How to learn from your competitors’ sales emails

The year-end holiday period is a peak marketing season. Even businesses who haven’t emailed you in months will pop into your inbox again, hoping their offer is enticing enough to make a deal.

I don’t blame them. 

Unforeseen events may have run havoc in their business during the year. It happened to me too. Feeling unwell, followed by medical exams, and ending up in surgery. It’s not how I planned those couple of months.

And unless you ask for the sale in those emails, it might never happen.

But even if your inbox is at the edge of exploding at the symbolic weight of all these emails by now—and fair warning: during December, you’ll get more sales emails—before purging your inbox, I invite you to do this.

Those emails are a potential gold mine that can enrich your email marketing strategy if you SAAS them first.


Sort and Analyze competitors’ sales emails

Create three new folders in your inbox.
Name them Competitor research subject lines, Competitor research design and Competitor research content—or similar.

Go through the emails you received in the last few weeks and take a look at only the subject lines and preview texts. 
Based on this initial signal, which emails do pique your curiosity?

Don’t overthink it at this stage. Just think about which one would you open? Yay or nay?
Move the YAYs over to the Competitor research subject lines folder for now.

Next, open the remaining emails and look at the email design and content. Do you like the overall design of the email? The layout, the colours, the call-outs and CTAs?
If yes, move them over to the Competitor research design folder.

Does the email content speak to you? Do you find the email copy, the headlines, the body text as if it was written just for you?
If yes, move them over to the Competitor research content folder.

You can delete the remaining emails to free up some space in your inbox.

Adapt competitor emails to your own business

You have by now several emails salvaged into specific folders. So let’s adapt them to your particular business.

Look at the Subject lines folder and draft a couple of subject line versions that could work well with your own products or services you want to sell to your subscribers.

Is it time to spice up the look of your emails? Jump into the Design folder and get inspired. Find ways to take your own campaigns to the next level based on them.

🌟 If you’re looking for newsletter design inspiration, this earlier post might just be the one for you!

Last but not least, the Content folder can be used as your secret weapon. Collect useful phrases to adapt for your own headlines, call-to-action buttons. And learn how they use storytelling in their emails.

Send your revamped promotional emails

Log into your email marketing platform.

If you don’t have one yet, I love and highly recommend Flodesk.

Create your revamped promotional emails. 
Hint: you can use this SAAS method for any type of marketing email—like welcome emails, freebie delivery emails, regular newsletters. It doesn’t have to be a sales campaign. 

Remember to proofread and schedule the emails or hit send right away.

Wrap up

Signing up for your competitors’ email list can help you improve your email marketing. Look at their campaign emails and cherry-pick whatever you can for your own marketing efforts and adapt them for your next marketing campaigns.

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