According to a recent Adobe study, 70% of employees usually read their emails while watching television at home. The same study also reveals that 50% of employees read about 29 emails every weekend. Each day, professionals spend more time reading their emails at home or on the move, not just in the office. This doesn’t imply that all emails have a 100% chance of drawing readers’ attention and eliciting responses. In the 21st century, adults are busy juggling academic and professional demands against their personal lives. This fast-paced lifestyle denies people the luxury of reading and responding to all new emails in the most ideal way. A foolproof strategy is needed to ensure your emails draw attention at a glance. Here are 11 simple ways you can use to compel your readers to read and respond to your emails in good time.
1. Use a clear subject line
A relevant email subject line is brief, and straight to the point. These two characteristics are essential in drawing readers’ attention away from other unopened emails competing for their attention. Crafting a concise and precise email subject line also provides the right direction for your message. If you’re cold pitching a product or job application, it's advisable to use a formal tone. Do not use casual subject lines such as “hey, just touching base.” Communicating in a formal tone enhances your credibility, and implies your sincerity in the eyes of potential clients or employers. Here’s an example of a clear email subject line that communicates the email’s main message in just one sentence. "Comments on your blog post on Telegram."
2. Avoid beating around the bush
If you’ve just confirmed that a prospect read your cold email, you can pat yourself on the back. In the real world, less than 10% of recipients reply to cold emails. Now that you’ve won your readers’ attention, your goal is maintaining it until the final sentence of your email. Some job applicants make the mistake of elaborating on their career achievements. Marketers can bore the reader with unwanted facts concerning their products or services. Remember, an average online user hates reading lengthy text.
Do you find it challenging to present your emails clearly, so recipients get your message in the shortest time possible? Here’s a format you can follow:
Reason for the email - use two precise sentences
3. Compose your email using simple language
The main advantage of framing your sentences using simple language is that your audience understands your message just as you intended it. The main reason of sending an email is communication. To ensure you meet this goal, use a range of synonyms that are familiar with your audience. Using complex vocabulary can bring about confusion due to using some words in the wrong context.
4. Enhance your email subject lines using numbers
Consider the following article titles: "Banana fruits amazing nutritional benefits" "5 amazing nutritional benefits of eating bananas" Which one do you prefer? Most readers go for the second article title. Why? Because numbers represent facts. And people crave facts in clear, explanatory language. It’s one reason most health and nutritional articles usually contain figures in their titles e.g. “5 ways you can burn belly fat without taking diet pills”. Another reason for using numbers is letting the reader capture important information at a glance. A lot of people only scan through emails to see if the information will be relevant to them.
5. Always be precise
Precision refers to the exactness of something. Sending precise emails makes it easier for your recipients to recall your email’s main points. This means you won’t have to keep re-introducing yourself, and reminding the recipient about your previous emails. Also, readers prefer reading short emails while on the move. Are you notorious for using filler words in your emails? This needs to stop. If you’re applying for an I.T. job vacancy, there’s no need for an entire paragraph praising your potential employer. Market researchers recommend placing a 200-word count limit when writing emails. One way of doing this is by typing your message on Twitter, then editing it until it complies with the maximum 140-character rule. This might sound a little extreme but getting the main message - the details - to fit into the Twitter rule means you will gain practice at saying what you really want to say.
6. Add a bullet list where necessary
When you want to make your email’s content easy to scan, consider presenting your information using bullet points. Since a bullet point is just a brief summary of a greater piece of information, you’ll be able to use precise terms to communicate effectively. Bullet points come in handy when emailing a meeting’s agenda or list of people.
7. Focus on effectively convincing your readers
As you advance in your email campaign, you’ll come across recipients who require further convincing after reading your message. You should never assume the audience automatically resonates with your email’s subject lines. It is your job to make the audience understand why they ought to follow your call-to-action statements. When you use the word “because” before explaining your intentions, it makes the audience more receptive. The word “because” directs the reader’s attention towards your needs. Once they understand your objective, they will respond favorably.
8. Frame your requests clearly
If readers cannot understand what you need from them, you won’t get a reply. Rather than watching your efforts go down the drain, express yourself with the highest level of clarity. If you’re seeking employment, tell the employer exactly what type of job you are after. State the specific job vacancy, relevant department and whether you’re looking for part or full-time employment. Did you know that the call-to-action statement in your email is also a request? Since this is the final line in your email, make sure the reader receives the right impression.
9. Push for offline action where necessary
Different situations demand various approaches and emailing is only one of them. In some cases, you’ll have to set up an appointment and this can be easily done with a phone call. If you’re interviewing a key person, it’s best to set up an appointment. It might sound obvious, but the ease of writing emails and online interaction means people forget that humans still need personal contact at times.
10. Personalize the email subject line
One sure way of getting zero responses to your emails is by using the following generic subject lines: "To whom it may concern" "Open me!" "Really urgent!" Before sending the email, do a little background check on the recipient, using LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Doing this helps you address them by their names and professional titles. People pay more attention to subject lines that address them by name. Another benefit is that you won’t need to refresh your receiver’s memory every time you send subsequent emails. Addressing them by name puts you on the level of an acquaintance, rather than a stranger.
11. It’s all about perfect timing
Most white-collar employees prefer reading and replying to emails during morning hours. On the other hand, college students prefer reading their emails during lunch breaks or during the evening after class. Your audience will respond to your email if they receive it within agreeable periods.
Summing it up
Perhaps this should be 12 tips. Always edit your emails a couple of times before hitting the “send” button. Typos could lead to the audience dismissing a brand. Tailoring email subject lines and content to match the requirements of an audience always leads to a high response rate. Practicing these techniques will give you success in business, and career advancement.
You are welcome to share your questions and opinions in the comments section. If you have any other tips that would be useful, let us know.