Getting Better Results from Emails
Nearly every communication strategy in today’s world includes email. Just under half of small businesses in the United States use email as part of their overall marketing strategy for reaching customers, but they are unlikely to get great results unless the messages they send are concise, clear and compelling. Try these techniques to get the best results from your emails.
Make Subject Lines Headlines
Increase the odds of your email being opened and handled promptly by setting the topic and grabbing the readers’ attention with a well-thought-out subject line. If the topic is one you routinely cover, like your weekly report, add a date to the subject line to make it timely. If you desire a response, include a deadline, such as “please respond by November 27.”
Put the Message in the Subject Line
For very short messages, skip the body of the email entirely and include everything you need to say in the subject line. This makes a response more likely because the contents are completely visible. To signal that there isn’t any more to read inside the email, end the subject line with EOM for “end of message.”
Stay on Topic
If your email contains more than one topic, the reader may respond to one facet but forget the rest. Eliminate this issue by keeping your messages on topic – one topic. The reader can then avoid confusion and respond to each item on a timely basis separately. This trick also keeps you focused as you write.
Clearly Ask for a Response
If your message requires a response, ask for one, and tell the recipient the best way to give it. Be clear about whether you’d like a document, meeting, phone call, email reply or otherwise. Don’t forget to add your contact information so the recipient does not have to search for it. Make it as easy as possible to give a response and you will get more.
Take Advantage of Return Receipts
These receipts alert you when a recipient has opened your message, and they are offered by many email systems. This is an advantage when you send an important message and need a reply. When you get the receipt, you know that the message has been received and read.
Check Before Hitting “Send”
Emails are a fast method of communication, but don’t forget to slow down for a moment to double-check your message for spelling errors, omitted words or information and confusing thoughts. Also proofread for tone, as emotions like disappointment, anger, fear or sarcasm may come across in an email when they wouldn’t in person due to body language cues. If need be, work on improving your business writing skills to craft more effective emails.