We will in the interconnected Information Age. Never has there been a time in history with so much access and opportunity for entrepreneurs. The Internet and social media have opened doors that were previously held closed by gatekeepers. Locking in new opportunities for your business, however, still has to go through an old school — but never vanishing medium — email.
As an entrepreneur, you will send all kinds of pitch emails to a variety of people and companies. If you have ever gotten a pitch email, you realize a vast majority of these emails did not get much thought beforehand or they are copy and paste emails. You would never give these emails the time of day because there is no benefit for you. You may have even sent one or two of these emails. If you want your emails opened — and a chance to land some new opportunities for your business — here are five things you should do in the email.
1. Impactful subject line.
Start with a subject that stands out from everyone else in their inbox. Most subject lines are designed to flatter. The thought is that if you can make the person feel good about themselves, they will be more responsive to what you are asking for. In theory, this should work, but it doesn’t in the real world. When you are approaching a busy person, they scan the subject lines in their inbox. If your subject line is just like everyone else, you will quickly get passed over.
The best subject lines are specific. They come from you doing research on the person you are approaching and referencing something they have done. When you can say, “I love your work on a certain publication,” or, “I loved your thoughts on…” Your subject line stands out and is more likely to get their attention. Do some research and craft a subject line that will make the person want to click and learn more.
2. Continue the thought.
Continue the thought in the first paragraph with how you were specifically impacted. Once you have done your research and crafted a strong subject line, continue the thought in the first paragraph. Expand on the thought with how you were moved or how what they did changed you a little bit. Don’t lie and don’t exaggerate, but spend some time thinking about how what they did applies to your life. Each of us has a desire to make an impact on the world, so it’s nice when we can hear of that happening in someone’s life.
3. Be an expert.
Show that you are in expert in your industry. The second paragraph is all about showing you are someone who knows what you are talking about. You have probably gotten an email about SEO services or website work from some company you have never heard of in another country. The reason you delete that kind of email right away is because you aren’t convinced they are experts.
Use the second paragraph to talk about how you are an expert but don’t do it in a way that makes you sound like a snob. Show your work history and what you are currently doing. Show that if you are given the opportunity you are seeking, you won’t squander it with rookie mistakes.
4. Have a call to action.
The email itself should be two, maybe three paragraphs at the most. The last paragraph should be a call to action. It should tell the person what you are looking for — the next steps so to speak. Make it clear that you want what you are seeking. Be confident. Confidence is sexy and something we are drawn to as humans. Confidently say, “I want this, I will be good at this, and if given the chance, it will benefit you, too.”
5. No attachments or hyperlinks.
This should be common sense, but sadly, it’s the norm. With viruses and malicious software, it’s rare for someone to open an attachment from someone they don’t know. Do not send attachments unless the person specifically asked you to. Send everything in the body of the email whenever possible. It saves them time and is less stressful.
You can pitch and land great opportunities for your business if you approach the email in the right away. The key is to stand out from what has been done for years. Email will always be around but that doesn’t mean you can’t adopt new and better techniques. Pitch in a better way and grow your business.
by KIMANZI CONSTABLE