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How To Write An Email That Will Not Be Ignored

How To Write An Email That Will Not Be Ignored

Today, email is one of the main forms of communication we have with one another. Unfortunately, there are some times when we send out an important email and then wait patiently for a response that never comes. It appears that it has traveled into the black hole of emails!

To make sure your emails don’t get swallowed by the black hole, there are some basic rules to follow regarding what to include and utilize in your email — and what to leave out! Here they are:

Keep the body short

Firstly, the body of the email…

The body is what is going to get read, or maybe skimmed over. You are hoping that every word gets read; however, if your emails look more like novels then that may not be the case. Keep the body short. Short is relative, and we must define this: three to five sentences is the maximum.

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Why do you need to keep the body short?

Anything more than this starts to seem needy, especially if you don’t know the recipient. Neediness is an immediate turnoff for people. Once your brain senses any sort of neediness it goes into survival mode. Oren Klaff, New York Times Best Selling Author, describes it best, “Exposing your need to someone else makes them fearful.”

Write in a natural voice

Write as yourself. Do not use language that people won’t understand. Show the recipient that you are a real person writing this email and not a robot who is programmed to write.

This also goes for the salutation of the email. Don’t fall into the trap of writing, “Dear Sir or Madam.” Take the time to find out the recipient’s name. Use “Hi” or “Hello” if you know the person; “Hey” may even be acceptable in very informal working relationships.

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Include one call to action

Note the one here. The more items that you ask for, the needier you sound. The call to action is essentially you asking the recipient for something that you want them to do. Ask for a meeting or a phone call. Or coffee on Wednesday. But do not ask for multiple items, such as, “Can we schedule a meeting for Tuesday morning on the phone and can you edit my latest book?” This asks for way too much from one email! The point is to get the email read and receive a reply back — not for someone to hit the delete button.

Closing your emails

Write words here like “Best,” “Cheers,” “Warm wishes,” or “Thank you.” The point here is to show that this is not automated. Writing “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” etc., screams to the recipient that the email is automated or that it is a general, impersonal email.

Email subject line

This is one of the most important things when it comes to either getting your email glanced over, or read. Personalized subject lines work wonders: for instance, “John Smith Suggested I Contact You.”

Create intrigue and utility within your subject lines. Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Works and another New York Times Best Selling Author, also has a few great subject lines including:

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  • YES OR NO: _______
  • 2 MINUTES TO READ: __ (and the subject, briefly)
  • NEED YOUR DECISION
  • DINNER PLAN PROPOSAL
  • PLEASE FORWARD HANSCOM’S LETTER

Putting all of the pieces together. Here is a sample email:

Subject: 2 MINUTES TO READ: CONGRATS ON THE BOOK

Hi Jessica,

Congrats on the newly published book. I am a first-time author and truly amazed at your success. I enjoyed the topic of your latest book diving into your travel adventures in Spain, as I have lived there, too, and could relate. What is one piece of advice that you would give to a starting writer?

Cheers,

Bobbi

Emails are used every day, but the number of emails read fully is dwindling. Make sure yours get to the top of the pile, and then actually read and replied to, by following these simple tips.

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Last Updated on October 28, 2020

The Crucial Letter Your SMART Goal Is Missing

The Crucial Letter Your SMART Goal Is Missing

SMART goals are a simple, logical way to organize your goals as you set them throughout life. Not only does this technique help you identify reachable goals, but it helps break down goals into smaller and more manageable pieces.

However, there is one crucial element (or letter) that is missing from this acronym. This missing letter can potentially make it harder for you to reach your goal – no matter how well you have broken down your goal into different pieces and action steps. However, once you understand this missing piece, you’ll be able to use it to move forward with your goals.

What Are Smart Goals?

If you are not familiar with the SMART goal setting technique and what the acronym means, here is a brief rundown with a simple example:

  • S = Specific — Your goal has to be specific enough (“I want to lose 4 inches off my waist”).
  • M = Measurable — You can measure your waistline every week to keep track of your progress.
  • A = Achievable — Do you think that you can do this? Or are you going too far by getting rid of yet another 4 inches? Or should you expand the goal to 5 inches; is that within reach?
  • R = Realistic — Is your lifestyle stable enough that you can commit to this goal?  Are you mentally prepared to do this? Do you have the resources you need for this goal?
  • T = Time-framed — You could want to achieve this goal within a week or within six months, but it should have a specific time frame.

As you can see, when you break down your goals like this, they become much more manageable and concrete than just saying “I want to to be slimmer.”

All fine and well, except that there is a crucial letter missing in this package – another letter “A.”

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The Missing Letter

The other letter “A” stands for accountability, and this is a great way to make sure that your defined plan is actually executed and is not left just on the talking or planning level. Even if you have crafted a masterful plan by using the SMART goal technique, it becomes useless if you don’t actually execute it. To make sure you start the execution phase, you want to throw some accountability into the mix.

By having some external pressure on your back (in the form of accountability), you are more likely to take action on your goal steps than if you just keep the plan to yourself. Accountability is based on the fact that you want to stand behind your words and save face. When you announce your goal to the world, you realize that the world is now watching you, and you don’t want to let the world down.

Accountability is also about facing the expectations of others. If you announce a goal or a task in public, other people are expecting you will achieve the tasks and goals you have laid out for yourself.

Watch this video and find out how by having dependable accountability, you can reach your goal more efficiently:

Ways to Implement the Letter “A” in Your Goal

There are plenty of ways you can go about creating accountability. Choose which one will work to motivate you the most.

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1. Keep It to Yourself

I was a bit hesitant to include this, since in this scenario you are not telling others about your plans or tasks. However, for some people this might work since your conscience is your accountability partner in this situation. And you don’t want to let your conscience down.

2. Announce It to Other People

Your people could be your colleagues at work, your local golf club buddies, the subscribers and readers of your blog, or your Twitter followers. I would say that accountability is more effective when dealing with “offline people.” Being accountable face-to-face to someone is very effective.

I’m in no way underestimating the power of “online people” either. If you are trying to form solid relationships with others online, you want to keep your word – even if you don’t necessarily meet the people in the same sense as in the offline world.

3. Find an Accountability Partner

A more intimate way of being accountable is to find an accountability partner. This could be a friend or spouse, but it needs to be someone you feel comfortable reporting to. When this route is chosen, you might decide to call your partner on a frequent basis to tell them how well you are progressing on the goal.

4. Get on Stickk.com

If none of the above ways work for you, it’s time to put Stickk into play.

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Stickk.com is a website where you can announce your goal (“Commitment Contract”), and to make you even more committed to reaching that goal, there is money at stake. Money is not mandatory to get set up with Stickk, but knowing that you will lose a certain amount of money if you don’t reach your goal can give you an extra push to get stuff done.

5. Join Mastermind Groups

A mastermind group is a group of like-minded people gathering on a frequent basis (online or offline), trying to push each other closer to their goals. This type of accountability is very common in the business world. When you are in a mastermind group and you have set the objectives you want to achieve by the next meeting, you want to get stuff done and fulfill other’s expectations.

Mastermind groups are a great way to improve your productivity and reach your goals with the help of others.

6. Hire a Coach

If you really want to get personal attention for your goals, then hiring a personal coach may be the best way to stay accountable.

Not only are you accountable to your coach, but you also have to pay for his/her attention. This makes the coach option even more effective. You want to make sure you do everything you can to get the assignments done before the deadline you two have set. So, there is a money factor to keep you accountable as well. Since you want to quickly move forward, this option is a very effective for staying accountable with your SMART goals.

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The Bottom Line

Next time, set your goal using “SMARTA,” instead. Add that letter “A” to the SMART goal setting technique:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-framed, Accountable.

The accountability factor of reaching your goals may be just the thing you need to make them a reality.

More Tips on SMART Goals

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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