Whether we like it or not a lot of our business lives are based on communication and in today’s busy world a big chunk of that communication comes from emails. So the big question is – how do we make sure we aren’t sending emails that are just getting tossed in the junk mail folder? To be honest, like most real relationships, it just takes a little extra time and effort to get the desired results. Here are just a few tips of the extra effort you can put in to get the most out of email outreach:
The world moves fast and in order to stand out you’ve got to take a few extra steps to get someone to not only open your email but actually read it and then respond. The first step is to take the time to make sure you know the name and a little bit about the person you are contacting. Give them a friendly hello and try to casually bring up something that is applicable to their lives. That hopefully will be the first hook that will catch them and keep them interested enough to keep reading all the way to the bottom of your email.
The next step is to make sure the tone of your email sounds genuine and inviting. The minute someone reading an email has the feeling you’re “only doing your job” or you’re trying to force them to do something they don’t want to do is the same moment your email goes in the trash. So do yourself and the person you’re writing to a favor and be thoughtful in how you approach what you want to say. Don’t just power through an email and send it right away, be sure to use the Golden Rule and proofread what you wrote and think about how you’d receive the content of the email if it was somebody writing that way to you. It only takes a few additional minutes to get it right so go the extra mile and we’re betting you’ll start to see even greater results in the types of responses you get.
Get to the Point
Another huge part of emails is to just GET TO THE POINT! People want to spend as little time reading emails as possible so they can get to the work they are paid to do. With this in mind think of the most effective and condensed way to say your message or start your conversation and then leave the ball in their court. 9 times out of 10 your long winded and “convincing” email only gets skimmed because people don’t have the time (or energy) to read a long email from someone they barely know. Let them know why you’re contacting them and then let them decide how they want to respond. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t hearing back from people. We’re all busy and a big part of emails is catching the person at the right time when they have a minute to reply. So if you don’t hear from them for say 3-4 days reach out to them and see if you caught them at a better time.
People are always reading your email and in the back of their minds they are thinking “what’s in it for me?”. So, if you can answer this question for them fairly quickly and easily you have a much better chance of success. It can be as easy as letting them know what you need from them and why it’ll be good for them. Or it could be a few simple questions you need answered to let them know you value their opinion. If you can’t figure out your value then remind them that it won’t take long and show how appreciate you are of them helping you out. People love the feelings they get when they are helping others.
Lastly, and the one that requires the most real work, is to give back. Find a way that you can repay their kindness. Send them a Thank You note. Show them that you care with a treat that shows up at their office. It may sound over the top or “too much” but that’s exactly what gets you noticed and builds lasting relationships. In the end, if you can bring a smile to their face then you have truly done your job and most likely made a friend. Emailing at that point won’t as much feel like work as it is keeping in touch with a friend and those are the types of relationships in business that really bring the greatest success.