We judge the emails we receive by how useful they are in their direct effects on us. When people send mass emails, whether it be for marketing purposes or for professional communication, they tend to be large in scope and low in the personal meaning they contain. The line between spam and useful information does not call one place home. Each person you send an email to has their own definition of spam, and will judge the information you send differently. There may not be a scientific method yet created for sending the perfect email but this does not mean you shouldn’t tread the waters of sending mass emails cautiously.
This article is primarily about being tasked to send mass emails in the professional domain.
As you focus on carving your communications to be digestible, your emails can unexpectedly go on to either improve your reputation or destroy it. Use the following principles to guide your words in the mass email communications that you send. The overarching goal is for your reputation to remain intact, your emails not to be considered an annoyance to your readers’ eyes, and to hopefully provide them something of value.
The Absolute Need for Useful Information
Useful information is the end-all and be-all of sending effective mass communication through electronic means. The information which you include in your emails should be of immediate use to your audience. The way you measure usefulness may depend on the context. However, every call to action must have a reason for why it should be committed and every piece of information should have a reason behind why it is important. Be descriptive yet direct in your emails to large groups of people. Ensure that your language is clear and can be understood by the most layman of your readers.
The responsibility you hold in providing information to a large group of people should be taken seriously. In the digital realm, your words have the power to reach not only those you send them to, but those who your recipients share them with as well. Ensure that no misunderstandings take place in the communication of your words to others by being concise and clear in what you write. Stay to the point and spread the growth mentality behind useful information to all who read your words.
Being Perceived as an Attention-Grabber
In hopes of limiting the labeling of your emails as useless spam, begin by including only those who need to see the message as the recipients. Including more people than necessary in the, “Send To” box will give birth to the perception that you seek attention for your own personal gain, whatever it may be. People love seeing their name on many things, in many places, and hearing it from many voices. However, when they see the names of others appearing in an effort to garner publicity, they tend to quickly turn against the people behind those names. Your reputation can be attacked for the mere fact of your name being seen by many if what you say does not provide any value beyond that fact. Be careful of who you send your emails to, and ensure your audience is appropriate for the message that you’re sharing.
Another thing to note is that you should stray away from opinion, commentary, and humor in the mass communication emails that you send. The more boring your package the better for this scenario. Be pragmatic, be direct, and do not take any risks in how you present the information at hand. The inclusion of opinion, humor, or unwarranted commentary about the subject at hand can be perceived in ways which you don’t intend for it to be. Limit the chances of your message being misunderstood by keeping it fat-free. Write your emails with utmost seriousness toward the subject matter at hand, even if it is not of serious matter.
Ending Your Emails
People often over-complicate how they end their emails. All you have to do is remember two things when trying to end your emails effectively.
First, paint yourself as a protector of the reader’s time. Assume the reader had important things to do whilst still deciding to read your email. Thank them for taking a few minutes out of their day, and make it seem that you respect the attention they paid your email. Thank them for taking the time to read the email. State that you appreciate them taking a few minutes out of their day to get caught up on whatever the contents of your email happened to be.
Even though the email may have been important to those who read it, it’s still worth making it seem that they were doing you a favor by reading it. Maintain the perception of power to be held by the reader, not the writer. Use vocabulary which allocate power to be owned by those reading your email. Remember, they granted their time, you did not request it. They decided to finish reading your email, you did not ask them to. Make the readers of your emails know that you perceive them to be providers of some sort, not the other way around.
The second thing to remember, is always include the mention of next steps, even if there are none to be taken. The fact is that most people you send emails to will skim them. They’ll read the subject, maybe the introduction, then skip to the end. They’ll want to know if anything’s needed from them. Ensure your emails always mention whether action is required from those who read your emails. Ensure that those reading your emails know whether the email was purely informative or whether next steps should be taken.
Keep the power dynamic in mind when you make calls for action. Always err on the side of saying please rather than not. Call for your reader’s kind attention and actions, rather than sternly directing them on the next steps.
Example of a Good Mass Email
Good morning to all Project Team members,
Our next Town Hall meeting is Thursday, June 13th, at 1 PM, in the auditorium.
Project leadership will be present to solicit and answer all questions you have about the project in its current state. This will be an open forum event.
The productiveness of our town hall meetings is directly dependent on the full attendance of the project team. Please kindly grant one hour of your day to be with us for this event. Each and every one of your opinions matters and can be informative to the rest who’ll be there.
Please spend a few minutes of your time thinking about any issues you want to voice, or questions you may have, for our project leadership team.
Thank you for your time,