6 Steps for Getting People to Read Your E-mail

6 steps for having your emails readIf you’ve ever struggled to convey a lot of information in an email — knowing the recipient or recipient type (hint: client) doesn’t read, but skims content — and did not receive any response, then the article I just read in Fast Company is for you.

Titled, “How to Write a Convincing E-mail,” the article highlights 6 key points that when followed, result in effective emails that will actually get read. My own perspective is that your emails are an extension of your brand and if they are concise, clear and action-oriented, your prospects, clients and colleagues will respond more frequently and hold you in higher esteem. I encourage you to read the full article as it provides great examples of poorly crafted emails and then the same messages written effectively. Following are article highlights. When composing an email:

1. Have a specific decision in mind.
What is the outcome you desire?

2. Start by writing your conclusion.
As opposed to the way in which you compose an essay with and Introduction, supporting text and a conclusion, go for the conclusion and work backwards to support it.

3. Structure your supporting argument into digestable chunks.
Use bulleted copy where possible or two sentence paragraphs if content is not listable.

4. Bolster each argument with evidence.
Opinions hold little sway. You’re seeking action. Make it easy to respond by using facts.

5. Repeat your conclusion as a “call-to-action.”
At the end, repeat the conclusion you began with and invite a next step.

6. Stick a benefit in the subject line

I found myself analyzing my own emails and certain points immediately resonated. Point #6, I put in the “last but not least” category. Composing a subject line is analagous to crafting a great tagline in that it successfully distills a theme down to just a few words, which can express facts and intention with clarity of purpose.

Which points do you find most helpful?