Want People to return your Emails? Avoid These Words…

Today Amy Gallo, a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, released a blog post about managing email. There is some good solid advice here and thought I would share it, you can read her post here.

I’d like to take this one step farther than just managing your inbox. What about when you are sending an email and want someone to actually read, better yet reply, to it?

Next time you write an email subject line, think twice about the words you’re using.

Loading your message with words such as confirm, join, press, or invite is not a good idea of you want a response, says data gathered from Baydin, the maker of the email scheduler Boomerang.

Baydin recently extracted data from five million emails its users handled – either using the company’s “email game” or scheduled for later delivery via Boomerang. It found that some subject-line words, such as “apply” and “opportunity,” got more responses than words from the aforementioned list.

Its data also suggests the best time to send email is before work. Users who scheduled messages to read later, using Boomerang, most often wanted to deal with them around 6am.

Already sending emails packed with “opportunity” at 6am and not getting a response? You’re in good company.

Baydin’s average email game player deleted about half of the 147 messages he or she received each day. Ninety minutes of the two hours he or she spent on email each day went to just 12 messages. Be one of those 12!

Some of the data from the Baydin research is attached.  Email research data

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What we can learn from the church example

The other day I listened to an audio version of Alain de Botton’s TED talk from 2011 called Atheism 2.0. This post is not about religion or the antithesis of it – neither was Alain’s talk.

However, what it is about is the example it tends to set about ways to create, manage, and grow effectively and efficiently within an organization. Alain himself said it best with his closing line:

“You may not agree with religion, but at the end of the day religions are so subtle, so complicated, so intelligent in many ways that they are not fit to be abandoned to the religious alone – they are for all of us.”

Consider the effectiveness that religions have when spreading messages. They tend to break down the generational divides; they are geographicaly agnostic; with a few exceptions there are no gender biases; and in most settings there are not racial or sexual preference issues.

Consider the franchise element and how they manage brand quality.

What about the commitment level of its employees?

What about the loyalty of its customers?

So the question for us to consider is how can we learn from “the church” as an example of an organization with superb communication and support mechanisms.

What if businesses operated a little more like churches?

What can other non-profits learn from “the church?”

What about the moral elements of “the church?” How would it change the aspects of business if they were embraced in a similar way?

I conclude with questions…more questions than answers perhaps. However, isn’t that what TED talks are all about?