It’s one of the most frustrating things to have sent an email that never gets read. Yet this happens all the time. Before exploring the various techniques for improving email effectiveness it’s useful to take a step back and look at some of the more common reasons why email fails to get results. Listed are some of the most common reasons that email goes unread or fails to get a response.
- Email goes unread when the recipient looks at the subject line and decides it’s not worth reading. People get large amounts of email every day and cannot give every email the same level of time and attention. So they scan their inbox and ignore those that are unimportant, difficult or confusing. Email that gets results has a compelling subject line.
- Email is not responded to when it’s unclear. This leaves the recipient scratching the heads wondering what’s required of them. Email that gets results is outcome focused with a clear call to action.
- Email that is long and rambling causes the reader to quickly become overwhelmed. Our reaction is to close the email with the intention of getting back to it when we have more time. Email that gets results is brief and well structured.
- Email that requires a lot of work and effort tends to get left and are responded to later if at all. Email that gets results requires little work, is easy to respond to and process.
- Email that fails to get to the point and leaves us asking ourselves “what’s the bottom line?” fails to get a response. Email that gets results is focused on outcomes and benefits.
Given the above challenges it’s important that we take time and consider the following goals when writing an email:
- Your email’s subject line is important as it determines if your email gets opened.
- Your email should not take up too much of the readers time.
- Your email must be brief and focused on outcomes.
- Your email should is easy to process and respond to not requiring a lot of work.
- Your email must make clear the action and response expected from the recipient.
This post is part of the series “Email that Gets Results”
Photo Credit: bark