Aug. 2, 2022

How to Write Words that Sell with Anna Powers

How to Write Words that Sell with Anna Powers

Today, I’m talking with copy expert Anna Powers who shares how online business owners can master the art of email marketing that converts! She’s giving us all of her best email marketing tips and revealing why copywriting could be the secret to recession-proofing your business.

How often do you sit down to work on your email marketing and instead just stare at the endless blinking cursor on your screen?

As an online business owner, you know you should be sending emails to your list, but when you finally do, they frequently fall flat.

This week I’m talking with conversion copywriter, Anna Powers, and she’s giving us the inside scope on all things emails PLUS the email marketing tips you need now! 


  • How to master the email marketing tips you need to recession-proof your business
  • The psychology of messaging and how to use it for email marketing that converts 
  • The online business owner’s complete guide to selling more of your products, programs, or services through email

Click here to get your copy of the free copywriting guide Anna mentions inside this episode.

Be sure to get on the waitlist so you're first to know when Anna’s copywriting training program re-opens!

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.

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© Copyright 2022 | The EffortLESS Life®


Welcome back, you're listening to the System's Made Simple™ Podcast and this is episode 133. I'm joined today by my dear friend Anna powers, a copywriting expert who has worked with more than 500 students in her online messaging programs. And through her tools and techniques like email marketing, she has gotten them results like tripling their launch revenue, doubling their email, open rates, and even generating a four-plus million dollar launch. So stay tuned.


Courtney Elmer 2:54  
So today's guest is not only a dear friend of mine, she is also a former civil litigator who spent the majority of her adult life making persuasive written arguments for why someone should do something. And as an attorney, she didn't always get to choose who she was arguing for. So she decided to take her gift for writing and figure out a way to use it for good. And that's when she discovered copywriting and email marketing. We've got so much to talk about. But first, welcome. I'm really glad you're here.

Anna Powers 7:19  
I am so excited to be here, Courtney Elmer. I'm really looking forward to the conversation about email marketing. 

Courtney Elmer 7:28  
I know you have so much to share when it comes to helping us sell better through our copy and email marketing. And as I share with our listeners when I introduced you. This is your zone of genius. I mean, and so much so that you've left a prominent career as a lawyer to start Yes, much in copywriting. And helping people become copywriters, and also helping people in business, learn how to write better, and to write effectively to help with email marketing. How can we recession proof our business through our copy and through becoming effective sellers with our words?

Anna Powers 9:07  
I love this question Courtney Elmer. So I also love that you have an English Lit background because I did too. I was a double major in English and French. And then as an attorney, you also do a lot of writing. So in a way it was preparation for the field of copywriting. it really is its own separate skill, as you said, and there are a lot of things if you have a formal writing background, that you do have to unlearn a bit. So my definition of copywriting is words that sell so when we're talking about how we can risk Passion proof our businesses with email marketing through copywriting

Anna Powers
People, no matter what the economy is, there will always be things that people need Courtney Elmer. And there will always be things that people desire. So the most important thing is that how to communicate the value of your offer in a way that your client understands it. Now, this is true when we're not in a recession. But it becomes heightened in a recession Courtney Elmer, because when you go into a recession, then people are being more thoughtful about their purchasing decisions. But this can actually be a benefit when how to communicate the value of your offer. Because this is when it's so extra important that someone who has a need gets that need fulfilled.

Courtney Elmer 10:51  
Absolutely, gosh, words that sell I love that I think this is the desire of all of us as business owners is to learn how to use our words in a powerful way. So I'm curious to know, does that impact our ability to use our words effectively, if we have a belief there under the surface that saying something like, , no one wants to listen to what you have to say? Or you say that, Oh, you're gonna get in trouble for that? Don't say that? How does that impact our ability first and foremost, before we can even get into tactical stuff, to write well, and to communicate especially through email marketing

Anna Powers 12:13  
It impacts your ability greatly Courtney Elmer. So my opinion on using copy and email marketing And the interesting, I want to make a distinction about copy because when I say words that sell the copywriting that I teach, yes, it's the written form of communication. But also, it applies to anything that you speak over your business. So it applies when you're on a podcast, and you're talking about what you do. It applies when you're on a sales call, and you're having a conversation with someone explaining your offer. So that's what I call spoken copy, but copy is copy is copy. And so you can quickly see how all businesses need it. Because who sells offers with like a picture and no words attached.

Anna Powers
So when we talk about the power of words, especially though email marketing Courtney Elmer, I think that it's really important that you have a belief that what you're selling will really help because there is an energy underneath anything that you write and anything that you say and people are smarter than we give them credit for. And even if you're saying all the things, but you have an underlying belief that you're really not good enough and I don't really know if this offer is going to help people will pick up on that. And that's why I think it's so important not to do the technical skill work, but also to do the deeper work and ask the people that we're creating this for why we wouldn't wait. So I do think that that belief piece is really important.

Courtney Elmer 15:11  
So I'm curious in your work both with clients and with the copywriters that you work with and that you teach to certify them as copywriters? What are some of the most common beliefs or mindsets that really hold people back and hang them up from being able to communicate in general and in email marketing?

Anna Powers 16:43  
I think there can sometimes be a belief that I'm new, so I should have to struggle and fail a lot. Before I can start really generating revenue with my business and through email marketing. I think that's a big one, Courtney Elmer, I think there can be a question in people's mind like, Can I really help this person. And the only way to overcome that is to dive in and do the work. I mean, Courtney Elmer, I have that same thing when I started out in business, my methodology to its very technical coordinate, my proprietary methodology to counteract that, is that great if you're not sure, charge them such a ridiculous rate, or give them 100% guarantee that if they don't see results, you'll refund their money, but get in and do the work.

Anna P:owers
We had a gal recently who did a $7,900 month. So it can happen pretty fast. But I think, Courtney Elmer, our messaging is always like get in learn the skill, make sure that you have the tools to truly serve people then and that takes , 60 to 90 days, like when you have a proven process, it doesn't have to take seven years like it took to get , undergrad and a law degree. But get in and get the tools first give yourself that 60 to 90 days to master the skill thing go out and sell with confidence though email marketing. And if you need to start at $100 for , an email marketing campaign to start with great and then bump it up, , to three, four or 500 keep incrementally raising your prices, versus this messaging of let's come out and because you're worth it, let's charge you 10k A month when you're brand new to this and I am going to go on a little mini rant here Courtney Elmer because I hate the whole charge what you're worth message like okay, priceless. 

Anna Powers
Everybody pull everything in the whole world together and that's what you're gonna have to pay them to work with me because every single human being has limitless value. So all this charge you're worth to me is , it's really, Courtney Elmer, I think it's something that again, people often mean well with it because they want people to get out understand that they are valuable, their skills are valuable, but there's a big difference. Between charging what your skills are valued at in the marketplace and charge what you as a human being are worth, which is impossible because no one can ever pay it.

Courtney Elmer 20:08  
Yes, that is such a valuable advice, no pun intended. I remember being in that place where it's kind of feels like you're trying to put together a puzzle without the box to look at, , how the puzzle pieces fit together. And you're like, oh, all of these things, I have to learn all of these things. And at the same time, you're contending with all of your internal beliefs, that are also impacting your ability to succeed. And nowhere is this more prevalent than in the very early days of business. Because as we learn as we grow, we grow in our personal journey, we're able to grow more in our business, and it does have a direct correlation. But I'm glad you make that point.

Courtney Elmer
So let's say an example of an email marketing ? We all send out emails to our list, whether it's a nurture, email, a sales sequence, a lead magnet delivery, whatever the type of email marketing it might be, we need to be able to communicate that with the person reading it. So I'd love to talk email marketing with you specifically, because I think this is an area where a lot of people struggle. So where do we start?

Anna Powers 22:52  
Yeah. So I want to I want to say one, one little thing Courtney Elmer. I tell all of our writers, this, your clients, not that their main horrible cold people, they're wonderful people. But your clients only care about you, to the extent that you are going to help them get a result that they desire. So people don't tune in to this podcast. And if you're listening, I hope I think you'll probably agree with this, like, you're probably not listening to this podcast, because you're like, Oh, I want to help Courtney Elmer out. Like, I want to, I want to, she's over here working so hard. Like, let me give it a listen. out of the goodness of my heart. Most likely you're tuning in, because you believe that Courtney Elmer has some wisdom, some knowledge, some expertise, she's going to bring in some people who also have wisdom, knowledge and expertise that can help you move forward.

Anna Powers
So this is what we have to keep in mind when we're sending out our email marketing sequences Courtney Elmer. Yes, we can tell our story. And that's important for connection because people want to feel, I tell her, we have a framework called relatable and revered. So your clients want to know that you're relatable, you're touchable, they can identify with your story, but you're also revered like you've gotten some results that they still want and haven't gotten yet. That's why they're coming to you. So they want to feel that, but ultimately, it's all about them. So when you approach any piece of messaging, but with email marketing in particular as what is the result that I want for the client, how do I want the client to feel when they're reading this email? Do I want them to feel empowered? Do I want them to feel like do I want them to feel Like, they need to move.

Anna Powers
So we want to go into any of our communication really understanding what's the purpose of this email? What action Am I trying to get someone to take. And then one thing you have to think about that a lot of people don't give enough attention to is your subject line Courtney Elmer. Because if you cannot get people to open your email marketing campaign by a captivating subject line, you will have spent all that time putting that email marketing campaign together for nothing. So I'll give a little freebie. We have five types of subject lines that we teach in our certification, their curiosity, numbers, negatives, shock, and event based subject lines. 

Anna Powers
So that is an example of an easy little framework, you could write it down on an index card Courtney Elmer. And when you get ready to write a subject line, it's like, Okay, I'm gonna make this one a curiosity based subject line, or this one's going to be a negative like one thing that almost tanked my business. So that's curiosity and negatives, combined. Curiosity, you could ask a question, which type of business owner Are you the key being? It's a question that cannot be answered, unless someone opens the email and sees your email marketing campaign. So you've opened a loop. And we humans are curious cats. So we have to open to actually get the answer. So that's something you really want to pay attention to. And I'll pause here and see if you have any, any follow up on that Courtney Elmer

Courtney Elmer 27:22  
I can to vouch for how valuable and important email subject lines are. And this is also relevant. If anyone listening if you podcast, this is relevant for your episodes, too. You can apply the same philosophies for email subject line to your episode title, so that people open them and read the show notes and listen, and go listen. And so that's really what it is, is all of those five things that you mentioned, you hit the nail on the head with each one of them, because it's appealing to how we're already wired to think and to how we're already wired to act as humans. 

Courtney Elmer
And once we tapped into that, I'm going to share a personal example here, when we tapped into really focusing on our subject lines, and inspiring curiosity and like sharing numbers and some of the different things you mentioned, our email markeing open rates went from around like 20 25%, which is industry average, that's not bad. Yeah, it's standard. Yeah, now the email markeing open rates are over over 60%. Incredible. Yeah. So it really matters. Because if no one's reading your emails, how are they going to know what you have to share with them? That's going to help them if you can't even get them to open it? So like, start there? Absolutely. Okay, continue, because this is so good.

Anna Powers 28:32  
Okay, Courtney Elmer, moving forward. The second most read part of any email marketing is actually the PS. So I'm on a lot of email marketing lists. And I see so many people, not include a PS. And so, I mean, we're busy, we humans, we got a lot to do. , that's why I love podcasting, because that's something that I can do, while I'm washing the dishes, doing the laundry going for a walk, like I love the pot, the podcast format. So thank you for putting together a show and like, , being one of the people that really contribute to us being able to learn in a way that's convenient. But for your email marketing, like, , people are gonna have to actually look at them, . So a lot of people are going to be scanning them. So you want to make sure that you have really a super clear, hey, this was the point of the email. And here's your call to action. in pretty much every PS. The only times we don't do a PS is perhaps the final cart, close email when we've sent out , 20 email markeing letters over four days.

Then from there, Courtney Elmer, another big mistake that I see people make is they're not clear with their calls to action in their email marketing. So if you Google, how many decisions does an adult Human have to make in a single day. It's like 10s of 1000s people be tired. They don't want to have to read your email marketing and figure out what you want them to do. So tell them so I see a lot of people hyperlink their program name. Assuming that people will understand that they should click that link versus putting their call to action, centering it, putting arrows that point to it, bolding it, click here to listen to the episode, like, and that may seem like oh, we shouldn't have to spell it out. Yes, we have to spell it out for our people if we want to serve them well

And then the third thing that I'll mention Courtney Elmer, is, I see a lot of newer writers do this, or, , newer business owners who haven't had copywriting training from someone who really understands the psychology behind it. And I know stories, stories are hot, like so many stories, and your story is important. So I'm not, I'm not trying to knock it and I study that too, like, so story is important. And going back to the people only care about you for how you're going to help them. But for for most of us, , we're not quite at that place where everybody's like, Oh, I really want to know about Courtney Elmer and her almond mocha latte that they , screwed up, like how fascinating , while I have 1700 things to do with my own. So make sure you have your call to action near the top of the email marketing. So it's like, a quick reminder, hey, reminder, if you missed it,

Anna Powers 32:03  
And while we're on the topic of digital data and email marketing Courtney Elmer, here's an event and then go into the story and then repeat, reiterate the sub, the call to action, and then have it again in the PS. So that's generally our framework is we want that link near the top of the email marketing. So people don't have to scroll, we want it somewhere in the body. And then we want it in the PS. But I'll say one more thing. Be consistent with your call to action, do not put four different calls to action in a single email.

Courtney Elmer 34:01  
We see a lot of our students struggling with this in podcasting. Okay, We say one call to action per episode. So it's same thing with email marketing, one call to action. And they're like, but I have 12 things I want to promote. If you say all of them, someone won't do any of them. And remember, there will always be more episodes coming out. There will always be more emails that you send, you can promote those other 11 things. Let this email be for the one thing that you're promoting today, and let next week's email be for the thing you want them to do next week. And yeah, I wasn't sure that they will thank you for that. And they will actually do the thing you want them to do.

Anna Powers 34:55  
Yeah, I would say that's amazing Courtney Elmer. You already have 90 days worth of weekly content. You Do you? Yeah, and I will say I will say we saw a significant jump in email marketing open rates when we went from email marketing once a week, which is the minimum that I recommend for any business owner to consistently send their email marketing twice a week. I mean, Courtney Elmer, we saw it quite substantial jump in our email marketing open rates. So if any of your listeners do feel like I have so much, that's awesome, but make each thing one email. And then great, if you have so much that's coming up this month, send two to three email marketing campaigns a week.

Anna Powers
The good thing about that is Courtney Elmer, the more you're, the more frequently you're emailing your list, the better it's going to be when you get to a promotion. Because what what trips a lot of people up is they email, , once every two weeks, and then they have something to sell, and they email twice a day for a whole week, and people know what you're doing. And it doesn't feel like you're there to serve. At that point, it feels like well, she never reaches out to me unless she wants something.

Anna Powers
And that brings up one other thing that I wanted to share Courtney Elmer, because we have a we need to have a belief in our offers. But there also has to be, this is gonna sound maybe a little off the wall Courtney Elmer, but a certain level of detachment, which goes back to the convincing energy being repellent. So you have to be in an energy where you have something great to offer people like they need you. You don't need them. And your revenue is never you should never come at it from the mentality that like oh, if so and so doesn't sign up, like how am I going to pay my bills like that giving someone else far too much power over your life. The most successful thing we ever did promotion wise in my business was our live event at the end of 2019. Before the world shut down, it was called magnified live. And we had a room of 55 people. And we did $243,000 in sales in 36 hours.

Anna Powers
And I went into that event with two goals Courtney Elmer. One, well, I'm a person of faith. So two prayers, I said one, okay, God, I want everyone here to get exactly what they needed. So that they feel that the travel to the event, the three days, the hotel costs or the Airbnb, the food, like all the expenses beyond the event ticket the time away from their family so that when they leave, they feel like I really got what I needed from this. And the second prayer was, Lord, I want lifelong relationships to be developed from this event, like I want people to connect, I want these business owners to connect with someone here, who they will be in contact with for the rest of their lives that will be meaningful to them. 

Courtney Elmer 39:32  
Oh, my gosh, you shared so much today and that can help people. And for people walking away now and thinking, oh, my gosh, I still have to learn copywriting for better email marketing Like, what do they have to lose by trying what you said? how impactful could that be for them?

Anna Powers 40:44  
You'll make it so much easier for people to understand what you're offering is Courtney Elmer, that is a really a framework that can serve you so well. Because never again, do you have to sit down in front of a Google Doc and go, , where am I going now, , subject line, super important. Let me focus on that. And oftentimes, you'll write that after the email to tie into the email marketing. So it's often the last thing that you'll write, but subject line PS, okay, what's my call to action? What I want people to do? How can I put that near the top of the email, what's the story that can connect to it that I can then put the call to action in the body of the email once more, and then what's my super clear, clear over catchy always, always be clear over cutesy or catchy, but then in the PS and that alone will absolutely help you improve your communication with your people Courtney Elmer.

Courtney Elmer 43:22  
Absolutely. Oh, so valuable. And I can sit here and go with you another hour, this has been a want to bring you back on so we can dive into the other nuances and other rabbit holes, when it comes to writing effective copy and email marketing, because that is where a lot of our listeners are now where they are at that point where they're trying to get to the point where they can hire a copywriter, , to do it for them. Maybe they have , hired a copywriter to do some things in their business here and there, write a sales page, write some email marketing campaigns, etc. But for the most part, , that's where we all start is writing our own stuff. 

Courtney Elmer
And it is a skill that you have to learn it does take some time to learn it. And the sooner you can learn it, the more effective you will be and the quicker you'll get to that revenue mark where you can then pass it off, take that hat off and put it over to somebody else. So Anna, for anyone who is looking either whether they're interested in learning how to become a copywriter and build a business from that, which is a big part of what you teach, and also to learn from you and to absorb more of your wisdom and all that you have to share on writing good copy. Where can they find you?

Anna Powers 44:25  
Yeah Courtney Elmer, so we have a brand new guide. It's called the guide to the business of copywriting see clearer over catchy. But it's completely free. It's like 32 pages, but don't be intimidated because our team is incredible with like making the design pretty interesting and we give away our proprietary research framework in that we also talk about seven specific ways you can increase your sales through copy and email marketing. So that is something that any of your people who are running a business or have any interest in getting upon their skills of copywriting can go download it's at Sarah Anna forward slash guide. And there's no h on my ceressus sar a in a pod forward slash guide. 

Anna Powers
And then we have our click worthy copywriting certification. It is our program where we train people on the skills of copy, we also give you the tools like the questionnaires, the forms, like all the things you need to actually implement great copy, the swipes all of that. And something that sets our program apart from pretty much any any other one that I've seen, and I've seen a lot Courtney Elmer, is we teach on the principles be underneath the copy. So we have a whole module on buying triggers, we have a whole module on belief shifting, because it's not about the structure of the copy, it's about what is the model of the world that the person coming to your sales page has. 

Anna Powers
And if that's gonna block them from making for me making the sale, you have to help them shift that in an ethical way full of integrity. So that program we open a few times a year, if anyone's interested in hearing about it, the next time we open they can go to Sarah Anna, forward slash priority, and put your name and email in and that will put you on our priority notification list. And we'll let the very next time that we're open because we will soon be doing a three part live training. And so if you're on that list, you'll get the first notification when that rolls out.

Courtney Elmer 46:27  
Amazing. We will absolutely link to that in the show notes. And uh, you have been so generous with your time and your knowledge today. Thank you for being here.

Anna Powers 46:35  
Thank you so much for having me Courtney Elmer. This was a total blast!

Courtney Elmer 46:41  
So if you learned something new today, here's what I want you to do next, I want you to open up your favorite social media platform. Go find Anna and send her a message and let her know what your biggest takeaway was from this episode. If you hang out on Instagram Instagram, my favorite platform, you can find her there at Sarah Anna powers. 

Courtney Elmer
Coming up next week on the show. We are talking about the key systems that you need in place to go from zero to seven figures. So I will see you back here next week. And until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.

Anna Powers Profile Photo

Anna Powers

Founder, Clickworthy Copywriting Certification™

Anna Powers is a Conversion Copywriter and Online Business Mentor who helps her clients get paid to write copy through her Clickworthy Copywriting Certification™. A former civil litigator, Anna now uses her background of analysis and strategy to support 7- and 8-figure business owners with their messaging and to train and certify copywriters so they can build thriving online businesses. Past clients' results include a $4.4 million launch, quadrupling email open rates, and doubling annual revenue. Find Anna online at .