Presentation on theme: "How to Write an Email. What makes email different? People do not read emails, they scan emails. You need to convince them this is important. You need."— Presentation transcript:
What makes email different? People do not read emails, they scan emails. You need to convince them this is important. You need to convince them to act. And you need to do both as quickly as possible. People do not read emails!!!
Step 1: The Message Envelop What they will see before opening the email: Sender, reply-to email address, and the subject line This is the first hurdle - we need to convince them to open the message
The Sender This should always be the same person for each type of email (i.e. the newsletter editor is always the sender for the newsletter, the conservation chair for alerts, etc.) You may want to use the same person for all messages This does not have to be the person who replies to the messages. Always formatted as Name, Sierra Club – Nicole Ghio, Sierra Club
The Reply-To This is the email box where replies will go Make sure someone is answering messages in this box If the sender is not answering the messages, make sure the reply-to does not have someone elses name in the address This must always be an @sierraclub.org address
The Subject Short and clear: It should identify what the message is while prompting people to open it. 7 words or less: Take Action to Save Our Shores; Help us Protect our Backyards
The Message Write your message Delete the first to paragraphs Edit whats left No, really. Im not kidding.
Why? The first thing you want to know when someone knocks on your door is what they are asking for. If you make them look for the amswer, they wont bother. Most emails start with pleasantries (Its been an eventful summer), followed by a build (now its time to make a change…). We rarely get to the meat of the message until paragraph 3. Lets start there instead: Next week the board will vote on … and we need you to do… today. You can add the background information later in the email.
What else? 1 ask per email. Asking for multiple things lowers the response rate. Even with the ask at the top of the message, keep the email concise. Do not get too fancy with the fonts, but do bold parts of your message to make it stand out. Put in your link multiple times. Spell out the full url once for email clients that dont allow live links. Make sure the person signing the message is also your sender.
The Fancy Stuff Text boxes in the upper right of the message are a great way to provide a 1 sentence summary of the email (and a link). Images or large buttons make text boxes even better. Additional information or links to outside sites, news stories, or reports can go in the p.s. or footnotes below the signature.
Test, Test, Test Always have at least one, preferably two, people proofread your email. Send out test messages to different emails. Each server displays messages differently. Get a free yahoo, gmail, and hotmail account to test your messages. Click on all the links and take all the surveys, alerts, etc. before sending. Dont forget to test and correct the plain text version of your email.
In Conclusion… This still a new medium, there isnt any golden rule that will guarantee results. Sign up for as many lists as possible to see what other organizations are doing. Do not be afraid to experiment, but do evaluate your results and learn from them. Talk to each other and ask for help. Thats what were here for.