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A sales email should be like a conversation with a stranger…

… But sadly quite often we are not very good at talking with strangers.

Research into people’s attitudes toward their fellow citizens shows that generally we do care about each other, we are interested in each other, and most of us are genuinely interested in learning about new and different ideas.

Unfortunately, many people who write advertisements forget this.  And that includes even those highly paid people who write adverts for our government.

As an example, we might note the recent opportunity for eminent researchers in science, the humanities, engineering and medicine to come and work in Britain without the hassle of visas or having a job already lined up.

Unfortunately, not one single person from anywhere in the world applied, even though it would mean an opportunity to work in one of the most prestigious universities in the world.   And that was because the advertisements were written in completely the wrong way.

The method that works is not one that tells people what they should do, or worse, suggests they would be silly to miss an opportunity, but one that is akin to having a conversation on a train with a stranger you just happen to be sitting opposite.

The fact is, most of us do feel goodwill toward strangers, at least until they start telling us what we should do.  Thus, emails that are written in the helpful manner that one might adopt in talking with a stranger tend always to have the greatest chance of success.

So, no sudden use of bold, or underlining, nothing that tells the recipient how astonishingly brilliant the product is.  No SHOUTING and no bullying with bold.  And certainly no suggestion that everyone else is doing this, and the reader is an idiot if he/she is not following the trend.

In short, if you can write your sales email in the same way that you would talk to a stranger who is genuinely interested in you and your work, without going into any sales talk, that can bring you in many more sales than might otherwise be the case.

What is also interesting is that research shows that most people overestimate how difficult such a conversation can be and underestimate how interested the other person can become, if you get the opening right. 

Which brings us to the question, how is this “conversation with strangers” achieved?

First, as a rule, short shouts such as “Sale!” don’t work, while longer open questions and intriguing statements placed as headlines, can draw the reader in.

Second, remember you are only writing to one person.  So don’t ever say, “some of you”.  As far as the reader is concerned there is only one of her or him.

Third, you must balance the need to be interesting with the awareness that you are intruding on the individual’s time.  You have to intrigue the recipient, as well as show that you are a jolly respectful person.

So now, if you are thinking of doing an email campaign with Schools.co.uk and you would like some help or support in getting the text of the email, we’ll be happy to help you develop the approach with no cost and no obligation. 

Just email Stephen@schools.co.uk with a copy of a recent advertisement, or call 01604 880 927 and tell us about your product or service, and we’ll help you develop an advert based on the “conversations with strangers” approach.  

The email doesn’t have to go out until the new year, and can go out through any of our services – that’s entirely a matter for you. 

I do hope you might be interested.

Tony Attwood

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