Email is completely crazy!!!


When I was in college, email was just getting started. I actually didn’t use a real computer until after graduating from the University of Wisconsin. Guess what? 1995 wasn’t all that long ago.

Since 1995, email has progressed from something you accessed only from your desktop computer, to something you accessed from a laptop, to something you access all day using a smart phone.

The advancements made in how we digest our emails cannot be overlooked. Today more and more emails are viewed on a screen 3×4 inches in size! I use an iPhone and in the past I have also used a Blackberry. 60-70 % of my emails are viewed on these devices.

Smart phones are hugely important and probably one of the best things to happen to communication. Why?

Most salespeople try and put too much information into an email. Emails can be dangerous. They last forever. Typos make you look stupid. In one click, a person can forward your information to hundreds if not thousands of people. Even more than a written letter, an email has the ability to take on the reader’s emotions.

Salespeople need to use basic common sense when using email. Today, emails must be short. We need to assume that most of our emails are going to be viewed on a smart phone. Rarely should your email be more than three sentences. Your subject line can make or break your email — don’t take this for granted; if it looks like spam, it will not be read.

Emails today should be short, clear, and contain a call to action. That’s it. If you can’t fit your message into a smart phone screen, you need to re-work the email. If the message must be non-verbal, consider a letter – yes, I actually said a letter. Letters are still useful, especially when you make them personal. Handwriting is so underused that when people see it they almost fall out of their chairs, frame the letter, and run around their offices screaming, “Have you seen this? It’s a handwritten letter!!!”

In sales, we need to stand above the crowd to earn the right to engage people. Ronald Reagan is remembered almost as much for his habit of sending handwritten notes as he is for being President of the United States.

Back to the basics is the theme of this post. Email rules to follow in sales:

  • Remember the size of THEIR screen
  • No more than 3 sentences
  • Use to drive verbal communication
  • Links can supplement a long email
  • Subject lines matter
  • When all else fails, pick up the phone and call
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