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Chris Hardy is a full-time content marketer running several niche blogs and a growing YouTube channel. A teacher at heart, Chris spent 10+ years as a professional dance and English teacher before diving into the world of online business where he made a name for himself on YouTube exposing "make money" scams.

Did you know that email is still the most popular way to communicate online? According to a study by Pew Research Center,

"Email remains the primary vehicle for exchanging messages with organisational contacts."

If you're looking for a way to reach more customers and boost sales, email is definitely worth understanding.

In this post, we'll discuss some persuasion methods you can use in your emails to boost sales and increase conversions.

1. Timing is everything

You could be the most persuasive person in the world, but if your email isn't even being opened or read, it doesn't matter. Therefore, whether you're trying to land a job or close a business deal, timing is everything when it comes to sending emails.

Send an email too early and the recipient may not have time to respond. Send an email too late and you risk appearing disorganised or unprofessional. So how do you know when to hit send?

One rule of thumb is to avoid emailing during the recipient's busiest times of the day. For most people, this is early in the morning or late at night. Instead, try to send your email during the recipient's midday lull, when they're more likely to have time to read and respond to your message.

Another thing to keep in mind is the time zone difference. If you're emailing someone in a different part of the world, be sure to take into account the difference in time zones. You don't want your message to arrive in the middle of the night.

According to most studies, Tuesday at 10 a.m. is the best general time to send your sales and marketing emails, so use that as a starting point.

2. Personalise your email content for a more persuasive message

The next time you sit down to write an email, take a moment to think about your audience. Who are you writing to? What are their needs and preferences

Personalising your email content to match the recipient’s demographics and interests can make a big difference in how persuasive your message is. For example, if you’re writing to someone who likes to be informed about the latest news, including a link to a relevant article in your email can be a very effective way to get their attention.

On the other hand, if you’re emailing someone who prefers a more personal touch, adding a brief note about something you have in common can help create a connection.

By taking the time to personalise your email content, you’ll increase the chances that your message will be well-received and persuasive.

It also should go without saying to use people's names, especially on the subject line.

3. Use images and videos to capture attention and drive clicks

It's no secret that people are visual creatures. In fact, studies show that people are more likely to remember information if it is presented to them in an image or video format.

This is especially true when it comes to email marketing and sales emailing.

Adding an image or video to your emails can help capture attention and drive clicks. For example, you could include a relevant image in the header of your email to grab attention.

A short video clip in the body of your email demonstrating a product or service can also be powerful.

Use images and videos in your emails to get people to take notice.

4. Start your email with a question

Have you ever received an email that just started with a statement? Maybe it was something like "Hey, saw your post on the forum and thought you might be interested in my new product."

How did you feel when you read those emails?

If you're like most people, you probably didn't feel very engaged. But what if that email had started with a question instead?

For example: "[NAME]! Did you miss out on this?"

Suddenly, the email feels more personal and engaging, and your curiosity is peaked.

Starting your email with a question can be an incredibly effective way to engage your reader's attention. By posing a question at the outset, you force the reader to think about the answer and become invested in the email's content.

The recipient also knows right away what you need from them and so any thought or friction is diminished in order for them to respond.

This technique is especially effective when coupled with personalisation.

5. Use the PAS (Pain, Agitate, Solution) methodology

The PAS technique is a sales strategy that focuses on identifying and addressing a customer's Pain, Agitation, and Solutions. The idea is that by understanding a customer's specific needs and pain points, you can more effectively sell them a solution that meets their needs.

In many cases, customers may not even be aware of the solutions that are available to them, making it all the more important for salespeople to be knowledgeable about the products and services they are selling.

Additionally, by addressing a customer's pain points directly, you can build trust and credibility with them, making it more likely that they will do business with you in the future.

The PAS sales technique is great for email selling because it's simple and easy to remember. Plus, it's effective!

Here's how it works:

  1. Identify the pain point that your prospect is experiencing.
  2. Agitate that pain point by reminding them of how annoying or difficult it is.
  3. Offer a solution in the form of your product or service.

By using this technique, you can quickly capture your prospects' attention and demonstrate how your offering can help them solve their problem.

Example 1:

Problem / Pain Point
Managing customer relationships can be difficult, especially if you're trying to do it all by yourself.

It's hard enough keeping track of your own emails, phone calls, and meetings, let alone trying to keep track of your customers' contact information and what happened when.

With NetHunt's easy-to-use CRM software, you can manage all your customer interactions in one place. You'll never have to worry about losing track of a lead or forgetting to follow up again.

Example 2:

Problem / Pain Point
Most CRMs are either too complex, expensive, or both.

Managing customer relationships is one of the most important aspects of any business, but it can be hard to do and not to mention expensive.

NetHunt CRM is the perfect solution for businesses of all sizes. Our CRM is easy to use and comes with all the features you need to manage your customer relationships effectively. Did I mention it's the most cost-effective solution on the market?

6. Use cognitive bias triggers

If you want more email opens, clicks, and conversions, then you need to know about cognitive biases. These are mental shortcuts that our brain takes when it's trying to process information quickly.

There are certain triggers that you can use in your sales emails to take advantage of these biases and increase your results.

Understanding cognitive biases and using them can be advantageous when used anywhere from sales emails to teleprompters.

Here are some of the best cognitive bias triggers to use in your sales emails...

The authority bias

People tend to follow the lead of credible and expert sources. So, if you can position yourself as an authority in your industry, then your emails will be more likely to get opened and clicked on.

Common example: "According to experts..."

The social proof bias

This is the tendency for people to follow the actions of others. So, if you can show that lots of other people are using and enjoying your product or service, then prospects will be more likely to convert.

Common example: "We have over 100 testimonials..."

The scarcity bias

This is the fear of missing out on something that's rare or in limited supply. So, if you create a sense of urgency in your emails (e.g. only X left!), then people will be more likely to act fast and click through to your offer.

Common example: "Only 5 spots left... price increases in 2 days."

The contrast bias

The contrast bias is a cognitive bias that refers to our tendency to judge things based on how they compare to other things, rather than on their own merits.

Common example: "Buy today for the price of a Starbucks coffee."

By using these cognitive bias triggers in your email marketing, you can increase your persuasiveness, which leads to increased opens, click-through rates, and conversions.

7. Use effective call-to-actions

If you're looking to improve your email marketing campaigns, one of the best things you can do is make sure your call to action is effective. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  • Keep it simple and straightforward. Your call to action should be easy to understand and not too wordy.
  • Be specific. Tell recipients exactly what you want them to do, whether it's click a link, call a number, or sign up for a free trial.
  • Use strong verbs. Words like "join," "start," and "discover" are more likely to get people to take action than weaker verbs like "click here".
  • Offer something valuable. If you're asking people to sign up for your newsletter, for example, make sure they know what they'll be getting in return. A good incentive can go a long way towards increasing conversions. This also hits on another cognitive bias known as reciprocity.

Call-To-Action examples

With effective call-to-actions, it pays to think about three things:

  1. Make use of an imperative. “Claim Your Spot”
  2. Keep things short. “Join”
  3. Show a benefit if you can. E.g. "Join for a free month".

In the case of using an imperative, think about verbs that paint a visual of getting or obtaining something. “Get Started”, and “Claim Your Spot” are some that come to mind.

People like the idea of claiming, getting or even grabbing things that have value. Some more examples are below.


Call To Actions

Offering a call/demo

“Book a Free Call”
“Claim Your Free Demo”
“Get Started” (BarkBox)

Offering a free trial

“Join Free For A Month” (Netflix)
“Claim Your Free Trial” (Treehouse)
“Join” (Panthera)

Newsletter Subscription

“Sign Up Free” (Dropbox)
“Subscribe” (OfficeVibe)
“Get Involved” (BetaBrand)

Tying it all together

To illustrate these methods of persuasion, below is an email that utilises the points discussed.

Sent: Tuesday, 10 AM

Subject: John, have you seen this yet??

Hi John,

I loved the article you posted the other day about the difficulties you faced when starting your business. You hit the nail on the head.

I can definitely relate to how difficult it can be to get used to all the unexpected moving parts when starting a business, especially when you’re a solopreneur. It can make things really difficult.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the most important part of your business is ‘money-in,’ and the way you do that is by selling. If you’re not focused on that, things can go downhill fast.

For this reason, managing customer relationships is arguably the most important aspect of any business, but we all know how complex and expensive it can be.

I allowed so many potential customers to slip through the cracks and it cost me thousands simply because I wasn’t organizing my relationships.

A tool that really helped me was NetHunt’s CRM software. Unlike other options out there, it was super easy to get started with not to mention way more in my price range than (contrast bias) anything else out there.

It turned into a real-life saver.

I thought I’d stumbled on a gold mine, but turns out a lot of people have had the same results as me.

(Social proof)
NetHunt CRM social proof

(Authority bias: Google)
A tool that really helped me was NetHunt’s CRM software. Unlike other options out there, it was super easy to get started with not to mention way more in my price range than (contrast bias) anything else out there.

(Contrast bias)
The best part is, that you can get started on their basic plan for the price of basically a couple of pizzas.

I’m not sure how long it’ll be at the current price though, so probably best to get in while you can.

As I said, it literally saved my business.

Check it out here -> JOIN. (Call to action)

Talk soon!

To wrap up

Email is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. But, if you want it to be persuasive, you need to understand how persuasion works.

Persuasive cold emailing starts with understanding your customer and what will motivate them to take action. Once you know what makes them tick, you can use that information to create email campaigns that speak directly to their needs.

Remember though, that persuasion is not about tricking people. Your goal should be to bring value in the form of your product or service that you believe will truly add value to their lives, despite them maybe not knowing it yet.

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