Despite often being bemoaned, emails continue to be the life support of the business world. Statistics from the Radicati Group in 2015 suggested that 205 billion emails are sent every day. Yet people still make the same mistakes they were making 10 years ago.
With inboxes, full and the world short on time, sending proficient emails has become a crucial element of success, not only for small businesses but for organisations worldwide.
As a start-up looking to grow your business, email marketing should be an important part of your business development strategy.
Below we outline 5 key tips to keep your emails cutting through the noise, having the impact you need and helping you to avoid any unnecessary mishaps.
- Nail your subject line
With seemingly endless emails arriving in email accounts every day, it is imperative that you waste no time getting straight to the point. Be specific and keep it short. If you are inviting someone you don’t know to an event, concisely demonstrate that you are indeed inviting them to an event. This will dramatically increase the likelihood of them interacting with your email. NEVER, EVER, USE ALL CAPS or several exclamation marks. In marketing emails, if you can personalise the subject line – even better. Subject lines can make or break your email.
- Keep it sweet
Speaking for anyone who has ever received an email past 250 words in length – why? Like your subject line, a good email is to the point. If you are asking for something – ask for it. Always keep the purpose of your email in mind. Group important information together so that it is easily accessible, and make use of bullet points and highlighting. If somebody has to sift through a James Joyce novel to find out you need help, they are much less likely to give it to you. With that in mind…
- Keep a 3-part structure
Despite keeping it short, you can still follow a standard structure to give your emails clarity and personalisation. Use an opening to start conversation, or maintain an ongoing dialogue that creates and fosters a relationship over email. Secondly, use the main part of the email to explain the purpose and achieve the goal of the email. Finally, summarise with a brief conclusion or a personal sign off. This structure keeps the email formal, allows for personalisation and will stop any mad ramblings.
- Consider your recipients
We’ve all heard horror stories of people sending emails to the wrong address – bosses receiving less than flattering emails meant for someone else. The best piece of advice – don’t send unflattering emails. But as best practice, always add the email address last to avoid accidentally sending a message too early. Also, beware of the reply all function. Some emails are set to automatically reply to all, and there is nothing worse than becoming the “story” having accidentally replied to all.
- Carve out time for emails
This may sound counterproductive – but hear us out. A great piece of advice for anyone sending business emails is to dedicate time to your emails each day, preferably not at the start or end. Complete your important tasks at the beginning of your day, then give half an hour to emails mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Unless dealing with correspondence of a time-sensitive nature, designating email slots throughout the day will both improve productivity and allow you to focus on getting on top of your inbox, putting the tips from this article into practice. You’ll make far fewer mistakes and write better emails if you tackle them as a short task, as opposed to answering emails all day and writing them on the fly.