Do you wait days or even weeks for prospects, vendors or clients to get back to you after you send them an email? Are the only people who pay attention to your emails your employees (and only because you’re paying them)? Writing emails that get opened and answered is an art.
Here’s how to ensure your emails don’t get ignored.
Spend Time on Your Subject Lines:
Subject lines should be clear and to the point so the recipient immediately sees the benefit of opening the email. Suppose you’re following up with a prospect you recently had lunch with. Dashing off a vague subject line such as “Hi Sue” or “Follow Up” will get you nowhere (and the first one might even sound like spam and end up in the person’s trash). Instead, craft a specific, “what’s in it for me?” subject line such as “Per our discussion Friday, XYZ Proposal Attached.”
Keep Your Emails Short:
With everyone’s email inbox full to overflowing, recipients lose patience with any email that requires paging down…and down. Aim to make your email short enough that it fits in the email preview pane. Three to five sentences is a good length to aim for.
- Briefly introduce yourself (if necessary) in the first sentence.
- Get to the point in the next one to three sentences.
- End with a desired action in the last sentence (see the next tip).
- If you need to include more information, add it in an attached document.
Make It Mobile-Friendly:
According to Experian, last year email hit the tipping point where half of all emails were opened on a mobile device. Imagine your clients viewing your email on a smartphone, and you’ll see why brevity is essential. A good way to keep your emails short is to imagine you’re composing them on your smartphone or sending a text message.
Include a Next Step:
Just as your marketing should include a call to action, your emails should too. Don’t leave the person guessing as to what the next step is—come out and say it. “Hi Jeff, the proposal we discussed last week for my company to provide sales training is attached. I’ll give you a call next Friday to go over any questions you may have.” Include your phone number or other ways for the person to get hold of you—they may prefer to talk in person.
Make It Easy to Read:
Use a simple sans serif font in black and put line breaks in between each sentence so your email is easy on the eyes. Email marketing firm ExactTarget notes that it’s important to use standard fonts that everyone has on their computer or mobile device. Be sure to choose web-safe fonts to keep things simple.
Auto-fill features can sometimes fill in an outdated email address for a person you’re trying to reach. Always doublecheck that the email is going to the most current address. If you’re really having a hard time reaching someone with multiple email addresses, try cc’ing the email to all of them.
Trying these simple tips should greatly improve your odds of hearing back from your email recipients.
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