We can all write emails, but how do you formulate that winning email that’s going to generate business for you? Here are some tips to boost your success…
So you have got your email lists and you have started to collect those subscribers. You have visited networking events and collected lots of valuable contact information, but your now stuck on what to do with it all.
Sending emails can be a daunting task, particularly when you are first starting out and want to make a lasting good impression, that tells your potential clients that you are trustworthy and worth them spending time in contacting you. Getting a reply is even more of a struggle but can work wonders for your business when the formulation of your email is done right.
Our top tips in writing that killer first email…
From the top (literally) we have first up:
Email subject line
This is one of the most important factors of any email you send, as it’s the very first thing the recipient sees. Thus determining whether they want to open your email to read it or to send it to the trash without a second thought. A subject line should not only tell the reader what the email is about, but why they would benefit from opening it and reading its contents. Make them curious enough to want to read more.
Make it personal: use your contact’s name in the subject line and let them know it is for them specifically.
Make it descriptive: do away with those “trendy” subject lines that you see time again with emails you receive into your inbox. Think about whether these make you open the email or just send it straight to the trash.
Count your characters: as most of us now read emails through our smartphones, it makes sense to keep your subject line short to fit on most phone screens.
Match your greeting with the industry
Would you apply for a job with a law firm by starting your covering letter with “Hey, how are you?!” Or send your portfolio to a creative agency with a greeting of “to whom it may concern?” I hope the answer is no, so make sure your greeting fits your audience and industry and is something they can relate to and trust.
Do your research: check out your industry, the internet provides us with unlimited access to resources to help with almost anything. Has a leading name within your industry done any interviews about how to contact them, or a Ted talk on the art of communication for e.g. Even get yourself to a library and look at things like online communication and consumer behaviour. You can only gain from soaking up more knowledge.
Be genuine: The most annoying emails I have received of late include greetings such as “hey! I’ve just come across your Instagram account and we think your content is amazing! We think you would benefit from …”
First of all, how can you “just come across” someone’s social media and instantly know what that person/Business needs to succeed. Secondly, it is clear to the human eye that this is a mass email spam that has had no time, effort or consideration taken in writing or sending it. No name or personalisation, no genuine comments about particular posts on the social platform and when you go back and check, they liked your page no more than 30 minutes earlier!?
Make sure you have a genuine interest in the audience you are trying to engage and connect to through email.
Now to get to the main course…
Write a solid opening first line/paragraph
This is the opening section of your email where you will be providing a kick ass amazing introduction to your email. This needs to establish relevance to the person you are sending it to, it should let them know that this email is important and something that is worth their time in reading it.
Don’ts: whilst it may be tempting, don’t fall into the trap of doing some of the following bad first sentences. These are enough to make your recipient hit the delete and/or spam button;
- My name is X and I’m reaching out because…
- You don’t know me, but …
- We’ve never met, but …
- I would like to introduce myself…
Do’s: these are some of the ways you can open up that first line in your emails without scaring your reader away before they start to get to your main content. Compliments are key;
- I just saw your post on ______ about _______ and wondered if I could ask you a couple of questions?..
- I have been following your blog for a while now and your latest post about ______ … (discuss your thoughts here)
- I would just like to say how much I love/like/admire your latest piece of work on/about/with _______, it has (discuss your thoughts here)
Explain your reason for reaching out
You have successfully reached your readers inbox, they have opened your email and you have piqued their interest, so now what?.. There needs to be a solid explanation for you initiating contact, for e.g:
If you are looking to gain a potential customer in some way, using the above example of admiring your readers latest piece of work, you could go onto explain that you own/run/work in a particular store or online site that has customers requesting services/products just like these and you would love to go for a coffee to discuss their work/product/service in more detail.
This is relevant to your reader and it is likely to make them feel special and important, rather than just another person on a list of businesses you’re looking to connect with or sell to. Make sure this section of your email adds value before you ask for something in return. It is in our human nature to be more inclined to return the favour.
A Call to Action
What is it that you would like for your reader to do once they have read your email? This needs to be as simple as possible with the absolute bare minimum in steps or actions. So, if you want them to meet with you, provide them with date, time and location options to choose from. If you would like them to visit a particular page on your website, provide them with the direct link to that page.
Make sure you strike a balance between being too polite or too confident. Saying things such as “I know you are busy, but…” or “I wouldn’t normally ask, however…” can make you seem unsure thus not providing your reader with a feeling of trust and value in connecting with you.
Do not forget to say thank you at the end of your email. Sounds simple but it can be easily missed. There’s no need to over complicate this part, a simple “Thanks (so much) for your time and sign with your name and position.
Try out these tips and let us know how this has changed your responses, we love to hear from our readers!