Broadminded x Kim Arnold: Get what you want everytime you hit send
We were delighted to be joined by Kim Arnold, author of 'Email Attraction' who taught us how to make every message count
1. The average white collar workers spends a whopping 52,000 hours emailing - that’s 6 years! Yet 90% of us have never received any guidance or training on writing a good email.
2. Write your subject line at the end - after you’ve tackled the main body of the email.
3. Your subject line is your canapé, or appetiser - your reader needs to feel something to want to read it on; curiosity, excited, a sense of urgency etc.
4. The main body of your email must not be an impenetrable wall of words! You should:
- have a simple, separate first sentence
- 16 words in a sentence at the maximum
- 2/3 sentences per paragraph
- 1.5, or 1.15 line spacing
- font size 12
- embrace the white space!
5. Draft your email in a small window - so many people open their emails on their phone so test to see if they’ll see a bombardment of text, or digestible information.
6. A clear call to action (CTA) is key: ideally ask for one thing, failing that use a numbered list. Be direct with a clear next step and provide a timeframe. For example, ‘Please add your comments to section 4 of the report and return to me via email by close of play on Friday’.
7. Emojis can be useful to give clear meaning to some words, but can also appear flippant so be aware of your recipient and subject matter; the same goes for exclamation marks.
8. It’s understandable to want to do an email ‘cull’ when your inbox is overwhelmed and they’re over a certain age but don’t delete them. Rather why not mark as ‘read’ and put them in an archive folder?
9. If your email has been ignored, don’t just resend it! It didn’t work the first time so why would the same email work a second time? Reread it: was it clear? did it provide a CTA with a timescale? Redraft it before resending it and avoid passive aggressive language such as ‘as per my last unanswered email...’
10. And finally, no-one needs a generic sign off in their signature - for example ‘Kind Regards’. Do you really want to sign off in the same way to every person you email?