Here’s a scary stat for all you businesswomen out there: according to Inc. most sales emails only have a 1% response rate! That’s a lot of unanswered emails and while many of you ladies aren’t in sales, it is still indicative of the amount of ignored emails. We’ve all been the victims of unanswered emails and it is definitely not a good feeling. While it is easy to place blame on the receiver, the truth is there are a lot of ways you can improve your emails to engage the audience and make it impossible for them to ignore you. Lucky for us, (and now you!) Maritza Berta, Senior Integrated Marketing Manager at Omnia Media, writes killer emails and has great insight to offer on what are the best tactics for sending a great email. Berta sat down with Style Salute to offer her valuable advice on how to perfect emails—and we’re here to relay that information to you.
Keep reading for Berta’s valuable tips for perfecting your email etiquette—plus shop our favorite office accessories that are sure to motivate you during the workday.
TIP 1: ARTICULATION IS KEY
“I like to think of articulation (clarity and focus) as a form of email “karma.” If you go in with the intention of wanting help the person on the receiving end of your email (whether it be a colleague, client, or your boss), your thoroughness will be rewarded; as it will avoid unnecessary follow up emails…everybody wins!”
TIP 2: ORGANIZE BEFORE COMPOSING
“Whatever the purpose of your email, take the time to organize your own thoughts and understand what it is you want your message to convey. Once you have a clear understanding of what you want your email to achieve, you’ll find the right language to get your point across in the most efficient and comprehensive way.”
TIP 3: MAKE IT EASY FOR THE RECEIVER
“If action is required on the part of the email recipient, then perhaps flagging the “action items” or “next steps” will prove a helpful way for all parties to get on the same page.”
TIP 4: BULLET POINTS ARE YOUR FRIENDS
“Often times, when updating your team after a creative brainstorm or a strategy session, you’ll find that the notes you took are more in form of shorthand or abstract thoughts. That’s when bullets points come in handy. They allow you to breakdown your thoughts and highlight/categorize information. I’ve noticed that when presenting a lot of information, people tend to have an adverse reaction to long paragraphs. So separating paragraphs into “snackable” bullet point format will make the information more digestible.”
TIP 5: PROOF READ
“Though deadlines might be pressing, I would still strongly encourage that you give your email a fine-tooth comb reading before you hit the send button! While the instinct might be to rely on spell-check, we’ve all experienced the unintended “typos” that occur from autocorrect.”
TIP 6: MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR BEST SELF FORWARD
Your emails are a reflection of you, so make sure to put your best self forward. “In the same way that your personal appearance says a lot about your inner esteem, I feel there is a comparable sentiment that careless typos or grammatical errors reflect an individual’s level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail – it’s a form of respect to those receiving your emails and those are qualities that matter! “
TIP 7: BE AN EMPOWERED WOMAN AND AVOID THE WORD “SORRY”
“Please avoid starting a sentence with the word “Sorry.” I’ve unfortunately found this habit to be more common among my female colleagues – especially when asking for information or requesting action to be taken. There is nothing to be sorry about. The key to avoiding having to apologize in an email is to be cognizant of the tone (or unintended tone) that you are projecting in your email. You don’t want to sound overly apologetic in your email, as it will eventually undercut your authority.”
TIP 8: DON’T BE TOO ABRASIVE
“I feel there is definitely ways to cushion the language. For example, if you are waiting for a report from a colleague, your request could be positioned as: Looking forward to receiving the X report. Let me know when you think it will be ready for review, thanks! VS. I need the X report by EOD.”
TIP 9: HYPERLINKING IS YOUR FRIEND
“So, maybe I’m late to the party on this one, but I recently learned how to hyperlink key words in Gmail. You press the “command” button and the letter “K” at the same time over the word you want hyperlinked. Now I use this function all the time! At my company we use Gmail as our email provider and share all of our documents in Google Drive. So instead of attaching documents to our emails, I “hyperlink” to the relevant documents in the shared drive.” More on how to hyperlink using Gmail here.
TIP 10: SUBJECT LINES SHOULD BE RIGHT TO THE POINT
“Subject lines, in general, should be simple and direct. If you are sending several emails to your internal team throughout the day, regarding a whole variety of different projects, then using key words in your subject line that provide practical information (perhaps the name of the given project or the current Version of a document) will help when filing your email, as well as for future reference when searching for past material. If your email is intended to be more client-facing, then taking a moment to come up with a catchy subject line will be well-worth the effort. In the end, we all want the same thing: for our emails to be read!”
TIP 11: THERE IS ALWAYS TIME FOR A POLITE LEAD
“Even though we all operate in a “need it 5 minutes ago,” world, there is always time to be friendly. Sometimes it feels like an antiquated practice, but ultimately, I think it’s appreciated. Also, depending on the nature of your relationship with the recipient, a friendly introduction may be a great place to further build camaraderie. Seasonal or sports events lend themselves to natural opening greetings (“Hope you enjoyed your Father’s Day” OR “How about that game?”).”
TIP 12: BOLD IMPORTANT INFORMATION
“If a client needs a presentation by a certain date and/or time of day, then I will definitely bold that information and flag it at the beginning of my email. Establishing deadlines puts wheels in motion since there are always a lot of moving parts in a team dynamic and it’s important everyone is operating accordingly.”
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