Wednesday, November 30, 2011

8 Tips to Get Your Emails Read

8 Tips to Get Your Emails Read
Have you sent out a gazillion emails only to get no response... at all? One of the hardest things for people to admit is that it’s difficult to get people to open emails. You don’t want to spend a lot of time writing a great email to send out only to have people delete it without reading it. You want people to not only open your email but also be interested in what you have to say.
That's why I've compiled a few useful tips that will help ensure your emails get read - first!
1. Create an intriguing subject line: One of the most important things to have is an email Subject: line that captures your recipient’s attention. Your email will most likely be opened sooner if your subject line is well thought out and provoking. Actually, the email subject line is the most important thing you’ll write to your recipient – if it doesn’t grab the attention of your reader and make him open the email, it doesn’t really matter what you have to say in the body of your email. Use these tips:
a. Don’t use a [blank] subject line. It could be portrayed as being arrogant by assuming all your reader needs to know is that it’s from you.
b. Keep the subject line short and informative. The subject line is your first opportunity to inform or influence your reader. It should provide an overall summary of your email contents. Only about 70 characters are displayed when an email arrives in your inbox, so keep the subject line short.
c. Create some curiosity in your email subject line and thereby nearly forcing the reader to open your email. Try asking a question in the subject line. By doing so you are gaining an emotional reaction from your reader. As they answer it for themselves, they will tend to open your email to read what you have to say on the subject.
2. The "from" line: If your "from" line contains a name your reader will have no trouble recognizing, chances are your email will be opened and read.
3. Get to your point quickly: People tend to say too much in an email. Readers don’t want to read long introductions and backgrounds. They want to know what you need from them. So, jump to the point. State your purpose clearly using minimal words and details.
4. Readers hate spam with a passion: The last thing people want in their inbox is spam. And you certainly don’t want to have your email caught up in your recipient’s spam filter or junk mail folder. So, keep your subject lines free of words that sound “spammy”. Avoid words such as subscribe, cheap, free, promise, order now, opportunity, guarantee, winner, and amazing as much as possible.
5. Avoid attaching unnecessary files: By sending large or multiple attachments you can annoy readers and even bring down their email systems. Only send attachments when it is appropriate and productive to do so. Try to compress attachments whenever possible and have a good virus scanner in place to avoid sending documents full of viruses.
6. Time it right: The first day of the workweek is not usually a good day to send out emails and neither is the last day. You don't want your emails to be left unread, or worse, deleted. Just because your reader is overwhelmed by the number of emails in his inbox on Monday morning or is eager to leave for the weekend early on Friday evening doesn't mean your email should be ignored. So try sending your email on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. People tend to be more receptive and in “business mode” on these days.
7. Create an effective email signature: It can be challenging for the recipient of an email message to find your contact information if your signature is very long and overly formatted. Likewise, a poorly formatted signature can hurt your professional reputation, add unnecessary bulk, and be a distraction from the content of your message. So, keep it as short as you can while still including all the information you consider important – four lines is the accepted standard.
a. Condense information into fewer lines by using pipes (|) or colons (::) to separate the text. Ex: Christa Hartman | Kardon Technology
b. Optimize your logo or graphics and when appropriate, use a link to your website that will take your recipient to the exact web page you want them to see versus your home page. For example, if I wanted you to read about who Kardon Tech is, I would use the URL: not just provide a link to our homepage and hope you’d got to the About Us page.
c. Skip including your mailing address as not everyone wants or should have access to that information.
d. Include your email address. Not every email client displays the header information for your recipient, therefore providing your email address in your signature is helpful.
e. Simple plain text is always best – skip colors, special fonts, and graphics.
8. Proofread your email: Many people don’t bother reading an email before they send it out. Spell checker will catch at least a few typos, but it won’t catch every mistake. Use standard capitalization and spelling, especially when your message asks someone to do work for you. Avoid fancy typefaces and using text lingo such as “thx 4 ur help 2day”. Take the time to make sure your message makes sense and looks professional. Reading your email though the eyes of your recipient will help you send a more effective message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate comments.
Remember, emails that get read have subject lines that are intriguing and "from" people they know and trust. Above all else, keep in mind that everyone is busy and gets too much email.  The KardonTechnology social media marketing team can help keep your campaigns intriguing.    Communicating via email isn’t hard. Doing it well is what’s difficult.

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