Why Your Email Might Not Get Read
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Hi Gretchen. We've yet to meet but Joe Bloggs suggested we get in contact regarding your new course offerings. After understanding what you're seeking, I might be able to help you directly and through my network. I'm a mechanic who has educated drivers (mainly Aussies) for years. Drivers say their brakes (especially in small motor cars) are useless for stopping quickly. Brake fidelity offers powerful but overlooked capabilities. However drivers generally have limited knowledge about what's possible. This limits the options they add to their cars. That's where I can help. I've spent my entire career in the world of brake mechanics and am committed to educating others via blogging (over 3500 posts since 2002), presentations, etc. Also, I have connections who can speak about other topics to help drivers decrease their stopping distance. If you'd like to explore, please let me know. We could meet over coffee or lunch. Next Wed and Thur (June 17 or 18) are currently clear from 10 AM onwards. For dates further out, my calendar is online to help with scheduling. Since you're on LinkedIn, I'll send you an invitation to connect. You can then review my profile, connections and testimonials.
I bet you didn’t read all of the previous paragraph.
I have no idea what the email looked like in the target’s InBox, just what it looked like in My Inbox when it was forwarded to me by the original sender. (Names and occupations have been changed to protect the innocent. Also the guilty).
229 words is a bit much to take for an introductory email, it seems to me, especially IF it arrives in a blob.
And here’s the point: We NEVER know how that first email will appear to the reader. We don’t know what program they use for reading email (Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora, web-based email), We don’t know the platform (Windows, blackberry, 80-column punched cards …) . We don’t know that character set (ASCII, EBCDIC, ICL 24-bit etc.)
We don’t know whether they are sitting in a quiet place, or whether they are being shaken to bits in an old TTC bus crammed next to a bulky passenger whose headphones are leaking rap noise.
That first email has so many hurdles, one of which is “Who is this and do I want to be bothered with them right now?” that it seems to me a wonder that any of them get read.
A great many of them don’t.
Trim my emails down to the absolute minimum required to get a meeting.
Everything else can be raised at the meeting.
After all, we have to have SOMEthing novel to discuss.