Email marketing often involves a tightrope walk between selling and connection. If you sell too much, you’ll lose your customer’s interest and burn out your list. Focus too much on connection and not on selling and you won’t generate enough revenue.

What’s the right balance?

==> Between 10% and 20% Selling

Generally the right amount is somewhere between 10% and 20% selling, with between 80% to 90% of your content being focused on quality, solving the customer’s problems and making a connection.

80% to 90% sales is enough to get your customers in the habit of opening your emails. They’ll know that by and large, emails from you will be of a high quality.

Having 80%+ of your content be connection-based also does one other thing: it essentially buys you the right to sell to them.

When someone gets immense value from the emails you’re sending, they won’t feel resentful when they read a sales message. In fact, they’ll read your sales messages with an open mind, knowing that there’s a good chance they might get value from the product you’re offering.

If you oversell, people will resent being sold to. If you consistently provide high quality content, people will look forward to your next product and eagerly read your sales message.

==> The 5 to 1 Email or the “At the Bottom” Style

There are primarily two different ways you can split your selling and connection content.

The first method is to send only emails that have connection and problem-solving content, then every once in a while send a 100% sales message.

If you use this method, make sure that your sales messages also provide value. Even if you regularly send out quality content, you still can’t just send out a spammy ad. Instead, you have to provide value even as you’re selling them.

By sending only one sales message every 5 to 8 emails, you keep up with the 10% to 20% rule.

The other method is to sell regularly, by putting an advertisement or one or two promotional sentences at the bottom of every email.

This method works very well, because instead of trying to get a home run of sales in one email, you’re getting a steady flow of sales with every email that you send.

Try to tie in your sales message with the email itself. For example, if your email talked about all the most common obstacles graphic designers run into when looking for clients, then pitch an easy way to find clients in your promotional sentence, even if your product covers a lot more than that.

Walking the fine line between over- and underselling in email marketing can be a little tough. As a rule of thumb, sell between 10% and 20% of the time to maximize customer connection while still pulling in strong revenues.