10 practical tips to get your message heard and shared by busy people through email
Almost every opportunity in life is only one person away. Think about that for a second.
You could land your dream job through one boss’ approval. You could end up on your favorite TV show if you know the right person. Heck, if Elon Musk owed you a favor, would there be anything that you wouldn’t be capable of?
Unfortunately, most of us aren’t on a first-name basis with Elon Musk or other highly influential political figures around the world. Our networks are limited, but having one person share your product or blog post can be the difference between virality and silence. The difference between success and failure.
Email is acting as the instigator for more and more relationships these days. Partnerships are formed, employees are hired, deals are finalized, etc, all through email. Heck, even relationships these days start with email. Whether you’re promoting a book, blog post, new product, looking for funding, or asking for an interview, how you craft your email matters.
I don’t care if you send email updates to your grandma once a week if it’s too long and has horrible spacing, no one wants to read it. Your grandma will probably read it because she loves you and has four hours to kill every day after lunch and before bridge class, but if you are emailing anyone with a busy schedule, your chances are slim.
So, how do we get the attention of the busy influencers out there? If one out of every hundred emails are read by busy people, how do you become that one email?
Through a combination of basic emailing tips and advanced methods. In this article, we’ll start with some basic email tips, then we’ll move along to advanced tips, and we’ll weave in some examples of well-crafted email as well as bad ones along the way.
This article will help you make sure that your emails actually get read, responded to, and even better, get you what you ask for.
Basic Emailing Tips For Dummies
Just because you’ve been using email since Yahoo or AOL doesn’t mean you know how to write emails well. My college professors who taught me about the internet used to send out THE WORST emails to the entire class. So, don’t overlook the following tips.
1.Less is more
2. Be Clear In Your Request
Piggybacking off of #1, this is another no-brainer. If an influencer has to dig around your email to figure out what it is you want then your chances are slim to none. Make sure you clearly state what it is you want from them or how they can help you.
General statements such as, “Any advice is appreciated,” or “I’d love to hear your thoughts,” makes it more difficult for them. Also, make sure you show that you’ve done the heavy lifting already (more on that in #7).
Be short and specific. Be clear with your intentions. What are you asking for? How can he/she help?
3. “Proofread…um, like, duh!”
You don’t have to double check your comma splice and try to use a bunch of semicolons, but any big spelling errors is a MAJOR red flag.
“But I’m only human! I can’t guarantee that every email I send will be perfect,” okay, okay, I hear you. You don’t have to be perfect, but you can try by rereading your email a few times.
If you’re not sure if you should use “from” or “which”, just google it. If you can’t find a clear-cut answer, chances are nobody will notice your mistake.
Don’t be like most people who hit “send” before even thinking about editing their email…
***How to edit your email in five minutes through three simple steps:
Step 1: Skim through the entire email in your head from top to bottom two times. If it may not make complete sense, delete it or rewrite it. If you can say the same thing while using less words, do it.
Step 2: Re-read your email it from the bottom up (yes, backward). This forces your brain to connect the words in a different manner and will lead to you catching more typos that you missed the first time through.
Step 3: Read the entire email slowly and out loud. Any mistakes, repeated words, or awkward phrases will come alive in this final step. Most of you will skip this final step and will still have typos when you hit send.
Editing your emails should be easy, if it’s NOT, then it’s NOT going to be easy to read. Which means you probably need to fix your…
4. Spacing Matters…A Lot
If you’re like me, you probably were taught by your middle school English teacher that paragraphs need to be at least four sentences long.
Well it’s time to forget this rule. For emails and for everything. Forget it. Forget the word paragraph. Forget your 8th-grade report card while you’re at it.
There’s no perfect length for paragraphs and the more space you have, the easier it is to read.
When in doubt, add the extra indent, just don’t leave your emails looking like a giant white space. Emails should be indented more than blog posts, especially since so many people check email on their smartphone or tablets.
For every new idea or topic, start a new line. If your lines are stacked more than three columns high, then you probably need to add some space.
5. Prove You’re Not Lazy
Google has almost all the answers these days, so if you are asking for advice on a topic, you better prove that you’ve done your research first.
Most people enjoy helping people. But it’s hard to help someone who isn’t willing to put in the work, especially when you have other emails to attend to. Make sure you clearly state that you’ve tried other options and that you’re not just looking for someone to tell you what to do.
If you’re emailing a blogger or a course creator, make sure you’re not asking a question that is answered in their content. If you’re
Advanced Email Techniques For Masters
6. “I” versus “You”
This another common mistake that we’re all guilty of. It’s natural to want to talk about yourself, but for cold emailing, it’s not a good idea.
When you write an email, make sure you make it as much about them as you can. Remember, they’re the busy ones and you are the one asking for help.
Do yourself a favor and tally up the number of “me/I” vs. “you’ before you hit “send”. No one is going to be inclined to respond to an email that says, “Here’s who I am, here’s what I do, here’s what I need.” You need to make it about them.
7. Be Understanding
You may wait weeks to get a response from some people, but that’s okay. It’s good to keep this in mind, but even better to let them know up front that you don’t expect a quick response and you understand if they are too busy to reply.
Adding a line like this near the end will actually increase the chances that they get back to you. Why? Because by writing something that like, you show empathy.
Make it clear that it’s perfectly okay if they can’t help or if I’m too committed elsewhere. They are busy. They get tons of emails every day. They barely have any time. If you can acknowledge that, they’ll appreciate it.
8. Be Personable
Even if you are not a strong writer, email is a wonderful way to showcase your personality. There are more and more emoticons popping up each and every day. I’m not saying use all of them, but adding some personality won’t hurt. Just don’t over do it.
You don’t want to come off as a robot, do you? Don’t be afraid to open up a bit or USE A FEW CAPITAL LETTERS TO SHOW EXCITEMENT.
Are you passionate about your business or product? Let your passion shine through! Be authentic, be you and be personable.
9. Provide Value
If you want to increase your chances of getting a response, then you’ll need to go above and beyond. One great way to do that is by providing value early on.
Be careful here, as not everyone wants life or business advice from strangers. But offering help on a specific subject is a great way to begin any relationship. Offer a free SEO audit, point out a spelling mistake, or give them your product for free.
Even better than offering help is giving it to them right off the bat. If you just launched a new online community, don’t ask them to join and spread the word. Instead, send them login credentials and ask them to check it out themselves.
If you’re a copywriter, don’t tell them what could be improved on their sales page. Instead, record a screen flow video of the changes you would make and offer some suggestions. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they will help you in return.
10. Subject Lines Are Your Friend
Your subject line is the difference between your email being read and not being read. Don’t overlook this step. It’s easy to feel the urge to hit “send” as soon as possible, but crafting a catchy subject line makes a big difference, especially if you’re reaching out to a lot of people.
Split test it if you can. Include your name if they know you. You want your subject line to stand out.
Play The Long Game
Hopefully, these email tips will help you, but remember that the long term relationship is what truly matters. None of these tips are as powerful and getting a warm introduction or meeting them first.
If you can get an introduction from a friend or even better, meet up in person at an event, do so. They are a bajillion times more likely to remember you as well as open and respond to your emails down the line. However, be careful not to ask for too much too fast.
Hopefully using the tips in this article will help you establish beneficial relationships. If you have any questions or feel that I missed something, feel free to leave a comment or keep the conversation going in our private Performance Marketers Facebook group.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community