Guy Kawasaki needs no introduction. What tech-world superstar does? I bring him up because I’ve been scanning through one of the top entrepreneur’s newer projects, a blog aggregate that’s really useful and easy to use (check out the Career aggregate here, called Career Alltop; notice WiP way, way down the list). I wanted to e-mail him to ask about it, and when I Googled him the very first link was to this post on his own blog: a February 2006 posting titled “The Effective Emailer.“
He lists 12 top tips for effective e-mailing. Most of his rules seem completely obvious upon first reading, but then you realize, nobody follows them! As I’ve been crabbing lately about poor e-mail etiquette, I think it’s worth a read not just by soon-to-be new grads but by just about anyone who works. And I strongly recommend it to any and every PR person; these are tips that would increase your chances of getting your message read by my colleagues by, oh, about 1000%.
For instance, here’s Kawasaki’s Tip No. 1:
Craft your subject line. Your subject line is a window into your soul, so make it a good one. First, it has to get your message past the spam filters, so take out anything about sex and money-saving special offers. Then, it must communicate that your message is highly personalized. For example, “Love your blog,” “Love your book,” and “You skate well for an old man,” always work on me. :-) While you’re at it, craft your “From:” line too because when people see the From is from a company, they usually assume the message is spam.
Let me tell you, anyone who leads with the subject, “Love your blog” is going to get their e-mail opened. As for “love your book,” I guarantee you a mental hug. Maybe not so much the old-man-skating line.
But here’s a really good one that applies to me. “Keep it short,” urges Kawasaki. “The ideal length for an email is five sentences.” Five sentences! You’ll have to click to his post to read his reasoning, but trust me, it’s sound. I’m going to start practicing electronic brevity right now by cutting this post sho