Selling Skills

The Persuasive Email: 3 Quick Tips

By September 5, 2011 No Comments

If you could change one thing about the way other people write emails, what would it be?

When I ask that question during my sales writing workshops, I hear everything from:
be concise
answer all my questions
don’t make me guess which email you’re responding to
change the subject line so I can find the message later
put your phone number where I can easily tap it
don’t send me stuff I don’t need to read

Advice: Do what you want others doing and don’t do what you don’t.

More than that though, a pattern emerges. The key to being persuasive in email is to respect the other person. The more you value his or her time, the more focused you are on his or needs and expectations, the more persuasive you’ll be.

3 quick tips

Tip #1: Cut words. (My first draft of this post said, “Cut out words.” Really.) When checking your email, see which words can be cut. The more concise the message, the more likely your reader is to read – and respond.

Tip #2: Eliminate the parts they don’t read. Providing all sorts of information about your product or idea might be what you want to do but will they care about everything you dump out? The moment they start skimming your message (for the stuff that interests them) is the nanosecond you start losing their trust and the sale. Use hyperlinks to get them to the part of your website that will most help them.

Tip #3: When prospecting, aim for 4 sentences.
Use sentence #1 to explain how they might be more successful because of your idea.
Sentence #2 explains further.
Sentence #3 asks for/explains the next step.
Sentence #4 reminds them of how they’ll benefit.

Here is an example:
Hi Name (yes, please use a greeting such as “Hi”)
Your dog is family to you and if you’re like most dog owners, you’d do just about anything to keep him or her happy. With ABC (ABC would be hyperlinked), if your dog could smile and say thank you, it would!
I’ll call you Tuesday afternoon to talk about how you can feel confident your dog is smiling (at least on the inside).
Wait until you hear how simple it is to feel totally confident about your dog’s happiness.

Okay so that was for a bogus ABC product and because of that it may seem inauthentic. (It is…it’s for a bogus product!) But if you’re like most sales professionals, you’ll quickly get the point about how you can write a more persuasive email. (Consider what isn’t there, too.)

What subject line would you use for that email to get your message opened? If you don’t want to wait for a later post, check out my new expanded and updated Power Sales Writing: Second Edition book. Subject lines and about 120 more tips are included!