How to Write Persuasive Emails
Writing persuasive emails is vital to business success. As more and more companies go paperless, your ability to communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively via electronic media will become increasingly important. Regardless of your occupation, you will only succeed if you are able to persuade people to see things your way and act in a manner that will contribute to your success as well as their own. As email becomes more essential, your familiarity with effective writing in this medium will serve you well both personally and professionally.
Decide what you want to accomplish. You cannot get someone else to do what you want if you do not know what you want yourself. Decide on a simple goal for your email. Since good emails tend to be fairly concise, it should be a simple goal. If you have a more complicated request then you should consider attaching a persuasive document to the email, then using the email to convince the recipient to read the attachment with a positive attitude.
Give your email a good subject title. If your email does not attract the recipient's attention, then they may not even open it. An unopened email may as well have not been written at all for all the good it does you. The title should indicate what the reader will receive from opening the email or a way in which they might benefit.
Focus on the reader. Even though the point of a persuasive email is to get something you want, the reader needs to feel like his best interests are at the heart of the email. Be very clear about what the reader should do and why he should to it in light of how he will benefit. For example, if you are writing an email to convince a business partner to collaborate with you on a project, make your request but show how complying will benefit your potential partner. Instead of pointing out how the project will "save your job" or make you a lot of money, indicate how the project will be an easy, simple way for your potential partner to profit.
Motivate your reader to act. When people read a persuasive email or even a letter, the best chance that you have of getting a response is immediately following the first reading. While readers may have good intentions, the majority of them do not follow through if they close the email. It simply gets lost in the in box. Encourage your reader to act by placing a time constraint on their response or providing an incentive for fast action. If you are selling something, then you can offer a bonus or a discount for a quick response. If you are making a proposal then you may wish to point out that the opportunity you are describing will not last a particularly long time.
Include clickable links if necessary. If your email has additional material on a website or requires a reader to use an online order form to get the product, then you should make sure that all the links in your email work. Many people will stall and even stop in their tracks if links do not work, so make certain that all of your links are clickable and easy to use so that a reader can respond to your request for action immediately and as conveniently as possible.
- Never write anything in an email that you would not want the world to see. Most businesses have access to employee email, and you have no guarantee that the recipient of your email will not forward it to another party.
- Professional emails should not be written in a conversational tone. If you are writing to a colleague or peer, then you should avoid emoticons, exclamation points and excessively informal language. On the other hand, if you are writing a sales email then your audience may require less formal language. You will need to decide this based on other interactions with that reader or those readers.