How Long Does It Take To Write A Persuasive Email
A common criticism of the personal development industry is that using the 'system' is harder than the gurus say.
That's not what I believe. I believe that we are all bad at remembering pain. So, when someone says, they worked 14 hours a day for 3 years straight, that doesn't register as being hard. At least it doesn't in my mind. It's only when I'm drowning in work that I wish it was easier... and start to complain.
So, today I'm going to pull back the curtain on how long it takes to write a persuasive email.
It takes me 2 hours to write a persuasive email.
Right now there are some people that think I'm a lazy slacker.
Others are dancing with delight because they aren't the only one.
What about the people that say they can write an email in 15 to 30 minutes?
I don't believe anyone can write a 500 word or more email in 15 minutes. Not an email that is going to inspire the reader take action.
When You Start The Clock
You see I start the clock when I start thinking about what I'm going to write.
Let's say I'm going to write 5 emails to promote a webinar. Each individual email must fit within the sequence. It must make sense as part of the whole.
Each email needs a different hook or emotional reason why the reader should register for the webinar.
I can easily spend 30 to 60 minutes thinking of the different stories, hooks and persuasive metaphors for each email.
I can then spend another 30 to 60 minutes thinking of the subject lines for each email. After all, the best copy in the world is only useful if it is read. So the subject line is the most important part of the email.
At this point, the clock has been running for 2 hours and I haven't written a single word!
Stories & Persuasive Metaphors
If you are using stories and persuasive metaphors to illustrate your point... then you must spend some time to bring them to life in the readers mind.
This is easy to do when the Persuasive Metaphor is an everyday object, such as Ebay. When the Persuasive Metaphor is less well know, like a Peleton in cycling. Then describing the metaphor in simple, visual language is critical.
Can you do that typing at 60 words a minute?
Editing Transforms Good To Great
Let's say that you can write a 500 word email in 30 minutes... once you know what you are going to write.
Do you throw down the words as fast as possible? Then immediately set up the email broadcast?
Do you edit what you've written?
When I say edit I don't mean spell check. I mean re-write passages that are difficult to read. I mean re-write passages written in passive voice. I mean re-write passages where your ideas or argument are incomplete.
Editing is where you transform good writing into something great.
Editing is where you improve. Editing is where you learn.
If you're not editing your work then you are doing yourself and your readers a disservice.
Some Days Writing Flows Like Water. Other Days Writing Is Like Breaking Rock With Your Bare Hands!
In his book Ernest Hemingway On Writing the great author states:
"Some days writing flows like water. Other days writing is like breaking rock with your bare hands."
That's true of all writing. It's especially true of writing emails.
There are times when I can write 5 webinar emails in 2 hours! The keyboard is smoking and I'm high on caffeine.
There are other times when I spend 2 hours thinking and searching for stories.
That's okay. Why? Because I expect it to take 2 hours to write, edit and proof read an email.
If you beat the clock today. Get up and celebrate. Do a dance around the office and enjoy the moment. I can guarantee it won't be as easy tomorrow.
I don't know why. All I know is that writing is not easy every day.
You'll surprise yourself when writing feels like blasting rock with your bare hands. This is when you find rewards in your dedication.
I Always Run A Personal Best When I Want To Quit!
When my life is in balance then I run 10km 4 or 5 times a week.
There are days when I can't wait to lace up my running shoes. I run with glee and try and beat the clock.
What does the clock tell me? You need to lose some weight.
Then there are days when I have to force myself out the door. These are the days when every single step feels like a victory. With every step I want to quit. I don't worry about the clock. I worry about making it home again.
These are the days when I run a personal best.
The days when I'm not trying to beat the clock are the days when I run an even pace for each kilometre. When the last kilometre is the same pace as the first. These are the days when I set records.
When I run out the door with a spring in my step my lungs burn for the second half of the route. And the clock tells me to try harder.
The same thing is true for your writing.
Don't quit on the days when writing is hard.
I write in 25 minute blocks of time. I measure how much I've written in each 25 minute block. Anything above 500 words is good. Above 750 words and the keyboard starts smoking.
The days when I write 300 or 150 words for the first block of time are the days when it's easy to quit.
When I do a final word count at the end of the day, the average is about 500 words for each 25 minute block.
How is that possible? How do I catch up?
Because just like with my running, every extra word I write is a victory. I focus on the work. I focus on writing the best copy I can rather than on the clock. Then I can relax and let it flow.
Now It's Your Turn
If you want to improve your email quality then you need to spend time editing and proofing your copy.
Once you've written your email copy that's only the first step of a 3 step process.
Writing - Editing - Proof Reading
The more time you can put between these steps the better. John Cables calls this process "Getting Cold".
When you are "cold" to your work it's easier to see your faults.
Technology also helps you see your faults. I use the writing app Hemingway Editor to show me where I've used passive voice. This also highlights long and confusing sentences. I find this a great tool to help edit my work.
Then I'll print each email and read it aloud before using Grammarly to proof read my work.
If you follow that process then your writing will improve.
If you've found this useful then please leave a comment below.
If you know a business owner that struggles to get their name out there then please share this with them.
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