March 29, 2013

What We've Been Reading: Emailing The Busy

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We shared an article earlier this week on how to email busy people that got a lot of traction, and so we thought about it: how should one email a busy person? Busy people are busy for a reason. And for those who don't consider themselves busy, time is still a valuable thing.

Forbes: The Art Of The Email Introduction: 10 Rules For Emailing Busy People

This is the post we originally shared a few days ago, and Chris Fralic sums it up pretty nicely: email is broken, and the only way to get it to work is by making each message as efficient as possible.
4) Getting them to Read and Act on your Email

By and large, less Is more - spend the time to boil it down into as few sentances as possible to get your point across. Bold the ask - make it easy for them know what you're looking for. It can make a big impact to underline or strikethrough words, and it looks clean and saves space to put links in words.

Sparring Mind: How to Write the Perfect Outreach Email: The 9-Step Script for Emailing Busy People

Like Chris' post, Gregory Ciotti's tips basically boil down to efficiency with his "3-B Plan": brevity, blunt, and basic.
1.) Brevity

If there is one thing that busy people value above all else, it's brevity.

If you were receiving upwards of 50-100 emails per day, or had so many obligations that you were only left with a short amount of time to check email, it'd be easy to see why.

In order to get your messages read ASAP, it's best to make sure your opening email follows my ASAP rule: as short as possible.

I wouldn't put a set limit on email length, because it's a case by case basis. The important thing to remember is to always edit your emails at least once to trim unnecessary information, people don't need your enthralling life story over email, they just need "Who, what, why" so they can get back to business.

Four Hour Work Week Blog: 5 Tips for E-mailing Busy People

If there's anyone who would know how to email busy people, it's Tim Ferriss.
1. It's short and what he's requesting is clear. No "let's jump on the phone for 10 minutes; it'll be worth your time."

2. He made an impression in our initial meeting, and he hasn't irritated me with zero-content "keeping in touch" e-mails. He hasn't worn out his inbox welcome.

3. He makes it clear that he's doing his part and has explored other avenues before asking for my help. It's amazing how many would-be mentees or beneficiaries ask busier people for answers Google could provide in 20 seconds. That puts you on the banned list. Explicitly state what you've done to get answers or help yourself.