We all suffer from email overload, so how do we ensure our emails are opened? More importantly, how do we solicit the desired response and what are the best odds for converting a request to a “yes?” Productivity expert and time management guru Neen James says it has a lot more to do with the way you write your emails than you might think.
How to write emails that get opened and answered
Did you send an email to a colleague, supplier or partner that’s gone unanswered for days? If you recall from Neen’s first Key Notes On Travel session, she noted, "Email is a request from someone else for your time to achieve their goals."
It’s possible that your email recipient perceives your “ask” to be a task that will consume more time than they are ready to commit.
“You need to take the time to make it easy for others to respond,” Neen emphasizes. "If you’re making a request of someone, make the question really easy to answer."
How to draft easy-to-answer correspondence:
- If you’re asking for a meeting make it easy for the person to say yes.
- Every meeting should have an end time.
- If you send an email invitation, list the purpose of the meeting in the subject.
- Always set an agenda for a meeting.
“I love seeing an agenda so I know exactly what’s being covered,” notes Neen. "When you’re asking someone to invest time with you, they never get that time back so please make sure it’s valuable to them as well."
Use surprise to revive an email thread that has gone cold
A prospective client reaches out to you. They’re excited to travel and seem motivated to make a purchase decision. You chat, you give them the information they need and then they ghost. Now what?
How do you follow up with the best odds of resuscitating the sale?
“If you are trying to get on someone’s radar send them a fun email that gives them a reason to respond to you,” suggests Neen. “Not a, ‘Hey just checking in’ call or email. Think about creating some language that grabs their attention and makes them want to call you back. We have limited opportunities to close the sale so you need to make the most of those moments.”
Did you miss Neen James' KNOT time management series?
Join Key Notes On Travel to get caught up: