In case you haven’t quite noticed, we live in a world of too much email. And while Inbox Zero is as lofty a goal as the elusive work/life balance, sending and receiving email as a small business owner is pretty much required.

Look, I’m not talking about just your personal emails going out directly from your inbox either. Email is a required part of a powerful marketing plan and building your list is one of the hottest topics among bosses these days.

But even with a powerful email marketing plan, an email sent is only worth anything if it’s opened. Here’s a few tips on how to get your emails opened every time:

Even with a powerful email marketing plan, an email sent is only worth anything if it’s opened. Click To Tweet

1. Get friendly. Email subject lines (and content) written like they are to a friend are more likely to be read than any other email. Would you write an email to your friend with the subject line: OMG YOU HAVE TO DO THESE 15 THINGS BEFORE NEXT WEEK! ? Probably not. So keep your emails friendly and conversational to get more eyes on the actual content.

Keep your emails friendly and conversational to get more eyes on the actual content. Click To Tweet

2. Be brief. Let me quote the (in)famous Sweet Brown with a big ol’ “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” If your emails are long and rambling, your readers will click on through to the next one before you even capture their attention. Sure, say what you need to say, but keep it concise.

3. Channel CoCo Chanel. This classy lady famously said of accessorizing, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” The same can be said for your emails. Before you hit send, give it a once over and take something out. Too many exclamation points? A sentence that’s a repeat of something you’ve already said? Take it out.

4. Get organized. My favorite email I’ve ever seen in my inbox was from our very own Head Boss, Emily Thompson. It went like this:

One sentence intro

BOLD HEADLINE

Topic detail in less than 3 sentences

BOLD HEADLINE

Topic detail in less than 3 sentences

BOLD HEADLINE

Topic detail in less than 3 sentences

BOLD HEADLINE

Topic detail in less than 3 sentences

Wrap up sentence

Sign off

Honestly, I almost cried tears of joy when I saw it. It was a work of communication art.

Honor your recipient and send organized and well-thought out emails. I dare you to make me cry again.

Honor your recipient and send organized and well-thought out emails. Click To Tweet

5. Break it up. If you write an email that’s 500 words and all one paragraph, it’s going to take a long time to read and might not ever pass the point of simply being opened. Let’s face it, we live in a world of communicating in 140 characters or less. If your paragraph is more than three sentences (five, max), it’s time to get friendly with the Return key on your keyboard.

Like this.

Make some space.

No matter what kind of emails you’re sending, the goal is to have them opened, read, and responded to. If that’s not the goal, I challenge you to ask yourself why you’re sending the email in the first place.

It’s time to send better emails, Boss. I can’t wait to read yours.

 

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In addition to being a yogi, mom, military wife, and avid podcast fan, Val Geisler is the founder of Gmail School, a small business systems expert, and head of content creation for ConvertKit. You can generally find her reining in the back end operations for creative entrepreneurs, writing blogs on ValGeisler.com and ConvertKit.com, or sharing GIFs on Slack. She’s ridiculously obsessed with stellar customer service, sharing and creating content that actually makes a difference in the world, and doing more with less effort.

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