Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016.
“Send me an email.” Four words that seem innocent enough but can often result in an overflowing inbox (with more unread emails than you’d like to admit). With the average inbox receiving 88 business messages per day, is it any surprise that we stop reading and start ignoring? And when you’re on the other side of those emails, how do you avoid making the same mistakes as everyone else to create better emails?
Let’s take a look at five sure ways to make your emails shine!
Using animations in emails isn’t always suitable, but finding work appropriate GIFs can breathe new life into your (otherwise) standard emails.
Write Like You Speak
One surefire way to get your email ignored is by making it too formal. Unless you’re writing an academic piece, forget the formalities and write the same way you would speak. After all, conversation is a dying art since email has become the most common form of communication.
Take a look at the email below as an example. You may already be uncomfortable asking a vendor for a raffle prize donation—here’s how formalizing that ask makes it even more awkward.
Instead, be candid. Keep it casual and don’t assume the same cookie-cutter professional tone that everyone thinks they need for a business email. If you’re writing to someone you already email on a regular basis, like a vendor, then a conversational tone should be easy to maintain.
Push the Power of P.S.
The P.S. is underestimated real estate when it comes to emails. You spend all your energy on crafting the perfect email copy when the reality is, most people scan and scroll right to the bottom.
Leverage the undivided attention a P.S. gets to reiterate a call-to-action, create a sense of urgency, or offer something else (like a teaser!).
Spice up your Signature
Don’t make your email signature an afterthought—be honest, how many times have you judged an email based on its email signature? If it’s boring, you’re disinterested. If it’s too busy, then you instantly get turned off.
It’s often the first thing readers remember about your email and the last thing the recipient sees, so it’s important to make it count. Throw in a graphic, promote important links, or even share some video marketing. Make your signature work like the rest of your email. It should pique as much interest as the rest of the content.
Or you could follow OfficeNinjas Ambassador MJ Powell’s lead and add in a fun, Ninja-pride alias.
MJ shares, “This is the kind of response you get when you put ‘Office Ninja’ as part of your email signature.” Yes, it works!
Create Emails That Are Easy on the Eyes
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: brevity is key to communication. With email being the go-to correspondence method for pretty much everything in the workplace, keeping it short and simple is something your reader will appreciate.
When it comes to formatting, we don’t mean using colors to spice it up. Instead, apply the three Bs: bold, bullet points, and breaks. Compare the following examples see the difference these three points make.
Bonus Tip: Use Email Tracking Software
Wondering how email tracking software can help make your emails pop? When you use an ETS like Mixmax, you see which emails get read, and which are ignored. So if you know what works, then it’s easy to replicate. The view tracking can also help you time follow-up messages or schedule emails at a more convenient time for your most important contacts.
Mixmax even helps you save time with perfect one-click email templates.
Now, Prepare for Better Emails
These suggestions will have you crafting better emails on a regular basis. Next time you feel pressure to send something memorable, professional, or worthy of a fast response, turn to these five tips.
- Bring emails to life with work-appropriate GIFs
- Keep emails conversational, yet professional
- Use the power of the P.S. to reiterate CTAs and create a sense of urgency or share teasers
- Spice up your email signature with links, graphics, and even videos
- Craft short, simple emails that are scannable and easy on the eyes
Which email tweak will you use first to make your emails pop? Did we miss anything? Let us know in a comment below!