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How to sell (anything you want) by email with 3 simple emails with a PAS campaign

Published by Javi Pastor on June 20, 2017

vender por email

I know many companies and professionals who have mailing lists.

There are lists of all sizes, but all of them were created with one main goal (among others): to sell their products and/or services.

If you have a mailing list, but  can’t sell anything, why would you create and manage it?

What would be the reason you would pay for email marketing software, a plugin for capturing leads, waste time sending content or pay someone to do all this?

It doesn’t matter if you have a company or work as a freelancer, if you are a graphic designer or need to manage the marketing of a small NGO, if you don’t sell by email, you will be wasting time.

And as I know you don’t want to waste time, I’ll show you an easy way to sell by email. And it doesn’t matter if you have an autoresponder, a half-dead list or an active list to which you are sending content regularly.

This technique will work in all situations. Obviously, it will work better for some than for others, but you have to start somewhere.

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What is PAS and how does this email campaign work?

Let’s start by making something clear: Many experts love using acronyms. And copywriters are no exception.

So, as you might suppose, PAS refers to 3 emails that are used in a strategy for generating sales, through a very old technique. In fact, this formula has been used for many years (It Doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work).

Let’s see what each letter means:

  1. (P)roblem: A big problem that hurts, ideally very, very much. That is, we will explain this problem, using the best possible language to show how important it is, explaining its consequences and demonstrating to subscribers that they really have a very big problem.
  2. (A)gitate: We all have problems in life, but some are more urgent than others and are not easily solved. By “agitating” the problem, we will turn this problem into something very important, demonstrating all potential dangers or consequences, if it is not solved quickly.
  3. (S)olution: The solution (for this big) problem, obviously will be your product or service. Or it could be a product created by an affiliate you are trying to promote.

There are 3 different but connected emails that work as a TV mini-series. I will explain what that means later.

It is also a formula for writing sales pages, unique emails and other marketing strategies. But if we get into these details, this article will be too long.

So, I’m going to focus on this post on explaining how you can use PAS to sell your product  with only three emails, using P, A, S.

Let’s get started.

P: The big problem

An important warning: if you don’t know who your target buyer is, if you don’t know what are his problems or you didn’t research before, this email won’t work for you.

And, like the TV series that begins with a mediocre pilot, your series of emails will be doomed to failure. So if you still didn’t research enough to find your target buyer, to identify his problems, you should stop and start working, trying to understand your target as soon as possible, otherwise you will not be able to sell anything.

Well, now, we will talk about the letter “P”.

In the first email you will send to the list, you will talk about a real problem. It will have to be the biggest problem your subscribers may face, or at least one of the most important ones.

Before writing anything, you need to know very clearly: What is this problem? For example, for my audience, I felt that there was a big problem when writing the “about me” page and so I prepared a guide with the correct steps for creating this page.

From there, I could start creating a PAS campaign with this simple problem.

For good results, it’s important to start by writing an attractive subject line. We could talk about this for a long time, but we have another post about subjects in newsletters.

Click here to read the article and learn how to write interesting subjects for your emails.

In this particular case, to sell this guide, I could use a subject line such as: “Is your about me page  a disaster?”

Curiosity + relation to the final product. A good combination for improving  open rates, as many people will be interested in the subject.

In this email you will present the typical mistakes that many users make, demonstrating that the subscriber really has a serious problem, to finally leave him waiting for more, as in a TV series, using what is known as cliffhanger.

The cliffhanger is a moment of suspense at the end of a chapter, when something unexpected happens, a mystery that is not explained and that will leave the spectators crazy, wanting to know what happened.

You will create the suspense at the end of the email, by explaining that the problem can be more serious than it looks, but that you know how to solve it and this solution could be much more beneficial than it seems.

But you will not say anything else. You will only tell the reader that you will explain how to do this in another email that will be sent tomorrow. And with that you will be able to capture the subscriber’s attention.

Something important to point out is that in this email you will not add links to the sales page nor try to sell the product or service using other strategies. You are just warming up your audience.

A: Agitate

How many problems do we have in our lives?

Many. But for some reason, there are always some that seem more urgent than others and we want to solve these problems first.

For example, if I have a house and no thief has broken into this house, I probably will not have a great need of purchasing an alarm  system.

However, if they break into my neighbor’s house today, I will try to install a monitoring system as soon as possible.

Most of us will have different problems and needs depending on what happens in our lives, or around us.

For this reason, you will have to “manipulate” the situation of your potential customer (This may sound like cheating) but you are just exaggerating a bit.

You need to demonstrate that this problem must be solved.

It must be solved urgently, or the consequences will be serious, as in our example, I would show the potential buyer that if he doesn’t install an alarm, his house may be the next one the thieves will break into. Therefore, the process of “agitation” is very, very important.

The subject may follow the same line, using curiosity or if you prefer, you can use the same subject, writing something like “Chapter II” (or II) or something like that.

For example, it could be “your about me page  is a disaster?” (Chapter II).

Within the email the easiest way to “agitate” the problem is to connect it with money, time or happiness. For example, if I’m trying to sell my “about me” guide, I could talk about the amount of traffic that the subscriber is not getting, due to the fact that this page was not created correctly, showing that these visitors can become customers in the future and with that, he will get the money he paid for my guide, so it is a very good investment.

So I would introduce the case of a “mister John” who had a disastrous page, it never generated traffic, but after buying the guide and following the recommendations, he managed to increase the amount of visits in X%, earning X more with his website.

If all this is accompanied by an image of PayPal, Stripe or any other payment system  that proves what is being said, much better.

These screenshots can work very well to show to your readers that the money is real.

It is a double-edged sword: the problem is very serious, but its correction can be very beneficial.

After presenting why the problem is so serious, and demonstrate that yes, the subscriber can solve this problem, it’s time to create suspense again. You just have to tell the reader that tomorrow you will explain what your customer did to solve this problem, and to obtain these great results.

Who would not want to know that? You are already leaving the reader looking forward to the email you will send tomorrow.

And in this second email, again, we will not try to sell anything. We will just have to insinuate that tomorrow we will explain a solution to this serious problem, and with this information, some subscribers will intuit that we will try to sell.

S: Solution

And now we have reached the grand finale of the story. Finally we have the last chapter of the series that everyone is eager to see.

It’s time to sell, explain the solution and send the link of the sales page of the product or service. But before we do that, we have to convince them to open the email.

To do this, again, we have 2 options for a subject line:

  1. Connect the subject with the other emails: continue using the “Subject of the previous emails, Chapter III” to connect with the previous email. This works very well and is a simple solution.
  2. Present the great secret:Do you want to know the secret technique for ..”, “Discover the great secret that others don’t want you to know…” or ” know the ideal solution for …”

Once this is done, we will start connecting the message with the previous email. To do that, we will start by talking about the success case presented, explaining what was done, trying to show the importance of solving this problem in the right way, trying to convince the subscriber to make a decision.

The decision is usually this: either you do it yourself, or you learn from me (or someone else I will recommend).

This would be good for offering training guides, but not the only one:

  1. Either you do everything manually or use my tool (or another automation tool that I will recommend, for example).
  2. Or you learn this exercise routine or you will not lose weight.

The important thing is to force the subscriber to make a choice between something which he doesn’t want to do and an attractive and easy alternative to solve the problem, by purchasing the product or service you are offering.

Making the unwanted decision means not buying the product. The simple solution involves buying the product or service. The goal is to make the subscriber realize that if he doesn’t buy it, he will be making a bad decision that will affect his life or business.

This email should be long, presenting in general terms what is being sold, its benefits and why the subscriber should buy it now. In addition, ideally, there should be about 3-4 calls to action to send the largest possible number of subscribers to the sales page or sales cart.

1, 2, 3 “Start generating sales now.”

The PAS email campaign is one of the most traditional and effective techniques for any kind of strategy.

You can send these 3 emails to your mailing list tomorrow, integrate the messages at the end of an autoresponder into a funnel for Behavioral targeting or wherever you want.

And I guarantee you, as long as what you’re selling is useful, will add value and change the lives of your customers, sales will increase exponentially.

Create your series of emails. Prepare each newsletter carefully.

And if you set up this campaign, tell us about the results in the comments area.

Javi Pastor

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  1. Victor

    hola amigo, esta excelente tu post, solo que no se si pueda aplicarlo a mi producto ya que esta destinado a centros de investigación y universidades y me resulta difícil aprender a venderle a doctores y maestros que por lo regular están muy ocupados. espero que con esta técnica pueda persuadirlos.

    20/03/2019 - 19:24:08 Publicar una respuesta
  2. Yosjany Roig

    Excelente post, uno de los mejores que he leído sobre ventas por email. Te confieso que nunca había escuchado estas siglas, y lo que acabas de compartir es oro puro, digno de hacer un buen ebook.

    13/12/2017 - 02:48:35 Publicar una respuesta
  3. Claudinei Felipe

    Conteúdo precioso, muito obrigado!
    Você poderia disponibilizar 3 modelos de e-mail que você tenha usado atualmente é pode ser duplicado para outros negócios?

    28/07/2017 - 18:01:13 Publicar una respuesta
  4. Luiz Marcondes

    Gracias por la informacion, voy tratar de una campanha ahora.

    Luiz Marcondes

    04/07/2017 - 14:33:43 Publicar una respuesta
  5. Ariel

    Muy bueno. Gracias.

    21/06/2017 - 13:21:19 Publicar una respuesta

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