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6 Tips for Writing Emails That Will Get Opened

6 Tips for Writing Emails That Will Get Opened


    Email is my favourite medium of communication.

    It’s personal, easy to execute and takes little time. In today’s world, it is the easiest way to get in touch with somebody…no doubt about it. However, it does take a bit of planning and requires you to put in some thought before you actually compose a message. Your friends and family may be delighted to receive an email from you, but this might not be the case when you are writing with a business purpose in mind.

    The more influential a person is, the busier they are. They might be receiving hundreds of emails in a single day. Unlike most people, they don’t open each and every single email; instead they scan through the subject lines to see which ones catch their eye.

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    You won’t get any closer to your goals unless they actually open your email – and read it. Here are 6 tips that will greatly increase your chances of emails being read — and responded to.

    1. Clarity of Purpose

    Before you even put your fingers on the keyboard, think why you want to write the email (its purpose) and what you want the recipient to do (action). Gather all the information you need to provide.

    Here are some reasons why you want to approach someone who is very important to you:

    • Get in touch with an A-list blogger to pitch a guest post
    • Let a famous author know how much you admire their work
    • Seek a referral from someone
    • Want to interview somebody important
    • Approach a prospect to sell your services

    Notice all the reasons for connecting with someone are vastly different from each other. By being clear in your head you can produce coherent, concise, and effective emails.

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    2. Effective Subject Line

    Compose a subject line that tells them why they need to open the email. Do not send out messages with vague or dogdy subject lines:

    • Please read this (or) Can I have 20 seconds of your time? (Don’t beg for attention)
    • Very urgent (Unless it is, and it will still benefit by adding more information)
    • Hello (Refrain from one word subject lines that say nothing about the message inside)
    • Can I take you for lunch to pick your brain? (Making a request is a huge no-no!)
    • Invitation to join our affiliate program (Making the message sound like it is automated and coming from a website or an online service)
    • Free gift for you inside (Spammy – avoid at all costs even if you are sending a token of appreciation)

    Say what you need to say immediately, preferably in the subject line if possible. People are too busy these days and if your subject doesn’t interest them, they will not click on it. Write a subject line that sums up the purpose of your email (refer to point 1). If you are not entirely clear on your message, you will find it hard to write an interesting subject line that will entice the reader to open it.

    3. A Friendly Salutation/Get to the Point Quickly

    When writing to someone you don’t know, it is better to start with a ‘Hello’ instead of saying ‘Dear Mr Smith’. This is too formal and out of place for informal communication such as email. When you write to someone known to you, just say ‘Hi (Name)’. Don’t try and go overboard unless you know them outside of professional circles.

    Email is meant for simple, quick communication. Say what you want to say, say it quickly, and say it just once.

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    4. Clear Communication

    Make the purpose of your email clear. Let them know how it relates to them, otherwise your email will get deleted in short order.

    They can’t see your body language or tone of your voice to gauge whether you are kidding or not. There is a greater possibility of your emails being misread. Jokes usually do not transfer well, especially when writing to somebody for the first time.

    Remember these principles of effective communication:

    • Replace longer words with shorter ones.
    • Keep your sentences short; use fewer and shorter paragraphs.
    • Break up your paragraphs and use bullet points to make it easier to read on the screen.
    • Pay attention to your spelling and grammar.
    • Edit for jargon. If not, you convey lack of attention to detail and may portray an unprofessional image.
    • Keep it brief, short and concise. Don’t ramble.
    • Give complete information; the recipient should not have to get back to you for more information. Avoid the possibility of confusion and delays.
    • Do not provide lengthy background information. Attach a file if extra information is required.
    • When writing in response to somebody’s email, mirror their approach. How do they usually communicate with people? Did they write two sentences to your four paragraphs email? Match their style to achieve results of your writing efforts.

    5. Informal — Yet Courteous

    Write as if you are talking to them. Keep it conversational, yet never say anything you wouldn’t say to somebody’s face. When feeling emotional, write your email and save it as a draft. Go over it when you are feeling calmer and revise. Always write polite emails.

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    Always think of email as being public. Presume any email you write can be read by anybody else — and write accordingly.

    6. Clear Plan of Action

    What do you want them to do?

    • Perform a specific action. They need to give you more details on a project.
    • Respond with information. They need to confirm if they are available for a conference call the next day.
    • Read only. They need to read your message to clearly understand something. No response is necessary. You are away and need to reschedule a meeting. You will contact again.

    End with short thank you. And don’t forget to add an email signature, your contact details, website, etc. Always write a business email with this point in mind: everyone is busy and gets a lot of email.

    Follow these tips and you’ll not only be able to send better emails, but you’ll send ones that are worth getting opened.

    (Photo credit: Button Mail via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Warning Signs That You’re a People Pleaser

    5 Warning Signs That You’re a People Pleaser

    Do any of the followings sound familiar…

    You cringe at the thought of saying no. You obsess about what others think of you and whether you’re doing something to make them dislike you. You live your life based on the opinions of others because you are deathly afraid of disappointing them.

    If you say yes to all of these, you are likely a chronic people pleaser.

    It’s hard not to struggle with people-pleasing at one time or another in our lives. As social beings, it’s in our nature to get along with others; our survival and success depend on it.

    However, there is a fine line between healthy social behavior and the experience of emotional depletion caused by chronic people-pleasing. In addition to being emotionally drained, you may find yourself compromising on your principles and values in order to be accepted. As you help others to get what they want, your own health and well-being will suffer.

    As a recovering people pleaser myself, I’ve observed these five common signs of chronic people-pleasing and some ways to overcome it:

    1. You’re Incapable of Saying No

    Do you find it painfully hard to turn down the requests of family, friends, and even acquaintances or strangers? You really want to say no, but instead, you say yes to their various demands.

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    Before you know it, you’ve become the go-to person when something needs to get done. From the small to the large, you take on every task. You may even be considered a hero to some.

    On the inside, you’re suffering. You genuinely want to help others, but you also know that you are depleting your own resources with every “yes.” You may fear that you’ll lose your friendships and good reputation by saying no. After all, last thing you want to be called is selfish.

    Solution

    First, realize that your capacity to care for others and your capacity to care for yourself are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the two are intimately related.

    Second, understand that you are not responsible for the happiness of those around you. They are. Let these two realities give you permission to say no. Start practicing with small requests. Refuse kindly, and without apology.

    2. You Avoid Making Decisions or Sharing Your Opinions

    Do you have a hard time voicing your opinions and feelings in a group setting or with close friends? Do you constantly allow others to make decisions for you?

    You understand a deep truth about decisions and opinions: they divide. However, it’s not in your nature to cause division by speaking up, so you remain silent to avoid conflict.

    Over time, this behavior is deadly, because as you defer to the opinions and decisions of others, you are silencing your own voice. This will rob the world of your unique perspectives and gifts.

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    Solution

    Remember that you can disagree without being disagreeable. People can have divergent opinions and still treat each other with respect and kindness. So give voice to your thoughts, concerns, and needs.

    By speaking up, you may rock the boat. You may even be outvoted. But if you treat others with respect, they will respect you even when they disagree with your opinions and choices.

    3. You’re Crushed When You Discover Someone Doesn’t like You

    This is a hard one. It seems reasonable to assume that if you go out of your way to please everyone, then everyone will like you. But it’s not true.

    Some people will dislike you simply because of who you are or for reasons outside of your control. You understand this intellectually, but you cannot stop trying to win the few holdouts.

    Solution

    Closely examine your desire to be liked by everyone. Did this originate in your childhood, as you tried to win the affections of family members or friends at school? Use tools such as reflection, meditation, and counseling to help you let go of past negative experiences.

    As social beings, we need to be loved and accepted – but not by everyone. Decide whose love and affection is worth the effort and whose is not.

    4. You’re Resentful of Others but Are Not Sure Why

    This often happens when we suppress our feelings and needs over the long term.

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    Do you feel unexplained anger toward your close friends, spouse, or boss? The anger is your subconscious telling you that you have been neglecting yourself while helping others advance their goals. Think of this resentment as the “check engine” light turning on in your car. Don’t ignore it.

    Solution

    Face the truth of what is going on in your life. If you’re feeling overextended or taken advantage of, acknowledge these feelings. Avoid second-guessing yourself. Find time for self care, and make this a priority.

    5. You’re Unaware of How Far You’re Willing to Go – Until You’re in over Your Head

    This is a sure sign that you lack proper boundaries. You avoid setting limits because you believe this runs counter to having a generous spirit. But this simply allows people greater latitude to intrude into your life. The requests may become more and more unreasonable and you may not realize it until someone has crossed the line.

    If you’ve taken on too much, you may experience passive aggressive behavior, crying for no apparent reason, anxiety, or depression.

    Solution

    Be willing to admit that your time and energy are limited, not because you’re selfish, but because it’s the truth.

    Boundaries are simply a recognition of that truth. Do not be afraid to set your boundaries and enforce them. It will take a while for you and others to get used to it, but you’ll experience an increased sense of well-being, and people will learn to accept your limits.

    Learn to set boundaries for good: How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

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    Final Thoughts

    You can be generous without allowing yourself to be used. You can be kind without being a pushover. You can be well-liked without having to sell your soul.

    Don’t allow your fears and insecurities to turn you into a chronic people-pleaser. Instead, make time to please one of the most important people in your life: you.

    Why? Because when you care for yourself, you can care for others out of the abundance of your own well-being. You will do this not because you are afraid of losing their affection, but simply because you want to. You will experience true freedom.

    So decide today to give yourself the same love and attention you give to others. This is one decision you won’t regret.

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    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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