Recently I’ve received a series of emails from a committee I’m on that have been absolutely confounding. They are packed with details and usually include several attachments. They’re written with multiple fonts, plus bolding and italics being used with no rhyme or reason to the emphasis. It takes me forever to get through the emails, and, in the end, I’m left with NO idea if I need to do anything!
The good news? I was inspired to write this article. You’re welcome.
Whether your emails include a sales offer, or simply a question you need answered promptly, here are my top six tips to your emails get more attention!
- Move your reader right away with your subject line. If you need a response, ask for one right in your subject line, i.e. “NEED RESPONSE ASAP”. I definitely capitalize when it’s urgent. My most effective subject line ever is “Quick question.”
- Keep it short. Especially if you use the subject line “Quick question”, don’t write a novel, or include an entire sales page. When I’m doing speaking inquiries (and this has worked for people looking for funding and corporate training opportunities as well), I use the “Quick question” subject line, and simply write, “Hi! Could you let me know the process for being considered as a speaker for your group?” I get a response about 90% of the time from complete strangers.
- Keep the fonts consistent. If you use a variety of fonts, your reader’s brain gets distracted trying to absorb both the message and the inconsistent fonts. This draws attention away from your message and call to action.
- If you have more than one point, number or bullet point the list. Visually, this makes it clear what your reader should be paying attention to. Ideas can get lost in the middle of paragraphs, and you can lose your reader.
- End with ONE question. If you simply want to start a conversation to build rapport, end with a question. My speaking inquiry above is an example of this, and here’s one more, “I’d like to be able to refer you, so could you describe your ideal client to me?”
- If there’s something you need your reader to do, make sure it is crystal clear. If you have a call to action – even if it is just a request to respond – make sure it is visually separate from the rest of the email.
BONUS TIP: If you’re looking to connect with someone, email them individually. When people know they’re in a crowd of others receiving an email, they feel they can hide and don’t need to respond.
What strategies have you used to get more responses from email?