“Everything you want is out there, waiting for you to ask.” Jules Renard
Emails that start out poorly often end the same way. As the recipient, you either aren’t clear on the Purpose or aren’t compelled to respond. It’s the same as writing “Move This To The Trash Immediately” in the Subject Line.
Countless emails are sent every day that do not ask for anything specific or suggest a clear action step. Ending your message without a clear and specific request reduces your chance of success to near zero.
Here are some examples of poor endings, as always, from real emails:
I’ll bet you do! If only wishes made it so…
A request is always better than a question. The sender might have written, “Please let me know your availability this week for a 15 minute call.”
I’m confused. What if I don’t need more information? Does that mean we can’t discuss further steps?
Oh, brother. Where to start? As a first contact with the recipient, this sets a very interesting (i.e., troublesome) tone. “Share some love”? “Pretty please with sugar on top?” If you’re inviting me to Sadie Hawkins, this might…and I stress “might”…be appropriate. But to expose my community of followers to you? Oh, I don’t think so. And when you ask a closed-ended question – one that be answered “yes” or “no” – you will likely get “No”. Or no response at all.
This starts off with a rather non-specific statement of what the sender wants, but any potential meaning gets lost in the detail of what will happen next. Without a clear and specific request at the end, this may not get the desired response. And by the way, this was an internal email from the Communications department. Oh, my.
If you’ve ever wondered why you’re not getting a response from an email, it’s probably because you didn’t specifically ask for one. If you don’t know what you want the recipient to do, you’re better off not sending the email at all. If you do, make sure you make the request clearly and concisely.
Bear this in mind: If you ask for nothing in particular, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Today’s Fact Cetera
The second week of June is National Email Week.