The Indispensable Strategy When Sending a Personal Email

Here are some easy how to tips to follow, that will help you avoid being perceived as a spammer, or having your emails in the trash bin or simply ignored. I’m going to let you in on the most important, and most often overlooked aspect of emailing: It’s not about being a greedy, lazy organization that has embraced what I’m about to tell you and tried to figure out how to blast as many emails as they can as cheaply as they can, relying on the law of large numbers. It’s about this: email reduces friction.  The real law of large numbers is, “using large numbers is against the law.”

I want you to inject friction back in. If you want to be seen as being personal, the best strategy is to be personal, which is slow and expensive ( sounds like the growth and income mutual fund doesn’t it).

Here’s 14 ways you can inject friction back into your emails and make them anticipated, personal and relevant:

  1. Don’t send the same email to an enormous amount of people.
  2. If you have more than a few people to contact, you’ll be tempted to copy and paste or mail merge. Don’t. You’ll get caught. It shows. If it’s important enough for someone to read, it’s important enough for you to rewrite.
  3. Careful with the salutation. Don’t write, “Dear Claudia,” if you don’t usually write “Dear” at the beginning of all your emails.
  4. Don’t mush the salutation together with the rest of the note. If I had a dollar for every email that started, “Joe, When experts come together…” That’s not personal. That’s lazy merging. See rule 1.
  5. Don’t send HTML or pictures. Personal email doesn’t, why are you?
  6. Don’t talk like a press release. Talk like a person. A person is reading this, so why are you talking like that?
  7. Be short. The purpose of an email is not to sell the person on anything other than writing back. If you don’t have a personal, interesting way to start a conversation, don’t write.
  8. Don’t send an email only when you really need something. That’s not personal, that’s selfish.
  9. Do you have a sig with a phone number in it? Your phone number? If you don’t trust me enough to give me your real phone number, I don’t trust you enough to read your mail.
  10. Don’t mark your email urgent. Urgent to you is not urgent to me.
  11. Don’t lie in your subject line, and don’t be cute. You’re not clever enough to be cute. Just be honest.
  12. Following up on an impersonal spam email is twice as dumb as sending the first one. Invest the time to do it right the first time.
  13. Anticipated, personal and relevant permission mail will always dramatically outperform greedy short-term spam. I promise.
  14. Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t mean you have the right to email them.
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8 thoughts on “The Indispensable Strategy When Sending a Personal Email

  1. The subsequent time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I know it was my option to read, but I really thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you can repair should you werent too busy looking for attention.

    • The purpose of this post is to have your emails reduce friction and to be seen as personal, and relevant. What you call whining is a “stop doing list” which is easier to follow than an “to do” list. Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding “to do” lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing, and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who built the good-to-great companies or organizations, however, made as much use of “stop doing” lists as “to do” lists. They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Nice post. I learn something more difficult on totally different blogs everyday. It can all the time be stimulating to read content material from different writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to make use of some with the content on my weblog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a link in your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

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