Here are 3 common reason your email looks like spam. — I’m talking personal email, not talking email marketing! Think about how you have recently replied to a new sales lead. What email did you send to a person you met at a networking event? How did you reply to a potential client who stopped by your office?
When running a small business, or a startup business – professional email practices are the same as wearing a business suit to a meeting. Do you look professional? Does your prospect think your email looks like spam (or a scam)?
When writing a personal message, 3 markers that make your email look like spam (or at best untrustworthy):
- You don’t use the recipients correct first name, or any name in the opening of your message
(example: “Hi Shauna”)
- You have a subject line, and body full of words
(like “sale”, “free”, “discount”, “hurry”)
- Your from address is “not human” or not in your domain
(such as “info@___, or firstname.lastname@example.org)
What People Want from Email
#1 – Your Subject Line is Short and Clear
The first item – people are busy. You’ve got a new contact who expressed interest in an event you mentioned. Do NOT send them a calendar invite! Send a new contact, an email with the details and allow him, or her to manage the date as they see fit.
Your subject line should contain a 1 line summary (a headline) that explains your purpose. Here are some examples:
- Sun 28 Sep: Come see the regatta at Nedlands Yacht Club
- Introduction – Project Controls and Commercial Construction Contacts
- Contact Info for Brian Hughes (the SEO guy) 1-888-998-2906
Side note: When to send the calendar invite?
When you’ve been asked to send a calendar invite. Basically, the recipient needs to know about, or want a calendar invite. Calendar invites can easily get lost in a persons calendar app, and is more complex to search.
#2 – The Subject Line Matches the Line of Conversation
The second item – If you offered to introduce people, be sure your subject line says so. And, maybe start with the reason you are doing the intro to jog both of their memories. The key here is that a conversation has happened in-person, or by voice (a phone call) that triggered this networking.
Email is a follow up!
Hint (from my personal and business experience) – you need to make 3 contacts when networking people. 1 direct, individual contact with each of the 2 people – then 1 email introducing them. 3 contacts, does not mean 3 emails!
#3 – Email is a Follow Up
The third item – email is a follow up. Wait, I just said that. Email is meant to help people when they didn’t have a chance to gather the contact info in their smart phone, or you didn’t have the contact info handy when you were speaking.
If all your recipient needs are 10 numeric digits and a name — give it to your colleague, just like you would send a text.
For something small, like a phone number, put the number once in the subject, and the number AGAIN in the body. The contact info does not need to be a full sentence. Do not rush to send a vCard. Too many recipients don’t know how to open the vCard or forget to save the vCard.
Learn Some Tricks from Mass Email
Final bit of information, I have had a few leads that never got my message!
There are a few more reasons why your email looks like spam. There are some words that trigger spam filters – and if you inadvertently match the pattern, your message will get canned. I was surprisingly disappointed when I called a few of my enthusiastic leads, and discovered that the words in my subject line, or body of my message flagged my personal message as junk mail.
Learn what computer spam checkers identify as spam. Even if you aren’t sending out a large mailing, you run the risk of matching a spammer’s profile. Take a look at a spam checker for email marketing.
What are Your Experiences Receiving Email?
What are your email peeves? Ever been treated badly in email? What were the best personal emails you have received in your business?
I recently blogged on this topic on my website, too. Good business communication is critical to your reputation, and the life of your company. Good SEO, and great web page copy will help your clients find you. Be sure to follow through with useful, personalised email responses.
Contact me, or Brian.
- Social Media Marketing – Essential Etiquette Tips for Businesses (by Brian Hughes)
- Sales Emails vs Selfish Emails (by Shauna McGee Kinney)
- The 1 Email That Every Salesperson Must Master (Inc.com, by Geoffrey James)
- 10 Levels of Intimacy in Today’s Communication – Infographic (in Tumblr, by Loichay)