EMAILS – how to ensure your readers do what you want

6th February 2024

Recently, I’ve had lots of people asking me the best way to end emails. So, here we go…

  • The aim of emails is that our readers DO what we want
  • And if we want them to DO something, we have to ask them to DO it!
  • In other words, our emails need to end with a Call To Action
  • Here’s the one I found works best – it contains three critical things

       Please can you [1 – insert their action] by [2 – insert their deadline].

       And then I will [3 – insert the action I’ll do, as soon as they’ve done theirs].

For example:

“Please can you confirm the date of our meeting by the end of today. And then I will schedule it in my diary, and do my prep for you.”

This ending works well – for four reasons:

  1. I’ve asked them to DO something. So they’re more likely to DO it
  2. The deadline means they’re more likely to DO it on time
  3. “And then I will” shows the benefits of doing what I’ve asked. After all, if they confirm the meeting time, I’ll put it in my diary and do my prep. And conversely…
  4. … they also know that, if they don’t do their action, I won’t do mine. So, if they don’t confirm the date, it isn’t in my diary, I haven’t done my prep… and it’s all their fault!

A MUCH better ending than the usual “Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call.”

This will never cause them to DO anything – because we haven’t asked them to DO anything!

I know this all sounds obvious.

But do you do it?


Let’s find out…

Action Point

  • Go to your sent items, and review how you ended each of your last five emails. Did the reader know exactly what you wanted them to DO?
  • If your Call To Action is missing any of the three elements, include them in your next email!

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