Adding Questions to Emails
Customer-focused writing uses questions to engage the reader and get them thinking about how a product or service can affect their life.
As a writer, you want to ask questions to drive engagement. However, if you ask too many questions of your reader, they might disengage or not know what to do next. Aim to ask one to two questions to engage your reader without overwhelming them.
When considering what questions to add to your email, here are some best practice tips.
First, establish your credibility. If you’re going to ask someone to do something for you, like book a time for a phone call or reply to an email, make it clear who you are and why you deserve their time.
You should also make sure your next steps are clear. If you want a customer to reply to your email, tell them that. If you’re asking a prospective client to click a link to confirm a meeting time, make sure you’ve told them exactly what to do and expect.
Make your ask twice. We recommend putting your ask at the top of your email and at the bottom. That way, your prospect understands the action required of them immediately. The first ask doesn’t always have to be a question. For instance, here’s what a speaker invite email might look like:
Dear Jane Doe,
My name is John Doe and I run the popular Writing Online conference, which draws over 10,000 writers to our virtual events. I’m writing to see if you’d be interested in speaking at this year’s conference.
By opening the email with the ask, you make sure your prospect knows the goal of your message. Then, you can the email close with a final sentence that reframes the initial ask in question form.
Remember to limit the number of questions you include in your email. Having one or two questions with clear next steps is best practice. If you have more than that, your customer may become confused or overwhelmed.