Knock Knock ……anybody Home
Part II (Last part)
By Umer Raza Bhutta
In the previous week’s article, I mentioned about some ideas for the recipient of the email. The article contained ideas for those who received the emails and text messages on mobile and importance and value it creates when someone is knocking at your door. However, there are instances when the emails or the sms messages do not get a reply, or let me put it another way “they do not qualify for a reply to be sent”. This article will bring forward some ideas, suggestions and ethics for sending the emails and messages so that they become “worthy” of being answered.
Since sending an email is easy and with minimal cost, we just keep on sending the emails without much regard and respect towards the recipient. There are a number of marketing emails and messages that come to our inbox (be it email inbox or mobile sms inbox). Such emails are generally classified as mass marketing emails. There are many such emails that come to us through our connections in the linkedin or facebook on in our contact list. Being connected to someone may not give you liberty and authority to send your connection anything anytime you like.
Those of us, who are heavy internet users, can testify that when they get connected to a website and want to get deeper into the contacts of the website the website wants them to register first. When a registration is done only then the website administrator send the registered person any updates or emails. You must have experienced that when you get connected to any marketing services, you are asked to give your choice if you want to receive promotional material or not. They would send you the material or enter you into the list only if they have your consent. Below is a snap shot of the part of the email that I received few days ago when I registered to a website. It showed they care about you and your privacy and only send you an email when you give permission. At the same time if you look at the bottom they have given you the choice to unsubscribe whenever you want.
However these are instances of the registration on the website and these are auto generated replies and lot of auto system runs behind this. But as an individual you may not have such system support However, I am sure many of my readers also do get emails that are just marketing of the programs/products or from individuals or companies etc. and they keep coming to you, regardless of the fact that if you have registered with them or not, or if you want to receive such emails or not.
I have also seen candidates doing mass marketing for themselves. Below is such an example where a candidate has sent a mass linkedin message to most of his contacts on the Linkedin. Below is the snap shot of the message. (other details are taken out from this message to respect the privacy of the person)
Such message has following meaning to me.
- The candidate is desperate to get out of the current company
- He is not at all happy at what he is doing currently
- He is willing that all his contact should know that he is not happy
He might get some coverage, through this way, but another and more professional way is to send one mail to one single contact i.e. enter the name of the contact person and address in a professional way e.g. Mr./Miss etc. By doing so you are given a personal message to the recipient, showing respect to him/her, understanding that the person who will read the message is a professional and important to you because your message is important.
Through emails or sms messages we want to
- Have a response
- Get maximum coverage from the message
- We want that the reader should think positive about us and believe in our message
- And be known as a professional
From the above sample message you may get a greater coverage but it is very rare that you get a response as well as being perceived as a professional. Moreover, if you are sending such message from a professional network such as linkedin, then it is even more unethical and unprofessional to send a mass message. Because here you are connected to professionals and you have the names of each connection. You also know their designation and standing in their respective profession and company. When you know all this, it is even easier through the computer system to right a personalize message to get a better personal coverage. Just take an example, we often listen and read that the dearest thing to any one is his/her name. If your name is presented to you in a printed form you even become proud to see your name. Similar is the case when someone addresses you by name in email or in sms text (i.e. a personalized message) you will read the message at least once to judge the contents of the message. But if you are treated just another person, you will treat the sender just as another person.
The mass marketing emails and sms text are sent in abundance and hit our in box on regular basis. We often hit the delete button without even reading the full text. In such cases a recipient is under no obligation to revert back to you. In a professional environment it is always good to seek permission before entering into someone’s in box. A simple one liner at the end or if possible at the start of the message can show you as a professional person having respect to other’s privacy and needs. Such a one line for mass messages can be “If you do not want to receive emails from us/me, please reply back in the subject line with NO, and we/i will not send you any such message in future”. Remember, if you are in business, you do not want to do it just once, but want to continue doing it. By fulfilling the need of your audience and respecting them you are increasing the chances of your being referred to others as well.
In Summary: When you send the message take care of the following
If you are sending the message to one person:
Start your message with correct title such as Mr./Miss/Dr. etc. After title you always mention the surname or last name of the person e.g. Mr. Bhutta (where Bhutta is the last name). If you have developed a friendly nexus with the person than you can take the liberty of addressing the person by first name and in such a case you need not write the title.
If you are sending a mass marketing message
In such case you must have an image brochure (of the product) also attached. Because images say a lot in the message. However, you must also write a brief in the text message because in most of the handset emails the images do not open correctly (although they may view the image later on their computer). In the text message also write a line as mentioned above to seek permission to send such emails in future.
If you are sending a mass marketing message through Linkedin:
Do not do this please. Linkedin is a professional network and there are many other avenues within linkedin where you can advertise your services. If at all you want to send messages through email, remember to personalize that message by writing the name of the person. After all you know the name of the person at linkedin.
If you want to send your resume:
Do not send your resume to someone who has not asked for it or if a job is not advertised. It simply reduces your market value. If at all you are desperate to send your resume to a company make sure that it is a head hunting/recruitment company, so that they could search a job for you. If you send your resume to any HR Manager or any department head of a company or a CEO, 99% chances are that your resume will go to the deleted items, or to the dustbin. Do not blame the company for this as you are responsible for your career and resume.
If you are want to seek attention of any senior or busy person:
There are chances that you will not be able to get any such attention unless you have not met or do not have anything in common with the person. If you have met or have anything in common, refer this in your subject line or make your subject line an interesting one to read. It will increase your chances that your message is read at least. Other than that do not expect to receive any email response from them.
If you want to send a meeting request email:
Do not send such email. It is always good to first talk to a person instead of sending the email to get a meeting time.
At the end remember to place yourself in the recipient shoe whenever you attempt to send an email. What kind of emails do you read? what kind of emails you like to respond to? and what emails annoy you. Similar treatment will be given to your emails if you do not focus.