For years I’ve been bugging people for money, love, answers, replies and reviews via email. Sometimes I get what I want. Sometimes I don’t.
Here are my under-researched, unacademic and totally unfounded findings in the art of email persuasion.
1. Small is beautiful
Keep the email as short as possible. Say what you want to say with as few words as possible. Respect the recipient’s time – they’re as busy as you are. They don’t want to read unnecessary information.
Cut out at least 30% of the words on the first edit (and you should be editing at least three times).
2. KIPJ – keep it plain, Jane
This is such good news if you’re lazy like me. There’s just one bit of ever so fancy HTML mark-up you need use:
… ooh, tricky!
That’s it! No logos, no graphics, no borders, no images and, definitely, no animated GIFs.
3. You only link once
9 times out of 10 you will be trying to get your recipients to first click on a link in the email (and then to buy, sign up or perform some action). To increase the likelihood of the initial click happening, make sure you’re only trying to get them to go to one place. Only try to get them to do one thing.
Don’t present the readers with a hotch-potch of links, stories and messages. You are saying: “you will find some of these less interesting than others” and the recipients will automatically think that the link you really want them to click is the least interesting one.
You may have several links but they should all go to the same place.
4. PS I love you
There may be one exception to the above rule. In the PS. Every email should have a PS. Because everyone reads the PS.
So, if you really want to put an extra link in an email, you should add it to the post script. Otherwise, use the PS to reinforce the main message or link of the email.
5. Honesty is the best policy.
If you make a “one time offer”, make sure you only make it once and don’t offer it cheaper later in the day.
6. WIIFM – the only radio station in town.
Brand building, establishing authority and personal photos are all great things – but usually, not in a sales email.
Every sentence of an email should be about how the recipients life can and will be made better. Always imagine your email’s recipients are thinking: What’s In It For Me?