Make Your Email Stand Out

November 2, 2014

 

It’s hard to imagine what our lives would be like without Ray Tomlinson.

While this name may not ring any bells, we can assure you that you are very familiar with Ray Tomlinson’s work. Ray Tomlinson is the programmer who invented electronic mail, more commonly known today as email.

Email is one of the most, if not the most, used tools today. We send and receive dozens of emails every day. It has transformed into our main means of communication, through which we are able to transmit our messages within our entire workforce.

It’s clear that email has a huge influence in our daily lives, but not everyone knows the proper rules for sending a good email. With our help, your mail won’t be lost in your addressee’s inbox. Instead, it will attract his attention so that he will read it and respond to it. In addition, these rules will help you transmit your message in a much more effective way and will help you avoid commonly made mistakes.

1. Subject line – If we want our email to take precedence over all other mail received, the subject line must attract the addressee. That is, the content must be useful or beneficial to the addressee– why is it worth his while? For example, if you send your boss a weekly report, instead of just writing “Weekly Report” in the subject line, try to give it a more interesting and captivating title. Just adding a few words regarding subjects that are important to your boss could do the trick. It could be” “Weekly Report – Changes in Income in the Asian Sector.” Note that you are giving the report a new title that will work well for chain messages. And take note of the most important rule: email should never be sent without a subject line.

2. Short and to the point – In order to make the content of your mail easy for the addressee to understand, the main subjects should be divided into individual points. Key words in each sentence should be emphasized. When the addressee scans the mail, he should be able to quickly understand its subject and the important points you are trying to get across.

3. Personal touch – It is very important to give your mail a personal touch (within reason, of course). Always open your letter with the addressee’s name, some greeting or words of interest in his welfare, and a closing note with a signature (in addition to your permanent business signature). The more generic your mail, the less significance it has. The content of the mail will affect not only the message, but also the writer. If you write, “Forward the results” instead of “I would appreciate receiving the results,” the addressee’s perception of you is different. You should still keep in mind your existing relationship and situation with the addressee. The question now arises of what to do when you are sending this mail to more than one person. How do you still keep the letter personal? There are two possibilities:

  1. Address everyone at the beginning of the letter: “Dear Noa, Dani, Ron, and Shira.” When a person sees himself addressed directly at the beginning of the email, he will automatically give the letter his attention.

  2. Individually send an email to each of the addressees. Even though this will take more time, the possibilities of receiving a response are higher. When there are a large number of addressees, the tendency is not to reply, because each person is sure that the others will reply or they prefer to know what others will say before they give their opinions. It’s always a good idea invest a little more time and send personal mail to each of the addressees.

4. Punctuation – There are an unlimited number of transactions that are worth millions of dollars, but have failed simply because the email was not correctly understood. Make sure to always use correct punctuation marks and to use them in the right places. In addition, try not to over-punctuate as well, such as exaggerated use of exclamation points or ellipses (dot-dot-dot). People who punctuate properly come across as more intelligent.

Let’s eat grandpa.

vs.

Let’s eat, grandpa.

Correct punctuation can save a person’s life.

5. Moving forward – What does the addressee have to do after reading the mail? Why did he receive it? Was it purely an informational email, or were you asking for his opinion? What you want from the addressee must be emphasized in the body of the letter. The addressee cannot be left wondering why this email was sent to his inbox. Be clear as to what your intentions are. In addition, if you want the addressee to send you a confirmation that he received your email, ask him directly to reply. If your request is unclear, you can’t expect the addressee to read your mind. If several people have been sent the same message, mention them by name in the body of the mail and request of each of them, by name, to reply.

6. Double check – One of the advantages of email over face-to-face conversation is the possibility of proofreading your words before sending it. If we are speaking to someone and say the wrong thing, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to turn back the wheel. With email, we can check the content of the letter, find grammatical or spelling errors, read the letter out loud, and check that the letter was sent. Although this is a relatively basic action, there are many people who do not check their letters before sending them. Devote a few more seconds to this – it’s worth it!

Every day, about 190 billion letters are sent by electronic mail around the world. Research has shown that this figure will grow even larger with time. Your mail, your message, is in constant competition with other mail. So, in order to successfully reach your goals and complete your work, it’s worth using this very powerful tool in the best possible way.

And another little tip… if you’ve sent two emails and the point still isn’t clear? Forget about the email. Pick up the telephone and talk about it.

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