Writing persuasive emails becomes a lot easier if you ask yourself 4 simple questions before you start writing.
This article covers:
The 4 questions you must answer first
Example #1: A cold email rewritten
Example #2: A meh email turned into a persuasive email
Write persuasive emails
We’ve all been there…
You’ve carefully crafted an important email.
And now you’re waiting for a reply.
But as time passes, you wonder—could your email have been better? Should you have edited more? Could you have tried a different approach?
Getting your emails answered may feel like an impossible task. Aren’t all our inboxes overflowing? Aren’t we all trying to empty our inbox quickly? So we can get on with more important stuff, like writing a blog post?
Getting replies to your emails might be easier than you think.
Shall I explain?
The 4 questions you must answer before clicking send
Before you send your email, step into the shoes of the person receiving your email, and answer the following questions.
1. Is your goal crystal-clear?
Is it instantly clear to your reader what he should do?
Whether you’d like your reader to reply with information or click through to buy a product or read a blog post, have one specific goal for your email.
2. Why would your reader care?
Most emails don’t explain why the receiver should care about taking action. What’s in it for them? What will they learn? How will you make them feel better?
3. What’s stopping your reader from taking action?
Is he nervous about the time it would take to read your blog post or complete your questionnaire? Does he think you’re expensive?
Consider how you can take his nervousness away.
4. Can you cut any redundant information?
Have you edited your text, so every word counts?
Remember, each redundant word slows your reader down, reducing your chances he’ll take action.
How to make your emails more persuasive
Want to know how the 4 questions work in practice?
Below you’ll find two example emails—the emails are real, but I’ve changed the names of people and companies. For each email, I’ll answer the 4 questions, and show how to make the emails more engaging and seductive.
Example 1: Blah blah email
My name is Johnny Depp, Marketing Coordinator for Awesome App. I’m reaching out to you specifically because I have noticed that Enchanting Marketing is an extremely influential resource for eCommerce business owners.
I’d like to offer you an exclusive, personal demonstration of the Awesome App platform from our Product Director, Jackie Chan. This presentation will only take 40-50 minutes of your time, and will showcase every part of the Awesome platform.
We are not asking for any commitment from you in exchange for this demo. We feel that the Awesome platform is strong enough to speak for itself. Our hope is that after seeing the platform’s innovative capabilities, eCommerce industry influencers such as yourself will take notice. I hope that you will consider giving us the pleasure of demonstrating for you what the Awesome platform is capable of!
Please let me know if you are interested in this opportunity. I would love to connect you with Jackie for a private demonstration of Awesome. Jackie is a real eCommerce pro, and will be well equipped to answer any questions you may have.
I can be reached at my direct line (888) 888-8888 xt 1010, and also by direct email at [email protected].
Why this email is meh:
- The goal: While it’s clear that Johnny wants to set up a demo, his call-to-action is rather wishy-washy and long-winded.
- Why should the reader care: Johnny doesn’t tell me what his Awesome App does, and he doesn’t explain why I would be interested in spending 40 minutes of my time for a demo.
- What’s stopping your reader from taking action? Johnny tries to flatter me into taking action. Flattery often works, but a cookie-cutter approach to flattery doesn’t work. Make your flattery specific.
- Redundant words? Loads! Why start with telling me he’s Johnny? I’ve seen that already in the “from” field. He rambles on about his app without explaining anything. And the stuff about his boss doesn’t interest me either.
A more persuasive email:
I read your fantastic blog post about product descriptions on Shopify, and I wondered—do you have copywriting clients who own ecommerce stores?
I’d love to introduce you to our new Awesome App. This App helps ecommerce owners [fill in a serious benefit]
Please reply to this email and I’ll set up a quick demo at a time most convenient for you.
Marketing Coordinator, Awesome App
Note: Don’t send an email without editing. And when you edit your email, aim to cut 50% of words. Your reader will be grateful.
Example 2: Blah blah email
Dear Mr Duistermaat,
Thank you for choosing Awesome Holidays for your recent holiday. We know that there are lots of other companies offering activity style holidays, so we are grateful that you decided to travel with us! Hopefully we more than met your expectations – that is certainly what we aimed for, but how did we do?
In order that we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services, we would very much like you to share your thoughts with us by completing our on-line questionnaire. It should only take a few minutes and, to show our appreciation, we’ll enter your name into our annual prize draw to win £1000 in Awesome holiday vouchers!
Please also take this opportunity to share your holiday experiences with other Awesome customers. You can send us your photos, post your comments and share your experiences via our Facebook page. Our staff here in the office, and future customers will find your comments invaluable. Thank you for taking the time to read this. We very much look forward to receiving your comments and to booking your next Awesome holiday!
To begin the on-line holiday questionnaire please click here.
Customer Services Executive
Why this email is meh:
- The goal: Is this a marketing email or customer satisfaction survey? Do you want to hear my feedback or do you want me to promote you on Facebook?
- Why should the reader care: Why would I care, if you start with addressing me as Mr? The prize draw might persuade me (it didn’t!), but the tone of the email lacks compassion. Do you care about my feedback? Or is this just a marketing exercise?
- What’s stopping your reader from taking action? I hate lengthy surveys (know anyone who loves them?), and a few minutes isn’t specific enough to reassure me. Will it take me 2, 5, or over 15 minutes?
- Redundant words? Loads! The sentences are far too long to be readable.
A more persuasive email:
Dear Ms Duistermaat
Thank you for choosing Awesome for your recent holidays.
Did you have a good time?
We’d love to hear your feedback—whether it’s good or bad. Do you have any suggestions how we can improve?
Click here to complete our 2-minute online survey now.
Customer Services Executive
PS Complete our survey, and we’ll enter you in an annual prize draw to win £1,000 in Awesome holiday vouchers.
Note: Don’t muddy your message with multiple goals. Keep it simple.
How to turn blah into persuasive emails
Everyone’s inbox is overflowing. To the brim filled with promotions. Newsletter updates. A couple of business inquiries. And a few emails from good friends.
Nobody wants to read the gobbledygook-filled emails.
So don’t write as if you’re addressing a faceless crowd. Write as if you’re emailing a good friend.
Be conversational. But don’t become a blabbermouth.
Because everyone’s time is precious.
Recommended reading on writing emails:
A simple formula for writing sales emails
How to write an email sequence
How to craft a blog newsletter
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