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The Secret of Brilliant Emailing (includes three ‘well-known secrets’!)

Wednesday 22nd November 2023 - GMT

Here are three ‘well-known secrets’ about the people who get your emails – they:

  1. Get loads of emails. Yours is one of hundreds. Therefore, it’s unlikely to be opened soon/at all
  2. Are time poor. Which means they’ll skim-read yours – if they read it at all
  3. More readers = fewer responses. When they’re one of a big group of people you’ve emailed, they feel they’re ‘one of many’. Which makes them less likely to (1) feel it’s personal to them and therefore (2) act on it

We all know that Email Readers are like this…

… Because we are like this!

So here’s what to do about it…

Because they get loads of emails:

  • Your title and first sentence must be brilliant. Include a compelling reason for them to open it, and then to keep reading
  • Put your most important stuff early. And the less important stuff lower down or (usually better) nowhere – delete it entirely

Because they’re time poor:

  • Make emails as short as possible. This saves them time. And it saves you time – spending an extra two minutes editing now will save you lots more than two minutes later – since they’ll reply more quickly
  • Make it easy-to-read. Short paragraphs. Punchy sentences. Bullet points. Headings. Easy-to-read formatting

Because more readers = fewer responses:

  • Send emails to as few people as possible
  • Example: if you have to email the same thing to five people, it’s often better to send five individual emails, rather than one group-email to all five. Yes, it takes a few seconds longer to copy/paste it five times. But a personal email means they’re more likely to feel it’s personal to them, and then do what you want

And because you’re time poor – and because I’m time poor – let’s stop this Tip now. Except to say that…

Action Point

…in your next email, remember your time-poor, overwhelmed recipient. Use the techniques above, to help them to help you!

For lots more tips, go to


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The Secret of Brilliant Emailing (includes three ‘well-known secrets’!)

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