In today’s business world, time is money. As a business owner or career person, you have to find a way to work smarter, not harder, to avoid unhealthy stress while maintaining your productive and hectic schedule. That being said, our team at Big Red SEO would like to provide you with a few tips to help you manage your time and ensure that others will not only open your email, but also take the time to actually reply.
While you may be thinking that some of these tips are common sense, it’s our unfortunate experience that many of these mistakes are commonly made by business owners and their employees. Make sure your business is communicating through email correctly so that you are able to get your message across.
Subject Lines – Your “Sink or Swim”
Nothing is worse than receiving an email with one word in the subject line. Most times when this happens to me, I say to myself, “Damn, so and so got their email hacked again!” This is my immediate reaction, as many spammers will put only one irrelevant word in the subject line in order to get your attention, hoping you will open the email.
When you are creating an email, always start with putting a relevant subject in the subject line. For example, if you are needing to confirm an appointment, put “Big Red SEO Meeting Confirmation for Friday, the 26th at 9 am.” Steer away from just putting something like, “Meeting Confirmation.” Why? Most C level executives, office assistants or anyone attempting to multi-task will appreciate seeing the gist of the email in the subject line, as they will immediately get the reminder that includes the company name, day, date and time. I have received several emails during my career with the subject line “Meeting.” At times, I completely scan over them and end up forgetting that I even got them in the first place. With the date stamp and company name, I am immediately reminded that this meeting is important.
Multi Person Email Etiquette
In the world of business, it is common to have multiple people participating in a chain of emails, especially if you are in a project management role. The biggest mistake the sender of a chain email can make is not addressing the exact person they are speaking with. Instead, the sender will refer to the group in a general tone. The challenge you face with a general tone is that it does not place accountability with anyone. Sue thinks that John will take action because John always takes action, and John thinks Sue will take action as she is the main point of contact. In either case, it is safe to address the exact person from whom action is required. For example: “John, can you update the PowerPoint presentation for next Thursday’s meeting?” or “Sue, can you confirm attendance by Monday of next week and place the lunch order?”
With this style of email, actions will be completed by the people who need to do them, whereas just telling the group that the PowerPoint presentation needs to be updated, attendance needs to be confirmed and lunch needs to be ordered might result in nothing getting done.
When in Doubt, Keep It Short and to the Point
Everyone has that one person in their life that sends a lengthy email in which the intent of the email is never actually stated. At the end of the email you are left pondering what the email was supposed to be about. In many cases, you are sitting there reading the email over and over to see if you might have missed the point. You will gain more respect and appreciation from your recipients if you keep your emails short and sweet with all the meat of the email at the beginning. It is nice to have an introductory sentence. In fact, an intro makes the email more personal. However, you should never carry on and on about sports, life or miscellaneous items at the beginning of the email – instead, state the purpose of your email and what you are looking for. Those who are traveling or using their mobile device will truly appreciate your use of this technique. In many cases, you will receive an immediate reply back (which may be short and sweet) but will include everything you are looking for. You want as little distraction as possible in all your emails.
Categorize and Separate
Humans are natural list-makers. We enjoy having organization even if we do not organize ourselves. If you are sending an email with multiple action items, you need to separate the email into categories. Nothing is worse than a single paragraph email that includes everything you are needing for a project. Often, you will confuse your reader when there are multiple recipients.
At Big Red SEO, we recommend separating your emails into categories. It is a good idea to determine if the email needs to be sent as separate splices or if one email is ideal. Even with a long winded email that includes over five important tasks at a paragraph each, one email might do justice for organizational purposes.
The last area Big Red SEO would like to touch upon is understanding that some people are simply too busy to respond to emails 100% of the time. It’s important to keep in mind that the higher up the totem pole you go, the less time a person has to devote simply to replying to emails. For example, the CEO of a large company may be harder to get a response from than the secretary of the same company. If you do find you are having a hard time getting a response from someone, it is completely acceptable to resend the email. Let the person know that you understand their time is valuable, but to please reply at their earliest convenience. You never want to make the email recipient feel guilty for not replying, especially if they are a valued customer.
Contact Big Red SEO Today at (402) 522-6468!
We hope that Big Red SEO has provided you with some helpful email writing tips. Remember, short and sweet in the subject line and direct, knowledgeable paragraphs in the body. This is a great area to do a recap paragraph that reviews everything listed. Also, make sure that you direct specific tasks to the correct people, ensuring that there is accountability and direction of a follow-up. Always keep in mind that the less distraction an email presents, the quicker you will receive a response. If you have any questions about the SEO services we offer or online presence in general, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!