Have you ever stopped to think about how many emails you send and receive daily? The Washington Post reports that the average employee spends about 4.1 hours reading, writing, and sending email messages a day. With all that digital communication, how do you ensure your emails stand out, get opened, and make an impact?
Start with strong subject lines
The key to grabbing a recipient’s attention is establishing your email as familiar and not random or spam. That means if you’re attempting to network, use specific names of people relevant to the message you’re sending. When someone you’ve never met before sees the name of a person you have in common, they are much more likely to give your message attention. Briefly describe in the subject line the connection you may have with the recipient and why they should give you their time. For example, try “Colleague of Mark Smith, ideas for marketing initiatives.”
Keep it personal
Another rule of etiquette for emails is to always keep your message personal. A recipient is much more likely to not only open your message, but also read it in its entirety if they feel it connects to them directly. A good example of the importance of personalization in emails is when sending a message to a potential employer after a job interview. Instead of simply thanking them in a generic manner, reference a specific topic you discussed in the interview. Bringing back up a portion of your conversation will help them remember you and also help you make a stronger impact among a sea of candidates.
Skip emojis and slang
Because email messages are not face-to-face communication, they can often be interpreted in a variety of different ways. Therefore, it’s critical to remember the value of good grammar and professional vernacular. That means that although you may text using shorthand or emojis, leave them out of your email communications. Even if you’re sending a short message, use a clean and professional layout, practice proper grammar, and always be pleasant. Once an email is sent it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to take it back, so before you hit “send” be sure your message is something you won’t regret at a later date.