How to write great emails (that get answered!) —  March 14, 2013

          The Secret to Great Emails

If you write a lot of emails, please read the following 5 suggestions. Remember “Ideas no longer get second chances. We need to know how to express ourselves clearly the first time.”

1. Was your subject line obvious and actionable? Could the recipient answer based almost entirely on it?

2. Did you put the most important part of the e-mail in the first paragraph? Did you end the  e-mail with the one question that was most important?
3. Was there one “ask” in that e-mail or more than one? Was the e-mail HTML formatted and sent via a “donotreply@” e-mail address? (That is, was it a newsletter?)
4. Had you messaged the recipient recently (within a few months) without making an ask? Was the e-mail fewer than three hundred words?
5. Could the recipient read it in under thirty seconds?
There are several reasons why people have stopped responding to e-mail in a timely fashion, and most of them revolve around too much e-mail in their box and e-mail becoming less and less easy to answer. Hint: If SMS text messaging is on the rise, why would you still send 1,400-word e-mails?
Brogan, Chris; Smith, Julien (2012-10-25). The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? (pp. 111-112).

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