Always assume that the person on the other end gets hundreds of emails per day, and they’ve got 60 seconds free as they walk to their next meeting with their phone in their hand.
Your goal is to give them everything they need to understand your request in the first 30 seconds, and use the next 30 seconds to give it to you.
Write these six sentences – no more, no less:
- Say hi like a human being.
- Explain your connection to them.
- Explain what you need.
- Explain why you need it.
- Give them everything they need to help.
- Sign off.
Email Example #1
Hi, Marilyn. I attended your “Building Great Project Plans” session in Chicago last week.
Can you introduce me to the project manager who’s worked in oil & gas, the one with the sample project plans you showed? I work in a totally different industry, so I’m hoping she would share the original files with me.
You can share my contact info: JLowell@Gmail.com, phone (312)555-1212, or JLowell on Skype.
Thanks, and have a great week!
Email Example #2
Howdy, Frank! You don’t know me, but your blog post on testing servers with SQLIO really helped me today.
Can you tell me if the attached 500MB/sec results on an Acme S5000 sounds slow to you? I just bought my first one, and knowing if it’s way too slow will help me decide if I should return it or not.
If you’re busy and you just happen to have a faster set of results, you can just send those and I’ll go to battle with the vendor, no explanation required.
I really appreciate it, and thanks again for the blog post.
These Emails are Hard to Write, but Easy to Answer.
Your goal isn’t for YOU to be able to WRITE these 6-sentence emails fast. It’s going to take you way longer to write this 6-sentence email than it would take for you to be all flowery with a six-paragraph email.
But they get results, and that’s what you’re writing for. Put some work into it, and the work will pay off.