Here are 5 reasons why emails tend not to get the response you want and 5 simple steps that you can take right now to make your email more persuasive.

1) Bad subject header

Email subject headers are the first reason why your email may not connect properly with your audience.

If you do not state quite clearly why they should read it (especially for unsolicited email), then the chances are that you're not going to be able to get the audience to even open the email and it will be deleted before you have a chance to put your awesome proposition to them.

The first thing you need to do here is offer some kind of reason why the email is important. We applied this simple principle to a mail-out to Computer-Links customers. They wanted to invite people to an event, but they typically had pretty poor responses from their emails. We suggested to start with the subject line "Invite only event:" open rates improved by over 40% and the event was very well attended.

You need to use the subject to make your reader feel important.

2) Bad opening statement

"Hi" is a pretty poor way of opening an email.
We'd recommend addressing all emails, by using a semi-formal tone. "Dear John" is not appropriate in the new-media field of email, but "Good morning Dave" hits the right balance. Be careful here and write it for whoever it is that is receiving it. Tailor it to their timezone. Don't repeat a mistake I once made by sending something at 11:30 pm with "Good morning" in it. The recipient replied immediately saying "it's not morning yet". Thankfully it was to someone who understood good email practice and so there wasn't an issue, but don't assume that a business email only gets delivered to an email browser. Often, they will be downloaded to smart phones or other portable devices before they hit the office PC.

3) Mismatched language

Mismatched language is the biggest reason for lack of rapport in email and lack of rapport can kill relationships of all types - not just email ones.

For more on mis-matched language, watch our demo video which explains the principles of thought-matching.

4) 50% of email is misinterpreted

Believe it or not, over half of all email is not interpreted correctly! This shocking statistic occurs for a few reasons. Mismatched language is one of them, but another is more difficult to get around. And that is the issue of the internal voice.

When people read, they have an internal voice which tends to vocalise the words that are being read, inside the head of the reader. This comes from when we learn to read - we start out-loud and then eventually turn the voice inside and read silently... The voice is still their in our head, we just manage to interrupt it before it gets to our vocal chords.

We can use emoticons in informal email to convey sarcasm or satire, but in formal communications, it may just look a bit silly. Try not using sarcasm, because nobody can read a sly grin without an emoticon. Likewise, the best way to overcome misunderstanding is to encourage good off-line relationships so that people get to know and like you. By having a good preconception of you, your audience's internal voice will be happy, friendly and pleasant, applying these qualities to whatever it is you're writing... and here's the best bit - even if your email is supposed to be horrible, your audience will probably still give you the benefit of the doubt; so encourage good relations offline as well as on.

5) Bad closing

Here again is where you can go wrong. All too often I see no structure around any email opening, body or closing and the same person uses multiple openings and closings which just reads as very bad.

The same person (someone I email regularly) responds with:



C ya

Have a good weekend

-- The first initial of their name --

-- Nothing at all -- (Just leaves it blank)

Best wishes


Warm regards

Best regards

Why so much confusion!? The close is one of the most important bits of an email. Use it to reiterate who you are, have a signature - ideally with your company name and/or logo and contact details, but you want to know what we use to close emails?

"All the best,"
Then our name, job title and contact info.

This is so that it closes it on the same semi-formal note as before and also that it suggests that all of the content in the email is "all the best".

You can use psychology to make your email "all the best" too, so follow these 5 simple steps and along with the Manteya email persuasion software, you'll be all set to start your journey to email success!

Author's Bio: 

Neil Trigger is a PhD researcher into the art of persuasion engineering online. He is 30 years old, married and lives with his wife and 2 children in South West England with an over-friendly cat called Shadow.