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An injection of tone and persuasion for University of Portsmouth emails

The University of Portsmouth take emails seriously. With a sophisticated email journey and support from Litmus, they were hitting every point of the application cycle. But could they be more persuasive? Could they be more on brand? With a new tone of voice, we could see opportunities to help the team build stronger connections with their audience.



Email journeys are a demanding beast, devouring copy incessantly. Teams can struggle to maintain focus and remember that the brand voice is a big part of the comms. Challenges include the persuasive quality of the email. An open is all very well but Portsmouth wanted prospects to click through to the next stage, so good calls to action were vital. And how do you get the tone right for Gen Z? Tone of voice guidelines can be hard to interpret without practical tips.

What we did

Created a bespoke session

We surveyed the team for their specific challenges in writing emails and factored those into the workshop – which we structured around the universities distinctive tone of voice.

Covered tone and persuasion

As well as tone of voice, the team were very interested in persuasive techniques that might up their open and click rates. We divided the session into two parts covering tone and persuasion.

Made the session interactive and fun

The danger of online training is that it’s easy to switch off at home. By running lots of short sharp exercises and inviting team discussion, we kept everyone engaged.

Gave people tips they could use straightaway

The session was extremely practical and delegates could relate the advice immediately to challenges they were working on.

Followed up with support

For anyone unable to make the session, and for future reference, we recorded the workshop and supplied the deck with all the tips. 

“It was a really interesting session and run in a way that really worked online.”

Sarah Warrington

Marketing and Strategy Manager

University of Portsmouth

The results

14 people came away with a whole stack of tips on persuasion and using the new tone of voice. The session was so popular we were asked to run another one a few months later for 12 members of the alumni and post-grad teams.

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