5 Steps to Writing Emails People Will Reply To
Randomly reaching out to someone over email isn’t always easy. It goes almost the same every time — you plan it out in your head and it seems simple, but when it comes to putting fingers to keyboard you suddenly freeze. The good news: It doesn’t have to be that way! Just follow these five steps for writing a successful email:
1. Don't be tone deaf
Especially when reconnecting with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Finding the right tone can be sticky. Try to consider why the relationship dwindled when you’re starting your email. It might not be the best idea to jump right into asking for something. Try to break the ice first.
2. Butter them up
Asking people for things out of the blue is not likely to give you the results you are hoping for, and breaking the ice is can be difficult when you’re not sitting face-to-face. Good thing the best trick in the book is also the oldest: Open with a compliment. Call it narcissism, but people are always more open to hearing you out when you’ve zeroed in on their biggest soft spot — their ego.
3. Keep it short
In the age of listicles, people aren’t looking to read a chunky paragraph. Get to the point fast and lay out your information neatly. If your email is too long, it most likely will not get read thoroughly and your point could be missed. Save the nitty-gritty details of your request for a phone call or in-person meeting.
4. Offer Something
No, no — not money, but maybe food or an “I owe you.” If you’re hoping to set up a meeting with the person, offer to take them out to coffee or lunch. Inquire about a convenient part of town, then pick somewhere fun and casual (NOT Starbucks).
5. Don't overlook your "good-bye”
If you’ve opened with a “thank you,” don’t close with one. Don’t use “Best,” if you have a personal relationship with that person as it implies a formality and distance that will seem out of touch. Instead, try “Cheers!” in a casual situation. Still have no idea how to sign off? Check this list of 80 email endings for some inspiration: 80 Powerful Email Endings To Make People Remember You.
Write a catchy subject line
I don’t know about you, but when I wake up in the morning, I have about 100 emails in my inbox, and most of them are e-blasts from brands that I delete without reading. Make sure that your email doesn’t get missed by writing a standout subject line. Remember: Subject lines that are personalized and contain under 10 characters tend to have the highest open rates. You can always test your subject line here: http://www.subjectline.com
Figure out if they opened the email
Wondering why you haven’t received a response yet? Find out if they even read your email by including a Bitly link. With this service, you can shorten any link and then track it to see if it’s been clicked. Just find an interesting article that pertains to the content of your email and include it as “interesting reading material.” If it hasn’t been checked within a week, feel free to send a quick follow-up.