copyIf you’d like to get more help just like this where I break things down and show you exactly how they work and why, then you’d probably be interested in my Online Info Ignition Program. It’s a group of marketers and entrepreneurs just like you who are learning how to build hugely successful online businesses.

I’m running it with master marketer Craig Ballantyne and info product powerhouse Rick Kaselj. So if you join up you’ll get personal help and assistance form us that’s just like this email, plus live webinars, coaching calls, and incredible networking opportunities.

If you’re even at all interested or think this might be a great way to grow your business and your income then head on over to this website and find out exactly how you can benefit from the program.

Click here:

Thanks for reading and I really hope this has helped you craft better emails that get you more responses and more sales.

Staying ever committed to your success,