The other day, I read a funny tweet that’s both true and incredibly sad.
“Every job now is just answering emails.”
Even though email communication seemed on the decline a few years ago, it’s still one of the most popular ways to communicate at work.
Especially for people revolting the “Slack-ing” off of the average workplace.
With email being a preferred method of workplace communication, it’s important to remember exactly how to write an effective email.
If many of your email requests go unread or largely ignore, it’s probably all your fault.
Steve Jobs was considered a master communicator.
The Apple founder even figured out a way to get people to respond to his every wish in email and not just because he was Steve Jobs.
Inc. broke down Jobs’s techniques in email correspondence.
Here are four tips for writing better emails that won’t get ignored:
- Always use first names to refer to people.
- Make it easy to read using a list format or bullet points.
- Lose the jargon, buzzwords and complicated language.
- Proofread and proofread again.
Email writing tip – ‘What’s In It For Me?’
The email will remain the preferred method of office communication for the foreseeable future.
Slack chats might become the norm at work, or another form of inter-office discussion might spring up, but email still has a long shelf life.
There are certain unwritten rules when it comes to email etiquette like don’t ever use emojis and knowing the proper phrase to kick off an email that will guarantee it gets read.
Entrepreneur.com laid down a few more rules to follow if you want people to read and react to your electronic letters in this piece on the 10 tips for writing emails that will get you tangible results.
The article is an excerpt from Susan Gunelius’ book Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Business.
Gunelius makes several vital points such as exploit your product’s (or service’s) benefits and exploit your competition’s weaknesses, knowing your audience and focusing on “we” and not “me.”
It’s an incredibly informative piece, but the critical takeaway involves an acronym and a point everyone should remember when crafting an email, no matter if the email is for business or personal gain.
Communicate WIIFM or “what’s in it for me?”
“No one cares about your business, products or services. That sounds harsh, but it’s true. All people care about is how your product, service, or offer can help them, make their lives better or make them happier.
Don’t fill your messages with information about how great your company is and how wonderful your product or service is.
Instead, write copy that clearly and repeatedly answers the question, ‘What’s in it for me?’”
Gunelius suggests expanding on the benefits of your offer “so recipients understand how it will affect their lives in positive ways.”
People only care what you can do for them. The quicker they find out, the more likely they’ll respond.
The article is worth the read, but I’d like to add one more tip – no matter how fantastic the email, and the offer, never ever hit reply all.
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