Getting your business email read, not recycled

recycle bin

recycle bin (Photo credit: twicepix)

Email remains one of the best tools for reaching people in business.  Unfortunately, many emails are destine for the recycle bin before being sent.  Here are a few guidelines to writing emails for business that will be read.

  • Start with the end.  –  Business people are busy.  Tell them what you want first.  If you want a meeting, get to the point and say it.  ”I would like to meet with you at your convenience…. 
  • Be direct  –  If there is detail behind the request or question, include it in subsequent paragraphs.
  • Stay in the window  –  In most cases you want to use as few words as possible.  Most people review email in a preview window.  In most preview windows, only the first five to ten lines of text show up.  Make sure you have made your request or stated your question in that space. 
  • Write a compelling subject line.  –  Many people delete emails based on the subject.  Others use the subject line to find an email later.  If the recipient of your email will not recognize your email address, consider putting your name in the subject line ” Subject:  Meeting request with Mike Colwell…”

A well crafted email gets read.  It also says a lot about the author. 

(This post originally ran in December of 09.  From time to time I re-publish older posts I think are still relevant)

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