Despite texting, Twitter, and a growing number of communication options, many still use email to conduct a job search or general business. Here are a few tricks that could help get you noticed – in the right way.
Did you know that nearly half of all emails are misinterpreted, and many aren’t even opened? Well, if you’re trying to reach a key decision-maker, that’s just not what you want. Of course you wrote the email so it would at the very least be opened; ideally presenting you favorably to have whomever’s on the other end agree, reciprocate something, deliver something, or at least acknowledge that you’re on the same boat.
I’ve looked into the subject and found a few tips to help you get what you want – particularly when trying to make a good impression with a potential contact or employer in your job search – after pushing send.
Send it on a Wednesday
- That’s the day of the week we get the least amount of email. There are fewer emails to compete with. And those sent between 6 and 7 a.m. – any day of the week – are the ones most likely to be read. If you want to get a non-work email seen, send it on the weekend. We get the fewest email overall then.
Use 1 abbreviation to get it read
- Most folks only read 17% of what’s in their inbox, since we predict content from subject lines. Double your odds of getting seen by adding one word to the subject line: Re! Why do we read these? Because we think they’re the continuation of a conversation!
Stay out of spam
- I did a double take on this one, but it’s true apparently. 90%-95% of all emails sent today are actually spam! Avoid using subject lines with “free” or even “%”; these tend to be sent right to the junk folder by a filter; sight unseen. And spell check; misspelled subject lines are a red flag of spam and can get your email deleted automatically.
Watch your pronouns
- It’s true in cover letters and other correspondence; it’s true in emails. Using “I” too much makes you come across as self-indulgent. On the other hand, saying “you” – or even better, the person’s name – throughout the email conveys you as totally focused on the person at the other end. And studies continually show that to be a trait we admire.
Is that really what you meant?
- One study showed that humor or sarcasm in email is often missed, misinterpreted or even considered offensive – 44% of the time! If you speak your words out loud before you hit “send,” you might hear how something could be misinterpreted; and then delete or tweak for a clearer, congenial message.
Hit this button often
- It’s “Reply”! Research shows the faster you send an answer, the easier it is to find the right words (it’s fresh after all) and the less you’ll need to say. Jot down a few words now and send. You can always follow up with a longer message later. People appreciate you not keeping them waiting; you come off as organized and professional.
Email is still great. It gets to people quickly via a myriad of technology. You go to the trouble of writing to get out a certain message; to create a certain impression. It’s a heck of a note to be thrown into cyber-limbo for something that might be prevented. Sometimes it is really the smallest things that make a difference.