VERY QUICK TIP – the secret to getting your emails read instantly

9th August 2016

People read emails in this order:

  1. Sender’s name
  2. Email title
  3. The email itself

This makes sense:

  • Get an email from someone important – a friend, your #1 customer, your boss – and you’ll open it immediately
  • But get one from someone who isn’t – a stranger, the Office Bore, the pestering salesperson – and you won’t open it now… or maybe ever

You then read the title. And your eyes are drawn to the most interesting ones. For example, I’d always open an email titled “Making sure you get paid this month” before all the “Updates” and “FYIs”

And finally, if – and only if – the sender’s name and/or title interests you – you’ll open the email and read it.

So that’s what readers do. But what about writers?

Well, when writing emails, people spend most time on their content, and virtually none on the title.

But doing this means your titles might be boring. And this means people mightn’t even open your emails at all.

So include something eye-catching in your title. Not so it looks like spam. But have something that grabs attention. For instance, these words work well:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • New
  • First
  • Guaranteed
  • Surprising
  • Secret
  • Exclusive

Or you might use a half-sentence that intrigues them, so they want to open your email to find out more. For example:

  • Can I ask your advice about …?
  • A favour, to help with…?
  • A quick question to ask about…

A few seconds ago, you opened this email for a reason.

A few seconds from now, you’ll be emailing someone. What reason will you give them to open it?

Action point

When you write your next email, tweak your title so they want to open it. The words above will help.

Also, to improve all your comms – emails, conversations, meetings, conference calls, presentations etc – look at Month 2 in this page’s table – how to communicate with influence and impact.

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