I want you to close your eyes for a second…
Yes – close them as you’re reading this.
Close your eyes for a second and try to imagine the most boring product you can imagine.
What came to mind?
The world is full of ‘seemingly’ boring products. Products we use and RELY on every single day… that very few of us would ever consider being ‘sexy.’
I’ve coached a lot of copywriters and business owners in my day.
One of the questions I get asked from time to time is:
“Chris… in ALL your infinite wisdom, can you please tell me how I’m supposed to write great copy for boring products? I just got a client and they sell [INSERT THEIR CLIENT’S BORING PRODUCT HERE]… and I’m just not sure what I can write to make this sell.”
Do not worry, my child.
Do not worry one pretty little hair on your head.
I am going to solve the ‘boring product’ for you forever.
In a second, I’m going to wave my magic wand and cure you of this I-can’t-write-for-boring-product-itis forever.
Are you ready?
You know why?
Wait for it…
There are no boring products. There are only boring writers.
That stings a bit, right?
Hate to break it to you…
But it’s true.
Every single product exists because it solves a problem. When that problem gets solved, exciting things ALWAYS happen in people’s lives. Dimensionalizing the benefits of your product is the key to success for taking ordinary products and making them sound exciting, interesting, and irresistible.
We’re going to take a look at a product that most people (NOT me) might find a little boring. But in real life… it’s actually really cool and exciting.
We’re gonna look at an email… about…
Bill Fogg forwarded me this email the other day. He bought a pair of kneepads from NoCry Tools & Gear… and a few days later, he got an AWESOME onboarding email.
As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to break it down.
It was short.
It was to the point.
It dimensionalized the product.
It was funny!
I thought it was a great model for what MOST onboarding emails SHOULD be.
Without further ado…
Let’s dive into this week’s Email of the Week!
This is the 27th installment of my Email of the Week series. (Catch up on previous episodes here.)
And in case you’re new around here, here’s how this all works…
The Rules For Email Of The Week
Each week, I go out into the wild to find a super-effective e-commerce marketing email… and I break down what made it work. My goal is for you to tune in each week, so I can teach you strategies and best practices YOU can use to make your own emails better.
I find these emails in my inbox, but I also accept suggestions from readers who have a remarkable email they’d like to share.
If you recently received an email that was so awesome it made your jaw drop, I wanna see it.
Forward it to me (chris at theemailcopywriter dot com) with a brief message about what you liked about it. If I choose to do a breakdown of the email you sent, I’ll give you a shout out and link to your site.
The only rule is… you can’t pick yourself.
Now then, without further ado, let’s check out the Email of the Week!
Onboarding, waterboarding… what’s the difference!
Every copywriter I know wants to write ‘sales’ emails.
They wanna make the cash register go cha-ching, cha-ching.
They wanna go for the jugular.
I get it.
Sales emails are a lot of fun to write.
But if you run a company… you know that sales emails are really just the tip of the iceberg. There are SOOOOO many emails that need to be written, if you want your customers to have a great experience.
One of the ‘types’ of emails you need to write in order to give your customers a dream-come-true experience with your products is an onboarding email.
A lot of writers would rather get waterboarded that sit down and write an onboarding series.
“I wanna sell, man! I don’t got time for this.”
Here’s the thing…
Every email you send to your customer is an opportunity to build a bond with your customer. EVERY email you send will leave an impression on your customer.
You can actually make sales without selling anything… if you punch up the copy in ALL of your non-sales emails.
Case in point:
When you read this onboarding email… you’ll notice NoCry is NOT selling anything.
They’re just instructing you how to use the product you just bought.
It shows you a few things:
- They care. They care enough to follow up and make sure you’re using their products to the fullest effect so you can get an awesome result.
- They have a personality. These guys are FUNNY. When you read this email, you LIKE THEM MORE. That right there is going to win the next sale, by default. If two companies are selling the same product, you’re going to buy from the company that made you laugh.
- They’re human. They’re not some big, faceless corporation. You feel like a real person wrote you this email. That comes across in the tone. It makes you feel comfortable and want to buy from them again… because they’re familiar.
Here’s the craziest part of this email…
(Yes, this is the last piece of preface before we dive right in)
I could be wrong – but I believe that the guy who wrote this is NOT a native English speaker.
That right there is cool as shit.
Again, I could be totally making this up.
But being that this company is based in Estonia… I don’t think that assumption is a reach.
Let’s dive into this incredible onboarding email…
Subject: Do not miss these 3 secret pro tips for your new knee pads
Ok, let’s start with the subject line.
It’s not bad.
I’ll give em points for NOT title casing.
There’s a number, which catches your eye.
There’s high relevance.
The only thing I don’t love about the subject is “do not.”
Brain scientists much smarter than I have done studies and have shown that with the way the brain processes information… we don’t process the word not in sentences. It doesn’t register properly, or something?
Basically, it’s my understanding that when you say do not miss…. the brain reads the word “miss” and it ignores the ‘not’ part.
I’M NOT A FUCKING BRAIN SCIENTIST, BUT I KNOW A FEW OF THEM AND THAT’S WHAT THEY TOLD ME!!!
The subject line probably sticks out because of it’s length and because it pertains to something you just bought.
Now, as we dive into the body, you’ll notice this email was ‘sent’ by Amazon.
However, it is NOT an Amazon email. It’s an email the company crafted to give to Amazon to send out on their behalf, after their product is purchased off Amazon.
Above the fold: it’s just the facts, ma’am.
You also see there’s an interesting little illustration.. which is a lot more exciting than some stupid stock photo…. that MOST companies would opt for.
Let’s keep going…
I LOVE the personal opener.
Here’s my name, here’s who I am, and… here’s where I’m writing from.
This is such a great way to start off an email like this. Take note at how he uses visual language to describe where Estonia is. “It is a small country about 500 miles south of The Arctic Circle.”
After that sentence, Raino provides some context as to WHY he’s emailing you.
And… he tells you he’s checking in.
That right there is so awesome. How many companies actually do this? Not many.
Of course… this is automated. And we, the reader, now that.
It feels nice to have someone checking in with us and making sure we’re happy with our order.
It just makes us feel good.
Here’s the biggest takeaways from this email:
NOTICE THE TONE.
This looks, feels, smells, and tastes like it was written JUST TO YOU.
It is truly a one-to-one tone and voice… even though it’s an automation.
This is how email copy should be written.
Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty onboarding bits…
Now, when you think about humor and making people laugh most people – present company included – believe you have to really go over the top to make someone laugh.
But look at this first tip they give you.
They begin by explaining the details and DIMENSIONALIZING the benefits. And they end the paragraph with a joke.
“I am guesing that this is not your goal with them.”
I bet you even read that in an Estonian accent, didn’t you?
(I don’t think I’ve ever met an Estonian, but I can imagine what one might sound like in my head. I’m most likely completely off.)
Regardless – this is funny.
It’s somewhat humorous.
It’s not Kevin Hart doing standup… but then again, it doesn’t have to be.
I thought that last line was great.
It showed personality.
And it gave me a light chuckle.
Light chuckles are good.
The second bullet gives some more good info.
The third bullet has some more humor.
Wear them to the grocery store! Wear them wherever!
I lol’d when I read this.
Mind you, I wasn’t rolling on the floor, or anything like that. But I laughed. I thought this was funny.
Again… they’re injecting humor into a product that doesn’t naturally lend itself to comedy.
HELLO VISUAL PERSUASION!
Can’t you see someone wearing kneepads to the grocery store… pushing a cart… rustling through the produce section to find that perfect carton of strawberries?
This is good writing.
The grocery store bit is funny and you can SEE it in your mind.
There’s one more bullet:
Here’s what the kneepads are for, here’s what they’re not for.
THEY’RE NOT FOR MISSIONS TO THE MOON.
This email is great.
And peep that last line: they’re pre-selling you on another product.
Because if you buy kneepads… you’re probably doing a rough, tough job… and chances are at some point, if you’re the kind of person who does that work, you’re going to need another set of kneepads in the future.
Here’s something else that’s cool…
Raino continues the personal tone throughout. It never switches to corporate-speak, not at ANY point.
He encourages you to reply back… that’s awesome. He demonstrates he’s a real person and he’s willing to dialogue to make sure you’re happy.
After that… he asks for a review AND gives instructions.
Here’s the thing tho about the way he asks for the review:
Look at how he positions it.
He gives a reason why he’s asking.
If you’ve read your Cialdini, you know that whenever you give a reason with a request, you’ll get a higher response. In Influence, Cialdini showed us that this is true. They did an experiment where people asked if they could cut in line for a photocopier. The people who gave a reason why – even if the reason was something stupid like “Can I cut in line? I have to make some copies” – an overwhelming majority of people obliged this request.
I’m not saying that one line of copy is going to reach through the screen, grab people by the throat, and drag them over to the review page.
I’m sure it helps.
He actually gives two reasons: they’re a small company and it helps their business… AND it helps them provide YOU with a better experience.
That’s a total win-win, or you and for Raino (and NoCry).
This email is a solid A.
Really great example of an onboarding email for a physical product.
Great job Raino.
Great job NoCry.
Keep up the good work.
Special Shout Out to Bill Fogg
I’m still waiting back for a link to Bill’s site… so for now, I’ll just give him a shoutout and say thank you for submitting this email, Bill! You are the man.
Big Takeaways from NoCry’s Onboarding Email
- Humor doesn’t have to be over-the-top.
- Write your opening line like you would if you were writing to a single person, not an entire list.
- Maintain a one-to-one tone throughout the email.
- Visual language makes things funnier.
- Give reasons why when you include a request. It’s been proven to increase compliance.
- Use simple language.
- Say what you need to say… but don’t natter on.
- Encourage people to reply back… and actually respond to them!
- Good onboarding makes the next sale easier.
- Try to NOT use the word not.
What You Should Do Next
- Subscribe to my email list so you can get ALL of the Emails of the Week delivered straight to your inbox, automatically.
- Leave a comment for me below and let me know what you liked about this email.
- Send this breakdown to someone you know who has a physical product business. You might give them some inspiration to write a super-effective onboarding email.
- Buy something from NoCry Tools & Gear. They got a cool brand and some pretty cool products. Plus… they write great emails!