Influential emails – persuade readers to do what you want

9th April 2019

The three steps of influencing are:

  1. Identify what you want someone to DO
  2. Identify why they’ll think it’s in their interest to DO so
  3. Flip it – say the benefit first, before asking them to DO it

Applying this to emails, it means we need to:

  • Start – have an engaging title, so they’ll open it
  • End – ask them to DO something – or they won’t do anything

For the title, you can add an intriguing half-sentence to your usual title. For example, you could turn the title ‘Project X’ into:

  • Project X – a quick question to ask…; or
  • Project X – please can you…

The half-sentence makes them curious. They open it to see what’s next.

And for the end, be clear on the actions:

“Please can you (insert their action) by (insert deadline). And then I will (insert what I’ll do, after they’ve done it).”
MUCH better than "Any questions, please shout."

Action Point

You’re about to write an email. Change your start and end to include the above. They’ll be more likely to open it, and DO what you want.

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