How to Write a Persuasive Request

One of my favorite classes in college was Business Communication. This was back in the days when people wrote letters, used stamps and stationery. We learned to write letters of all sorts including sales letters, collection letters and invitations. My teacher singled me out for my outstanding letter writing skills. One style was starting with a buffer paragraph then a gentle set up for the request, then spelling out the request and wrapping up with an upbeat ending. Isn’t that much like how to effectively ask for anything? Here’s the steps to making a persuasive request:

1) mention something that interests the reader;
2) add some “you” here of how the reader or those other than the writer will benefit;
3) state the request in specific terms;
4) suggest that compliance will be easy and satisfying; and
5) reflect confidence and appreciation in a favorable response.

Might these guidelines help you with your next creative e-mail or letter asking for donations or cooperation or do you already write this way?

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