Every email has a MVP (Most Valuable Point) which needs to be seen very quickly. That’s why you want to take advantage of the most crucial visual real estate in every email message.
What is that location?
It’s the Subject line. Followed by the first sentence. This is where attention is either gained, or lost. That’s why you’ve got to get right to the point.
Why? It’s simple – we’re all skimming our inboxes to find the most relevant, important messages. And if your reader is not “hooked” quickly in the first sentence or two, guess what? There’s a lot of other stuff clamoring for attention.
There’s some fascinating brain science behind this (including the Reticular Activating System, which is your brain’s neurobiological filtering mechanism), but the point is, brevity and specificity wins attention. Ambiguity and TMI (Too Much Information) loses it.
Here are some shortcuts to make your emails more engaging:
- Bring forward a specific action item or expected response in order to highlight the importance of the message.
- Use bolding or other visually-arresting formatting to make sure that “the point” cannot be missed.
- Don’t bury the main point in a bunch of other verbiage (newspaper journalists call this “burying the lead”).
The fact is, we are all busy and distracted, with dozens of messages coming at us every hour. By making your emails brief and pointed, you stand the best chance of gaining engagement.
First impressions matter. Make great use of the top visual real estate and you’ll earn engagement.
(this content is extracted from Impactiviti’s on-line course, Email Effectiveness with Clarity)
Contact Steve Woodruff of Impactiviti here. And, if you’re planning to attend the LTEN Annual Conference in November, be sure to attend our workshop, Just Get to the Point!