Cheryl Miles on March 4, 2014
How to Write an Email that Gets Replies
In the business world, email is one of the most widely used forms of communication. According to Mashable, “there are 89 billion business emails sent worldwide per day, but only 14 percent are deemed important.” With an excess of spam and unnecessary notifications, it’s not always easy to cut through the noise and get your emails opened and read. Here are five tips to optimize your efforts and write an email that gets replies.
1) Create a Catchy Subject Line
When a person receives an email in their inbox, the only information they have to go on is the person who sent it and the subject line. For it to ever be opened in the first place, it’s crucial that you grab their attention through a catchy subject line. Ideally, you will include the recipient’s first name because this tends to get an immediate response. You should also create a title that’s relatively short and that will invoke their interest.
2) Be Friendly and Personable
Once you get past the first stage of a recipient opening an email, they will typically read through the first few sentences to decide whether they want to read through the whole thing or not. If it looks impersonal or reads generically, there is a good chance that they won’t read the entire email. That’s why you should be friendly and state who you are and why you’re emailing them. Whenever you received the person’s contact information from a mutual source, it’s smart to state who that source is and your relation to them. Be sure to also customize your email as much as possible.
3) Keep it Brief
In the information age, many people have the attention span of a gnat and don’t want to read through long-winded content. Accordingly, it’s important to condense all your information into the least amount of text possible. Get straight to the point and don’t waste the recipient’s time with an unnecessary build up and you’re more likely to craft an email that gets replies. Remember that if there is more information that needs to be discussed in greater detail, you can always mention it later through your correspondence.
4) Make the Body Digestible
Making your text easy to read is also important, and there are three main formatting rules to keep in mind. First, information should be broken down into logical paragraphs that separate your thoughts. Second, each paragraph should contain no more than three sentences because this makes it easier on the eyes. Third, if you include a list of any kind, it’s smart to break them down into bullets or numbers to streamline information digestion.
5) Ask for a Response
Finally, you should politely ask the person to follow up. You might close an email by saying something like “please let me know as soon as possible” or “I’m looking forward to your response.” This simple step can increase the odds that your email gets replies considerably.
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