Sounds easy, right? You write an email and send it. Job done.
Well, except it isn’t. Emailing strangers can be quite difficult. You’ve probably had an email already this week that made you roll your eyes and wonder whether the sender had even looked at your blog – but think about it from their point of view. They’ve been told by their boss to email a certain number of bloggers, and they just don’t have the time to comb through your blog to be able to truly be personal. However, there are some things they could be doing (and you, if you need to email someone you’ve never spoken to before to ask them a question or ask for their help)
Yeah, so we just said it’s difficult to be personal, but there’s a difference between “I just read your blog post on insert blog post title here” and “OMG your dog/cat/baby/new dress is super cute!”. A quick peep at Instagram or Twitter will give you a more up to date thing to talk about than a blog post!
Most of us give each new email a brief glance before deciding whether to respond or to just file it away – keeping things short and sweet will make sure the receiver can quickly work out what the sender wants and whether it’s something they’re interested in being able to help out with.
Being succinct works to a point, but if you’re curt, then people won’t want to help out. Don’t Be A Dick is our unofficial rule to being on the internet (and really, for life) and it applies in all forms. Read the email from your own point of view to see how you would respond.
Be knowledgable about your audience
Are you pitching this to the right people? Whether you’ve got a product to promote, or you’re asking for someone to do an interview with you, make sure you’re asking the right person the right questions – a little research will go a long way!
Instead of finding people for your interview series (or whatever) through your own reading list, you could find them on Twitter! Ask your followers for suggestions, search your favourite hashtags, check out those “Similar to…” recommendations – all easy but useful ways to find new people question.
Next time you get an email where the sender has filled in the blanks, point them to this post!