Did you know that before you read an email you scan it first to determine if you “want" to read it?
This “always on" scanning mode helps you filter out the noise from the salient, important information from your inbox flood.
Without knowing it, you probably did this with my ezine today. And guess what? Your customers scan your emails too! In the blink of an eye, your customers evaluate every email to meet two criteria:
1. Is the message important? 2. Will it be quick and easy to read?
Even if your information is important to your contacts, if your emails don’t produce a “yes" for criteria #2, they may be ignored or deleted right along with the spam.
To get your emails read and get a response, you must format your emails for scanning.
Here’s the winning hand for writing emails that are quick and easy to read:
Ace of Hearts: Keep your emails and ezine articles short. Remember, your ideas, pitches, arguments, and benefit messages are far more interesting to you than anyone else. Need proof? Ask yourself why your spouse says, “that’s great, Honey" instead of “No...way, tell me more!" when you talk about work. Try to keep everyday sales emails to 150 words. Limit your lead ezine articles to 400, about the size of this article. If your emails go on and on, they immediately fail the scan test and you’re toast.
King of Hearts: Restrict the majority of your paragraphs to three sentences or less. Long paragraphs are scanning quagmires that can trigger the subconscious mind of your recipients to demand, “next email!"
Queen of Hearts: If you can’t avoid writing a large paragraph, make it easier for the reader to scan. Summarize the paragraph with a bolded title and structure the main points as a numbered or bulleted list. The result – instant “scannability!"
Jack of Hearts: Don’t bury your calls to action inside a paragraph. Whatever you’re prompting your recipient to do, whether it be download a PDF, visit a webpage, register for a webinar, or answer a question, put it on a line by itself and bold it.
Ten of Hearts: End your emails with a dialogue opener, not a closer. Stop writing “best wishes" or “warm regards" at the end of an email. It translates to “have a nice life." Instead, use a valediction that opens a dialogue. Try “Thoughts?"; “What do you think?"; or “Eager for your reply."