Let’s work through something together, shall we? I know I’m not the only one who is drowning in email. In fact, over the last few years, I think the number of emails that are flying in and out of my inboxes (yes plural) has doubled. What I can’t get over is what lies within them.
I rarely delete anything except when Google forces me to. So I have amassed quite the collection of rude, entitled and downright bizarre emails. Clearly, as humans who are high on coffee and running on very little sleep, we have lost the ability to communicate.
I suffer from word vomit, especially towards the end of the week. My grammar takes a nose dive the closer it gets to 5 pm and let’s not talk about sentence structure. I hold my hands up and say, sometimes I write the worst emails.
So, I thought a friendly guide to email success might help.
The ‘Professional’ Emails
So you need to reach out and work with someone? Nods, we have all been there. Now, I know this is hard but consider that you are meeting this person for the first time face to face. Would you just barrel in and demand they work with you? Would you send on follow up emails every 2 hours after your meeting? Would you send one-line emails saying “Can I have a reply to my proposal?” Try writing that first introductory email with balance and grace and failing that, with the word, please.
Aside: Context is fantastic. It helps to differentiate the flying blue aliens in my mind from the blue balloons that you actually wanted. Maybe you should read your email just one more time before you hit send. (Lisa, I know you are crying laughing as I do this ALL the time.)
Messages like “Are you coming to X tomorrow?” When there have been no emails/ messages beforehand inviting you to anything. Er, the answer will most likely, be no. Especially when you expect a person to take amazing photographs, post and write content with backlinks to your business for free. If your time is worth money, why isn’t mine? Agreed collaborations are important and they don’t always have to be paid. It can be a mutual thing but please understand the bloggers/content creators on the other side of these messages/emails haven’t been living in your head and we have absolutely no idea what you are planning, so help us out, please?
Forwarding to email lists – Just a word of warning, if you are a PR company/person are trying to fill space at an event. It helps if you delete previous conversations and offers of goodie bags and press packs at the foot of your emails. It doesn’t help us smaller bloggers in the middle/ end of your list and it doesn’t really bring forth the idea that you are a ‘professional’ firm. Oh, and it also helps that you research who you are sending those emails and offers to. Instagram can be misleading, click through, google a name. It helps.
While we are talking about PR… Sending an email demanding a slot on a podcast that is no longer on the air doesn’t really make me believe that you “love my work.” Neither does “I have a brand new book, when can you feature it?” (Yip that email was literally one line.) Pop a proposal together. It doesn’t have to be the Odessey but a short paragraph politely detailing a collaboration idea might just help you get what you want.
This is one of my personal favourites. Over the years I have had some doozy emails either via work or Ravelry but I’m solely going to focus on emails around the Notebook.
If you can’t find what you are looking for, try reading the post again. As a general rule, patterns are almost always linked within the post or are the title of the post. The same goes for yarn. Sending email after email in a 48 hour period because you “have to order it right now” isn’t going to get you a faster answer. – Lesson: Read it again and Google is your friend.
Same goes for knitting projects. I write this blog for fun. I don’t knit so that you can message me over and over wondering if I’ve finished it yet. The answer is probably no. I have a busy life, 2 jobs, a husband, 2 kids, 2 cats, a garden, extended family that needs to see said kids and one very indignant rabbit. If I’m not posting on Instagram stories then I haven’t finished it yet. Why not cast on and give it a try?
Also if I’m not posting on Instagram stories – it’s okay. I haven’t fallen into a swamp and currently being slowly digested. I’m probably trying to keep one of those spinning plates mentioned above, up in the air. I’ll be back as soon as I can. There is no need to track down my husband. It’ll only scare you. He never posts on Instagram.
If I don’t like your product I won’t help to promote it. It’s been a simple rule since I started my blog and podcast. Being rude and pushy when I politely decline or I can’t right now doesn’t help with future relationships.
I know I haven’t covered everything but, to sum up, be polite, use context and if you’re frustrated don’t hit send. Take a walk without your phone. Come back, try again. I’m going to leave you with Email in Real Life, enjoy: