The Rolling Stones sang, "You can't always get what you want." It's true in email. You cannot make people reply, approve, agree, buy, or call you through a simple email.
But you are more likely to get what you want if you know what you want. That means thinking about your specific goal for the message.
These are specific goals for three emails:
- I want the client to email me this week to schedule a product demo.
- I want my teammates to send me suggestions for a September speaker within a week.
- I want my mother's contact at XYZ Company to agree to a 15-minute informational interview with me.
The goals above are specific and realistic. It's possible to achieve each one through email.
But sometimes people expect email to do too much. The goals below are not realistic for a single email to achieve:
- I want the client to read my detailed email and four attachments, view a recorded webinar, and buy our product this week.
- I want my teammates to send me topics, suggested speakers, and preferred meeting times for the fall-winter programs within a week.
- I want my mother's contact at XYZ Company to hire me.
Making your goal specific and realistic will increase your chances of getting what you want. It will help you write an email that focuses on the goal and moves the reader to respond the way you intend.
I hope you get what you want–or at least what you need–from your emails.
Do you have strategies that help you get results with email? Please share them.
Would you like more ideas about getting good results with email? Consider purchasing my "110 Tips for Sending Email That Gets Read–and Gets Results, Second Edition" as a printed booklet or PDF.
Note: I excerpted the content above from the latest Better Writing at Work, my free monthly e-newsletter.