Partners in Performance Blog

Email Persuasion Tip #3: Use a Recipe to Write a Clear Message

Recipe-for-EmailsWriting effective emails is like following a recipe when cooking. In my younger years I told my sister I wasn’t a very good cook. Her response? If you can read, you can cook. All you have to do is follow a recipe. I’ve learned over the years this is true.

Using a recipe is not only for cooking but also for sales communications…sales meetings, presentations, emails, voice messages. That’s why I love to use templates.

Here is the template for constructing persuasive emails. Why do I use the word persuasive? Because I want my reader to DO something with the information.

This template works equally for email marketing to prospects or email follow up with clients. Using a template will make it easy for you clients to decipher the meaning of your communication and expectations. It will compel them to act.

  1. Magnetic Subject Line: It better be a good grabber. Like a newspaper headline draws you in to an article, your email subject line makes your email stand out from the hundreds of others in your clients’ inboxes. Check out Email Persuasion Tip #1: Create A Magnetic Subject Line
  2. Simple Salutation: “Hi …” (or Hey, ….), if you know the person, or simply just the first name if you don’t know the person. Don’t get fancy with the salutation.
  3. Compelling Opening Line: If your subject line was magnetic enough to get your client to open your email, your opening line has to be compelling enough to keep them reading on. If not the delete button is a mere stroke away. More tips on this essential persuasive email ingredient can be found in my blog post Email Persuasion Tip #2:  Create a Compelling Opening
  4. Clear Purpose statement: “Why are you writing to me?” Your email purpose creates immediate focus for the email and clarity is a good thing. If your client is confused about why you are writing…they will hit “Delete.” Remember you may know the purpose of the email but your client isn’t a mind reader. If you want your email message to be clear, start with a purpose statement. Your purpose statement will include a verb:
    • I’m following up on…
    • I’m writing to request 3 things…
    • The purpose of my email is to provide you with…
  5. Initial Call to Action: What’s this? Am I asking you to insert your call to action at the beginning of your email before you have even written your message? Yes. Set expectations for what you want your client or reader to do right away. This is a best practice for all sales communications but especially email. Half of your readers won’t make it to the end. And they will filter through your core message differently when they know up front what you want. Executives demand this.
  6. Core Message with Outstanding Subheads: One core message (broken into sub points with outstanding subheads). Avoid large blocks of text (wall of words) – blocks your readers’ attention span so they stop reading or scan. Breaking up your points into 3 or 4 (max.) sections with compelling subheads that are bolded pulls the reader back in and they will continue reading your copy. Note how my subheads are bolded in this email.
  7. Final Call to action : Don’t make this all too common mistake of ending without a Call To Action. Please. Please. Make it clear what you want your client to DO and put a time frame on it. Here are my previous blog posts about common mistakes people make with calls to action.

Some additional spices to add some wonderful flavours to your email recipe:

And now, here’s my call to action: I challenge you to use this recipe the next time you need to write a compelling, clear persuasive email message to a client. It may feel a bit awkward at first, but taking the time to experiment will improve your ability to write effective client emails and get responses and results you deserve!

This entry was posted by Tanja Parsley on May 13, 2014 in Email Sales Communications, Persuasion. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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