When it comes to communication in business and sales, email still reigns supreme. We live in a digital and mobile age, where cold calling is becoming obsolete and more decision makers and sales people are resorting to email as their primary form of contact for business.
We all send and receive a ton of emails daily, so it's important to learn how to write an effective email that cuts through the noise of spam, advertising, and junk mail. For writing an effective email, keep in mind the authority ranking of the person you're writing to, the time it will take for that person to read and reply to your email, and the value of the message your email conveys.
Here are some useful techniques for writing better emails to get more favorable outcomes and improve your ability to get people to take action.
Keep the subject line short and to-the-point.
The first thing a decision maker sees before he or she decides to open up an email is the subject line. Keep your subject line short and straight to the point. Think of the subject line as the "frame" of the email; it should be just a couple of words and no longer than one sentence that captures the recipient’s attention. For example, if the purpose of the email is to talk about your company’s productivity software, your subject line might be "How we can help to increase your organization’s productivity.” The subject needs to be relevant and eye-catching for the email recipient.
Immediately identify the problem, purpose, or solution.
Briefly and clearly state who you are, why you are emailing the person, identify the problem at hand, as well as the solution being proposed. Communicate a thorough understanding of the issue and justly describe the cure you're providing.
Personalize the email.
Cater the email to the person of relevance, whether it's a CEO, CMO, or HR director. Always address the email in a formal manner. Use appropriate jargon that resonates with the person you’re communicating with. Make sure you're using a dialect, which they understand, to help you establish credibility and validity, and to also portray an understanding of the industry. For example, if you're talking to an SEO specialist, maybe you’ll use words like KPI and ROI.
Have a call-to-action plan.
Know what you're trying to get out of the email. The email alone is never going to get you hired or close a deal for you. The most important call-to-action is to initiate a meeting, phone call, or conversation. Don't turn your email into an essay. Briefly layout the groundwork in the email and effectively identify what you're proposing with evidence surrounding your proposal. Leave the receiver wanting to take action, such as an immediate follow-up email, or even requesting to schedule a meeting to learn more.
Ask for the next step.
Make the case for next steps and provide follow up options. For example, "Are you free on Tuesday or Friday of this week for a phone call?” Also, be persistent. If you do not receive an immediate response, make sure to follow up within a few days. Your timing could be key to hearing back immediately or the recipient simply forgetting to respond. Make sure you take into account the day of the week, and any additional factors that may prevent the receiver from quickly responding.
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