Persuasion is the art of getting someone to do what you want them to do, or at least to act in a way that benefits you. We’re all doing it every day, whether we realize it or not. Whether you’re trying to convince your boss that you deserve a raise, your spouse to take out the trash after dinner or your friend NOT to watch The Bachelor finale with you (because seriously), being persuasive over email is an essential skill for anyone who wants to get things done effectively and efficiently.
Make sure you’re communicating the right message
When sending an email message, you have to be clear and concise. Don’t send emails that are too long or too short. A good rule of thumb is to keep your email under four sentences. If it’s longer than that, consider breaking it down into separate emails or writing a shorter summary at the top of the message so people know what they’re getting into when they open it up (which will make them more likely to read).
Don’t send vague emails either—you don’t want people feeling confused after reading something as basic as a request for a meeting! Lastly, don’t send too many details in an email; they’ll just distract from your main point and waste everyone’s time.
Take advantage of the differences in communication mediums
The medium you choose to communicate with your audience can have a significant impact on the message you’re sending and the response you get.
- Longer messages are more easily read over email, but they may be harder to digest quickly and require more time to process.
- Informal language is usually acceptable in emails, so long as it doesn’t come across as unprofessional (i.e., “Thanks!” instead of “Thank you.”)
- Short messages are often easier for recipients who don’t have time to read long documents or respond in detail; however, it’s important not to make assumptions about how much information your reader needs before sending them anything else! This will also allow them more time if necessary later down the road when responding back at all.”
Use your subject lines to get attention and set expectations
- Use your subject lines to get attention and set expectations. At the top of your email, where you see the sender’s name, there is also a subject line. This should give readers a sense of what you’re about to say next, even if they glance at it quickly or view it in their inbox on their phone.
- Don’t use all capital letters in a subject line—this looks too informal and can come across as aggressive or demanding.
- Shorten your subject lines so they fit into one line instead of two; this makes them easier to read.
- Don’t include more than 20 words in your email title (and keep it concise). If someone sees an overly long subject line first thing when they open up their inbox, they may assume that there’s nothing of substance behind it, so why bother reading?
Use language that gets people to take action
- Use active verbs: Active verbs are better for getting your point across because they make the sentence more powerful and compelling.
- Use short sentences: Short sentences allow you to get straight to the point, which will get your reader’s attention faster.
- Use short paragraphs: Long paragraphs are difficult for people to read and comprehend. They can leave them feeling overwhelmed or confused about what you’re trying to say without a break in between sections of information.
You can also use lists when appropriate, as they help break up your content into smaller chunks that are easier for people’s eyes and brains to process at once!
Don’t be afraid to use names and titles when necessary
- Don’t be afraid to use names and titles when necessary. You may feel awkward if you’re not used to it, but it’s important to remember that your reader will appreciate the personalization. If you’re trying to help someone out with a problem they’ve been having with their computer, don’t say “Hi there! I saw that you were having trouble with your computer.” Instead, try something like “Hi Jane! I saw that you were having trouble with your computer.” This can also work when addressing an older or higher-up person at work: “Dear Mr Smith” instead of just “Dear Smith”. In these cases it can be more polite than simply using an informal first name without any title (like saying “Lisa”).
- Don’t use titles just because you can. Just as there are times when using someone’s name might enhance the quality of your message (such as when writing about them), there are also times when using their title might actually detract from it by seeming overly formal or impersonal (for example in a message where everyone knows each other).
Take care to craft your messages carefully
When you’re sending an email, it’s easy to get carried away with your words and forget that the person on the other end might not understand what you mean. When you’re writing a persuasive email, this is especially important: You want to make sure that anyone who reads the message understands exactly what you’re trying to say.
The best way to do this is by being very clear about what it is that you want. If someone has already done something wrong or needs more information from them, explain exactly what the problem is and how they can fix it (if possible). That way there’s no room for miscommunication between the two of you—and no question as to why they should do what they need to do.
Another important element of persuasion over email is making sure that whatever task(s) need doing are concisely outlined in one concise paragraph or two at most (three if absolutely necessary). Don’t write out pages upon pages explaining every detail; keep things brief but detailed enough so there won’t be any confusion on their part about what needs done and why.
Also remember that spelling errors and bad grammar can dilute your message’s effect significantly; take care while crafting each sentence so as not leave any room for misinterpretation or confusion on behalf of whomever ends up reading it!
Don’t forget to add a CTA to your email
A Call To Action (CTA) is a button that allows users to perform an action. A CTA can be used to encourage the reader to take action by offering them an incentive or reward for doing so, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading an ebook.
Common ways to use CTAs include:
- Add a link at the end of your email asking the user to sign up for your newsletter
- Put a button on your landing page asking people to click if they want more information about your product or service
- Use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook by creating ads with CTAs directing people back to your site
When your reader’s inboxes are as full as yours, you have to work hard at getting attention.
When you’re trying to get your reader’s attention, email can be a crowded space. Perhaps they have 1,000 unread messages in their inboxes. Or maybe they’ve been on vacation for two weeks, and the last thing they want to look at is another email. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure your message gets opened—and then read carefully. And finally: responded to!
Here are five ways you can do this:
You should be able to see how simple it is to get your point across with just a little bit of finesse. The key is knowing your audience and understanding what methods work best for them, whether that’s sending them an email or giving them a call. Think about what they would expect in an email from you—and then give it to them! Good luck out there!