The Art of the Persuasive Email

By aiwpadminFebruary 29, 2016

by Shahnaz Mahmud.

 

Forbes Magazine laid out the basics of persuasion in an article 3 years ago. The first entry states: “Persuasion Is Not Manipulation. Manipulation is coercion through force to get someone to do something that is not in their own interest. Persuasion is the art of getting people to do things that are in their own best interest that also benefit you.”

Marketers, this definition is key.

Persuasion will be the focus of an instructional session at the upcoming LeadsCon Las Vegas Conference in mid-March, “6 Scientific Secrets of Persuasive Emails.” Sometimes, persuasion is perceived in a negative light; that all it takes are some pleasing words and voilà!

It’s Not What You Say Or How You Say It – What?
But, the truth for marketers is it’s not in what you say or even how you say it. What?

According to Ian Brodie in his analysis of persuasive emails, (and culling from experts): “What has the biggest impact on your persuasiveness by far is how deeply you understand your ideal customers. The insights you have into their hopes, fears, aspirations, goals, problems and challenges.” So how can you successfully approach a (potential consumer) through email, keeping this top of mind?

Best Email Marketing Practices
Leslie Ye breaks it down in a blog post. Here are some words of wisdom:

In keeping with the theme of insight, Ye’s number one priority is to “Know Your Audience.” Ye points out that without this, you won’t be able to write effectively — or persuasively — to them.

Utilize word-of-mouth that lives on in social media. By highlighting high-profile customers or even just having their influential stamps of approval will help your efforts in nabbing the customer.

“Get your foot in the door with a small ask,” Ye writes. After saying yes to a small ask, someone is more likely to respond positively to further requests. The trick is to ask a question they will likely not refuse.

Use a headshot to create a virtual connection. This, writes Le, reminds people that you are human, too.

When you know a customer’s pain points, it’s easier to appeal to their emotional side and help them solve the problem or need that they have. “While you should never attempt to over-exaggerate a business pain or spin one out of thin air, use the agitate-and-solve technique when it’s clear they haven’t fully conceptualized the cost of inaction,” she advises.

Reason with the customer. When you can demonstrate to them why they need something — that’s a big trigger to action, says Ye.

And finally, subtly remind a prospective customer that the choice is theirs to make. “Nobody likes to be told what to do,” Ye reminds us. “And even if you’re not being pushy or aggressive, many people will still chafe at the suggestion that you know what’s best for them. A simple reassurance that you’re not attempting to push your preferences or worldview onto them is powerful.”

So remember, knowing your customer is a critical step before launching your campaign. What do they say about action over words? The more you prepare yourself in knowing your target audience and truly understanding their needs will go farther than engaging copy. It’s an added benefit, but you’ve got to make it understood that you can create value in their lives.

Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2016.

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