Quick: one tip to make sure your next email gets read no matter who is opening it?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
“The first sentence determines whether or not the reader will keep reading — or delete it and move on to the next email. Utilize this first sentence to get directly to the point about why your message is relevant to the reader and why he will benefit from reading it right now. Be intriguing.”
“Be direct in your message and cut out all fluff. Get straight to your core message as quickly as possible.”
“We have written the subject of an email as “Knock, Knock,” with the body containing a knock-knock joke. People delete emails all day, but spend hours on humorous websites. At the end of the day, humor always wins. Everyone wants to see how the joke ends — and to see the person who is brave enough to kick off an email with a punchline!”
“Make sure your subject line is interesting and relevant — and be sure to spell the person’s name correctly. “
“When busy people see emails from unfamiliar senders, they often read the headline and the first sentence. If anything seems like it was mass-emailed, it goes straight to the trash. The whole email should feel personalized, but particularly the headline. Using a name isn’t enough. Use casual, colloquial language so the reader knows you’re a real person and your message isn’t spam.”
“Use Rapportive (http://www.rapportive.com) to see which social networks they use. Then send them a tweet, Facebook message or any ping that they’ll see to let them know you just emailed them something interesting. Chances are if they see that message, they’ll be more likely to open the email.”
“If I need something read and responded to quickly, I will put “Action Required” or “Action Needed” as the first two words in the subject line.”
“Think about why your recipient would respond, based on why YOU would respond if you got this email. Put yourself in the recipient’s inbox — think from your recipient’s point of view — and your content will be much more compelling and valuable.”
“Have a conversation with your audience. Use language they use every day. And, for the love of all that is good, be interesting. Take some time to try to truly understand what your market is thinking, why they act the way they do and what the real motivators are for them.