The joys of emailing

If you’ve attempted to contact someone and that person hasn’t gotten back to you yet, it means one of three things:

1. He never got your email.
2. He DID get your email, but has been too busy (or forgot) to reply to you.
3. He DID get your email, but chose NOT to reply to you because he doesn’t LIKE you.

So, here’s what I suggest:

1. Send a friendly follow up email saying, “Morning Tom! I hadn’t heard back from you in a few weeks, so I thought I’d follow up. As I explained in my first email on January 28th…”

2. If you STILL haven’t heard back, send a friendly follow up email/phone call saying, “Morning Tom! Looks like it’s been difficult for us to connect lately. Now, I don’t want to be an annoyance. Still, I DO want you to know that I’m nothing less than completely professional in my follow up. So, if you would kindly pick from one of the following options:

[ ] Yes! I would love to chat on the following date: ________

[ ] Right now I’m totally slammed, so I’ll get back to you when I can.

[ ] If I get one more email from you, I’m going to burn your office to the ground.

Thanks Tom. I’ll be standing by for your decision.”

3. If, after both of these attempts, you STILL haven’t heard back, it’s highly probably that Tom doesn’t like you.

Don’t take it personally, get over it and move on.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Whom are you annoying via email?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “12 Ways to Get Customers to Open Your Email FIRST,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

* * * *

Planning your 2009 Conference? If you want The Nametag Guy, better hurry. Only 29 slots left.

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How to Make Your Email More Approachable, Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, do so here!

10. Make it quick. The speed of the response IS the response. And the medium IS the message. So, even if you don’t have the answer to a question or a problem right away, you can always drop a quick, one-line email that says, “Thanks for letting me know. I’m on it. Call ya this afternoon.”

ASK YOURSELF: Can you respond quicker?

11. Filter. When someone sends you a four-page email loaded with NO line breaks and 48 questions and comments, here’s how to handle it:

a. First, give it a quick once-over.
b. Next, go back and separate each section or question. (See, to make sure you address all of their concerns, you’ll be turning your reply email into a numbered list.)
c. Introduce your list with something like, “Thanks for all of your feedback! I’ve written a response to each of your questions below…”
d. Then, boldface their original thought and write your response underneath. This type of response shows organization AND openness to ALL their ideas.
e. Finally, close with your signature.

ASK YOURSELF: Are you breaking emails down enough?

12. Summary. Next time you have a detailed conversation with someone over the phone, suggest the following: “Hey Mark, I’ve been taking some notes on our conversation. Would you like me to email you a quick, bullet-point list of all the key points we’ve covered, just to make sure we’re both on the same page?”

99 times out of 100, the person will not only gratefully accept, but also be WOW’ed by your listening ability. Not to mention, you’ll have documentation of the conversation for future reference.

ASK YOURSELF: Are you on the same page as your clients?

13. Email introductions. This is a GREAT practice for bringing two people together that should meet, have something in common or can help each other. A few tips for an effective email introduction are:

a. Give a short background on each person.
b. Reference your relationship with each person.
c. Provide phone numbers, websites and email addresses.
d. Keep it short, casual and friendly.
e. Stress the idea of they can help each other or that you think they’d get along great.

ASK YOURSELF: What two people do you know who should meet?

14. Frequency. If you’re one of the Brave Souls who sets a boundary to only check your email a few times a day, good for you. Way to (not) be addicted to your Crackberry! Just remember, accessibility is still important.

So, in your email signature, consider letting people know about your new emailing-checking schedule. You may also want to include a number where people can either contact you or someone else who can help them in your e-absence.

ASK YOURSELF: Do you (really) need to check your email as SOON as the plane touches down? Come on, folks. Let it go. There’s no way you’re that important.

15. Fun with From. The “from” line is a PERFECT, yet underused hot spot for the of stamp your personal brand. Let’s say you’re known as “The Tax Law Queen.” Great! Put that instead of karen@taxlaw4u.com. It’s guaranteed to stand out among the hundreds of emails in your recipients’ inboxes, and probably get read first.

ASK YOURSELF: What makes your email stand out?

16. Architecture. The human attention span is about six seconds. First impressions occur in less than two seconds. And people receive hundreds of emails a day.

So, if you want people to actually READ your letters, the secret is to make your writing easy, quick, fun, approachable and, most importantly, digestible. I call this architecture. And it’s defined as, “The creative design and page presentation of a piece of writing.” For example:

o Make it bold.
o Make it a list.
o Make it italic.
o Make it chunky.
o Make it shorter.
o Make it ALL CAPS.
o Make it underlined.
o Make it b-r-o-k-e-n.
o Make it one word long.
o Make it one sentence long.
o Make it centered on the page.
o Make it bold AND underlined.

Ultimately, if your writing is laborious to get through, readers will just move onto the next email. Besides, people are probably doing three other things while reading your stuff. So, the minute your page presentation starts to bore them, they’ll probably move on.

ASK YOURSELF: 500 emails a day – why would they read yours?

17. Email less often. There’s no need to send piles of emails to your clients, customers and prospects constantly. Once or twice is enough. Any more than that, they’ll either think you don’t trust them, think you don’t have a life or think you’re desperate. (But in all cases, they’ll be annoyed.)

See, whenever someone’s ready to take the next step – to follow up WITH or open up TO you – they’ll do it because THEY want to. Not because you emailed them (again) just to “follow up,” “see if they have any further questions” or “check in to see how it’s coming along.”

Easy, Dilbert. They heard you the first time. Have a little faith! When they want you, they’ll find you. Patience.

ASK YOURSELF: Do I really need to send another email to this person?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How approachable is your email?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my list called, 65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started My Company, send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

How to Make Your Email More Approachable, Part 1

1. Mix the medium. If the subject matter of your email is urgent, instead of emailing the person back, just pick up the phone and call. This is unexpected and usually appreciated.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Would this message be better communicated over the phone?

2. Use enticing subject lines. If you want people to open your emails FIRST, consider titling your messages with phrases like, “I saw something that made me think of you…” and “Someone paid you a compliment yesterday.” You could also use thought-provoking questions like, “Have you seen this article?” or “How many customers have you WOW’ed this week?

ASK YOURSELF THIS: 500 emails a day – why would someone open YOURS?

3. Email signature. You don’t need an entire novel at the bottom of every message. However, including (some) information and maybe a teaser to encourage a visit to your website is a great way to add a sense of accessibility AND personality to your emails. Just have SOMETHING. An email without a signature is a like phone call without a message or a letter without a return address.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Does your recipient even KNOW who sent the email?

4. But, remember the Cavemen. Prehistoric hunters learned to respond to ANY movement out in the prairie because it represented a threat – either from a giant, hungry animal or from other hunters. Eons later, the human brain has now evolved to filter out unchanging backgrounds.

See, familiar structures lead to mental laziness; which means there’s no need to pay attention. So, this relates to email in an interesting way: How often are you changing YOUR signature? Because after a while, people are just going to start ignoring it. Remember, the most effective way to attract people’s attention is to BR – EAK their patterns.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: How often do you change your signature?

5. Use mass emails sparingly. With the exception of major events like babies, job changes or health issues; or information updates like new phone numbers, locations or urgent memos, AVOID MASS ANYTHINGS (thanks, Harry Beckwith.) They annoy people. They get ignored. They get deleted.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: When was the last time you opened (or read with interest) a letter that was CLEARLY a mass email?

6. Keep it real. Email will never beat face-to-face interaction. Still, you DO enhance the level of friendliness when you write in a conversational tone. Use simple words. Write short sentences. And don’t be afraid to punctuate! Remember, if you write like you talk, people will listen. A good test is to read your emails aloud before sending. If it sounds like a training manual for a power plant, rewrite it.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Is your writing friendly enough?

7. Keep it H-U-M-A-N. Don’t try to impress someone by thesaurusizing your email with terms you wouldn’t use in person. It sounds diaphanous, limpid, and transpicuous.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Is that big word REALLY necessary?

8. Use Italics, Boldface and Punctuation! One of the pitfalls of emailing the inability to convey emotion. Often your correspondent won’t understand if you are serious or kidding, happy or sad, frustrated or euphoric … unless you are EXPRESSIVE! So, use italics bold, underline and the like to highlight key words that show the person exactly what you want to say. Otherwise, your opinions, statements and stories will be misinterpreted.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Is the architecture of your writing digestable?

9. Exclamation points. When used effectively and sparingly, exclamation points are awesome! They completely alter the emotion of the sentence. So, don’t be afraid to use them. On the other hand, you don’t need one in every sentence! People will think you’re on drugs! And they will freak out! Ahhh!!!!

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Are you scaring your email recipients?

– – –

By the way, this article was longer than I expected, so part 2 is coming soon!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How approachable is your email?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my list called, 65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started My Company, send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

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