Like you, I get a ton of emails in a typical day. If I read them all, I’d get little else done. So if I don’t see something in the subject line that grabs my attention because it’s relevant to me, that message is gone! That takes care of 50% of the email crowding my Inbox. If I do actually start reading, but there’s nothing intriguing in the first few sentences, there goes another 30% of the daily onslaught. Another 10% or so is internal mail, and my boss reads this blog, so I’m saying for the record that I read those. Which brings us to that last 10% of email, items I may actually read.
How can you be included in my 10%? Or the 10% of the other strangers you’re trying to reach? Make it stand out. Be intriguing and, include a call to action, and keep it short. Sounds simple, right? Try it. You’ll find it’s much harder than you think. Below are 10 message goals that fit into two concise paragraphs and will keep your email message “above the fold,” giving it a good chance of capturing the reader:
Example: Sending an Email to an IT Company
- Subject Line – Here’s your one and only chance to make a good first impression. “Less than 30% of IT administrators are certified in Cloud Computing.” Pretty intriguing if I’m an IT company transitioning from servers and desktop applications to a cloud-based, software-as-a-service environment.
- Introduction – The reader needs to know who you are and the company you work for… “My name is… and I work for…”
- Discovery – You need to have discovered something that would interest the reader (and be able to say it in one sentence). “I recently discovered….”
- Empathy – Express empathy with what the reader might be experiencing. “I know how difficult it is…”
- Statistic - Throw in the most relevant statistic. “Most engineers are certified in cloud computing, but less than 30% of IT administrators are certified.”
- Comment – Comment on the statistic. “That’s huge!”
- Opportunity– What is the opportunity for the reader, the core content of the message that will motivate them to respond? “There is a significant opportunity for you to transition your IT staff and we have some ideas…”
- Recognition – Let your reader know you’ve done a little homework, and don’t be afraid to actually give them some kudos and comment. “Congratulations on being listed as one of the Top 10 companies in the Business Journal!”
- Request – You’ve now set the stage for a call to action (CTA) by informing them of your availability and asking them a question. “I’m available (enter three specific date & times) next week. Which of these would work best for you?”
- Close – Be sure to include a “Thank You.”
Now it’s your turn… Your homework assignment is 1) Download our free ebook and 2) Begin to develop and send me your email about your company at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve told you everything you need to know to get me to read your message from top to bottom!