Sales and Growth

7 Powerful Strategies to Make Your Emails More Persuasive

The Best 7 Strategies to Make Your Email Marketing a Success


Hamna Azam


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Communication is the key to success in sales and marketing. Successfully closing deals, providing value, and explaining the complexities of your product rely on your ability to express yourself effectively. An outreach email is an art form of writing. You only have a tiny window, even if it's just a few seconds, to catch your reader's attention and convince them to take one step closer toward purchasing something or taking the action you want them to. The following writing techniques will empower your emails to make an impact. 

These 7 powerful persuasion techniques will help you in your next email:

1) Make sure you know your audience 

It is the foundation of writing an email. Without knowing who you are addressing, emails can be ineffective and meaningless. Your writing will not be persuasive without understanding your audience - whether it's someone hesitant about making a purchase or if you'd like to upsell them with some other products or services.

2) Leverage social proof

When we see other people making the same decision, it's natural for us to follow suit. This is called social proof, and there are a few reasons why it works the way it does. The first reason is because of reference group norms. When others in our reference group (people with similar interests or demographics) make decisions like this one, they're often seen as more credible than an individual commentator would be on their own. This means that even if you don't know anything about a topic. Social proof is about making decisions based on other people's behaviour because we believe it reflects the right decision. You're already using the concept of social proof through customer case studies and social proof. Why don't you extend these efforts into email marketing campaigns

How to use it: Give reference to a high-profile and large customer base. If you are trying to sell a potential customer on your product, point out how many of their competitors use it. 

For example, McDonald's slogan "Billions and billions served" calls out the company's giant customer base. Yelp's success is a result of its user-generated content: Crowdsourced reviews that leverage the power of social proof.

3) Start with a small request 

Why it works: Once they say "yes" to a small request - the proverbial foot in the door -they're more likely to agree with future requests. 

How to use it: Ask your recipient a question that they are likely to say yesto. 

For example: If you sell software that tracks trigger events for your target accounts, one way to get a "yes" is by confirming that their sales team wants to improve their prospect outreach.

4) Include a headshot in your email signature

Why it works: Making eye contact with people can make us feel connected. In one Cornell University study, researchers found that participants most often chose cereal boxes where the rabbit was looking directly at them when they edited images of the Trix rabbit mascot.

How to use it: When you're emailing someone, it can be hard to have actual eye contact. For this reason, including a large photo of yourself in the body of an email isn't appropriate and will only make people uncomfortable. However, forgetting that there's always a person on the other end of your emails is easy to do! Including a small headshot of yourself at the bottom or top corner of an email, your signature leaves them with no doubt that you're human too! 

5) A good approach is to address the problem and find a solution

Why it works: It's not always easy to convince people they have a problem, even if they do. But emotions are powerful! People might be subconsciously attached to the old way of doing things (causing inertia) or afraid of making the wrong decision so your product won't always be instantly appealing. To convince them, you may have to talk about the problem in emotional terms and then swoop in with a solution that demonstrates how you can help.

How to use it: It's important not to exaggerate a business pain or spin one out of thin air, but use the agitate-and-solve technique when it’s clear they haven’t fully conceptualized the cost of inaction.Find out what matters to them. Is it personal or professional achievement that they are driven by, or do they want to see the bottom line grow? Then show how inaction will only worsen their current situation and demonstrate why your product would help. 

For example, One way an office supply salesperson could get their competitors' customers is to probe into the significance of late deliveries. Getting prospects to talk through immediate and ripple effects will help them understand how important it is for these shipments not to be late. Once they're well-informed, she can then tell her prospective client about her company's efficient service and customer support.

6) Write down a reason

Why it works: Giving people a reason why you need something (no matter how ridiculous it increases the possibility that they'll do what you ask. Psychologist Ellen Langer conducted a study in which experimenters were asked to skip ahead in line at a Xerox machine. When they asked, "I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" they were allowed past the line 60% of the time - not too shabby! 93% of the time, when people asked to skip the line at a photocopying machine and stated that they needed it for "some copies", they were allowed to forget. Even though everyone else in the Xerox machine line needed to make copies, they complied because the experimenters provided a reason.

How to use it: We don't recommend coming up with ridiculous excuses in order to get prospects to sign a contract. That's not good for anybody. Providing a simple explanation instead of just 'nagging' them, like "I would like to set up an appointment with you because I can help you do X strategy," could pay huge dividends though!

For example: Instead of saying, "I'd like to set up a conversation so we can discuss your project management software strategies," try this instead: "I'd like to set up a conversation with you about how our services could help increase your lead generation by 40%."

7) Do not forget to remind prospects it’s their choice

Why it works: Nobody likes being told what to do. Even if you're not pushy or aggressive, many people will still resist the suggestion that you know what's best for them. It turns out that a simple reassurance of not trying to influence them can double the chance someone would say yes. Across 42 psychology studies involving 22,000 subjects, it was demonstrated in one particular study that using phrases like "But the decision is yours" could help make someone more likely to agree with your request. 

How to use it: You don't want to overuse this one - tempering every recommendation you make by reminding prospects they have no obligation to listen with a compelling message is not a great idea. But when you are asking for something more significant or dealing with someone unsure, dropping in an assurance that we can take the time it needs without forcing them into anything can be powerful. 

For example, A software salesperson could write this message to a prospect who is hesitant about switching platforms: "One of the reasons I wanted to reach out is because you mentioned that you were worried about migrating from your current tool to ours. Sally put together a high-level overview for your system, designed as simple and easy for our customers as possible. We can discuss this more tomorrow during our call when we discuss how migration will work concerning each component of the program (application programming interfaces or APIs). Based on our previous conversations, I strongly believe that this switch would be the best long-term solution for your company – but again, it's up to you! Let me know what you think."

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Table of Contents

    In a nutshell

    Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions or decisions of others in an attempt to conform. It works by showing evidence that others have already taken the desired action, creating a sense of trust and credibility.
    The ideal size for a headshot in emails is around 200-300 pixels wide, and no more than 200-250 KB in file size to avoid slowing down email delivery.
    Communication is important in sales and marketing because it helps to build relationships, establish trust, and persuade customers to take action. Effective communication can help to clarify the value proposition of a product or service, address customer concerns, and differentiate a brand from competitors.
    To write an effective outreach email, it's important to personalize the message, provide value to the recipient, and make a clear call-to-action. Start with a strong subject line, introduce yourself, explain why you're reaching out, and offer a solution or benefit to the recipient. Keep the message concise and professional, and end with a clear call-to-action.
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