Yesterday I received two solicitations by email. One succeeded with me; the other failed.
Notice what works in this message, whose writer gave me permission to share it with you:
Subject: Visit Request
Good Afternoon Lynn,
On behalf of the Holiday Inn Seattle & Holiday Inn Express and Suites, I would like to introduce myself as your contact for any travel or meeting needs in the Seattle area. I understand that your association may hold classes/seminars throughout the year, and I am writing to see if we can assist you with any of these arrangements.
Would it be possible to set up a time for me to come by, reconnect with you and drop off some goodies on Wednesday this week? Please let me know what time works best for you!
I look forward to hearing back. Thank you for your consideration and support.
Catering Sales Manager
Holiday Inn Seattle [followed by contact information]
I like a lot about Katie's message:
- It's personal. She wrote to me, not to "Dear Sir or Madam."
- It's brief. All three paragraphs are short and crisp.
- It's time-sensitive. Katie wants to stop by on Wednesday with a specific purpose.
- It's intriguing. What are those goodies she wants to drop off?
- It gives me a specific action to take. I don't have to figure out what to do with the message.
Sure, you may see things you want to change in Katie's message, but she got through to me. I responded within moments of receiving her email.
By contrast, another solicitation email I received yesterday turned me off. The first thing I noticed was that the writer used the Outlook red exclamation point, indicating a message sent with "high importance." To whom was it so important?
The email started with an apology: "I apologize for the intrusion." Why would a message of value to me be an intrusion? With his opening sentence, the writer suggested an intrusion I would not otherwise have felt. (Opening with an apology may be standard in some cultures, but to me it suggested a negative.)
The second sentence confused me: "I think that by adding the sort of training I offer, you will help your client to fulfill their training needs under one roof." In the second sentence, I didn't yet know what kind of training he offered, and I was slowed down by the singular "client" combined with the plural "their." And why was he talking about one roof?
A resume was attached, but not in a format I could open.
At the end of the email beneath the writer's contact information, my phone number appeared. Since someone I don't know was copied on the message, I am guessing my phone number was included for that cc'd person to follow up with me.
I admit that if I had been interested in what the second writer offered, I might have responded more positively. But I don't feel a positive connection now.
Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (whose title inspired my Tale of Two Emails) begins with the words "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Our times may be somewhere in the middle, but it is always a good idea to send our best work, especially in sales letters.
Please share your view.