Tweeting is impersonal, phone calls are annoying and snail mail has that name for a reason. This means that email is the best way to reach out to busy people. Folks with full schedules are usually important people, and knowing how to communicate with them and elicit a response is a skill that can set you apart from others and further your career or business. Here is how to craft an email that will make things happen with influencers.
- Be Brief.
Don't waste someone's time by sending a verbose email. If you were getting over 100 emails a day and only had a few spare moments to wade through them, would you want to read line after line after line when really only a few short sentences would do? In order to get your messages read, make them as short as possible. Read through your message before clicking “send” to trim unnecessary info.
- Be Basic.
Keep it simple. Your email should not look like a newsletter. That means deleting any unnecessary attachments and limiting photos to only those that are important and relevant to the content.
- Be Blunt.
Get to the point without beating around the bush or trying to be clever. State what you need to without jokes or anecdotes.
- Use the Subject Line Wisely.
Use the subject line to send a clear message that your email is important. Don't be vague by saying something like “Just checking in.” Instead, explicitly state what the email is about. For example “Update on marketing strategy” or “3 quick questions re: accounts.”
- Bundle Your Emails
Busy people get hundreds of emails a day, so try to send no more than one unless absolutely necessary. Sending many emails means coming off as annoying and increasing the likelihood that your messages will get lost in the flow.
- Follow Basic Email Etiquette
It should go without saying, but you should always follow these basic email etiquette rules, especially when sending messages to busy people:
- Never default to “reply all.”
- Proofread your message for grammar and spelling before hitting “send.”
- Don't forward hoaxes, jokes or chain emails.
- Use antivirus software to make sure you are not spreading viruses or worms via email.
- If you forward something, explain why you think it will benefit or be of interest to the recipient.
- Ask before you send huge attachments so the email system doesn't get clogged.
- Never write in all caps. It implies shouting and is deemed aggressive.
- Be careful with sarcasm. It is more difficult to interpret when written.