In my role as an editor and a blog manager I receive hundreds of emails daily. While some of them are well-written, many of them make me cringe. What causes the cringing? Well, first of all, my name is typically spelled incorrectly. I am not “Robin” nor am I “Robbie” or “Robby” and hey, I am a female. So if you spell my name incorrectly or send me a “Dear Sir” letter I immediately begin to question anything else you may have written me in that email.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs today you rely on email or texting to communicate with your tribe. Even in a text message you should take the time to spell words out. Really, how much longer will it take you to write “before” than it will “b4”? Not long enough to irk someone like me with your lack of professionalism.
To present yourself as a professional, you need to master the written word. Just because you’re communicating electronically is no reason for sloppy prose. Yes, back in the early phases of blogging and other Internet writing, people were of the mindset that “because it’s online I don’t have to be as precise as I would be if I were penning a book or brochure.”Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!
Here are four ways to compose a well-written” email:
- Read and reread your subject line. If you want to guest post then mention that in the subject line. Be compelling. Be brief. Does your subject line reach out to the reader? Will it get lost in a spam box? Note, if you use the word FREE in an email subject line it is typically tagged as spam by most email carriers and will be lost in the shuffle. You don’t want to have a subject line of “reaching out to you” because a lot of people “reach out to me” and if they aren’t compelling in the subject line I will move onto the next email. A great subject line could be, “Guest post idea for your monthly Writing Theme topic.” This lets me know you’ve read my blog and are also being thoughtful in your subject line.
- Get to the point, please! If your purpose for reaching out is to be a guest blogger, then state that up front. Please, please, please don’t get bogged down in giving me your resume or your CV. Let your idea speak for itself, give me a link or two to your blog or to other places you’ve written and let me be the judge.
- Know the type of blog for which you want to guest post. In my role as blog manger for BlogPaws, I have people write to me and want to guest post on their topic of expertise which is cooking or auto repair or opening your retail business. BlogPaws is a pet-centric social media site. If you’re not proposing something social media or pet-centric related then it’s likely you didn’t even look at the site and are just sending me a blanket email. My response? Delete!
- How can I find you? If you send an email and sign it, “Susie,” I don’t know anything about you or how to find/research you if I am so inclined. Sure, I could look at your email address and see if it points me to a website but if your email address is, “hotsusieATgmail…” first of all, change your email address to something more professional and do that before you send out another email! There is no reason for a bad aka unprofessional email address. Add a signature to your email that gives me your full name, website, phone number, links to your social media sites. If you have offered me compelling information, make it easy for me to find you.
- Bonus tip: I beg of you, do not send me a message that reads, “I am following up on the message I sent a week ago and wonder if you’ve given my proposal any thought.” Um, who are you? What did you write about? Refresh my memory. Even before breast cancer treatments gave me a memory like a slice of Swiss Cheese I wouldn’t have remembered you from that vague of a description.
Before you hit “send” on that next email, take time to give it a once over and make sure you are presenting the best “you” that you can!