Don't get me wrong: the point of the message is still the most important thing, but good grammar and proper email etiquette are also prerequisites.
Always assume that the reader of your emails has the attention span of a gnat. So, your writing must be short, clear, precise, and compelling. No run-on sentences and no surprises. Never break these two basic rules. Too much writing gets messy and is difficult to follow. It also burdens the reader with having to figure out your point. That's when the reader drops you and moves on to someone else's less challenging correspondence.
Clients typically reach out to me for advice on two types of email correspondence: Contacting strangers and following up on important meetings. They tend not to realize that even the shortest message requires a strategy and a significant investment of time. Sometimes these mini messages are the most challenging to write. The reader's airtime is precious -- so you better catch them early and keep them hooked.
My goal for now is to focus attention on two seemingly simple elements in your emails: The subject line and your sign-off. Piece of cake, you think? Then why are so many emails deleted without even a glance at the content? And why do we sometimes roll our eyes by how folks choose to close an email? If your priorities are to get and keep your reader's attention and establish your credibility even the smallest distraction can tip the scale against you.
Here are 10 recommendations to make sure that your email is opened and that you come across as someone desirable to know:
1. Keep your subject line honest and reasonable
Never suggest an idea that is false or make a promise that you do not intend to keep. That is called bait and switch. If you say that you are reaching out on the recommendation of a mutual friend -- "Reaching Out As Per" -- then you better be sure the friendship is more than wishful thinking.