Partners in Performance Blog

Email Persuasion Tip #4: Less Is More

Persuasive-emailsWhen it comes to emails that get opened by your clients and get immediate responses, less is more. The less your email looks like a “wall of words,” the more persuasive and effective it will be. Email persuasion requires attention to both email structure (see last week’s post) and formatting. An eye friendly format is key.

Too much information, especially when it’s all bunched together in long run-on sentences with no paragraph spacing, will probably not get read. It certainly won’t get an immediate response.

Why? It’s logical. It will take time for your reader to scale your wall of words, and things that take time, well, we just put them off until later.

Yet, we’ve all done it. We sit down and write an email spontaneously, pouring out our thoughts onto the screen, writing like we talk, explaining everything, covering all our bases, just like I’m doing in this paragraph right here, leaving out nothing, because it’s all important, of course it is, because I need you to know this!

Stop! Emails should be minimalist like a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe home or an Yves Klein monochrome painting.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Start with an opening sentence by addressing the recipient and establishing the purpose of your email. (Example: “I hope all is well with you. Congratulations on bringing Sam on board. That’s a real coup! He will certainly bring great value to your team. “) (Rapport, commonality)
  • Introduce your call to action up front: what response do you wish from the reader after reading your email? (Example: I am writing to request 30 minutes in your calendar during the week of June 1st or June 8th.” (Initial call to action)
  • Use short sentences to explain the issues. (Example: “The purpose of our meeting is to explore some ideas about how to leverage UPFRONT within your company. Here are some thoughts about why this might be important for you:(Purpose of the meeting stated with benefits)
  • Break up paragraphs often – only one or two sentences.
  • Use bullet points to make the email easily readable
  • Underline key words or bold them to make the email scannable and quick to read.
  • Repeat your call to action and spell out the actions that you want to come next. (Example: “Here are times that work in my calendar: Tues. June 3rd between 11:00 and 5:00 EST or Wed. June 11th – open all day. Please confirm a 30 time block that works  or suggest a couple of other options. (Final call to action)

But many of us are in too much of a hurry to put ourselves in our client’s head and make the effort to understand how he or she might perceive our email. Most of us are too quick to send the email and don’t bother re-reading or editing it.

To be really effective at writing persuasive emails you’ll need to slow down and think before you send. A little time spent on structure and formatting your email will get better, more persuasive results.

This entry was posted by Tanja Parsley on May 29, 2014 in Email Sales Communications. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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