This guest post is by Robert D. Smith of TheRobertD.com
Remember the last time that you sent out a guest post request, suggestion of a joint venture, interview invitation, or some other important message … and waited … and waited … and waited…?
And then nothing happened. You got no response whatsoever. Not even a “No”! They couldn’t even take the time to just say “No”! How dare them, right? What a bunch of jerks!
Or maybe you’re the jerk. Ever think about that?
The list of reasons why people don’t respond to email is long, so I’ll abbreviate it slightly by focusing on the main ones below:
- Your email wasn’t clear.
- Your email didn’t sound sincere.
- Your email only talked about you.
- Your email didn’t leave them with an action or logical next step.
- Your email was full of typos and grammar errors that conveyed an amateurish sloppiness.
- Your email was fantastic, but they’re just a jerk and didn’t respond.
Out of all of those, which do you think is the most unlikely scenario? In all likelihood, it’s not them; it’s you. Now, let me explain why that is great news—if the problem lies with you, then that means you have the power to fix it. So let’s get to it!
5 Ways to fix your bad emails
Now that we’ve listed out the most common problems, let’s list out some solutions.
1. Be yourself
Whether you’re requesting to write a guest blog, sending out a press release, or just sending someone a friendly hello, it’s so easy to forget that there’s actually a real, live person on the other end.
Like you and me, they prefer communicating with other real, live people. They just want to see your personality, some signs of life! Don’t be dry and boring—just be yourself.
2. Write from a good place
This is the key to letting your personality shine through your email. Your mind needs to be in a positive, confident space. When you write with positivity and confidence, personality just seems to seep in effortlessly. And that’s when personality is most genuine: when it isn’t forced.
Of course, the problem with this tip is that we’re not always in a good mood. With some emails, we may be a little nervous or intimidated by the outcome. Here are a few things I do to combat those negative emotions:
- Write standing up. There’s something about standing up that just gives you a little more confidence. It might sound a little silly, but I urge you to give it a try. I bought an adjustable desk that I can raise to standing height almost solely for this purpose.
- Turn on some upbeat music. Play something that you love, something that’s your favorite. Our favorite music is directly connected to our personality, so this tip can really get you going. Since you’re already standing up, you can even throw a little dancing in the mix!
3. Read your email out loud before you hit Send
If any part of the email feels weird coming out of your mouth, change it. I don’t think anyone particularly likes reading their own writing out loud, but this is a very simple practice that will work wonders for you.
4. Establish an emotional connection
Here’s an example of an email with no emotional connection:
I like your blog a lot and was wondering if you wouldn’t mind helping me spread the word about my latest self-published venture, “Emails Form Hell: A Journey Deep Inside My Outbox.” I will eagerly await your response. Thanks.
I see emails like this all the time, not just in my own inbox, but in the inboxes of everyone I know who has a platform of some kind. Emails like this are popular because they’re very easy to replicate. You can send it out to 300 different people and all you have to do is change the first name at the beginning. Unfortunately, 300 different people will also ignore it.
If you want a response from someone, it is essential to connect emotionally. If they’re a blogger, for instance, don’t just tell them you like their blog. Tell them about the specific post they wrote that kicked you in the rear and caused you to go do something awesome! And if they’ve never written a post that made you react that way, don’t pretend you love their blog. It’s not that difficult to tell what’s genuine and what’s not when you’re on the receiving end.
5. Don’t use a dumb email address
I almost didn’t include this point because it seems like it’s already been said enough. Apparently, however, it has not, as I continue to regularly receive emails from AOL addresses. So one more reminder: if you have your own website, use an email address associated with it. If you don’t, use a gmail address that contains something as close to your full name as you can get.
Getting people to respond to your emails really comes down to one all-encompassing thing—coming across like a real person who cares. Practice the above tips on a regular basis and you will be shocked by how much more effective your online voice and persona become. Get ready for an inbox full of replies.
What was the last email you sent that’s overdue for a reply? Tell us in the comments.