How To: Get people to respond to emails in 5 steps

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Writing and reading emails is something all of us do multiple times a day. It’s a quick and uncomplicated way of communicating with others. The most important think about that? It‘s always about at least two people. Without a response or some kind of action from the recipient, emails are useless.
Useless emails are a frustrating daily reality. There is nothing worse than having an important email land straight into the ‘deleted’ folder. As a freelancer, you have probably asked yourself – How do I get people to answer my emails? If you haven’t, you should. Here’s what we think is important – our five tips on writing better emails…

1) Use the subject line wisely
The subject line is often ignored or the last thing people write in an email. But it is essential to its success. Think of it as an article headline or a book title – you want it to be catchy and to explain what this piece of correspondence is about. Don’t overdo it on the catchy front. A subject line in all caps with four exclamation marks will not be looked at. Furthermore, make the subject line short. Seven to ten words should be your limit. A bad subject is only one of the most common mistakes when writing emails.
 
2) Paragraphs and formatting
Our second tip is about how a good email should be structured. 20 lines of non-formatted text can be a pain to read. Instead, think about the main points you want to convey with your email and split them into paragraphs. Leave a blank line between them, it makes for a better reading experience. Feel free to highlight some parts of your email, but use it sparingly. If everything is highlighted, nothing is. Important numbers are a good example of things worth making bold.

3) Get to the point quickly and keep it short
I`m personally guilty of doing the opposite of this tip. Many people tend to start out their email explaining what they do, why they decided to contact someone and other introductory aspects. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you go into detail about each one of these, you’ve already got five to six sentences that aren’t saying what the goal of the email is. Try to begin with that and make sure it is the core of your email.

4) Specific call to action
Speaking about getting to the point, many emails don’t get responses because they don’t request one. Let’s say you’re making a pitch to a potential client. You tell them about your services or product, why they’re great and how they benefit clients. The email isn’t over yet – now comes your call to action. “Let me know if you’re interested until next Friday”, “We should discuss it over the phone on Thursday, 12 PM if you’re free!” and similar calls to action will increase the response rate of your emails. Urge people to do something by a certain time – that’s how you get answers.

5) Personalization and humor
Last but not least, don’t forget to add a little personal touch where appropriate. We all read the same boring emails every day – make yours stick out. As always, this tip should be used in moderation. Using too many jokes can get stale pretty fast.

Do you have a trick for getting clients to respond to emails? How do you get jobs with cold emails? Let us know in the comment section below this article.

Pic: ©Foundry

Viktor Marinov

Viktor is the voice behind the freelancermap blog. Every week he comes up with helpful hints, checklists, and guides for freelancers and independent workers. If you would like to know how to find remote jobs online or how to niche yourself as a freelancer, don't miss his freelancer tips!

By Viktor Marinov

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