6 Tips to Write Killer Emails that Get Answered

Last Updated May 14, 2010 10:11 AM EDT

The art of writing emails to hot shotsYou have a great proposal for an executive, bestselling author or A-list blogger, but even the best idea or joint venture isn't going to get you anywhere if you can't get the bigwig to read your email. Luckily, the writing experts at Copyblogger have come to the rescue, laying out six easy and effective steps that will get your email read by people with clout.
  • Open with compelling subject line. Your reader likely gets hundreds of emails each day. Make yours stand out -- not with all caps or lots of exclamation points, but by condensing the best points of your offer to create a sense of urgency. WEAK: An invitation for you. STRONG: Paid speaking opportunity, no travel required (deadline approaching).
  • Introduce yourself in one sentence. Your reader doesn't care about you (yet). Don't blather on and on about your accomplishments or your history. Introduce yourself in one sentence. Include a link to your site, so if your hotshot wants to know more, she can investigate.
  • Do your homework. What sorts of offers has this person accepted in the past? What kinds of propositions is she interested in, and what sorts of incentives does she need to say yes? If you find that your big shot agreed to a $6,000 fee for a three-day conference, offering $2,000 for 90 minutes of her time on the phone makes for an irresistible offer.
  • Keep it short. State your offer clearly in one paragraph. Not a long run-on paragraph either. Six sentences, tops.
  • Be bold, not precise. Your goal for this email is to get this person interested. Too much detail at this point wastes your reader's time and attention. (But do include the one or two details that will capture that attention.) Example: You'll get 51% of the profits from everyone you refer ($212 per sale). Keep it bold and simple.
  • Don't squee all over your shoes. Acting like a rabid fan won't win you any points; it will get your proposal taken a lot less seriously.... Act like a peer with a good proposal, and you'll find you'll get replied to like one. It's fine to mention that you like the person's work. But too much gushing and your email is going to wind up with all the other fan mail -- not in the "A" folder of messages that need a quick response.
Need more info on how to get the attention of hot shots and decision-makers? BNET has you covered.

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  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.