How to Reply to an Email

This morning I followed my usual schedule. I woke up, fired up my laptop, checked my blogs for any new comments, checked my feeds for any new posts and then opened my email client. As I was wading through the numerous emails (I have five different emails that I go through) I came across this email from a blog that I commented on yesterday:

Hi there 4620,

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I hope i was able to help you with whatever you were looking for, if found my site to be interesting i would be more then happy if you consider subscribing to my RSS feed.

This single email got me thinking about practices concerning emails. Scott over at recently wrote a post that I though have great importance in this case. The post was entitled “Why Your Business Should Always Answer Emails” and was in response to Ben Cooks post “Treat Your Blog like a Business“. Both of these posts are great and I highly recommend them but basically they say that you should treat your blog like a business and one important aspect of that is replying to emails in a professional manner.

Emailing can be the only personal interaction that you have with your readers. Sure they hear you talk in your posts but when you email them you’re talking directly to them. The problem with sending out a bad email is that it can actually send them away, and not bring them to your site. Here are a couple of tips to create a good email.

Make it Personal
One of the most important things about an email is keeping it personal. In the email that I received the first line was “Hi there 4620″. This doesn’t make me want to read the rest of the email. Because they didn’t use my name I immediately wanted to stop reading. This could easily been fixed by either a) use my name or b) don’t use anything. If you’re going to use a bot to email people make sure it does it in a friendly way.

Give them something else
If you’re replying to a first time reader (which was the case for my email), give them something else to read. Provide a few links to your recent articles and tell them whats coming up. You could even provide a link to your RSS subscription. This makes the email more interesting and helps the reader see what kind of content your site has. It also helps convert a one-time reader into a potential life-time reader. Giving links to your different articles also makes the email a little more interesting. Plain text if often fairly boring so the addition of links and interesting article titles will make a previous plain email into a more interesting one.

These couple of tips can help your emails become more personal and more interesting. More importantly they’ll help make sure that you never write an email like the one that was sent to me.

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