Before we start THIS IS NOT some amazing secret on how to get 87% conversion rate on your email marketing.
...nor is it some fantastic new hidden way of making people suddenly love your business/product.This is quite simply something I have found as a business owner who:
- receives on average around 40-50 emails per day
- only has a finite amount of time to deal with these emails
- has to constantly pick and choose which emails to deal with
Where did you learn to email?
Before I begin - let me be clear. We all learnt how to speak, read and write. Some of us may be even had a formal education in reading and writing. But I can pretty much bet the majority of business owners have had very little formal training in how to write an email. Let's face it - why would you? I can type, I can write - what else do I need to know?
Maybe you should take some lessons
There are plenty of resources out there on both email etiquette as well as how to manage your inbox. I would suggest you take 15 minutes from your day (either today or tomorrow) and read up on email etiquette. Not only will you learn something but the effect it can have on your business communications.
How I process my emails
So I am sitting with let's say 50 emails to get through. What I do is I start at the bottom (i.e. the oldest email first) and I start reading. If it is an email which DOES NOT require an action or response - then it gets deleted or archived. If it does require an action I take the necessary steps to ensure the action is taken care of, respond on the email to inform the person what has been done.
NOW here is the important part. If the email is worded in such a way I cannot clearly determine a) what the action is or b) what kind of response is required. Then I will skip it and move on to the next email. This delays the response to the email, but I would rather respond to 20 emails in 20 minutes than just respond to the one. I tend to digest the email and ponder the response when I am driving or doing something else away from the computer and then tackle the response later.
TIP #1: If you have multiple questions for someone take the time to clearly write them out in a list so the person on the other end can easily reply with the answers.
TIP #2: Do not simply batter keyboard with the first thing which comes into your head and hit send. Chances are it will not be as well received as you might expect. Take the time to re-read your email and consider how it may be perceived.
TIP #3: State your intent. Tone is not always clear on emails (same goes for Facebook) - so it helps to clearly state what the intention of the email is at the start and again at the end. Remember people cannot read minds or facial expressions over email - so things can get mis-interpreted if you are not clear.
TIP #4: Use emphasis where possible. Italics, UPPER-CASE, underline and bold are all great ways to ensure the recipient takes notice of the right things and take the appropriate action. Even if the action is simply to respond in a timely manner.