Delete, delete, delete- that is my morning email routine.

Sometimes I feel (a little) bad about not even bothering with some of them;  someone took the time and effort to write them, add images and send out. But, gosh, sooo many, I simply have to be ruthless as I look at the inbox. If the sender and subject don’t grab me right away, its gone. 

Like it or hate it, we still live and breathe by email.  Email can seem seductively easy: it seems free ( it’s not), it seems direct ( it’s not) and it appears to be clear and straightforward (it’s not). There are a few ways, though, to make email actually work, and have your messages be read, rather than be deleted without consideration. 

The key to email is to understand its purpose and best practices- keep it simple. Don’t load your email up with extra or unnecessary info, it will get lost. Employ some strategic thinking about how you prepare your emails will make a big difference in whether that message even gets seen, much less opened and read.

 

dilbert-problems-with-email

 

1:  The Subject Line:

This is the make or break for your message: if that subject line doesn’t grab eyeballs right off the bat, chances are the rest of it will never be read.

Make a compelling subject line, and avoid the traps of too many words, words that don’t mean anything any more such as Free, Special Offer, Act Now, Urgent, Important. 

Try these instead:
  1. Personalize it: Hi Cindy!
  2. Thanks and Praise: Great work, excellent tweet, thanks for your help, comment, post, etc. Be specific, not generic. Make a specific reference, don’t try to fake it- that only works once.
  3. Congratulations: about something that really did happen about their company or activity.  Check their website, news, updates, or even Facebook status for good things that have really happened for them.

Consider: 

  • Your help is vital.
  • Hi Cindy, do you have a moment?  
  • When was the last time you made someone smile?
  • Every tiny bit makes a difference. 
  • How much help can you do with $20?
There are lots of resources that address this exact topic, see what has worked for others: http://bit.ly/2M4OXCH

 

Why? Stand out from the other messages by being specific and real, make your reader be curious enough to want to open that mail. 

2: Be sure the subject line and subject add up- first sentence!

If you say thanks, remind me why you are doing so, confirm that connection and then move on to you next point. If you congratulate me, same thing.   Be sure the subject line and subject are connected, then head on to your point. 

 

You are using this hook to get their attention, now take best advantage of their time. What is it that you need them to see?  Now is the time to get to your point, quickly, don’t drift or digress. 

 

Why? Connect the dots, no one has time to figure out what you want to say- make the consistency and connection of introduction and message body easy to see, immediately.  

3: Keep it short, sweet & to the point:

 

Now is not the time to write a novel or revisit history. A wall of text is both intimidating and looks like too much work, I want to know what you want to tell me, fast. Short, direct sentences, in short paragraphs are much more attractive and accessible to all your readers. 

A block of words will pretty much guarantee your reader will miss your point. Make it easy for them: spit it out in 3-5 sentences max. If you have more to say, find another way to lead your reader to that place but don’t include it with your email notice.

 

Why? How many emails did you get today? How much time did you have to give to each one? If you want to be seen, keep it right in front of their eyes, no distractions.

4: Answer this question: What does this mean to me and why should I care?

 

What is the point of your message, what do you want your reader to get out of it, and more importantly,  do about it?  Your message is about more than to say hi, it must have a purpose. Be clear about what you want so that you can make it clear to your reader.s

What are you offering and  what do you want? Are you asking for a action, such as signing a petition;  are you inviting them to an event or activity, or are you offering a deal or shortcut or hack?

Give your reader a resolution, a reason to have bothered with your message: give them  a call to action (CTA): sign here, order now, join today.

 

Make that action easy to see and do: click here, big donate now button, sign up list that a clear, colorful and stand out from the text.

Create alternative options for your CTA- call, sign, click, register. You can’t know how and when your message will arrive, offer your readers different ways to positively respond to you- one size definitely doesn’t fit all. Pay attention to which of the options you offer generate the most response, and which generate the least.

 

Why? A message with no point, with no associated action is a notice, not a connection. Even if your reader doesn’t respond, by reading your message you offer them a reason to be aware of what you said.  

Last Note: 

Plan your email campaigns over the long term. It will take more than one contact, in reality often several, to get what you are seeking. Plan a calendar of mailings, create several similar versions to see which gains more traction, send your email at different times and different days. Keep track of your open rates, your click through rates and responses, see which ones work best. 

Email is a very efficient manner of communicating, provided you plan and execute thoughtfully. Remember what you want and your goals from each email you sent out. Do the due diligence in creating your email messages to give them the best chance of being opened, read and acted upon. 

Don’t be a victim of the relentless delete key- need some guidance planning the next email campaign? Call today – be seen, be heard.        

310 828 6979

image credit: https://giphy.com/explore/delete-key

image credit: ving

image credit: http://convergehq.com/email/hello-its-me-how-to-get-on-the-other-side-of-their-inbox/