“Example is always more efficacious than precept.” Samuel Johnson
I recently had an email forwarded to me that promised to help “bust through the inbox clutter of busy people you want to connect with. Use these techniques to write messages that garner responses.” The rather long email went on to describe these techniques, all of which made sense. Except that the email they sent didn’t use any of them.
With that in mind, and in the spirit of old Sammy, here are some further examples of actual emails that serve as a warning to all of us.
First up, how to start off slow then peter out all together:
This starts with double salutations: “Hi” and “Good Morning” (the latter capitalized and followed by a comma instead of a period), then follows with one of the great lines of all time. Might just have well have written “I AM going to waste your time, but not much of it.” After that dubious beginning, the second paragraph is filled with vague words: “leading”, “relevant” and “better”.
Next up, an email filled with excitement…and no writing skills:
This was sent to an individual woman, so “Hi Guys!” goes sideways right off the bat. And the exclamation point doesn’t help. The breezy and informal tone continues in the first sentence, which could use a few commas. Then the sender launches into an animated description of their offering. One problem: the recipient is not in the restaurant or bar business. Even the exhilarating promise of “LED displays and bottle Glorifiers” (whatever those are) is not going to lead to a positive response.
And up last, a whiff of desperation:
This poor sap is clearly suffering due to the lack of response to the previous email. His longing for connection is clear from the opening sentence right through to his inability to end the email with one specific sentence.
Again, all three of these beg the question: Why would I want to do business with you?
Every email sends two messages: the one you’re intending, and the one the recipient infers. The words, the punctuation, the flow, the tone…all contribute to the overall impression you are providing.
Take some time and care to make it a good one.
Today’s Fact Cetera
70% of US Internet users prefer email as the method of communication for business-related matters.