It’s the most prolific form of business communication. Yet none of us got taught how to write email at school.
So we get emails with long, unstructured prose. Content that combines chit chat with management speak. “I hope this finds you well … blah blah” “It’s a win-win, data-driven, paradigm shift. We should have a chat about it.”
For me brief, straightforward, emails are best. Not everyone likes or approves of that style. Some say emails should be longer, lay out more of the story, be more emotionally engaging.
I disagree. I’m working from a premise that people in corporate organisations are crazy busy. And I’ve done my research. Decision makers get over 100 emails. That’s a lot of text to read, consider, and process.
So I try to make it easy for them by structuring my emails and getting to the point. Here’s the checklist I use – before pressing send.
- Is there an attention grabbing subject line?
- Is there something of interest for them, not me?
- Is there a compelling reason to do something?
- Is there a crystal clear request and call to action?
- Is there any unedited chit chat or waffle?
- Are there less than 120 words?
- Is there a structured and logical flow?
- Is this email client-oriented, or self-oriented?
- Did I use my manners?
- Is this email useful?
- What value has been given?
- Why are you not making a quick call instead?
Try using the checklist, not just for your marketing outreach emails, but for all emails. Notice the responses you get.
More about my email experiences:
Lessons from editing consultant prospecting emails ⇲
Sorry I dozed off reading your email ⇲
10 tips for tenacious follow up on emails ⇲
How to improve the odds of reaching prospects by email ⇲
How to get an amazing email response – 5 lessons for consultants who sell ⇲