I know, to many of you this might seem as such a trivial and ubiquitous task to do, that has now almost become a part of our lives.
At the same time, many of us also feel confident in themselves that this is something they have quite mastered by now. I’m sure you must be sending out hundreds of emails on a daily or weekly basis, but just hold this thought for a minute and think, ‘Have I really mastered the art of writing an email that will get an immediate response?’
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Start by thinking of the thousands of emails you receive in your inbox that you instantly delete without even opening them once.
We all open our emails in the morning and skim through our inbox and select the emails we want to keep and simply delete all the rest. This just shows how thousands of people still are quite clueless on how to compose a good email that doesn’t get deleted and has a better chance of getting a response.
Mastering the Skill of Sending Effective Emails
No matter how common or basic it has become nowadays to send emails, writing an email is still a skill that has to be learned. And despite its ever growing usage, unfortunately no one teaches us or young folks today how to write an effective email that will actually get a response.
Email has become the backbone of modern day communication. The email you send can make the whole difference between whether or not you get a job, whether or not you persuade someone on something important to you, whether or not you find a mentor, whether or not you get the advice you need, and so much more.
It’s All About Pitching
The person you are writing to, like everyone else, gets hundreds of emails every day. It’s not possible for that person to give the same amount of time and attention to each email in his/her inbox.
This is where the recipient consciously or unconsciously decides based on some particular characteristics, whether to open an email, or just kick it straight into his/her trash folder. But you aren’t victorious just yet.
Even if your recipient managed to open your email, how long does your email manage to grab the attention of the recipient? And finally does your email get a response from its recipient. If that happens, this is the real victory.
So how can you manage to win this victory? In a nutshell, you have to make sure your email is as easy as possible to comprehend and act upon by the recipient.
Your email has to be crafted and designed in a way that it’s easy to handle and gets answered as well rather than being piled along with the long list of emails to look at ‘in my free time’. So here are the simple and straightforward strategies to adopt to ensure your emails get an immediate response:
1. Subject line should be clear and descriptive
The subject line is the main deciding factor on whether your email should be viewed or kicked straight to the trash can. No matter how many emails you have exchanged between a person and yourself, when it comes to special requests or important emails always start with a fresh compose.
Don’t just click reply to a previous request for meeting or any other unrelated subject. This makes it easier for your recipient to quickly understand that this email is regarding something else and thus should be reviewed immediately rather than neglected for later viewing considering they already know what it’s about.
If you are already in the process of exchanging emails with a person by replying to the same thread but feel that now the subject has differed substantially from what it mainly started as, don’t hesitate to re-title the subject of your email to make it more reflective of the current discussion.
Busy people dealing with hundreds of emails on a daily basis can very easily lose track of what the main ‘request’ of an email was.
2. Ensure recipients are kept to as few as possible
We all understand that pitching out to as many people as possible can always result in a few good sales or wins, but don’t come off as a crying wolf to your target recipients by adding in lots of people to your email threads who are not even relevant.
You might think that this is helping spread the word, but with emails like these, most recipients simply start tuning out all such emails that they realize are being sent out to everyone and are not a personal message to them.
Always take the time to personally address each recipient of yours and ONLY write to those who are your actual target audience. Do not try to cover too much ground by letting your emails reach recipients that are not even relevant to your business or cause.
3. Put your bottom line in the very front
Most people have a habit of starting their email messages very vaguely talking about a bunch of other stuff until they finally reach the bottom line which is the true message of the email. This technique is never helpful in getting immediate responses.
Wasting your recipient’s time by making them read through lengthy paragraphs in order to reach the real ‘request’ is not going to give off a very good impression of you and in most cases will not even give you a response.
Therefore it is always important that you start your email with the main ‘requests’, the important message, and then have the other details and context of your email follow it. By following this strategy, you recipient will immediately know the purpose of your email and will be able to act equally quickly.
4. DO NOT bury or mingle your requests
It might be that your email does not have just one ‘request’ rather contains several requests. In this case always start your email by the overall main subject request of the most importance stated clearly at the very top of your email.
Then follow the context of your email by dividing it into paragraphs with each paragraph being focused on the next following ‘request’. Make sure that each new request is in another paragraph and is preferably stated in the beginning of the paragraph.
This will help your recipient clearly pick out all the requests from the email without having to hunt through your text to pick them out again. You can even put them down in ‘bold’ to ensure your recipient does not miss out on any ‘request’ you made.
I have seen plenty of emails in which several requests are made randomly through bulky paragraphs. Too often that results in a response in which you get a reply to only one or maybe two of the requests you made rather than all of them.
So always make sure you either put down all your requests in separate paragraphs, number them, or bold them, to ensure your recipient does not forget to answer any.
5. ALWAYS proofread
This strategy cannot be stressed out enough. In today’s professional world, we are so dependent on written forms of communication, that is has become essential for every person to be a skilled writer.
No matter what you do, written communication is inevitable. This is where it is always strongly advised that you proofread your email before you hit the ‘send’ button.
You will be quite surprised when you re-read your email, that how many mistakes you come across. It doesn’t have to be simply spellings or grammatical mistakes, it could just be the way you have put something down in a sentence might actually mean something entirely different from what you meant in your head.
By reading out your email you will get an idea of how it will sound to your recipient. So always make sure that you do not just type out what you had in your head and send off the email, rather you take the time to re-read it to yourself, ensure it makes sense just the way you want it to, and is also easy and clear to comprehend.
Following these simple strategies can make a huge difference between whether or not you get a response to your email. Even if you don’t get a 100% response rate, following these strategies will definitely help increase your current rate of response.
The more emails you send out using these techniques, the more skilled you will become at writing effective emails. So always review your emails and keep trying to improve on them. You will soon achieve that 100% response rate you were aiming for.