The Capitalista’s Tips for Writing Kick-Ass Emails
How often do you forget to respond to emails? The subject is usually not interesting enough or there are many other, more important emails you have to respond to. So, who’s to say your emails aren’t receiving the same response, or lack thereof?
Whether you’re working to reach sources before a deadline, applying for a position, or merely trying to network, making your emails stand out is a top priority. Here are some tips on how to ensure your emails are not lost in the shuffle.
- Start your email with a catchy phrase. These phrases may include something along the lines of “Good news!” or “I’ve completed this research for you.” If you start the email off with an attention grabber, your audience will be more likely to care about the remaining content of your email and more inclined to respond. Are you applying for a job and trying to stand out in the sea of applicants? The more personalized your email is, the more likely you are to grab your readers’ attention.
- Summarize the message content in the subject line. Be as specific and concise as possible in your subject lines. Vague subjects are uninteresting and less likely to be opened. Subjects are especially important for chain emails–reduce the confusion by clarifying the new topic of each response. When applying for a specific position be straightforward in your subject line, e.g. “Mary Smith’s Application Materials for Associate Account Executive.”
- Avoid trigger words. Mailchimp suggests avoiding these three words: “Help,” “Percent off” and “Reminder.” Though these words won’t necessarily trigger spam filters, they increase the probability that readers will ignore your emails because they are usually found in emails that are spam-related.
- Write with your audience in mind. Start off your message by engaging your audience. You can do this by beginning with something like “You asked me to complete this task…” You should also complete the message with a “you” in mind. Engaging your reader by emphasizing the completion of their wishes will increase the likelihood of your audience taking your message into account.
- Avoid repeating subject lines. According to Mailchimp, recipients are less likely to open subject lines that are repetitive of previously received emails. Whether you are sending out a listserv, event reminder or weekly update, try to be creative. This will get your emails noticed and help build a consistent reading audience.
- Keep messages simple. Each message should have one main topic. If you are planning an event or coordinating a lunch, that should be the sole subject of the email. When too many topics are involved in a message, the reader becomes overwhelmed and may not take the time to deal with responding to various topics. This strategy is especially important for chain emails. When applying to jobs or internships, keep your message (in some cases this may be your cover letter) as straightforward as possible. Explain who you are, which position you’re applying for and how your experiences and skills can overall benefit the organization.
From promotional emails, to newsletters to logistical emails to job applications, email has become a part of young professional life that cannot be avoided. Wading through thousands of emails each day is a tedious task Millennials are all too familiar with. Standing out in the wave of all those unread messages can prove to be a difficult task, but by using these tips your emails will not be ignored.
Natasha Paulmeno (@NatashaPaulmeno) is an aspiring PR professional studying at the University of Maryland. She is learning to speak Spanish fluently through travel, music, and school. In her spare time she enjoys Bachata music, playing with her dog, and exploring social media trends.