6 Keys to Get Your Email Read [Video]

6 Keys to Get Email Read

Here are 6 keys to engage the reader when you ask for some help via email:

  1. Indicate the social connection between sender and reader – where did you meet?  who put you in contact?  “We met at the Foundum Unplugged conference 2 weeks ago”
  2. Understand the readers perspective – what context (background information) does the reader need to take a decision/act upon the email?  This is often best provided as a url link to supporting information so as to keep the email body short.
  3. Explain why the reader was specifically selected as a source of potential help.  “I am contacting you because you have over 8 years of experience in the industry”
  4. Show that you have already made some effort to understand the domain before asking for help.  “I have spoken to X and to Y, I have read Z book.”
  5. Keep it short.  Many emails are much too long – the sender has no edit process before sending the “draft” email.   (Here’s a nice email policy called three.sentenc.es)
  6. Clarify exactly what is wanted: No effort to clarify what you are asking for.  ”Help” is too vague. What do you want the reader to do when they finish reading?  “Meet next Monday”; “Call me to set up a site visit”; “Forward the email to John”.

What gets email read in your inbox?

What tips do you have?

2 Comments

  1. I completely agree regards brevity. Also we tend to be incredibly sloppy regards e mail SUBJECT box; a chain of only 2 mails can lead to communication on a completely different subject, with no alteration to Subject. If you want an e mail to be read the Subject alone is very important, I often don’t write the Subject until after I have written the mail (which also joggles the memory to add attachments!). Woops 3 sentences up!

    1. I am guilty of the repeated reply-to-all chains! I tend to leave subject alone unless I am writing a new email.

      I like the idea of returning to subject after completing the whole message. I write the subject first, and then the body. I hope that writing the subject first pushes me to clarify what I want, and that this doesn’t change as I start writing the body – but worthy of a check 😉

What do you think? Let me know you were here ;-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s