In an over-saturated market, recruiters risk losing top talent if their emails aren’t just right.
By Scott Ginsberg
During a public television interview, Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone said something every business professional needs to know:
"Email is the most intimate witness to our lives."
Of course, that was almost two years ago. The irony is that email has become just another overloaded stream. Emails are no longer intimate, but overlooked. And so, for recruiters and employers who need to cut through the clutter and influence candidates on the other end of the screen, it’s imperative that their communications are the ones that get opened. [tweet this]
Let’s explore eight ways to make your email communication more eye-catching to candidates:
- Use enticing subject lines. If you want people to open your emails first, consider titling your messages with persuasive phrases like, “I saw something that made me think of you” and “Someone paid you a compliment yesterday.” That language speaks to people’s ego and encourages them to open the letter. Just be sure to back up what you said within the email.
- Rotate your signature. The human brain has now evolved to filter out unchanging backgrounds. Familiar structures lead to mental laziness, which means there’s no need to pay attention. And so, make sure to change your email signature a few times a month. Otherwise, people’s brains will tune it out.
- Expression matters. One of the pitfalls of emailing is the inability to convey emotion. Often your opinions, statements and stories go misinterpreted. Don’t be afraid to italicize, boldface and underline key words that show the person exactly what you want to say.
- Speed trumps content. The speed of the response is the response. The medium is the message. And so even if you don’t have the answer to a question or a problem right away, you can always drop a quick, one line email that says, “Thanks for letting me know. I’m on it. Call you this afternoon.”
- Summarize and synthesize. Next time you have a detailed conversation with someone over the phone, suggest the following: “Hey Mark, I’ve been taking some notes on our conversation. Would you like me to email you a quick, bullet point list of all the key points we’ve covered, just to make sure we’re both on the same page?” Not only will people be impressed by your listening ability, you’ll also have documentation of the conversation for future reference.
- Set expectational clarity immediately. The real secret isn’t just being persistent, but demonstrating a valid motivation for your persistence. Otherwise you come off as pushy. Punch people in the face with your purpose.Be respectful and intelligent enough to state your reason for messaging within the first two lines or first two seconds.
- Make your message low carb. Get to the point. Cut to the chase. Don’t waste sentences. Run your message through the filter of meaningful, concrete immediacy. “Meaningful” meaning relevant to the recipient. “Concrete” meaning concise. And “immediacy” meaning applicable and actionable now. No jargon. No outdated metaphors, bromides or unclear analogies. Zero in to the heart of the matter.
- Roboticism doesn’t work. If you write like you talk, people will listen. What’s more, it will sound more human, which is an accomplishment when it comes to technology. Before finalizing the language for your message, read it out loud. If you have time, run it by a few colleagues.
With these strategies, your email is guaranteed to be one of the few that isn’t swiped away into the digital ether.
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Scott Ginsberg is the author of 27 books, an award winning blogger, TEDx speaker and the creator of the concert documentary, “Tunnel of Love.” He's delivered over 600 presentations and corporate training programs worldwide, and he still wears a nametag 24-7. Even to bed. See why his work sticks at www.nametagscott.com.