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Does anyone read Email these days?

There is nothing more frustrating than hearing a prospect tell you – “Can you send that proposal again? I think the last one ended up in the Spam folder.”

She probably has not read it but won’t say so! There goes 3 hours worth of good work; the frustration for the Sales Pro does not end there, the entire Sales process gets delayed and his sales plan goes for a toss.

Mailers get the same treatment  – you send a nicely worded (You think so!) message to a 1000 prospects and hope for a 8 – 10 % response, but end up receiving 18-20 replies.

What is the reason for such behaviour?

–  It partly because people are getting too many emails; there just isn’t time to go through each one.

–  The other reason being the Sender, or more specifically, the quality of his work ; the message didn’t evoke any interest.

Today email has almost completely eliminated snail-mail as the primary medium of written communication. People use emails to communicate even within the office; emails are sent to people sitting across the room on subjects that can be discussed face-to-face or by phone. Add to that the overdose of marketing messages from various sources (most of it can be classified as SPAM).

Aren’t we ignoring another huge dump of messages? Social Media! It’s hardly surprising that people are rejecting all but the really important or urgent messages!

–          Important: Messages from clients and superiors

–          Urgent: Mails from co-workers that are followed up with a phone call by the Sender!

You won’t be faulted for believing that a reply will be sent only for messages that come with the following subject line – Respond to this message in a minute or your computer will Self–destruct!

Or is there another way?

How can the client be induced to read the messages – create the hook / the elements of interest that force them to act.

  1. People just don’t have time to read lengthy messages filled with small text – make it crisp (content) and large (font). Say it in a few bold words.
  2. If pictorial or chart based content is included the message becomes more interesting. A smartly captioned picture or an easy to interpret graph can add to readability. The idea is to make the message visually appealing.
  3. Add an Executive Summary that gives the reader a snapshot – they would go into the details if the snapshot is interesting. So create a compact overview that forces the client to read the rest of the material.
  4. Include Call to Action statements that force the client to do something in response – make it deadlines oriented, use action verbs and limit the number of actions they need to take. Again use colours and pictures to improve appeal.

Your new look proposal won’t get a re-send response; it would be a call for further action or a Purchase Order instead! Remember to thank me when the responses come pouring in!

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