• Andrew Collins

How to get people to open your emails

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

EMAIL – the world’s most popular method of communication. It is something so simple and has been around since the earliest days of the internet, yet why do most emails sound so dull and impersonal?

We write them every day at work, yet many of us know so little about what it takes to compose an email that someone will actually open and read.

So whether you’re sending a job application, a business development inquiry, a promotion request to your boss, a response to a difficult client, etc, here are a few pointers:

WHO?

– Find the right recipient (do not send to info@brand.com) do your research, identify a valuable contact (the more senior the better… if you can reach the CEO then go for it.)

WHAT?

– Catchy title: get their attention, but make sure the content relates to the subject, otherwise they will feel like they’ve been conned.

– Get straight to the point, there’s no point in hanging about.  Busy professionals don’t like to read through pointless chit chat when you could have conveyed your message in one line.

HOW?

– Keep it short.  Remember the saying: “don’t write 10 words when one will do.”

– Don’t waffle (eg. I await your reply with great excitement)

– Make it personal (briefly).  You need to give your email a personality otherwise it will sound automated or even worse robotic.

– Keep it polite but not formal.  Stop living in the past, where overly formal letters were the norm.

WHICH?

– Make it relevant.  You don’t want to bombard the recipient with a long list of key points when the two most important will suffice. (don’t list all your life’s work experience when 2 key references will do)


– Name drop (but only once or twice, otherwise it’s overkill)

WHEN?

– You don’t need to send it NOW…..sit back and think about it. A short period of reflection on what you’ve just written can work wonders.

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