Effective and Ineffective email practices

Below is an example of the type of emails I receive many times a day as Editor of Computer Magazine. Typically they will be either press releases, companies wanting me to write an article on their company, review a product, interview their CEO for an article, etc., people wanting to become authors on our site, companies wanting to advertise, and then other miscellaneous emails dealing with general business issues.  This email below is an actual email from a few days ago, copied here, and I x’d out any lines that might be particularly identifying. I’ll talk about what are effective and ineffective practices.

 

Effective:

“Select Message Recipients Carefully” – In this case they did enough research to get my first name, address the email to me, and send it to the correct email address. This initially got my attention, rather than it being something generic that was blasted out to thousands of publications without being personalized.

“Avoid Indications that you view email as casual communications” – The email is very professional, albeit littered with their own terminology that I’m not interested in (instead I’m interested in what do they want from me, and tell me quickly…)

“Use Greetings and Names” – They do this well, which peaked my interest as most emails that they bothered to research enough to use my personal name (they start with “Hi Chris” which is just fine to me)

 

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Ineffective:

“Provide a short, Descriptive Subject Line” – In the case of the full email I have provided as an example below, the subject in the email was “Anime Chibi Girls Mimic Every Move & Sound.” This subject meets the goal of being short enough, however, at least for my purposes, this email is the type I would have utterly skipped over because the title, as an Editor of a technology publication, does not briefly, in any way, tell me what it is they are wanting for me nor what their product is. Only once I read further into the email do I see what it is they are talking about, and only in the end of it do we get to the part where they tell me what they are wanting, and even then only hinting at it, which is essentially they want me to interview their CEO or at least take additional information from them in the hope that we might feature an article or at least blurb about their company and product on Computer Magazine.

“Clearly Identify Expected Actions” – This is something they obscure in this email, and would typically result in me just skipping past it (which, in fact, is what I have done, I have yet to respond to it for the reasons I am listing here). If they were to simply have said “Hello Editor, we were hoping you could say something about our neat new product we have on your Computer Magazine, we would appreciate it” then I would have been more likely to respond by now. Then they could say a little about the product perhaps, but at least get to the point right off. (in the email they say the following at the very end “please let me know if you would like to speak with xxxx’s CEO and co-founder xxxx x xxxxx to learn more. ” They should have just stated from the start that they wanted this and in regards to what, every succinctly.

 “Use Attachments Wisely” – I’d have to say in this case that in fact they did NOT include any attachments, which makes investigating their product difficult for me. A good email of this sort that i receive will include a link to their website and product with a username/password so that I can look at it if I wish (download it, etc.) without having to respond to them first, and then wait for a response, which by then I would have forgotten since I receive thousands of emails per day. The successful emails of this sort include as an attachment or link what it is they are wanting me to review. In the email they say at the end “I can also provide you with photos of these characters along with a demo video of how to use xxxx.  For additional information please visit xxxxxx.com.” They should have simply provided these items in the email, rather than saying they could provide them to me later. These types of companies have one chance to make an impression on me enough to peak my interest to want to look into it and consider it for our site. Here they blew it, i went on to the next thousand I received that day, some of which actually were more clear, provided whatever they wanted me to review (or they mailed me a product to review and followed it up with an email).

 

email

 

SUBJECT: Anime Chibi Girls Mimic Every Move & Sound

Hi Chris,

Anime fans can now rejoice that the animation app xxxx, featured last week on The Today Show, has added six xxxx characters including Rocker Lamb, Sailor Cat, Officer Fox, Nurse Bunny, Fire Panda and Business Tiger. Users can create fun video messages where these characters mimic their every facial movement and sound to send to friends and family.

Available on all iOS devices, the Nito app allows users to line up their eyes, nose and mouth and select their character and background to record a 15-second video in their own voice or with applied Voice FX. These video messages can then be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or via SMS and email.

Please let me know if you would like to speak with xxxx’s CEO and co-founder xxxx x xxxxx to learn more. I can also provide you with photos of these characters along with a demo video of how to use xxxx.  For additional information please visit xxxxxx.com.

Best,

Lisa xxxx
xxxx
xxxx
xxxx
xxxx
xxx
www.linkedin.com/in/XXXX

Think of recent emails you have received related to work and school. Describe three effective email practices and three ineffective email practices you have observed. Describe each of these practices in detail (a paragraph each) and provide specific examples from emails you have received. You don’t need to reveal who sent the emails.

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