Archive for August, 2008

Master Your Subject Line

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Face it; your emails are part of a snow storm blowing into someone’s Crack berry.

Your carefully worded opus is part of a day’s load of information that you expect to poke through, get read and hopefully elicit a response.

If you want to jump out of the e-noise and improve your readership with your email buddies you need to hone your skills at writing good subject lines.

The basics are:
* Vague is bad
* Hey! is not a real subject line
* RE: RE: FW: FW: is not attractive and will not be read right away

When I know someone well, I will make a call to action in the subject line if my email is intended to get someone to do something. If I need to change a call, I put it in the subject line. If I need you to send me a file, I put it in the subject. You’d be amazed how your response rates jumps.

When I am in a less intimate business relationship, I work on a three to five word subject that zeros in on why I’m sending the email. If we are working on an event together I’ll put “About the sales conference” in the subject.

When you reply, feel free to start a new subject (too often we just reply and the subject line stays the same, except now with a RE: before it.) Let the new subject line redefine where the email thread is going. This not only helps to focus the email exchange on a real outcome, it keeps the conversation going.

This is especially true if many of your email buddies are on black berry. They scroll through subjects and make their choices almost on impulse. Most of the devices (like the TREO) will just show you subjects, not authors and you have to open it to know more.

In those cases, you can be the most effective just putting your name in the subject line. When I’m reconnecting with someone, for example, I always put “From Tim Sanders” in the subject line. Again, I’ve noticed a much quicker response.

All the comments on the blog are helpful and I’d like to invite readers to contribute their best advice for writing a subject line that gets results! This is an advice blog, so let’s start cross sharing advice — espcially if it can improve our email lives.

Share one of your email tips or stories with us and win!

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

When I created this blog (and the company behind it), the whole idea was to create a knowledge community around how we use email in our business life. Email is a huge part of how we communicate, and it dominates our digital life. To master it, is to become much more effective.

Have you got an email horror story to share? Have you figured out a special tip or technique that helps you be successful in your email life? Have you found a solution to a common email related problem?

If so, write a post for this blog, and if I use it — I’ll send you an advance copy of “The Dirty Dozen Rules Of Email Management”. This DVD is not available anywhere yet, but you get one with a thoughtful post.

Thanks in advance!
Tim Sanders, CEO of Deeper Media Inc.

Don’t get bit by a spider

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Never post your email address online. Ever.

If you have a blog, post to bulletin boards or write articles for online distribution you might be doing this right now. When you do, you open yourself up to mega spam.

Why? Many spammers or list houses use webcrawling programs, spiders, to collect email addresses posted online. Once caught by a spider’s web, your email address gets sold dozens or even hundreds of times to a variety of companies that want to sell you something.

On my site I use a contact form. If you want to contact me, you fill it out and I receive it in my inbox. Spiders don’t fill out forms. Also, you can post your email address with an insertion that only a human would understand. If your email address is bozo@yahoo.com, you should post it online as bozo_nospam@yahoo.com. Tell the reader to take out _nospam to reveal your actual address.

You can also use the free service at Address Munger. It scrambles the coding so humans see your email address posted on a site, but the spiders don’t.

Unless you like to get the latest news on mortgage rates or sexual performance, follow this simple advice as you live online. Yes, it is important to be contacted easily via email — but it is just as important to reduce the spam clutter in your life. I’ve seen too many friends have to change their email address to escape the spam that even the best filters cannot catch.

Email Joy

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

A well-crafted, sincere expression of appreciation over email can be a fabulous surprise. Take my friend Rose. Rose’s work is demanding. Because her company’s headquarters is 3,000 miles away, Rose often struggles with feeling isolated in her work.

Recently, I met Rose for lunch and she was beaming. She told me about an email she received from her colleague expressing deep appreciation for some of the specific contributions she has made to her program’s success, as well as for how much fun it was to work with her. Rose memorized this missive, saved it, and, later, read it to me.

It’s amazing what a little appreciation can do to revive a drooping spirit. Rose liked her company and her job better after receiving that email.

Expressing gratitude for others’ contributions vivifies biz life and ripples outward to enliven the organization.

Think about how you might use email to make someone’s day. Try to send an expression of appreciation to somebody different everyday.

And… mix it up! Expand your attitude of gratitude to phone calls, face to face meetings, and tangible cards, notes, and letters.

Jennifer Gordon, Cool Breeze Marketing

I need down time!!

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

There was a story in the LA Times recently about email invading our downtime (LA Times story on email). I thought it was right on.

People can not and should not be expected to work seven days a week. Much less after regular or normal business hours. We all need time off to recharge our batteries. Which brings me to Rule #6 of the Dirty Dozen Rules to Email Etiquette, Don’t send email at unprofessional hours. Don’t send an email at a time of day you would not call on the phone. Did you call thirteen times on your managers honeymoon last year?

Well, that’s what you did when you sent him thirteen emails. Research shows that there is a 40% higher turn over rate in service companies were employees get emails and work calls after normal business hours. Research also shows that a manager that sends their people late night emails will cause them to log on more and more and work later and later.

Late night emails breed anger and contempt. Keep it simple. No emails after hours. Please no sipping and sending! Sipping and sending emails are usually very poor quality and much better never sent.

Page Moseley
Certified EmailAtoZ Trainer
paqe@emailatoz.com

No “Nastygrams please”

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Ever gotten an email from someone that just made your blood boil? And before you could stop yourself you just had to tell them what you thought through a good old “Nastygram”? You very carefully and with rising blood pressure, put together and stream of words and thoughts, fit only for drunken sailors. You hit the send button sit back and realize you have just made a huge mistake. Maybe you shouldn’t have said his golf swing looks like a bad Benihana chef. And the comment on her hair was most uncalled for. Did you see the exclamation point after the last word in the last sentence? OMG there wasn’t one? Sometimes we think that the send button is our punctuation mark. It is not.

Do not send an email that you may regret. Save yourself by never pre-addressing an email. Take out the line on the To line. Write your Nastygram and and then walk away. Go to lunch or go home for the the night . Come back to your potential career killer and see if you really want to send that email. Think before you send. Most times just taking a step back will help you temper your temper. Remember never pre-address an email!!

What do you think? Send me an email to page@emailatoz.com or visit www.emailatoz.com.

The Word BY:

Page Moseley

Certified Trainer

Corporate Training

Protect your company’s image

Ensure your employees are up to speed on everything they need to email properly. Learn all the rules and etiquette necessary for any company that uses email.

More About Training »

Post On This Blog

Contribute a Post

If you have an email tip or a story to tell, submit it as a post to this blog. Your ideas are really important!

Tell Us Your Story »

Subscribe Today!

eNews and Updates

Sign up to recieve updates
right in your email inbox!


Bookmark and Share

Recommended Reading