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Post by: The Kinship Studio
There are two types of people in the world; those who use subject lines properly and those who don't. It may not seem important but little things like this are what make up proper email etiquette and believe me, you want to be on the side using your subject lines properly. It's the same as walking into a business meeting and not using proper etiquette like eye contact, being present, bringing something to write notes with, etc. Showing up unprepared will throw off peoples perception of both you and your business and can affect the possibility of becoming business partners in the future. The same goes for emailing. Knowing proper etiquette will help increase the overall quality of your brand and first impressions.
Myth #1: No one uses subject lines anymore...
False! Yes, they do. The subject line of an email is very important for a few reasons, all of which will help get your email where it needs go.
One of the main reasons you need a subject line - it will help you come across more professional. The person on the receiving end can see quickly what your email is about (especially if it's a cold email) and given the right wording, they might be more inclined to open it. Emails without subject lines look like spam and often just end up in the trash.
Another reason to take advantage of a good subject line is to help keep both parties organized. If the recipient is someone who gets 50-100 emails a day, they might need to reference back to your email after they initially opened it, which would require them to use the search bar to find it. It would be a shame if they left the email, thinking they'll come back to it and when they do, they can't find it and just never answer you. You could have gotten a sale or created a new working relationship but the person who used a searchable and memorable subject line got the gig instead.
What is a good subject line anyway? Well it depends on the nature of the email. If you want to reach out to someone about wholesaling your product, it would be good to include that in the subject line. For example:
"Little Martha's Baking Wholesale Opportunity". Right away, the recipient knows the intention of the email, regardless of whether or not they've heard of your business. This also makes the email very easy to search later, knowing the email was in regards to wholesale. They'd simply type in: "wholesale" to see the email thread pop up.
You don't always have to be fancy about it either, sometimes it just needs to be information based. If you sell a product and a customer ordered something, then a simple; "Pete's Plants Order #4567 Confirmation" would suffice.
Just make sure it's simple and clear so your recipient knows what's going on.
Myth #2: Addressing emails to someone isn't that important.
Uh, yuh it is. When you write an email to someone, addressing them directly is important for multiple reasons.
One of the reasons you should address your email to someone by name is that it gets the email exactly where it needs to go. "Hey Willow" can help if you send it to what you know is a shared email address like email@example.com but by you referring to her by name, shows intent. If Chloe opens your email, her response won't be "wtf?", she'll think "oh cool, I'll make sure Willow sees this".
Another reason that this is important is it shows a level of respect and, especially if you've met this person before, it adds a personal touch. This could be the difference between them thinking this is just another generic email and them connecting the dots back to when they met you. You want to create authentic relationships, especially if you are asking something of someone, so make sure you make the right impression right off the bat.
What happens if you don't know who it is you're trying to reach on the other side? Well if you're sending a cold email, you can try a few options. There is the common "To whom it may concern" which is tried and true, however a bit stuffy. If your recipient is a youthful business you can try some options like "Hey there" "Hello!" but try to stay away from really unprofessional things greetings like "Wud up" "sup" and so on.
Myth #3: The body of the email should reveal my life story....
Ain't nobody got time for that. Your email body should be clear, specific and straight to the point. Chances are, the person receiving your email has other things to do and if they have read a novel to get to the point, they might end up just pushing delete. You want the purpose of your email to be clear and concise so they know what it's about.
"I wanted to send an email in hopes of becoming a wholesale partner with your store"
"I would love to have you be the keynote speaker for my conference coming up this fall"
"I would like to set up a meeting with you to talk about selling my baked scones in your coffee shop"
Letting people know right away what your intentions are saves them a lot of time, which makes everyone happy. Make it short and sweet so they can get in and out; give them the facts, what they need to know to respond appropriately and then they can make a decision on how they want respond. The standard five W's is always key; who, what, where, when, why?
Always be closing...
Once you've said everything you need to, you have to close it off. Let them know what you want in return, "email me back if you're interested" "please call me to set up an appointment" so your message is clear and they aren't confused about who's supposed to take the next step. End on a positive note with what you want to happen next and leave the ball in their court.
Easy peasey lemon squeezey!