Let’s face it. No one responds to your e-mails.
If you have any marketing or sales experience, you know this for a fact. But in the public relations field, e-mail is one of the fastest ways to communicate a message, make an impression, or promote an event or organization. So what are we doing wrong?
First: If you haven’t already, you need to create an e-mail signature. Go into the basic settings of your email account and there should be an html box that will allow you to insert a signature. If you can’t find this setting, try searching the word “signature” in the help section. Once you find it, do not just type in your name. You should include all necessary information about your company and position, education if necessary, and contact information. For example:
Delmarva Public Radio
Salisbury University 2013
Communication Arts Major
This establishes you as a professional and gives information to those you may want to contact you in the future.
Next: Throw your mind back to primary school. When you wrote your first Valentine, what did it say?
I like those new shoelaces your mom got you. Be my boyfriend.
You had a salutation and a closing. Don’t be afraid to write them again! A “Greetings” or “Good morning” shows your personality and a “Sincerely” or “Regards” politely brings your e-mail to a close. These simple steps make you sound a thousand times more professional and are actually aesthetically pleasing when you look at your finished product.
Also: Don’t neglect your subject line! How often have you trashed an e-mail before even opening it? All the time, right? The key to a successful e-mail is making the recipient want to open it. Make them curious. Show them how they will benefit from your connection. For example, if you’re inviting them to a fundraising event for Salisbury University’s soccer team, tell them “Your classmates need your help.” Or something that will invoke a sense of obligation to their school community.
Finally: Make it short and sweet. In a fast paced world, we scan articles and e-mails when we actually care what they are saying, not to mention something we may disregard as unimportant to us. The recipient will ask “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM?) and you should answer immediately. Even if it’s an emotional benefit or recognition from peers. Be honest and to the point. Tell the necessary dates if it is an event and provide contact information even it is provided in your signature.
If you can successfully master the art of e-mailing, your response rates will improve greatly and fewer e-mails will need to be sent. Work smarter, not harder! Good luck!